Cheese Lovers Gift Guide 2015
Every year around this time, cheese lovers from near and far email me about gift ideas. This year, I’m excited to present some true originals, from reusable baguette bags to goat cheese iphone covers! If the illustrated items featured above look familiar, it’s because Johanna Kindvall and I extended our year-long collaboration to a series of housewares.
Check them out over at Johanna Kindvall’s Cheese Collection at Society6 (includes free shipping and 20% off thru Dec. 5.)
In case a Provolone clock doesn’t float your dinghy, here are 5 additional items, and you won’t be surprised to discover that many of them involve collaboration…
1. Reusable Bake House Bags from Peg and Awl
My brilliant neighbors Margaux and Walter Kent recently launched a collection of reusable canvas bags in all sizes, including snack bags, a wine tote, and a baguette bag. These make terrific farmers’ market bags, and they’re also great for gifting that special bottle of Port or jar of chestnut honey. If you know someone who regularly shops for fresh bread or who loves to picnic, these would make a great present. Take a peekaboo, too, at Peg and Awl’s line of reclaimed wood cutting boards if you want to create a cheese lovers’ gift set or build a traveling cheese valise for yourself, a la Madame Fromage. Retailers, these bags can be customized to with your log. Baguette Bag ($18)
2. Ferment Your Vegetables, by Amanda Feifer
Philadelphia blogger Phickle inspired me to begin fermenting this year with the release of her new book. I started with Amanda’s recipe for “Fool Proof Radish and Onion Pickles” and found that it paired beautifully with goat cheeses. I’m also partial to her recipe for Mac & Kimcheese. Yes, that’s macaroni and cheese with spicy kimchi. Amanda’s a great teacher, and her recipes for krauts, pickles, kvass, and more are easy to follow. If you have an unhappy gut, my dear friend, remember that ferments can be a great digestive aid, and they brighten up a cheese plate with color and tang.
3. Cheese Portrait Calendar 2016
Artist Mike Geno presents a full year of his enticing cheese portraits. If you attended the American Cheese Society Conference in the last three years, you probably met him — each year, he is commissioned to paint the top three wheels that win Best of Show. Mike paints in a studio within walking distance from my house, and he is one of the nicest cheese-loving fellows alive. Check out his paintings and prints of cheese, meat, and bread for a complete picnic.
4. Food in Jars Jam from Three Springs
Marisa McClellan of the blog Foodinjars has shared 3 of her best recipes with orchard grower Ben Wenk of Three Springs Fruit Farm. Through this awesome collaboration, Ben grows the fruit, makes Marisa’s recipe in his industrial kitchen, and sells jars through his online shop. Those of you who know Marisa and Ben — two of Philadelphia’s most lovable food personalities — know that this project is truly special. Needless to say, Marisa’s Tomato Jam is just about my favorite thing to slather on cheddar.
5. A Cheese Journey to France, England, or Oregon
For the intrepid cheese lover, splurge on a gourmet food tour led by Anna Juhl. You may remember that I ducked out of the blogosphere in October to join her cheddar odyssey to southern England. I can’t say enough good things about Anna’s professionalism and her choice in bookings. She knows the best cheese makers (and vintners) in the countries she visits, and she puts together well-paced experiences that take you into the homes and hideaways of artisans you would never meet otherwise. She also arranges custom tours. Take your family on a cheese-centric vacation? Why not!