Gourmet Girl’s 2014 Holiday Gift Guide

Gourmet Girl - December 15, 2014

From monthly mail clubs to gift baskets, board games & more, inspired gifts for foodies...

Need a little holiday gift inspiration for the foodies on your list? The Gourmet Girl's Holiday Gift Guide has some fun and inventive food-oriented ideas to please even the bahest of humbugs, from over-the-top gift baskets to monthly food mailing clubs,  board games for foodies and wine-lovers and more. Happy Shopping!

Photo: Cloned Milkmen

Let's start with a gift basket from Zabar's, the world-famous epicurean emporium located on Manhattan's Upper West Side This basket is filled with favorites of founder Eli Zabar, including the shop's incredible housemade bread, granola, artisan cheese, jams and jellies, crisps and thins, nuts, cookies and other delicacies. Guaranteed to thrill the most serious of foodies.

The Santa Fe Basket Company offers a delicious selection of holiday baskets for every price range, filled with Santa Fe treats—hot chocolate, peppermint bark, chocolate-covered Oreos, blue corn pancake mix, bizochitos, habanero fudge sauce and even some of Santa's favorite, like Cowgirl Cookies, Chocolate Turquoise Nuggets and so much more. Wait...don't rush off yet to order one for yourself! There's more!

You can put together your own basket of hand-picked treats  from the Santa Fe Farmers' Market. Choose from artisan cheese and breads, salsa, jams, jellies and sauces, specialty mustards, bizochitos, tea and so much more. You can even buy a gift basket to put everything in, right at the market. A special gift for a locavore.

A gift card for a cooking class at the Santa Fe School of Cooking is the perfect gift for anyone wanting to learn more about cooking with traditional New Mexico ingredients, as well as other foods. The classes cover a range of topics, from tamales and salsa to rellenos, burritos, red and green chile and more.

Any foodie would flip for a box-of-the-month gift delivered right to their door, and there are dozens to choose from. Bacon Freak sends a monthly package filled with thick slices of gourmet bacon—Cajun, jalapeno, chipotle, honey barbecue, cinnamon sugar and more.

Murray's Cheese of the Month Club features three handpicked selections each month reflecting the seasons and holidays. Murray's was founded in 1940 in Greenwich Village by Murray Greenberg and today offers the finest cheese from around the globe.

Grand Traverse's Pie of the Month Club delivers signature pies , from cherry peach crumb and raspberry to berry, apple and peach to rhubarb, all made with fresh ingredients, including northern Michigan's famous cherries.

If you really want to splurge, send that special someone a membership to Zingerman's Culinary Adventure Society and they'll receive a box filled with goodies from around the world, like Robert Lambert's Lime Syrup from California, Vosges Bacon Chocolate bar,  Craquelin Bread Lutenitsa (a Bulgarian red pepper spread) and  Kozlik's Maple Mustard from Toronto, Canada.

Now here's a great stocking stuffer for the baker on your list—a musical cake slicer that plays “Jingle Bells,” “For He's a Jolly Good Fellow” and “The Wedding March.” It's amazing that no one has invented this before now. Just don't forget to buy batteries.

Who doesn't need a unicorn cookie cutter? Another great stocking stuffer for bakers, and foodies who believe in a little magic...A great gift for kids of all ages, including grown-up kids.

How about sriacha or  bacon candy canes, traditional red and white striped candy canes that just happen to be spiked with one of America's favorite hot sauce or with the taste of bacon. Get some for yourself and deck the halls and the Christmas tree. For an extra kick, use them to stir your coffee and tea.

The Menu Mash-Up is definitely on my wish list this year. It's a board game for foodies, similar to Apples to Apples, requiring players to create menus that are often off the wall. One player, the Diner, chooses the best menu, giving the cook who made it a Dish card. Whoever collects the most Dish cards wins the game. For ages 12 and up.

A similar game, Foodie Fight, is a trivia game with more 1,000 questions covering topics from culinary science and celebrity chefs to exotic cuisine, culinary history and more.

Wine Wars, another trivia, has players vying to answer questions about winemaking, growing grapes, tasting and storing wine, famous winemakers and more in categories including Vine to Vino, Cork Culture, Vine to Vino and Wine Cellar. A fun game for  everyone, from oenophiles to wine newbies.

Photo: Larry Lamsa