I’m sitting here wrapping gifts, outside in the sunshine. I had to reapply sunscreen three times, it’s so bloody warm and beautiful in the backyard. New Zealand summers are awesome. And as much as I still like the cosy wintery Canadian feeling of a fireplace, 56 sweater layers and a glass of mulled wine – I will always take the beach and BBQ over frostbite. Because it takes forever for a parcel to get shipped from Canada to NZ and vice versa, my family have to think quite a ways out from the 25th of December for what they’d like for Christmas. And apart from a new beach umbrella, a giant beach towel and some new Karen Walker sunglasses – most of my list is usually food related. I’ve had a look around and found some fun gift ideas if you have a foodie in your life. There is bound to be something for them to open on sunny (hopefully. yeah right) Christmas morning. Enjoy these gift ideas for foodies!
LB is a Wellington based herbal tea provider, and have some of my very favourite herbal teas. Not only are the flavours amazing (I’m obsessed with Runaway Rose), the packaging is gorgeous and you’re supporting Kiwi business. They’ve put together really cute gift packs for the holidays that include a KeepCup and a bag of whichever tea flavour you choose. They have a new tea that’s just been released called Lightning Green (sencha green tea with ginkgo) that they’re adding as a sample to any order. Any tea lover will be over the moon with this gift.
Ima Cuisine is one of the best restaurants in Auckland. A mix of different types of Middle Eastern food, served family style from big bowls for the whole table to dig in. Yael Shochat is the woman behind Ima and has just written a gorgeous book, ‘Ima Cuisine: An Israeli Mother’s Kitchen’ , showcasing the very best of all the yummy things she cooks in her restaurant. The flavours are punchy and the ingredients will allow you to experiment but after having a flick through, it seems like the recipes are not challenging, just yum – and healthy! Buy from the website and they’ll throw in a free tote bag as well. Bonus.
Keeping on the Middle Eastern theme, a handful of spices from Sami’s Kitchen would make any foodie’s heart sing. Sami’s started in Christchurch and have a range of really lovely spices that are affordable and unique. So if you’ve never cooked with Zaatar or Sumac before, it’s a great opportunity to do a bit of taste testing in the kitchen. My favourite would probably be the Wild Sumac, either on a baked egg dish or as part of a rub on a roast chicken. Yum! Check out the range in store at Farro Fresh that start at around $4 each or order online here where you can order gift packs of all nine spices.
Città has the most beautiful kitchen stuff, and basically anything would be a winner. Check out these very cool marble serving boards or these nifty Grid Tumblers. A good Christmas present hack is to pop into their outlet store on Normandy Road in Auckland, where you will find a crazy good deal. I just picked up some very cool striped linen aprons for $29 each. YASSS.
Laguiole make the best steak knives and they stay sharp forever. I also have the cheese knife set and they’re really beautiful. They are definitely a bit more expensive than run of the mill knives, but if your Secret Santa has been extra good this year they might deserve it! The knives last forever and you can stick them in the dishwasher, no fancy hand washing required. Be wary of super cheap Laguiole, there are quite a few knockoffs and I can’t vouch that the quality will match. You can find these in lots of specialty home stores, like Milly’s Kitchen. Plenty of gift sets are available and in a variety of colours too.
Glorious Italian fine food shop Sabato in Mt Eden is the place to go if you want to be in your foodie friend’s good books. Pastas, olive oils, antipastos, chocolate, baking, condiments – seriously the world is your oyster. Except I don’t think they sell oysters. Check out the very beautiful Christmas section and grab a Christmas pud or Panettone or head straight for a gift hamper. My Sabato favourites are their extensive range of antipasto, and they even give you a list of ideas!
If your Secret Santa is more of a beer & food kind of person, then have a look at Hallertau’s new beer six pack, aptly named because it includes a whole range of beers starting with 1, a Kolsch beer and finishing with their newest beer babies, 5 & 6 (Schwarzbier and a Session IPA). I have taste tested these (a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do) and give every single one my stamp of approval, with my fav’s being 2 & 6. Buy straight from the team themselves, out in Riverhead or pop into Glengarry/Farro for a box.
If your foodie mate is more of an eater than a DIY kinda gal/guy, check out The Pie Piper. These ladies make the most unbelievably tasty pies and are really nice humans. You can order online here and they finally have their own shop opening at 321 K-Road in mid February, so soon you can grab your tasty treats in person! Think pumpkin pie, pecan pie, salted caramel apple omgggggdrool.
If your giftee is a shellfish lover, why not purchase an oyster shucker so they can try their hand at shucking, themselves? It’s not too hard (watch a YouTube tutorial like I did), and you won’t get them more fresh than that. Also buying oysters from any of the seaside stalls during your summer roadie will be a hell of a lot cheaper if you buy them unshucked. You can buy an oyster schucker online from one of the best oyster farms in the country, Mahurangi Oysters or a google search will direct you to other places around the country.
Moustache do GIANT CHRISTMAS COOKIES. Do you really need more of a reason? They also offer Christmas packs, cookie cakes, mini cookies, the list goes on… Pop in to visit the shop at 309 K Rd or order online and get your gift personalised if you weren’t already the best gift giver in the world. You win. Buy one for yourself too cuz the giftee isn’t going to share.
Happy Gift buying everyone!
All photos used are courtesy of the businesses featured.