“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”
J.R.R. Tolkien said, “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” In these divisive times, perhaps we can reconnect with friends and family via gifts that are meant to be shared. During a season all too often wrapped in greed, materialism and the latest, coolest thing you just have to buy, perhaps we can can step back and gift people with simpler items made by neighbors. So, here are some edible gift options that lend themselves to merriment and a sense of community.
Chocolate Cartel 315 Juan Tabo NE, Ste. A $11.75/ 6-piece box
If there's anyone on your gift list who doesn't like chocolate, we just suggest you break off that relationship because you don't need that kind of negativity in your life. That said, if you're going to give someone chocolate, you'd better give them the good stuff—not that cheap waxy crap that tastes like high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated palm oil. So, make your way to Chocolate Cartel and check out the truffle assortments. You can put together a box with exotic and exciting flavors like blueberry port, honey and pollen, and smoked chile, or go for the tried-and-true combinations like espresso, Irish cream or almond-amaretto. Either way, this stuff is the real deal.
New Mexico Tea Company 1131 Mountain NW, #2 $15.60/8 oz.
If you're searching for the perfect gift for your favorite Anglophile, well, there's nothing more British than tea. Head to New Mexico Tea Company for everything from loose teas to spices to infusers. In particular, we recommend grabbing a bag of Lady Londonderry—you really can't go wrong with this black tea. It's made with real strawberry, lemon balm, calendula and sunflower petals! It is wonderful either hot or iced, plain or with sugar, just make sure not to add milk since lemon and dairy do not play nice (unless you enjoy the texture of curdled milk). There's nothing like real, loose leaf tea to add authenticity to your next “Downton Abbey”-themed party.
Prismatic Coffee 1761 Bellamah NW, Ste. C $15.25/12 oz.
Do you have a caffeine junkie on your holiday shopping list? Cruise past the Museum of Natural History and Science to Prismatic Coffee in the Sawmill District. At this third wave coffee shop, you can purchase a variety of fresh roasted beans. We suggest the Photonic Espresso, which is noted for its cherry cordial, almond butter and brown sugar flavors. Plus, it makes a mean cortado, and once you give someone a bag of this tasty coffee, you can go visit them for a shot!
Gewürztraminer is all well and good, but sometimes you just want something a bit more dark and dangerous. If one of your giftees agrees (or you just want to get a gift for yourself) try out Besito de Coco from Noisy Waters Winery. The winery itself is in Ruidoso, but if you don't feel like making the drive, you can order online. As for this delightful liquid chocolate kiss, it's a “port-like wine” infused with brandy and chocolate. So, if port and cigars in the drawing room is a bit too stuffy for you, try “port-like” with dessert on the couch. It also goes great on top of ice cream or in coffee.
White Truffle Salt
Los Poblanos Farm Shop 4803 Rio Grande NW $8/vial
“Salt?” you may say. “Why the heck would I give someone salt? I might as well give them coal.” Well, if someone on your gift list is a true foodie, they will really appreciate this specific salt. It's made by the incredibly talented kitchen staff at Los Poblanos with real white truffles from Italy. It will truly elevate your cooking, especially on pasta or roasted vegetables. We favor taking our snack time up a notch by putting it on popcorn with unsalted butter and Sicilian oregano. Om nom nom.
Meyer Lemon Olive Oil
Santa Fe Olive Oil & Balsamic Co. 109A Carlisle SE $19/bottle
For that pescatarian or vegetarian (or anyone who likes to eat, really) on your list, stop by Nob Hill for a bottle of lemon-infused olive oil. The Meyer lemons used are actually a hybrid of lemons and oranges so the lemon has less bite and is more complex. This oil can be used to enhance fish or chicken dishes, or can add a zing to your salad.
Hays Honey and Apple Farm 401 Esperanza, Bosque Farms $5/small jar
It's the simple things in life that are often the best. Make the scenic drive out to Bosque Farms for a jar or two of Hays whipped honey for that one person who loves breakfast. It's the same as regular, raw, liquid honey, but the whipping process makes tiny crystals which prevents the honey from turning into larger crystals that you have to heat up to get rid of. This dreamy spread is thick, sweet and perfect on buttered toast with a cappuccino.