If you happened to pick up a copy of yesterday’s Irish Times, you might have come across the Christmas supplement with an article on food-related gifts by one Caroline Hennessy. If you didn’t, then you can take a look at a scan of the piece from the link below.
Food, Glorious Food
If any member of your family or friends is a food lover, this is the time of year to encourage their obsession – and ensure that you get to benefit!
Smoked salmon is a traditional gift at Christmas but make sure you get the very best from Burren Smokehoue. With a strong reputation for sustainable production, all their fish is sourced from Irish waters before being smoked in Co Clare. Their website, stocked with everything from their own produce to local fruit tipples from Wine of the Glen, is a one-stop-shop for Christmas present buying. Taste your way through five different smoked fish in the Doolin Fisherman’s Platter, ring the changes with their spiced hot smoked salmon or mix it up with a Fair Trade hamper.
The Burren Smokehouse, Lisdoonvarna, Co Clare, Ireland
Tel: 065 7074432, www.burrensmokehouse.ie, email@example.com
If you’re looking for a last minute chocolate present, buy and download a Golden Ticket voucher from London’s Chocolate Ecstasy Tours. These friendly half day and evening walking tours stop off at plenty of the city’s high-end chocolatiers, with – depending on the tour chosen – hot chocolates, demonstrations, chocolate cocktails and, most importantly, lots and lots of tastings. Prices from £35 to £49. Slip this into Green & Black’s Ultimate (Kyle Cathie) cookbook and you’ll make any chocolate lover very happy.
Chocolate Ecstasy Tours
Tel: +44 798 180 9536, www.chocolateecstasytours.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Would you like to put a sausage in someone’s stocking? Or how about 10kg of fresh, traditional breed pork? This meat is produced at Oldfarm in North Tipperary by Margaret and Alfie who raise their happy Saddleback and Landrace pigs outdoors, feeding them on a mixed diet of locally sourced barley, vegetables and whey. The free-range pork and bacon is sold in mixed boxes, which include sausages, chops and roasts. The gift can be paid for in advance (5kg for €50, 10kg for €100) and delivered when convenient.
Tel: 086 8100125, www.oldfarm.ie, email@example.com
Now that you have the meat sorted, it may be time to get an outdoor wood-fired oven for your nearest and dearest to start the cooking. Pizzas are ready in 90 seconds flat but that’s not all you can do: try roasting vegetables, fish or fruit, baking bread or even slow-cooking your pork shoulder overnight. Perfect for next summer’s parties. UK company Fireit Online makes a pizza oven kit starting at £375 and will ship to Ireland (delivery to Dublin is approximately £100).
Tel: +44 1 225 872236, www.fireitonline.co.uk, firstname.lastname@example.org
The perfect gift for any beer-obsessed person in your life, Deveney’s Off Licence has come up with the bright idea of a Beer Box: a dozen premium beers, plus glass, delivered nationwide for €50. It will be a mixture of six seasonal and six “strange and unusual” beers, according to Ruth Deveney, and there will also be online notes on matching the beers with food. Alongside a selection of international bottles, the box will also include Irish beers from producers like Porterhouse, O’Hara’s and Dungarvan Brewing Company.
Deveney’s Off Licence, 31 Main Street, Dundrum, Dublin 14
Tel: 01 298 4288
A really great culinary oil is essential in any kitchen. For the true taste of southern Italy, try Colletta Olivieri Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which is imported direct from Italy by producer Lino Olivieri. The oil is from ancient olive trees on his family farm in Puglia, hand picked each autumn and pressed with stone mills. The intensely fresh and fragrant olio nuovo, or new oil, will arrive in Ireland just before Christmas. The oil is sold in a 5-liter can from the Dublin Food Co-Op and Lino also delivers throughout Ireland.
Tel: 086 8681803, www.olivierioliveoil.com, email@example.com
Food you can hang on your walls? A limited edition fine art print is a perfect addition to any kitchen. The Graphic Studio Gallery has a selection of food-related images, including a series of dreamy fruit images from Robert Russell, Lars Nyberg’s delicate drypoint herbs and Cliona Doyle’ vivid fruit trees. The unframed prints start from just €200 and can be posted anywhere in the world.
Graphic Studio Gallery, Temple Bar, Dublin 2.
Tel: 01 679 8021, www.graphicstudiodublin.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
From Gan Gluten’s cakes and tarts to Bad Boy banana ketchup, Glenilen’s superb yoghurts and cheesecakes to Mella’s toothsome fudge, LocalMarkets.ie will deliver the perfect shopping basket of gifts to any door in the Cork area. With the Farmgate, On the Pig’s Back and Bubble Brothers also on board, it’s like a virtual trip to the English Market – without having to drag anything home.
Tel: 087 915 1767, www.localmarkets.ie, email@example.com
Looking for a luxurious, decadent gift – without spending too much money? Dublin’s newest chocolate shop Cocoa Atelier has just the thing with their rows of delectable Irish-made chocolates and jewel-coloured macaroons, jars of rich chocolate ganache and chic square bars. Their Christmas range includes limited edition festive macaroons, edible chocolate trees and even a box made of chocolate and filled with truffles. This is affordable luxury at its very, very best, all wrapped up in snazzy little boxes and stylish black bags.
Cocoa Atelier, 30 Drury St, Dublin 2
Tel: 01 6753616
Box of seasonal macaroons in hand, a cake stand is just the thing for displaying them. Me Auld China makes two and three tier stands using vintage china plates. If you know someone with long-loved but little-used crockery, they can also pimp your plates to give them a new lease of life. This is shabby chic at it’s most reusably cool. Catch Me Auld China at craft markets around Dublin or find them online.
Good Food Ireland have versatile Christmas vouchers that can be used at the establishments of any of the 260 members throughout Ireland. Cash them in at a Michelin star restaurant, a luxury hotel or cookery school, even at a local café, pub or shop. Christmas shopping at its most versatile. Vouchers available online from €50.
Good Food Ireland
Tel: 053 9158693, www.goodfoodireland.ie, firstname.lastname@example.org
When the frenzy of The Dinner is over for another year, it’s just not Christmas without a new cookbook – or two – to curl up on the couch with.
Treat yourself to a pre-Christmas copy of Annie Rigg’s Gifts from the Kitchen to kick off some present making: think sea-salted caramels, wholegrain honey mustard and spiced cranberry jelly. Nigella’s magnificent and weighty Kitchen (Chatto & Windus) will keep the recipient going all over the festive season, Jamie has plenty of quick ideas in 30-Minute Meals (Penguin) and, if they intend on having friends or family over, Rachel’s Entertaining at Home (Collins) has plenty of ideas.
But a foodie will always love something just a little more obscure. Go back to the source with the handsome At Elizabeth David’s Table (Michael Joseph), an illustrated collection of her greatest hits or get ahead of the curve with rising star Stevie Parle’s tales of conversation and curry in My Kitchen – Real Food from Near and Far (Quadrille). For real reading, get your hands on Josceline Dimbleby’s Orchard in the Oasis (Quadrille), an evocative memoir of a life in food. Don’t miss the late Clement Freud’s recently reissued Freud on Food (Black Swan) for plenty of attitude, wit and a very particular sensibility that is a real antidote to Christmas excess.