1. A beautiful fish from Bob’s Seafood at Olive and 170. Yes, timing is important, but what foodie doesn’t want fresh fish? I suggest bringing a couple dozen fresh oysters (along with an oyster knife) to the party and complete the gift by shucking the oysters for immediate consumption.
2. Jones Bacon from Straub’s. Instead of buying sliced bacon, buy a slab, then cut the bacon into one-inch cubes. Coat with brown or maple sugar and bake until crisp (be sure to use a silicone-lined baking pan so no scrubbing is involved). I call it “pig candy.”
3. A hunk of gruyere or emmenthaler or raclette cheese from The Wine and Cheese Place. Fondue is the perfect New Year’s Eve dish (hot cheese to soak up all the alcohol). Bring the cheese with kirsch and the fondue pot and make dinner in the living room!
4. A whole box with only the best kind of candy: pecan balls in dark chocolate from Lake Forest Confectionery in Clayton.
5. Reinvigorate the spice drawer with a trip to Penzey’s in Maplewood. Get a box with all the different kinds of ground cinnamon. Plus, pick up a jar of Aleppo pepper for yourself (Santa needs gifts, too.)
6. Loaves of brioche from Companion Baking in Clayton. No foodie can ever have too many brioche loaves in the freezer. Brioche bread pudding with whiskey sauce is a cold winter night dessert.
7. The gorgonzola cheese that DiGregorio’s on The Hill sells always tastes creamier and more delicious than gorgonzola any where else. This gorgonzola is a necessary addition to the box of pears that someone else already sent.
8. The real thing: handmade macaroons in the French style from Cafe Glace. These macaroons are so perfect, don’t send them unless you are madly in love.
9. Taste twenty different olive oils, choose your favorite, and then bottle it up from Extra Virgin in Clayton.
10. A really personalized gift: write out in your own handwriting a favorite recipe on a cute recipe card and enclose all the ingredients necessary to make the dish.
For more foodie gift ideas, see:
Happy Shopping! Be sure to sample all of your gifts (for quality control, of course)!