Top 10 Foodie Gifts

Ah yes, Christmastime is here. Christmas music is playing at every department store in the nation, fathers and husbands are crankily rushing around to strings of lights, Christmas trees, and other gadgets that are used for one month out of the year, and yes- – we are all searching for gifts to please those special people in our lives. There are so many things to choose from. But what about for those of us who love food the most? What are you going to get them? A fruit of the month club? Another cookbook that will sit on the shelve to collect dust? NO! How about something that is different/unique but also enjoyable? Well, we’re here to help. Here are our 2014 suggestions:

First Nibs: Chocolate Subscription

10. Raaka Chocolate Subscription

Raaka now offers a subscription service that offers two limited edition bars and one of their “classics” sent directly to your doorstep. The limited edition bars are only available through subscription. We were in Bryant Park and got a chance to sample their Pinot Noir Salt and Pink Peppercorn bar which was very tasty. A neat idea for any chocolate lovers out there who also appreciate a twist on some original flavors.

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9. The Original Bacon Kit

If you don’t like bacon, you most likely hate America as well. This kit would be fun for ANYONE to try out themselves and pride themselves on serving their own bacon on Sunday morning.


8. Handpresso Auto

You already know how I feel about this product. If you have an espresso lover in your life, I guarantee they will enjoy this. Fresh espresso in your car – what else is there to say? I mean, other than the fact that it also ensures your car will always be smelling like Starbucks!

7. Spiegelau Craft Beer Tasting Kit

Spiegelau is known for their high quality glass and practical designs, enhancing the flavors of the beverage poured into the glass. We’ve already tried the IPA, Stein, and Stout glass, but this kit gives the beer lover a glass to drink each beer they have in their fridge. I’ve been doing some in depth testing of the kit that Spiegelau sent us and I will say that I was pleasantly surprised by the way each glass enhances the aroma, flavor, and sometimes carbonation of the beer. If you know someone who loves beer, invest in two of these kits as a gift – they need to have enough glasses to share with you!

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The Few, The Proud, The Foodie

“Whenever I was called a gourmet, I suspected I was being accused of something at least slightly unpleasant. But that was before I heard the term “foodie.” I am still not sure that a gourmet is a good thing to be, but it must be better than a foodie.”
—Mark Kurlansky, ‘Choice Cuts’ (2002)

I’ve never been called a gourmet—but then I’ve never been mauled by a shark either. And while I’m sure that not all sharks are maulers (just as not all gourmets are pompous windbags), I’d rather swim with the sharks than hang with the gourmets, as sharks apparently aren’t as picky about what they eat. Oh, don’t get me wrong. Like my buddy the shark, once I get the scent, I poise for attack. Korean barbeque? I begin to circle… Fresh-baked cinnamon roles? I make a slow, exploratory pass; back slightly arched, nose beginning to flare… Sizzling beef patties and grilled onions flipping wildly in the open? I ATTACK!!! I want flavor and I want it now! And I don’t care if it falls off a food truck or is served pinky up in a high-class French bistro! Thousands of years of evolution have only heightened this eating machines’ insatiable lust for all things ‘great tasting’! I’m a gastric predator! I’m a hot-blooded carnivore! I am…a FOODIE!

There, I said it. Unlike our esteemed gourmet blowhards, I’m not looking for perfection. I just want to get fed and I want it to taste good. Texture, color and presentation don’t mean squat to me. You ever eat a great chicken fried steak smothered in sausage gravy? A chewy, gray plate of mortar served up by an overweight blue-haired woman in her sixties may not sound like a slice of heaven to you, but I’ve had this dish taste so good in the past that the ‘ambiance’ didn’t faze me. Truckers, prison parolees and yours truly were all sitting elbow to elbow with that same stupid euphoric grin on our faces, thinking how great life was and how we couldn’t wait to come back for another round.

There is a restaurant space that sits next to a burger joint in L.A. that has gone through about eight different trendy ‘eateries’ in the last five years. Each was adored by the so called ‘gourmet food critics’ and made a huge opening splash. You couldn’t get into these places for the first two months because of the business that the reviews caused. So what happened? Each of those over-hyped hoity toity gourmet gardens have flamed out and packed up, while the lowly burger joint next door remains, and has thrived for almost thirty years.

Who started the food truck craze? Gourmets? I’ll tell you who did; it was you and me and all the other misshapen taste tweakers who weren’t following the self important ‘Critics-of-the-Common’, but were tweeting, texting and dragging their fellow ‘FOODIES’ (say it loud and say it proud!) to experience this new gastric phenomenon and to judge it first-hand. Yes Virginia, sometimes you do have to swallow, and until you do how will you know whether or not it was worth it? By reading someone else’s elevated opinion? I don’t want to build an ‘acquired taste’ for a food, a mate or a pet. I either like it or I don’t, and I don’t care what the name of the chef is or where he or she learned the tricks of their trade! They worked four years at the French Laundry? I don’t care if it was ‘THE’ French Laundry or ‘A’ French laundry. I’ll be back if it rocked my world and it doesn’t matter if you worked under Mr. Keller or Mr. Clean.

So what’s your preference—a four star review or passionate, excited texts from several close friends about the next great place that you just ‘have’ to experience? I don’t know about you, but I don’t eat food based off of the opinion of someone who gets in for free and then gets paid to tell you what they think, all while believing that their taste palette is superior to your own because they are ‘gourmets’.

“Whenever I was called a foodie, I suspected I was being accused of something at least slightly unpleasant. But that was before I used the term “blow me.” I am still not sure that a foodie is a good thing to be, but like I give a shit.”
Katt Kasper, ‘Foodie, First Class’ (2013)

Feed Us Back: Comments of the Week


You ESers to all worked up this week, particular about the definition of a foodie. Nicky:

I think it’s funny that this question even comes up in this day and age. Are you telling me that people like Heidi Swanson at 101 Cookbooks are not foodies? I think people would be surprised to find out many of the foodies they know and love are vegetarian. Watch your backs meat eating foodies we are right on your tails.

erica has a better idea than posting calorie counts at fast food restaurants:

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