This pages of this week’s Entertainment Weekly are sprinkled with their holiday gift ideas. (Dear Amazon: No matter how many mags, blogs, or reps flog your new Kindle, I’m never going to use it. While I don’t love the space my biblio excesses take up, I love the smell, touch, and heft of real books way too much. Another thing I love too much? Spending $399 in far more worthy places. Love, Stephanie) As a television obsessive, a few EW foodie gifts stood out for me. There’s the old-new hamburger phone from the new It-Movie, Juno $19.99 (wards.com), the Hung knife that will allow you to “chop like the champ” $210 (korin.com), and the wine, 2002 Conti Sertoli Salis Sforzato, that might make you feel dirty, sexy, and monied for $55 (vinositeshop.com).
That’s all fine and dandy, but if you want to spread some San Francisco love across the country, try dousing your loved ones with these local gift ideas.
June Taylor Foodstuffs: Aside from her usual delectable pots of jams and jellies, at this time of year June Taylor also has port-soaked fruitcake and vegetarian mincemeat. Note to the ex-pats and Anglophiles out there: grab these while the going’s good. She also has candied citrus peels (blood orange, Seville orange, Rangpur lime, Meyer lemon), fruit paste, and pears preserved in cassis. (Cake: $30; Mincemeat: $26; Pears: $36/$18; Fruit Paste: $15; Candied Citrus Peel: $14)
Alice Waters’ The Art of Simple Food: This new cookbook from the famed Bay Area chef is a must for those of us who collect cookbooks, meals, and menus from Chez Panisse. Far more simple and straightforward than her other cookbooks, The Art of Simple Food, not only takes individual ingredients and breaks them down into uncomplicated, delicious dishes but Waters teaches the salivator about pots and pans, menu planning, and how to stock your pantry and choose your ingredients. ($35)
Anything from Kermit Lynch: The man carries some wines as low as $11.00, okay? I mean, honestly, with Kermit Lynch vetting your wine, can you really go wrong here? I didn’t think so. Bonus: you don’t need your own globe-trotting Nick George/Darling to know it’s going to be good.
Cocoa Bella Chocolates: If you opened a box of chocolates in my grandma’s house, chances were good you’d be in for an unpleasant surprise. While she didn’t bite into each chocolate to see if she was going to like it, she did jab a fingernail into the bottom, thus allowing the contents to ooze onto the frilled paper. With their custom box builder, Cocoa Bella ensures you never have to poke, prod, or bite a chocolate to determine its stomach worthiness. ($40 for 20 pieces, $75 for 40 pieces)
DeLessio’s Chocolate Bubble Wrap: You use bubblewrap to pad your presents, why not eat it? As addictive as popping the bubbles themselves, DeLessio offers six different flavors for $16.50 a pound.
St. George Absinthe Verte: Last week, Lance Winters of St. George’s Spirits in Alameda got the news that he could start selling his newly concocted Absinthe Verte. Banned in the U.S. since 1912, cocktailians can finally wrap their lips and brain cells around the anisette-flavored green beverage that reputedly made madmen out of some of history’s most celebrated artists and writers. San Francisco’s Green Fairy goes on sale December 21st and supplies are limited, so I shouldn’t really be telling you about this if I want any left for myself. ($75)