Christmas is a time to set aside diets and reconsider them again come January. Food, special food, is everywhere this time of year and we think it is fabulous. We also think it is one of the most appreciated and practical gifts you can give. Rather than giving something that may or may not end up in a landfill, why not give something that will titillate the taste buds instead? Below we’ve compiled a list of delicious ideas that will excite foodies and regular folk alike. They make the perfect host/hostess gifts or for under the tree (save for the cheese).
Founded by the mother/daughter team of Alice and Alison Spurrell in 1986, this cheese shop extraordinaire sells the most extensive selection of domestic and international cheeses in town. Package up a piece of La Tur with some lovely crackers, a cheese board and some fig jam and delight any recipient. Alternatively, Les Amis makes beautiful Holiday Tourtiere – a traditional Quebecois meat pie.
Oyama in Granville Island is a must for the charcuterie lover in your life. The locally produced sausage and pate will complement any meal. We recommend giving the gift of ‘saucisson’ – any of the French varieties or the Fuet (Catalonian-inspired) or Finocchiona (Italian Fennel) are absolutely divine. Helpful tip: Orders for charcuterie and Christmas hams and other meats can be made online so you can bypass the crowds and pick up your order on an assigned date and time.
If a cheesy gift is too rich or sausage too carnivorous, consider a selection of inspired delicacies from the Middle East. The acclaimed Lebanese restaurant, Jam Jar, with 2 Vancouver locations, is the perfect place to pick up some house-blended authentic spice blends like shish tawouk, makamik and falafel spice or hummus, packaged elegantly in JamJar branded little tins.
At Paramount, pick up some sweet delights – a box of syrupy Baklava or Kinafe will jazz up any Christmas party’s dessert table.
Ayoub’s Dried Fruit and Nuts is another exotic emporium of unique and delicious gift options from lime and saffron pistachios to dried Iranian figs or red sour plums. Many gift boxes include signature mixes of nuts and fruit.
Chocolate Arts/Beta 5
At Chocolate Arts chocolates are crafted in small batches using only the very best ingredients. Choose a box of assorted chocolates or a package of chewy dark chocolate caramels finished with fleur de sel.
At Beta 5, all of the handcrafted chocolates are beautiful and showcase remarkable skill and artistry. Alternatively, their cream puffs are rightly renowned and very much gift-worthy. Consider giving an assortment that includes coffee yuzu and lavender earl grey creations.
Though micro breweries tend to hog the limelight in Vancouver, distilleries are also making a boozy mark on our town. Why not forego the requisite wine bottle gift in favour of a local craft spirit this holiday season? Long Table and Liberty Distilleries both craft some exquisite small batch gins. The pink Endeavour gin from Liberty is particularly gift-worthy.
At Odd Society, consider the award-winning Creme de Cassis or Bittersweet Vermouth, elegantly branded and packaged. Cin Cin!