Gifts for the food-lover on your list

We’ve picked the most useful, interesting and fun gifts to inspire the foodies on your seasonal shopping list.
Tala Curry Measure. Courtesy of Lakeland
Tala Curry Measure. Courtesy of Lakeland

We’ve picked the most useful, interesting and fun gifts to inspire the foodies on your seasonal shopping list

For makers and bakers

Tala curry measure

OK, so you might not give this to an experienced ­Indian chef, but it’s a perfect gift for those of us who are less experienced in cooking Indian cuisine at home. This easy-to-use measure helps you get the spices right for everything from flavoured rice to dal jalfrezi. The included booklet provides helpful tips. There’s also a Moroccan measure for tagines and classic North African dishes. The Indian Curry Measure is Dh86. The Moroccan Measure is Dh115. Find them in Lakeland stores. Visit www.lakeland.ae or www.amazon.co.uk.

Star Wars bakeware

May the force be with you as you restrain yourself from buying everything in the Star Wars foodie collection at Lakeland. From chocolate moulds and cookie cutters to cake pans and lightsaber lolly moulds, there are loads of fun gifts for your sci-fi food-loving friends. Items range from Dh38 to Dh190 (for a Darth Vader cookie jar). The R2D2 cake pan, pictured, is Dh130. Find the collection in Lakeland stores, at www.lakeland.ae, or on www.amazon.com and www.desertcart.ae.

Hamsa hand mould

Give your friends a little extra protection this season with this Hamsa hand mould from Melting Pots. Thought to ward off the evil eye, the Hamsa hand is also called the Hand of Fatima. We found this one at S*uce for Dh145. With no temperature restrictions, you can make anything with the mould. We can’t wait to try it. Visit www.shopatsauce.com

Waffle-stick maker

The Sweet Treats’ Waffle Stick Maker’s slogan is: A balanced diet is a waffle stick in each hand. And who are we to argue? This is a great gift for a budding young chef – or any chef who likes to have a little fun in the kitchen. Prepare your favourite waffle batter, pour it into the machine and close it. The treats are done in just four minutes, so it won’t be hard to keep everyone’s hands full. Dip them in sweet sauces or honey and decorate with sprinkles or serve with ice cream. The set comes with a measuring cup and six recipes. Non-stick plates make for easy clean-up. Dh179. Find it in Lakeland stores, at www.lakeland.ae or www.amazon.com.

For discerning diners

Panettone from Carluccio’s

This festive sweet bread is a Christmas staple throughout Italy as well as in a few other European and South American countries. It’s part bread, part cake and all delicious. Antonio Carluccio, the man behind the Carluccio’s restaurant brand, discovered the family bakery that makes this particular panettone in Piedmont, Italy, more than 20 years ago when he was travelling across the country looking for high-quality products to sell in his first shop in the United Kingdom. He’s been stocking this same panettone ever since. The bakery that produces it only makes it from September to December. Dh125 for 1kg. Pick one up at any Carluccio’s store.

Yoku Moku festive tins

Pick up a Christmas tin of Yoku Moku’s distinguished biscuits. The Japanese confectionery brand has designed two seasonal tins with holiday-themed cookies that carry the signature taste, texture and appearance of the Yoku Moku line. The collectable Christmas Violin Planet tin contains 33 biscuits for Dh200. The Magical Christmas tin (pictured) contains 50 biscuits for Dh300. Available at all Yoku Moku stores.

A Ripe gift

Ripe – the home-grown company that provides fresh, organic products at farmers’ markets around the UAE – has lots of foodie gifts on offer. We love this set of three gourmet balsamic vinegars from The Really Stuffed Olive Company. The balsamic, soy chilli balsamic and sweet pomegranate balsamic vinegars come packaged in a Ripe jute bag made from vegetable fibres. Dh255; can be ordered online at www.ripeme.com or by calling 04 380 7602.

For those who like to entertain

Camel apron

Handmade in the UAE, these aprons are designed by a local supplier for Little Majlis, a home-grown online boutique shop that sells its own products as well as those from a host of other artists, designers, cooks and crafters throughout the Arabian Gulf region. The cotton denim aprons are 80cm long and available in a choice of three designs – a pink camel, a yellow man on a bike and blue shisha. They come with a "Made in the UAE" tag and cost Dh175. Visit www.littlemajlis.com.

Cheese board from Stokes

Even if your lucky recipient already has a cheese board, they will be happy to make room for another. This board from Stokes is made of bamboo and is large enough to display a plethora of cheeses. It comes with four different cheese knives that can be neatly stored on the board’s flip-up magnetic rack. Costs Dh159 at Think Kitchen stores across Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Dubai. Visit www.thinkkitchen.ca/en

Gourmet Gadgetry’s Chocolate Fountain

It may not be something you want flowing continuously in your dining room (or anywhere near a white carpet), but this gift will be a hit with kids and adults. Fill it up with your favourite chocolate – you’ll need 900g for a fully flowing fountain – and dip away. From fresh fruit and biscuits to popcorn and waffles, we haven’t found anything that doesn’t taste better coated in chocolate. Removable stainless steel tiers make clean-up easy. Costs Dh250 in Lakeland stores UAE-wide.

For those who have it all

Egg Cups & Spoons Set

This set from Mary Berry has two spoons with porcelain handles and two bone-­china egg cups – shaped like chickens, of course. This is the perfect addition to any home-cook’s kitchen (they are also dishwasher safe). Because sometimes we all need something fancy at the breakfast table. Costs Dh115 in Lakeland stores, at www.lakeland.ae

AromaFork Flavour Enhancing Kit

The AromaFork by Molecule-R, a Canadian company, is a simple fork with a small depressed area near the tines. That area holds blotting paper that you can coat with one of the included aromatics. When you eat, you get a whiff of the aroma you’ve chosen. Since about 80 per cent of what we taste is determined by smell, this fork can change the way we taste food. You can have a bite of steak flavoured with truffle, basil or ginger. Or try fish flavoured with strawberry or passion fruit. There are 21 different aromatics included in the kit. It’s a fun experiment for foodies, but it may also serve a greater purpose: put the bubble­gum aromatic on a fork full of broccoli and see if your kids start eating their vegetables. Available on Amazon for Dh220 or on www.desertcart.ae for Dh273.

Riedel Collection Nespresso Coffee Glasses

Riedel Crystal – an Austrian glassware company established in 1756 – has worked with Nespresso to create these exclusive glasses that enhance the coffee-tasting experience of Nespresso’s Grand Crus (the name Nespresso uses for its signature line of coffees). There is a wide-mouth coffee glass for the mild coffees and a tapered glass for the intense blends. The scientists behind the glasses say tasting coffee in the correct-shaped glass elevates the tasting experience by creating flavour balance and harmony of aftertaste. Costs Dh240 per glass. Available at all Nespresso boutiques. Visit www.nespresso.com/ae/en

New Middle Eastern Street Food

With the food-truck movement taking off in the UAE, this is a perfectly timed gift. There’s an entire chapter devoted to Meat on Sticks, another called Fishy Things, and one dedicated to Mostly Carbs. The author, Sally Butcher, has compiled the Middle East’s most popular street foods into more than 100 easy-to-follow recipes, each with an explanation of why and where it’s important. A great way to prepare for the much-anticipated street-food festivals at the Abu Dhabi and Dubai Food Festivals in February. Dh110, available in bookstores.

sjohnson@thenational.ae

Published: December 20, 2014 04:00 AM

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