Food is no longer just something we need three times a day to stay alive. It’s become a way of life, with an increasing number of people identifying themselves as foodies. In this first of our Good Gift Guides of the season, we’ll give you some ideas for fun, reasonably priced holiday gifts for the favorite foodie(s) in your life. All under $100 they would make lovely gifts for your next dinner party hosts as well.
Organic: Farmers & Chefs of the Hudson Valley by Francesco Mastalia
In Organic: Farmers and Chefs of the Hudson Valley, farmers and chefs from this robust agricultural community share their philosophy on what it means to grow and live organically and sustainably. Francesco Mastalia’s amber-toned portraits, taken using a 19th Century technique called wet-plate collodion process, feature over 100 notable locals, including Dan Barber, chef and co-owner of Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Ken Greene of the Hudson Valley Seed Library, Zakary Pelaccio, owner of Brooklyn gastropub Fish & Game, Amy Hepworth, 7th generation farmer at Hepworth Farms, and Steffen Schneider of the 400-acre biodynamic Hawthorne Valley Farm. Their personal stories show a deep connection with the land in New York’s Hudson Valley, an area that has long been on the forefront of the local food movement, and pay homage to a natural and whole way of life.
$49.95, powerHouse Books
Salt fanatics will love this richly seasoned salt blend, made in California using naturally harvested sea salt crystals and a combination of organic spices and wildcrafted herbs. Omnivore Salt was created by Angelo Garro, a Sicilian-born, San Francisco-based blacksmith, cook, hunter and lover of food (he’s the guy that takes Michael Pollan hunting in An Omnivore’s Dilemma). Garro has been making the salt, which is based on a family recipe passed down from his grandmother, in his own kitchen for many years. Once only available to a small circle of friends, chefs and restauranteurs — including Alice Waters — Garro recently decided to make it available to foodies everywhere. Try it and we think you’ll thank him for it.
$10, Vagabond Mfg. Co.
Kitchen Medicine Poster
Culinary herbs can be found kitchens, gardens and markets everywhere. We tend to buy them for cooking, but many also have powerful medicinal uses. This richly illustrated Kitchen Medicine poster brings plant power awareness right into your kitchen and will empower you to try your hand at making various medicinal preparations or teas from herbs you may already have on your shelf at home. To quote ancient Greek physician Hippocrates: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
Abeego Natural Beeswax Food Wrap
Food wrap may not initially seem like an ideal gift, but these natural beeswax ones are far from saran wrap. Ever since I discovered them, they’ve been one of my favorite kitchen staples. Abeego’s food wraps are made from hemp, organic cotton, beeswax, tree resin and jojoba oil. At room temperature they’re slightly adhesive and malleable, making it easy to use the warmth of your hands to form a cover for any leftovers you want to save. Once in the fridge, they cool down, harden and form a protective shell, keeping your food fresh. Wash them with cold, soapy water and let them air dry and they will last for at least a year. Once the wrap has reached the end of its useful life, you can simply throw it on the compost. Genius.
Dogwood & Hastings Pink Urchiness Napkin
Bring nature into your home with these colorful napkins by Dogwood & Hastings. They are designed in Oregon, printed with nontoxic dyes in Durham, North Carolina on organic cotton fabric (Global Organic Textile Standard certified), and sewn and finished in Oregon. The unique designs are based on original photography by founder and designer Starre Vartan. A percentage of proceeds for each print go back to the place it comes from. This glorious pink sea urchin — guaranteed to brighten up any dinner table — was taken at Yaquina Head on the Oregon coast and 10% of profits will benefit wilderness preservation organization Oregon Wild.
$16.50 each, Ecohabitude
Wooden Bagel Trivet
The perfect gift for carb-lovers, these trivets look just like real bagels. Designed by Masanori Oji and handcrafted in Japan, they are perfect for resting a cup of tea, pot of soup, or why not hot bagel on your table. The trivets are six inches in diameter and are available in Japanese maple, cherry and walnut wood. Each has a leather string attached so you can hang it on the kitchen wall when not in use.
$98, Max & Moritz
Sriracha sauce is definitely having a moment right now. Fans of the spicy red sauce claim it works on nearly everything, while health advocates question some of the ingredients in the original version (perhaps rightfully so). This hybrid sauce is both ketchup and sriracha — srirachup. Sweet early girl tomatoes are paired with a fiery house-made sriracha to make a ketchup with a spicy kick that’s surprisingly addictive. And there are no funny ingredients, only fresh California tomatoes, chili peppers, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, sea salt, and garlic.
$10, Sosu Sauces
Cooking With Fire by Paula Marcoux
Cooking with live fire goes way beyond the barbecue grill. Rediscover the pleasures of a variety of unconventional techniques, from roasting pork on a spit to baking bread in ashes, searing fish on a griddle, smoking turkey, roasting vegetables in a fireplace, making soup in a cast-iron pot, baking pizza in a wood-fired oven, cooking bacon on a stick, and much, much more. Includes 100 recipes for everything from roasted rabbit to fish chowder and baguettes. It’s the perfect way to hint to that friend with the amazing backyard grill setup that they need to throw a BBQ party already.
$15, Vagabond Mfg. Co.
Handmade Coffee Drip
What self-respecting foodie still uses an old-school coffee maker? It’s all about the artisanal ways of brewing these days. And hand-poured coffee does taste a whole lot better. Bring some artfulness into your morning coffee routine with this coffee drip, handcrafted in Los Angeles. Pair with a bag of your friend’s favorite beans and you have the perfect present for a coffee lover. The drips are available in multiple patterns and each one is unique, just like that perfect cup of joe.
$44, Modern Folk Living
Thrive Market Membership
Recently launched, Thrive Market is sort of online-version of Costco for the health-conscious set. Using a membership group-buying model, Thrive Market is able to offer some of the best-selling natural and organic products at wholesale prices. Currently, the online store carries over 2,500 products from 400 brands — offering everything from food and supplements to home, personal care, and beauty product. The company’s mission is to democratize healthy living and make it easy, affordable, and accessible for every American family. Gift member ships are available on a 3-month, 6-month or yearly basis. For every paid yearly membership, one is given to a low-income American family.
Prices vary, Thrive Market