And on the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… organic olive oil, a coffee club subscription and a kombucha-brewing workshop kit.
Stuck for inspiration? We hope this local holiday gift guide will help stuff the stockings of all the foodies on your list.
It’s Christmas every morning with The Roasters Pack. This monthly coffee club subscription gives you three four-ounce bags of fresh coffee beans from independent roasters across North America, plus tasting notes, roaster bios and discounts on special products. Available in one-, three-, six- and 12-month orders from $26.95/month. Theroasterspack.com
Golden White Chocolate
Avocado and chocolate might sound strange, but it was the winning combination at the 2014 International Chocolate Awards Final announced last week. Burnaby’s Chez Christophe Chocolate Patisserie won a gold medal for its Bonbons Ananas Avocat – a pineapple and avocado ganache truffle, infused with fresh vanilla bean and Szechwan pepper and enrobed in caramelized white chocolate. Sold at the shop for $1.55 a piece or in gift boxes from $10.95. christophe-chocolate.com
Barbara-Jo’s Citron Book Balm
The true signs of an avid cook are hands covered in burns, cuts and scars. Give them a break with this intense moisturizing balm created specially for the owner of Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks by OptaDerm Skin Care. The luxurious shea butter-based emollient, which smells like a lemon-gin martini, also relieves fingertips dried from turning the pages of real paper books. So why not buy a gift certificate for a cookbook to go with it?($12.50 for a 60-gram jar.) Bookstocooks.com
If your loved ones prefer their lemon twist with the smell of real gin, get them a bottle of Seraph. The latest release in B.C.’s rapidly growing micro-distillery market comes from Central City Brewers and Distillers (makers of the award-winning Red Racer beers). This new small-batch single malt goes down smoothly with strong notes of piney juniper and citrus. Available from $44 at select private beer and wine stores. Centralcitybrewing.com
White Red Wine
It’s not from B.C., but Bianco del Moro is one of the most interesting wines you’ll come across all year. A perfect gift for the nerdy oenophile on your list. Fattoria Colmone, a family winery in the Marche (east of Tuscany) makes white vinified sangiovese that has the full-bodied weight and mouth-feel of a red wine, but the refreshing acidity of a white. $36.99 at Kitsilano Wine Cellar, winecellarsbc.com, and select Liberty Wine Merchants, libertywinemerchants.com.
Vancouver Island Sea Salt
Vancouver Island Salt Co. offers handcrafted artisan salts harvested from the cold, clear waters of Vancouver Island. The unrefined salt products, used by professional chefs across Canada, include pure sea salt, smoked salts and infusions in such full-bodied flavours as blue cheese (perfect for steaks), roasted garlic and orange/lime. From $6.99 for a 227-gram box. See website for a complete list of retailers. visaltco.com
Vancouver Farmers Market Gift Certificate
Why wait for summer? Locavores can shop for grown-in-B.C. produce, meats and fish year-round at the Winter Market, held every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Nat Bailey Stadium. The bustling marketplace offers food trucks, hot-drink vendors, musicians, warming stations and covered seating areas. A gift certificate, which can be purchased online, features four $5 tokens on a decorative card. Eatlocal.org
Organic Olive Oil
Frank Giustra doesn’t want to be just another “rich, dead dude.” So said the local billionaire philanthropist in a recent interview. With all the healthy polyphenols in his organic Umbrian Domenica Fiore olive oils, he’ll probably live to a ripe old age. Vacuum-sealed in numbered stainless steel bottles, the newly re-released unfiltered Olio Novello makes a delicious bright green, grassy-flavoured gift. Pair it with a $50 gift certificate for the Cactus Club. Proceeds from the $75 gift pack (valued at $90) benefit the Boys Club Network. Cactusclubafe.com, domenicafiore.com.
Craft beer lovers will drool over Bomber Brewing’s stylish leather growler holder, which can be slung from the shoulder or strapped to a bicycle ($85 includes glass growler and fill). Make it the ultimate beer kit by stuffing the carrier with Elman’s single-pack pickles ($1.70) and Beast & Brine meat sticks ($1.50 to $2.50) from Luke’s General Store. Bomberbrewing.com, lukesgeneralstore.ca
Kombucha Making Kit
Learn the art of sauerkraut fermenting, sausage making or kombucha brewing with an afternoon workshop at Homesteaders Emporium, a DIY store where you can also buy most of the bulk ingredients for the projects. Workshops from $5 to $35. Homesteadersemporium.ca