Lifestyle

11 tasty gifts for the discerning foodie in your life


All they want for Christmas is an endless stream of food.

To the friends in our lives that insist on a glass of sparkling water with a wedge of lime instead of regular tap, this one is for you. Here’s to the foodies in our lives.

Maybe you were thinking on taking them out to a glamorous meal at some exclusive venue, but chances are they’ve already visited all the city’s latest openings twice over. Instead of throwing your hands up in defeat, gift them some unusual treats they probably wouldn’t ever think of getting themselves, like Nissin’s bath accessories that transform a steaming bathtub into the bubbling surface of especially delicious cup noodles on a hungover morning.

Gifts for the discerning foodie:

Everyone loves a good charcuterie board — there’s no doubt about that. But the serious foodie in your life probably has a good idea of where to get the best prosciutto or truffle manchego or very mature cheddar. Surprise them with an even better selection than their usual with Pata Negra House’s Prestige Bundle: a collection of the reputed gourmet retailer’s selection of prestigious Iberico ham (sliced from their own — and Asia’s first! — dedicated ham cellar in San Po Kong), cheeses including truffle gouda and 36-months aged comté, whole grain crackers and preserved goose foie gras to recreate the ultimate spread.

To those who pledged to cut out dairy for 2021, congrats — you’ve (mostly) made it! Your reward? The one product many who have gone dairy-free are sure to miss the most: Cheese. But not without breaking your no-dairy streak, of course. Nuteese replicates beloved soft cheeses with their own plant-based recipes, complete with a 21-day ageing process for the same rich, deep flavours of the original. In this hamper, there are five types of Nuteese’s signature cheese, including the most popular Cam Meets Brie, made with fermented cashews, six various types of crackers and a bottle of Perrier-Jouët Champagne Brut.

Chocolates for Christmas are ordinary. They’re the ones you pick up last minute for those close-but-not-that-close friends when you didn’t know what else to buy. But these chocolates by Ryan L. Foote are not part of that. Instead, this set counts as a very special, well-thought-out gift.

Nine tiny pieces of chocolatey treats are remade with a very familiar Hong Kong twist and the chocolatier’s signature architectural shapes of peaks and dips. There’s Hong Kong French Toast, Egg Tart and Hong Kong Milk Tea, amongst more unconventional ones like Caramel Char Siu, made with a mix of five spices — chilli, garlic, fennel, vinegar and sugar — and a caramel centre, to recreate the sweet-slash-savoury profile in one exquisite bite.

Look, they probably have a special craving. If it’s honey, this very spenny Rare Harvest New Zealand Manuka Honey is probably the gift for them. It’s part of a limited run of just 1,000 jars, produced by the hard-working bees from the The True Honey Company’s 6,000 hives. With a rating of the highest MGO/UMF grade, it also means this is the purest quality of honey you can find. Now every breakfast will be a decadent affair as you swirl a dollop over oatmeal and buttery toast — true breakfast for champions.

I’m not saying these biscuits will get universal acclaim from your foodie friends — they’ll probably insist that their recipe tastes better. But by looks alone, these “Twelve Days of Christmas” all-spice cookies by Biscuiteers are a winner. It comes with all 12 of the beloved cast from the catchy Christmas song, illustrated beautifully in detailed icing — the turtle doves and pipers piping and partridge in the pear tree — along with four golden musical notes for a very fun singalong post a fulfilling Christmas dinner.

Every good foodie has a stash of hot sauce — just open any one of their cabinets and you’ll spot a neat row of fiery red. Between the classic Chinese crispy chilli oil and a tear-jerking recipe of daunting ghost peppers, this one by Truff is a mild, easy-to-love addition (Oprah also names it one of her favourites). Infused with black truffle with organic agave nectar and ripe chilli peppers, it’s versatile enough to be drizzled over pizzas and swirled in pastas and noodles. I’m sure the home cook in your life will appreciate the challenge in magicking new recipes with it.

You’ve probably been at the receiving ends of their unsatisfied qualms. How “it could’ve been spicier” or “saltier” or just “all around better”. This trio of sauces by A Spark of Madness will give their next meal that oomph they so wanted — a kick of spice; a touch of umami. It’s what founder Simran Savlani made them for — “A palate awakener”, she calls them.

Entirely vegan, the current selection features a classic crispy chilli oil, caramelised spring onion blended with ginger and sesame and a creamy spicy sauce merely dubbed as “Crack Sauce”. No doubt you’d find yourself pouring spoonfuls over your every meal from dumplings to fried rice, salad and french fries, even. The brand has also just launched their brand new “Spark Bark”, a chocolate made, of course, with an extra spark: Sichuan peppercorns and salted pretzel bits.

It’s the consummate holiday gift for anyone who’ll jump at the chance to teach you right way of holding a wine glass.

Fortnum & Mason’s Christmas selection is an all-time classic — it’s not Christmas without them! This particular hamper  is stocked with all the essentials needed to put together a perfect holiday spread with Christmas Pecan & Ginger biscuits and a mini Christmas ham. Even the most seasoned holiday host makes mistakes, and when that time comes around, this hamper will be their holiday saving grace.

Cocoparadise is a snack that cares. It’s Christmas! You want to indulge. And without losing PT progress you’ve paid precious money for. So the solution? The brand’s guilt-free treats.

Some taste just like honey-frosted doughnuts; others, matcha shortbread. BBQ jerky. Glazed popcorn. But all are made with toasted coconut flakes, coconut shreds and a handful of other very healthy, very nutritious ingredients. So you can snack without having to remind yourself how many dark chocolate almonds you’ve had before breakfast. Go on, have a whole tub just to yourself.

The holidays are a time for fun. This one is for the foodie that appreciates a little humour.

Bacon? On wrapping paper? You bet. And the best part, it’s scratch-and-sniff scented, too. Oily strips of crispy fried bacon just like the crunchy strips you had this morning. Whatever you were planning on getting them this year, this is all you need to make that gift even better.

Price

US$19.95 (approx. HK$155.68)

Chances are they’ve already perfected a pasta-making recipe. But what’s another? They love food. And I bet they haven’t made pasta the Associazione Chianti way, either.

A private class for two, Associazione Chianti’s pasta-making class takes a deep-dive into authentic Tuscan recipes with simple ingredients from the region. Along with a step-by-step tutorial hosted by the chef, the session also includes a Tuscan-style antipasti, dessert and a bottle of wine. Make it, then eat it. The most rewarding kind of experience.

To get physical gift cards delivered before Christmas, Black Sheep Restaurants recommends placing orders before 19 December.






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