Tasteful Gifts for the Foodie on Your Gift List

The Food Dude's holiday gift guide for 2013.
by Dave Cathey Published: December 11, 2013
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Tasteful gifts that also taste good are always a good idea this time of year for the foodie on your gift list.

Long before the term “foodie” was ever uttered, Pepperidge Farms found cookies and/or summer sausage were never an unwelcome gift, and the company has lasted more than 70 years thanks to the discovery.

For the slightly more advanced palate, consider gourmet oils, vinegars or spices, which are available in every part of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area, it seems.

One person on your list might like a nice ration of Bedre chocolate or Cusack meats, while others might want a sous vide circulator or a nice kitchen apron. Others might be suited for a new set of kitchen knives, while certificates to a favorite restaurant might do the trick.

Even though recipes are being pulled from the Internet more and more, cookbooks are not out of style. Lots of folks like cooking classes, and those, too, can be had for a price.

Edible

There's two ways to go with gifts than can be ingested. First, there are holiday-centric treats like Aunt Bill's Brown Candy. You can make it yourself (see Page 2D) or purchase it from local family-owned institution of confections, The Woody Candy Co. Local gourmet shops like International Pantry in Norman, Gourmet Gallery in Edmond and Northpark Mall, and countless candy shops and cupcake purveyors offer treats in a myriad of shapes, sizes and prices. Among the most unique candy shops is Cocoflow, where chocolatier Gene Leiterman oversees the production of all the confections.

The Olive Oil & Co. opened just about a year ago and offers some of the finest olive oils and vinegars from boutique producers from around the world. And the good part is you can sample them all.

Olive & Co. also has a good selection of prepared foods, spices and adornments for a fleet of foodies.

One of the items Olive & Co. carries is Della Terra Pasta. Made in town by chef Chris Becker, Della Terra is as fine a store-bought pasta as you can hope to find. I've extolled the virtues of Becker's handmade pasta before in these pages, and now he's offering a dried version. Becker makes the pasta at the Urban Agrarian Market and it can be found at Forward Foods and Whole Foods Market.

Another place you can find Della Terra Pasta is Savory Spice Shop, which carries practically every spice, extract and dried herb the world has to offer. To prepare for the onslaught of holiday shoppers, owner Able Blakley has opened a kiosk in Penn Square Mall in the lower western corridor.

If your giftee is an olive oil and tea enthusiast, you can kill two birds with one stone at the Teaoli store in Edmond. T, an Urban Teahouse has an expansive tea selection. If coffee is what you seek, look no further than the Elemental Coffee Shop, which roasts its own blends.

You can't go wrong with gift packages from Holder Brothers Beef, which can be found at Gourmet Gallery along with a host of other locally produced products. Cusack Meats, which has been in business since 1932, also offers a host of holiday gift options.

Finally, The Beef Jerky Emporium specializes in, you guessed it, beef jerky. But you'll be pleasantly surprised by its selection of salsas, snacks, prepared foods and gift sets.

Gadgetry

If you're buying for a seasoned home cook, some kind of gadgetry is probably your best bet. The hard part is deciding what gadget to purchase. You'll probably want to visit one of our local gourmet shops and be prepared to answer some questions.

Has the term sous vide ever crossed his/her lips? Has he/she ever complained about the state of the rolling pin, blender, food processor, can opener or cheese grater? Does the object of your gifting have a microplane grater? (If not, they need one). Do they use kitchen shears, spoon rests, finger bowls or cookbook stands? All are worthy additions to any kitchen.

Our local gourmet store clerks can help you, but you will have to be able to let them know whether the cook on your list likes to bake, makes candies or is a grill-master. Does your cook specialize in any style of food? It might be good to get on the phone first to answer these questions because the local gourmet shops all have different specialties.


by Dave Cathey
Food Editor
The Oklahoman's food editor, Dave Cathey, keeps his eye on culinary arts and serves up news and reviews from Oklahoma’s booming food scene.
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