Perhaps “foodie” makes you wince. But you get the gist. This list is for Kitsilano food lovers. We’ve hit the pavement, talking to local shops and chefs to come up with ten enticing, edible, locally-sourced gifts. And if you see one you can’t resist getting for yourself, don’t worry, we won’t tell.
1) Lump of Coal from Chocolate Arts
Here’s some real incentive to be naughty: Hazelnut milk chocolate & organic rice crisps enrobed in dark chocolate and coated in cocoa powder. Chocolate Arts, 1620 West 3rd Ave., 604-739-0475, Chocolatearts.com
2) Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar from Vancouver Olive Oil Company
Once educated on the subtleties, not to mention the lifespan, of olive oil, you’ll never go back to bulk buying extra virgin at Costco. Sample herbacious California Arbequina, peppery Spanish Picual, Tuscan Leccino etc. and make an informed decision. If it’s too hard to pick just one, the olive oil and balsamic sampler makes a great Christmas hostess gift. VOCC, 2571 West Broadway, 604-737-7171
3) Gift Card to Fable Kitchen
Kitsilano’s exciting, new(ish), “farm to table” restaurant by Top Chef competitors Trevor Bird and Curtis Luk offers gift cards in any denomination. For those who love the eats but haven’t been able to carry on a conversation in the always-buzzing restaurant, try again. The responsive Fable team just added sound paneling. Fable, 1944 West 4th, 604-732-1322, Fablekitchen.ca
4) Holiday Celebration Blend Coffee from 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters, $18
Make your season bright with the Holiday Celebration Blend: is a memorable mix of two Honduran coffees: Juan Evangelista’s La Maravilla and Miguel Enamorado’s Los Robles. The blend exhibits an intense fragrance of chocolate and cloves, a clean and juicy mouthfeel, with flavours of dried apricot and ginger snaps. Small enough to fit in a stocking, and large enough to share. Another bright idea? 49th’s iconic blue cups. 49th Parallel, 2152 West 4th Ave., (604) 420-4901, 49thparallelroasters.com
5) Birch Syrup from Edible Canada, $14.95
Canada’s other syrup isn’t iconic (yet), but it is exotic. Darker in colour than maple, birch syrup has a sharply sweet taste that works with savoury dishes or desserts. Edible Canada, 1596 Johnston Street, Granville Island, 604.682.6675, Ediblecanada.com
6) Tinhorn Creek Vineyards Kerner Icewine 2011, $30
From Gismondi: Ripe pear, honey, orange peel, baked apple, butter and nalgene aromas. Ripe, rich, full, juicy, elegant palate with pear, honey, baked citrus, butter, spicy, floral, flavours. Good acidity and balance and a fine improvement from last few vintages. At VQA wine shops.
7) Premium Pistachios from Ayoub’s Dried Fruits and Nuts, $12.49 a lb.
As my Iranian father won’t hesitate to tell you, Persians know pistachios. These better-than-your-average-nuts are enhanced with Ayoub’s special blend of lime and saffron. They pair nicely with craft IPAs. Ayoub’s,2048 West 4th Ave., Ayoubs.ca
8) Tickets to Barbara Jo’s Books to Cooks Events
Barbabra Jo is the queen of cook books. Her in-store events reflect the care and expertise she invests in selecting in-shop titles. Two future events to get excited about are: a demo by Artisan Baker Chris Brown on Flour Water Salt Yeast and Chef Hamid Salimian of Diva at the Met on The Legendary Cuisine of Persia. Barbara Jo’s Books to Cooks, 1740 West 2nd Ave.,604-688-6755, Bookstocooks.com
9) CocoaNymph Holiday Truffles
“I am totally passionate about the caramels this season,” says Rachel. “Cupid, the ginger caramel, and Donner, the coffee flavoured caramel, are my favourites from the collection. These are brand new flavour profiles for CocoaNymph, so it’s very exciting!” The holiday truffles are $1.95 each and $16 for the complete 9-piece box set. CocoaNymph West, 3739 West 10th Avenue, (604) 222-4477, Cocoanymph.com.
10) Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Butter from Pirate Joe’s
Ahoy, matey. Smooth and light, yet decadent, this is basically pumpkin pie in a jar. If you’re in love with this product, don’t miss the cranapple and fig butter varieties. Pirate Joe’s, 2348 West 4th., 604-620-9242, Piratejoes.ca