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Holiday Gifts For Your Gourmet Friends Who Might Like To Share Them With You |

Holiday Gifts For Your Gourmet Friends Who Might Like To Share Them With You

Christmas presents with hand made decorations – crocheted flower and snowflake, pine cones, vanilla pods. DIY New Year decorations for wrapped in craft paper gifts.Getty

If it is indeed better to give than to receive, the best thing about giving gifts to gourmet friends is that there’s a good chance they will share them with in one way or another—a dram of whiskey, a glass of wine, a recipe from a god cookbook. Here are some quite special items I can’t imagine your friends loving and using as soon as possible.


Made In Texas is offering holiday pricdes on their new line of stainless steel bonded five times within by aluminum and an alloy that fights rust and maintains the utensils’ shape.Holiday Gifts

MADE IN COOKWARE—New lines of cookware appear annually but at my house, where my wife is the Queen of the Kitchen, we still use an array of old iron skillets for most of what we cook. But testing out this new American-made (Austin, TX) line by Made In it surprised both of us for living up to its claims. For one thing the stainless steel is bonded five times within by aluminum and an alloy inside has a high nickel content that fights rust and maintains the utensils’ shape, which allows for consistent, overall cooking surface. The handles are designed for weight and balance, and the Universal Lid ($42 on sale) is a fabulous invention: made of silicon-­coated stainless steel, this one lid has three different-size bottom lips, allowing it to fit a variety of pots and pans without heat loss and water run-off. And for the holidays they’ve added a gold color to the line, and a gift any cook would die for is their superb eight-inch chef’s knife, made in France, hammered from a single rod of nitrogen-treated, premium metal, on sale for $76.

Chicken Cock is a limited edition bourbon commemorating a once famous brand.Chicken Cock

CHICKEN COCK DOUBLE BARREL BOURBON ($250)—Chicken Cock’s history goes back to 1856 and was famous during Prohibition for being smuggled into Harlem’s Cotton Club in tin cans. A hundred years after its founding, the distillery burned to the ground, but this re-incarnation by Grain Barrel Spirits of a bourbon selected from 12 barrels of ten-year-olds comes out at 104 proof, non-chill filtered. You can buy the brand’s other bottlings from $38 to $99, but this one was limited to 1,980 bottles.

Glendalough’s Irish whiskey is aged in Japanese wood from trees that takes 200 years to grow.bowmore

GLENDALOUGH MIZUNARA FINISH SINGLE MALT IRISH WHISKEY 13 ($110-$120)—Odd, isn’t it, that Japanese whiskeys have gained so much repute over the last five years that European distilleries now look to Japan for inspiration. In the case of Glendalough’s Irish whiskey, the single malt spirit was aged in bourbon barrels for 13 years then finished in Mizunara oak puncheon barrels that mellow out the whiskey and gives it vanilla, coffee, honeyed notes. Apparently Mizunara oaks in Hokkaido are an expensive rarity and have to be 200 years old before conversion into am aging barrel. The whiskey emerges at 46% alcohol. This is not an Irish whiskey your friend is liable to have on his shelf, so it will make an excellent gift.

Bowmore’s single malt Scotch is double aged for smoothness.Bowmore

BOWMORE VINTNER’S TRILOGY 27 YEAR OLD PORT CASK FINISH ($520)— At this price the person you give this superb Single Malt Scotch had better share it with you, and often.  This limited edition is the third, and for now, final expression Bowmore’s Whisky Vintner’s Trilogy matured twice at their No. 1 Vaults. It is first aged for 13 years in ex-bourbon barrels, then for 14 years in Port pipes. It is non-chill filtered and bottled at cask strength, 48.3% There’s a definite caramel undertow on its way to a very smooth finish, offering up complex layers of nuttiness, nutmeg and an ideal amount of smokiness for an Islay. (By the way, you can find it for less than the listed price above.)

Pierre Ferrand’s “des anges” is named for the “angel’s share” of Cognac that expires from the barrel.Pierre Ferrand

PIERRE FERRAND SELECTION DES ANGES ($150)—Cognac has been somewhat out of the limelight since the emergence of the single malts and bourbon phenomenon of the last decade, but this beautiful 30-year-old Cognac should be on every connoisseur’s shelf of fine spirits. The eaux de vie used are all from the 1st Cru de Cognac, specifically the Grande Champagne Cognac appellation, known as the “Golden Triangle.” The name “des anges” refers to the so-called “angel’s share” of Cognac that evaporates through the barrels as it ages. The bouquet is subtle with flowers, and immediately on the palate there is a burst of elegant flavors, leathery, toasty, full of herbs and spices, a lovely expression of how Cognac is its own distinctive spirit.

Authentic traditional and modern Venetian recipes to span the year.Rizzoli

VENICE: FOUR SEASONS OF HOME COOKING By Russell Norman ($40)—Sometimes, though rarely, it takes a non-Italian to break from entrenched stereotypes about Italian food, and Russell Norman, founder of the POLPO restaurant group in London, has done so with a seasonal cookbook of recipes actually made at home, not based on ristorante dishes (no carpaccio here). So you get simple, savory dishes like spaghetti with sweet onions, grilled polenta with chopped olives and anchovies, warm radicchio, pancetta and chickpea salad and Venetian donuts called fritole. The publisher Rizzoli uses second-rate paper that, oddly enough, gives the photos a kind of misty Venetian look that is actually evocative.

A  very contemporary book by America’s foremost chef on Greek Cuisine.Rizzoli

MODERN GREEK COOKING By Pano Karatassos ($37.50)—Pano Karatossos, Sr., is one of America’s greatest restaurateurs and practically put Atlanta on the gastro-map with his restaurants, which includes the wonderful Kyma, where his son, Pano, Jr., oversees the kitchen. From that long-lived respect for Greek cookery comes the latter Pano’s excellent new cookbook that goes way beyond the clichés of Greek food as found in America. The mezzes, like coriander-spiced chickpea spread, shirred eggs with wild mushrooms and tuna tartare with wild mushrooms and shredded phyllo are stand-outs, while main courses are simple and easy to make, like pan-roasted skate with lentils and braised rabbit with tomato and orzo. Wisely he doesn’t expect readers to make their own phyllo, but there is a baklava recipe. He also provides an up-to-date guide to modern Greek viniculture.

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