Christmas gift guide: A taste of things to come
Friday 02 December 2011
Gastronomes will struggle to keep their mouths from watering at the possibilities of these delectable treats
The Fragile Feast
This beautifully illustrated book is the fruit of a creative collaboration between the photographer Hannah Collins and Catalan chef Ferran Adrià, and focuses on the origins of extraordinary food from various cultures. Collins sought out the sources of around 30 foods and ingredients used by Adrià in his restaurant el Bulli. The images feature the landscapes of their origin and catalogues their transformational journeys through processing and regional preparation. The stunning photography includes jamon Iberica, miso edible rose petals and sea anemones. It also includes 12 recipes from Adrià.
How much: £35
Where from: www.amazon.co.uk
The inspiration for this range of cow themed vessels came from Prince Charles' rare breed cattle kept on the Highgrove Estate. It's the work of designer Samantha Buckley, who has created a capsule range of kitchenware based on two of the rare cattle breeds kept at Highgrove's Home Farm: Irish moiled and Gloucesters. As well as this jug, which is ideal for milk, cream or gravy, the range also includes mugs and printed kitchen textiles.
How much: from £13.95
Where from: www.highgroveshop.com
The stilton always gets wheeled out at Christmas – but if you want to serve your guests something more interesting, Teddington Cheese has three suggestions. First is crozier blue, a lightly veined ewe's milk cheese from County Tipperary, with a creamy texture and a mild sweet flavour; second, cirone, a rare Swiss cheese made from cow's milk and aged perfectly for a nutty flavour and slight crystallisation – similar to Parmesan, but preferable; and third, and new to their range, is capria (pictured), an unusual mould-ripened soft cheese by Worcestershire's Lightwood Creamery, with a creamy texture and rich, "goaty" flavour.
How much: from £6.75 for 250g
Where from: www.teddingtoncheese.co.uk
Cornish fishmonger seafood platter
This platter includes half a cooked lobster, whole crab or crab claws , steamed cockle and clam meat with cooked mussels out of their shells, four jumbo cooked king prawns and three fresh live oysters. It's available online from Wing of St Mawes, which specialises in ethically caught fish and delivers anywhere in the UK within 24 hours of ordering. It also sells an extensive range of fish boxes.
How much: from £22 per person
Where from: thecornishfishmonger.co.uk
Baruzzo chocolate box
This is a new collection from Baruzzo, the handmade Italian chocolate specialist, which takes traditional recipes and adds a contemporary twist. This box of 12 pralines uses the purest, highest quality ingredients to create a selection of indulgent ganaches in a variety of flavours including mandarin, cherry and cumin, and liquorice. Other items in Baruzzo's latest range include hazlenuts sourced from Piedmont, which are then covered in gianduja and milk chocolate and finally dusted with cocoa powder to create a smooth exterior with a crispy crunch at its heart. Other seasonal offerings from the company include a self-assembly chocolate Christmas tree that comes in a recyclable box.
How much: £14.50
Where from: www.baruzzo.co.uk
No 3 London gin
This gin recalls the classic dry drink of the 1830s, which was offered as a refined alternative to the disreputable "sweet Gin" that prevailed at the time. Like those original London dry gins, No.3 is created mainly with juniper, along with sweet Spanish orange and grapefruit peel, and the three botanicals angelica root, Moroccan coriander and cardamom. The result is a bright, crisp drink with floral, spice and citrus notes, finishing with an earthy dryness that makes it ideal for mixing martinis.
How much: £31.95
Where from: www.waitrose.com
Guerrieri Rizzardi, a historic family-owned wine estate on the banks of Lake Garda in Italy, has been known for its exquisite wines since the 16th century, but it also produces limited bottles of olive oils. Its Extravergine di Oliva Garda Orientale DOP is produced from four varieties of olive grown in the family's groves by the lake. Light in body, the oil has an intense flavour and is ideal for dressing salads and fish or as a dip for fresh bread.
How much: £12.99
Where from: www.marksand spencer.com
Traditional enamel oval roaster
Made from durable steel, hand-dipped and double-coated in enamel to ensure even cooking and browning, this versatile piece of kitchenware will help you to create easy, one-pot casseroles. It's especially useful for cooking whole chickens – all you need to do is place the bird in the pan with some butter, herbs and spices, and it will cook without the need for basting. It's one of the retro-style enamel ware products proving very popular at Lakeland this Christmas;
Traditional enamel oval roaster, How much: £19.99
Where from: www.lakeland.co.uk
Flowering tea gift box
This selection of six buds of different flowering teas makes an intriguing, original and refreshing foodie present. Each bud is handmade from soft, young green tea leaves, skilfully tied around brightly coloured, sweetly scented flowers, such as jasmine, globe amaranth, hibiscus, Chinese lily and marigold. Once steeped in hot water they blossom into a spectacular, exotic display and produce a nectar-like infusion.
How much: £7
Where from: www.canton
The 18th-century French gastronome Brillat-Savarin named white truffles "the diamond of the kitchen". Sales of these desirable white truffles, found in the Langhe area of Piedmont in Northern Italy, have soared this year at Selfridges as customers look for ways to cheer themselves up in these recessionary times. The rarer types of white truffle can command prices of up to £7,500 per kilogramme, so this truffle caviar, offers a slightly more affordable alternative. Other such products on sale at Selfridges include delicately flavoured truffled hen eggs, Torta Di Peck and truffle oil.
How much: £39.99 for 50g
Where from: www.selfridges.com
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