There are those that love their cooking and are always on the hunt for new flavours, new ingredients, new things to try and experiment with. Christmas is a great time to indulge them, and seek out something a little different for them to play with. Here’s a few to get their imaginations fired up and some experimental cooking ready to go:
The Holy Lama spice drops are brilliant additions in the kitchen, really concentrated flavours in an easy to add way to many dishes. The Baking Kit gives them the flavours of cardamom, rose, ginger and cinnamon in a way that can be introduced into all kinds of recipes. The flavours are really fresh tasting, as these are cold pressed from the best spices, and create these highly concentrated essences. Great for experimenting.
I really love the idea of this Smoked Sugar from Smoky Brae, for the flavour it would add to all kinds of confectionary and sweet goods. A smoky salted caramel sounds like my idea of heaven on a plate. Smoky Brae also do a great gift set that has the sugar as well as their smoked gravalax cure and smokey BBQ rub, so something for all seasons.
There’s been lots of matcha following on from green tea, but if you want to move them on a bit then maybe try them out with Moringa. Aduna do this as a powder, which can be added to soups and smoothies. If it’s anything like matcha then it’ll be quite a challenge, probably quite an acquired taste, but that might be just the kind of challenge they like.
How about getting them different flours to play with? There’s such a huge variety available now, this one is organic brown teff flour from Real Foods, who have an incredible selection of different flours. If you want to give them some inspiration about what to do with different flours, then I really recommend Flavour Flours by Alice Medrich.
I had never heard of banana ketchup before this year, but keep seeing it cropping up now. This one from Sinclair Condiments could just go on a burger or sausage, but it’s also good for trying out in a marinade or glaze. Something like this that gives them plenty of ways to try and use it have to be a good thing.
I’ve written a few times about Gourmet Spice Co over the years, and they always have something different to tempt with. I would try out the White Aged Balsamic Vinegar, because it tastes delicious but also brings some conversational bragging rights as not many people have heard of white balsamics. They’ll find it has lots of uses, and sure they’ll have lots of ideas. Gourmet Spice Co also have a good selection of different gift boxes if you can’t choose just one product. I usually have that problem!
If they don’t have it already, then I also recommend buying them a copy of the Flavour Thesaurus, as that has so many combinations of flavours to inspire them. There are combinations in here that you just would not think of, or get bored of trialling. Fascinating reading, even if they never actually get round to doing anything with them.
Of course, there is a fine line here, try not tip into the territory of most loathed food lover gifts! These are not the people to buy giant pepper grinders for! Less is definitely more with them, finding stuff that’s unusual but not unusable.