It's never too late to buy a last-minute gift. If you've been too busy feasting over the festive season, here are a few epicurean-minded suggestions for the foodies on your list.
Adventurous chefs will never want for menu inspiration with these globetrotting flavour kits delivered direct to their doorstep. Each RawSpiceBar subscription box ($6 a month) comes with three freshly ground spice mixes from exotic regions around the world (think Ethiopian berbere and mitmita, or blended juniper berries and posole spices from Navajo, New Mexico), along with recipes to match. Rawspicebar.com
Fresh Local Veggies
Most CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) boxes demand a prepaid subscription and long-term commitment. One of the great features about the biweekly shares from Chinatown's Harvest Community Foods is that you can purchase (or gift) one week, multiple weeks or a full season. Each pickup box ($33, for a two-person household) is filled with seasonal vegetables and organic fruit (some dried in the winter) from local farms, grains, heirloom legumes and custom recipes from chef Andrea Carlson (who also owns the restaurant Burdock & Co.). harvestunion.ca
Dickie's Ginger Beer
Do you have a friend who plans to go booze-free in January? Inject a little fizz into his or her dreary cleanse with this startlingly quenching, stripped-down local brew. Made weekly in small batches with fresh ginger, cane sugar and real lemons, this extraordinary ginger beer is available at fine food retailers around the Lower Mainland, but can also be filled in reusable growlers at many farmers markets. Dickiesginger.com
Cookies for Santa
Kitsilano's Beaucoup Bakery & Café is deservedly renowned for its flaky croissants and buttery Kouign-amann Breton cakes. But if you haven't tried their decadent cookies, get in line for one of its decadent holiday cookie gift boxes ($35, order one day in advance), stuffed with their monstrously thick and creamy peanut butter sandwiches, deliciously different salted rosemary chocolate cookies and a one-litre glass bottle of Avalon Organic Homo Milk. Makes a great host gift or treat for Santa. Beaucoupbakery.com
Jägermeister is too medicinal. Spiced bourbons are far too frat-boy. Aphro, a specialty premium vodka product infused with cacao, chili and vanilla (all aphrodisiacs) is a much more refined mountainside flask filler from the up-and-coming Gillespie's Fine Spirits in Squamish. Gillespiesfinespirits.com
Brewtal Truth Guide to Extreme Beers by Adem Tepedelen, an award-winning craft-beer writer based in Victoria, rates the world's most unusual beers whilst drawing parallels to the metal music scene. Come on, doesn't everyone have one of those long-haired, head-banging, basement-dwelling uncles on their extended gift list? Lyonspress.com
Editor's Note: This list has been amended to reflect the fact that one of the vendors has ceased operations.