Saturday, 15 December 2012

Ten Christmas Gifts for Food-Lovers

Ulcigrai Family

OK, so this is actually a list of what I would like for Christmas, but it might give you ideas if you have a food-lover in your life.

An Ulcigrai Pannetone £16
From a small family bakery in Trieste.  Available from Leila's, Monmouth Coffee, or 104 Druid Street, London SE1 Saturdays 9-2pm.

A pouch of Sencha tea £7 for 30g
from My Cup of Tea with a spoon infuser £3, or a glass teapot £22.
Buy on-line or from their wholesale arch at 96 Druid Street, London SE1 Saturdays 9-2pm.

Four bars of Marou Vietnamese chocolate at £4 each.
If you're going to Monmouth Coffee for your Christmas supplies, pick up these chocolate bars.  Didn't know Vietnam produced chocolate?  Neither did I, but Marou are bean-to-bar chocolate makers and it tastes great.  Bars range from 72-78% cocoa solids.  Go here for more stockists and info on the renaissance of the Vietnamese cocoa industry.

Hario Skerton hand coffee burr-grinder c£40
from Japan.  Available at many independent coffee shops and on-line

Selection of Cheeses from Neal's Yard Dairy c£25
My current choice for Christmas would be Stichelton; Hafod Cheddar; Cardo; Haye-on-Wye

Apron £20-£24
from Thornback & Peel On-line or from their shop at 7 Rugby Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1

Bottle of Sparkling Tricot Bulleversante 2011 (Auvergne) £17 
from Gergovie Wines 40 Maltby Street, Bermondsey, London (check website for opening). Take care opening this lively, natural wine.

A Truffle Slicer around £15
from good cookware shops.  Continental truffles are expensive, so you really need a slicer.  Then, of course, there's English black truffles.  Yes, they are out there.  Learn more at The English Truffle Company

Polpo A Venetian cookbook (of sorts) by Russell Norman £25
This one of my 'six of the best books 2012'.  It's already had its second print run and is a worthy winner of Waterstones Book of the Year 2012.

Porcelain Pestle & Mortar 
If you (or someone you know) have been admiring that pestle and mortar Nigel Slater handles so lovingly on his TV programmes you could take a look at John Julian Design for a similar one.  No price, but expect it to be expensive.   Alternatively, find a potter and commission a truly one-off version.

Happy shopping.