If gelato, below, isn’t quite the right gift for the culinarian on your list, perhaps briny treats from the sea will be? I just received the annual reminder from Jon Rowley that homegrown Taylor Shellfish is once again offering holiday packages of oysters fresh from their Puget Sound beds.
Each of the two options includes Olympias, Kumamotos, Totten Inlet Pacifics and Totten Inlet Virginicas — 6 or 12 of each, your choice ($35 and $64 respectively, plus shipping). Each shipment also includes a shucking knife, shucking guide, oyster profiles and Jon’s own “Art of Eating an Oyster” essay.
My father-in-law is nuts about oysters. When they make the trip north from Berkeley each summer, they eat dozens and dozens of halfshell oysters while they’re in town (at Steelhead Diner this past summer). So of course, this makes the perfect holiday gift for the in-laws; it will be our third December shipping them this Northwest bounty for Christmas. (I doubt I’m ruining any surprises there, it’s becoming a tradition).
So deck those halls with oysters by the dozen!
Just got one of those press releases that makes me want to yell “stop the presses.” If only someone actually used presses any more? This news is perfectly timed to help those in need of securing the ideal holiday gift for the food-lover (more specifically gelato-lover) on their list.
Holly Smith, celebrated chef of Cafe Juanita (she won the James Beard Award for Best Chef Northwest in June of this year) launched a line of high-end gelati and sorbetti this summer. Poco Carretto (or, “little cart”) first appeared in a colorful European-style cart, selling scoops at Seattle area farmers markets, and pints through limited retail distribution. I made a gift of pints of Poco Carretto to supporters who donated a certain amount of money toward my fundraising for the Breast Cancer 3-Day this fall. (Hey, I just signed up for next year! Want to be the first to donate?!)
My friends have not stopped talking about that gelato, particularly the decadent, not-too-sweet burnt sugar, unlike any caramel you’ve ever tasted. Though she does offer a few classic offerings, such as gianduja and vanilla (albeit Organic Bourbon Vanilla), Holly is clearly having fun in the kitchen developing her flavors. Consider Pinenut Brittle with Marsala Currents, Toasted Rice, and Mascarpone with Honeyed Raspberries. And I have got to get my hands on some of her malt gelato.
Special orders and home delivery have been available for a while now. But what’s new is the “gelato a month” club format–which they’re calling Gelato to You–that you can now offer as a gift to family and friends. From a 1-time delivery any single month, to monthly deliveries for a full year, each shipment will include 4 pints (different flavors, pending the season and Holly’s inspirations). Including delivery, the cost is $50 per month (in 3-month increments) for Seattle area, a bit more for farther destinations.
Hopefully Santa’s listening in and may hear the whispers of gelato fans near and far who plan to add this to their Christmas list!