Food Ingredient Secret Santa Ideas?
April 27, 2020 1:09 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for ideas for a cooking-based secret Santa gift, which can be delivered before this Saturday. Help me think of unexpected ingredients or gadgets!

The idea is they'd receive this ingredient in the mail and then incorporate it into a recipe. My restrictions are minimal - the person is a pescatarian, but has a lot of experience with vegan cooking and baking. No allergies. They're skilled at baking/desserts, so I was originally thinking some sort of uncommon flour or extract or something, but now I'm crunched for time and feeling uncreative. They also have a reasonably well-stocked bar, so cocktail ingredients are also a path I could take. Kitchen tools are fine as well, but ideally it's something they'd use again and that a well-equipped home cook would not already own.

Price is flexible - I was thinking $25-$35 including shipping, but can go lower or slightly higher. I have Amazon Prime and am open to other shops that ship in the United States (esp. if I can avoid getting on the phone), I just need it to get to the Bay Area by Saturday!
posted by soleiluna to Food & Drink (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I just treated myself to a couple of things from Barnacle Foods: Bullwhip Sauce, Curry Kelp Pickles (both good though I've only had a little taste of each), and one of the salsas, which I have not tried yet. Shipping was pretty fast. They have a recipes page with some tasty looking ideas on how to use their products, too.
posted by kitty teeth at 1:21 PM on April 27, 2020

For uncommon extracts, they might like an assortment from Silver Cloud Flavors.
posted by jocelmeow at 2:12 PM on April 27, 2020

A facebook friend was just extolling the possibilities of cooking with Moroccan preserved lemons, lots of options at cookery stores. Candied orange peels or violets are nifty, too.
posted by theora55 at 2:14 PM on April 27, 2020

I just bought myself a couple of these Nordic Ware quarter-sheet pans (there's also a version with a lid) recently and I wish I'd done it years ago. So much easier to haul in and out of the oven and wash than a half-sheet, and no more making and greasing and swearing at aluminum foil slings to get bar cookies out a deep pan. There are little racks for them too.
posted by jocelmeow at 2:21 PM on April 27, 2020

A bottle of Black Love Seasoning.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:55 PM on April 27, 2020

Tahini is trendy right now (which is so weird to me since I grew up with it). Soom Foods does a good job. You can use it for hummus, baked goods, sauces, whatever. It's very versatile.

Halvah is also something a lot of non-Middle East-affiliated Americans haven't experienced (I'm not talking about the Joyva bars). Seed and Mill gets good reviews, but shredded halvah, the sliced kind, and the kind that comes in a glass jar are good too. It's usually vegan and makes a great dessert topping.
posted by marfa, texas at 4:16 PM on April 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Online suppliers (including Amazon) sell Pico de Gallo seasoning blend in varying sizes. In the Bay Area Penzeys Spices sells their own version called Pico Fruta - alas, they appear temporarily closed. But I love their description: Pico Fruta, with just a few shakes, brings joy to fresh fruit.
posted by The Patron Saint of Spices at 12:20 AM on April 28, 2020

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