Christmas presents for foodies: what the team wants

Still looking for gifts for a foodie friend? Hopefully, the Edinburgh Foody team can give you a few tips as they look at what they’d like to get for Christmas.

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas!

A haul of chocolate delights from Cocoa Runners (the TAZA was handmilled. A texture to get get used to. The Marou was simply fab.

A haul of chocolate delights from Cocoa Runners. Yhe TAZA was handmilled: a texture I couldn’t get used to. The Marou was simply fab. Neither of them chocolates I can easily find locally.

Amy: books, jars and gadgets

I’m not one to care much for Christmas, but since you ask, there are a few things I wouldn’t say no to finding under the tree.

My greatest longing is for a Korean cookbook that can help me better understand the flavours of my new favourite cuisine, and how to create them for myself. Something more than recipes, but not too complex, that drives me forward on my journey of Asian culinary exploration.

An outstanding meal at Awesome, Gyeongju

An outstanding meal at Awesome, Gyeongju

I’d also be interested in reading more about pickling and fermentation – apart from loving the zing of pickled vegetables, preserving fresh produce is my favourite way to avoid food waste. I guess some new Kilner jars might be handy then!

For a while now I’ve also toyed with some practical foodie gift ideas. I hate objects and clutter, but increasingly I’m coming round to seeing the benefits a rice cooker, slow cooker and food processor could bring to the type of cooking I like doing. But I might need a bigger kitchen first…

Caroline: books and experiences

I’m lucky enough to be able to buy what I want, when I want. That makes me difficult to buy Christmas presents for. But food and drink? I ALWAYS need more of that. Here are three presents I’d really enjoy receiving (but have already bought myself/received).

A gin tasting

I’ve been to two (56North and Ginnasium at One Square) and enjoyed both thoroughly. They come in between £25-35 pounds so aren’t exactly stocking fillers but great fun for the adult who receives them.

A foody subscription

I subscribe to Cocoa Runners and get four bars of interesting dark chocolate each month. There are other similar clubs: for gin, beer, even vegetables. The annual subscription cost depends on the product you’re getting but they tend to top £100. Give this to your favourite person – yourself or your partner – so you get in on the fun.

A foody comic

Sweetness and Lightning is the story of a widowed teacher and his toddler. United by loneliness and a love of food they learn to cook with one of the father’s students. It comes with recipes, is an interesting insight into Japanese society and is cute, charming and entirely heartwarming. Volumes come in at £5.99 on Kindle, a bit more on paper. If manga feels to far out, I’d recommend Lucy Knisley’s Relish.

Kerry: gin baubles and wine

What do you buy your eldest god-child who celebrated a milestone birthday (albeit a few months early) in November with her husband, combining it with their 10th wedding anniversary too?

As a recent convert to drinking gin, there was only one thing for it – some Pickering’s Gin Baubles and because I know they like a bottle of wine or two, a deluxe wine opening set from Berghoff, who also make some fabulous saucepans, which I’m a huge fan of.

I doubt the contents of the baubles have even lasted this far if I know these two well, and I suspect the contents are now probably replaced with water, purely in the interests of the safety of their children, will be their excuse!

What do you buy the god-daughter who's just turned 40 and celebrated 10 years of marriage? Anything alcohol related of course!

What do you buy the god-daughter who’s just turned 40 and celebrated 10 years of marriage? Anything alcohol related of course!

Nicki: gin baubles, books and chocolates

Like Kerry, I too have had to buy the Pickerings Gin Baubles this year having missed out last Christmas. I thought they would make fun stocking fillers, as well as cute gifts to take round to friends for drinks or dinner during the season, though I don’t expect them to last long!

Exchanging cookery books has been something we have always done as a family and I know that I’m likely to receive something featuring Mary Berry or Jamie Oliver. When I moved house a few years ago and had to get to grips with an Aga, there were a lot of helpful tips from Mary Berry’s Aga book. I wonder what this year will bring.

Foodie treats in your stocking is what Christmas is all about and we are all a bit partial to Nutty Puddles from M&S. They are fabulous almonds coated in caramel and then enrobed in dark chocolate. One is never enough and there are only nine in a box, priced at £12 you definitely want to think twice about who you share these with.

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About Caroline von Schmalensee

Cooking, eating and drinking is fun as well as necessary. I do food for fun and I write for a living. Good food makes the world a more delicious and satisfying place. Good writing, meanwhile, can make the world a less confusing place.

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