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WHAT TO GET A FOODIE FOR CHRISTMASDecember 15th, 2012 10 comments

Got a foodie in your life and not quite sure what to get them for Christmas? I thought I might inspire you to help them indulge in their passion, so I made a list of things you could give them this holiday season.

A fresh herb garden

Herbs are the secret to any good recipe. From Basil, to Parsley, to Coriander, to Aneth, to Rosemary, to Thyme, and the list goes on. Make sure your foodie never lacks their favorite herbs by getting them an arrangement of fresh herbs. They will make the house smell great and the food even better. I got mine at the Gardening Brunch. Try asking your green grocer if they can get you the plants and go to exotica for nice pots.



A set of ceramic knives

Forget stainless steel, ceramic knives are all the rage this year. Because of their resistance to strong acid and caustic substances, and their ability to retain a cutting edge longer than forged metal knives, ceramic knives are a much more suitable culinary tool for slicing boneless meat, vegetables and fruit.



A cooking thermometer

Another great gadget for the serious cook, a cooking thermometer with easy-to-read dials, a metal probe, and an alarm. Your favorite cook will never over or under cook meat again. You might also want to complement this present with an iphone app that tells you how long and at which temperature a piece of meat needs to cook (based on the type of meat, how you’d like it cooked and its weight). A favorite of mine is Is it ready yet?



A good old bottle of wine

No foodie will ever say no to a great bottle of wine. Go for a great french wine such as Cote Rotie, a highly respected and increasingly prestigious red wine from the Côtes du Rhône, or if you prefer a local alternative, Hochar from Chateau Musar, a classic and all around favorite of the Lebanese wine industry.



A wine Carafe

Also known as decanters, the elegant and modern serving vessels are more than just an eye pleaser. Used for decantation but most importantly for aeration of the red liquid, carafes stimulate the oxidation processes which trigger the release of more aroma compounds.



A wine guide

Did you know there are 38 Lebanese Wine producers? Neither did I, until Zawaq came along. Published by Tamyras, Zawaq is the ultimate Lebanese wine guide, presenting every single Lebanese winery, region by region. For each region, the guide lays out the main tourist attractions, as well as tips on accommodation and restaurants in the area, so that the reader can blend the pleasures of wine with an appreciation of Lebanon’s rich cultural heritage.

This guide comes really handy for impressing guests or fellow diners at every meal. Whoever you are getting it for will thank you for ever.

Disclaimer: I happen to work for the company who produced this awesome guide, which should in no way discourage you from buying it.



A trip to a 3 star rated michelin restaurant

The Michelin Guide describes restaurants with 3 stars as worth travelling for. If you got a big bonus this year, or you have an important date to celebrate, why not take your loved one on a beautiful trip to one of the restaurants that has earned the unattainable three stars. You can find the full list here. This will be a Christmas to remember.



A subscription to The Carton

For those of you with a smaller budget, get the foodie in your life a subscription to The Carton. The Carton is a quarterly publication about food culture and the Middle East. You can buy it online at Antoineonline, or in all Antoine bookstores.



A secret ingredient

Every good cook has a few secret ingredients lying around in their kitchen. Surprise your favorite cook with a new secret ingredient, from truffle oil to aged balsamic to Xeres vinagre. You can find these in most delicatessens. If you are in Beirut head forAziz, La Posta Gourmet, or TSC Signature.



Lebanese Olive Oil

Lebanese olive oil used to be a bulky universe with no nuance between oils, at least nothing that compared to spanish or italian alternatives. I can proudly say that this is no longer true. A number of small but serious producers have given us some really good olive oils this year. If you hurry, you can find a great Akkar olive oil produced by the Ghosn family at the Beirut loves pop up boutique (ongoing until December 20). You can also find a hefty selection at the Karen Chekerdjian Boutique located in the port area.



A nice selection of tea

In the past few years, tea culture has really evolved in Lebanon. With places such as Awan and Thea the choice has really grown for tea lovers. A selection of 3 or 4 teas with the necessary accessories (tea bags, tea pots,…) is a great gift. If you don’t know the first thing about tea, don’t panic, go to one of the shops and let the shop owners guide you through your selection.



A Nespresso Machine

For foodies who prefer the other caffeinated brew, a Nespresso machine with a milk frother might just be the best present they’ll ever get. Make sure to buy a stock of Nespresso capsules to go with it (and of course some fresh milk); No one wants a new toy that they can’t use straight away. Head for the nearest Nespresso shop to get your fix.




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  • http://zaatarland.blogspot.com Zaatar

    Disagree with ceramic knives. You can’t sharpen th

  • Nasri Atallah

    Awesome.

    • Marilyn Z.

      You’re awesome for letting me know!

  • George Ashkawan

    Dear foodie,

    Nespresso is crap! you should substitute with a real espresso machine that has a steam wand (Francis Francis X7.1 or X8) and a coffee grinder (so you can grind on demand), and for the beans you should get at least something like illy… non of that overpriced crap that nestle makes for amateurs…

    Regards

    George

    • Marilyn Z.

      I have to agree with you. I couldn’t drink Nespresso to save my life, but so many people seem to like it and it makes for a good sexy design on a kitchen counter.

  • http://www.beirutreport.com Habib

    Thanks for the guide. I had a comment on the previous post, which I thought was great– but noticed comments are closed. Why is that?

    • Marilyn Z.

      Thank you so much for your lovely comments. As for the ‘previous post’ which post might that be?

  • Rachna

    new to lebanon, all i know is ABC and spinneys :) (debeyeh). any idea where can i find those ceramic knives and the wine carafe?!

    • Marilyn Z.

      There is an excellent shop on Rue Trabaud (where La posta is) that has everything you could wish for.
      Their phone number is: 01323742

      Let me know if it works for you!