Gifts for friends who love a good bite.
Oxygen is the archnemesis of beer, and aficionado Chris Fetfatzes has spent six years developing a growler that keeps the two from interacting. The glass jugs with Cigar City Jai Alai, Russian River Damnation, Bruery Mischief #3 and 12 other craft brews at his and his girlfriend Heather Annechiarico’s cozy-biercafe, Hawthorne’s, “is basically a bottle,” Fetfatzes says. “It’ll last seven to nine months and keep for a week after you crack it open.”
“Pulled pork barbeque in Tennessee.” That was the gateway drug that led Philadelphia restaurant critic Joy Manning back to the dark side after 12 years as a vegetarian. “There was nothing vegetarian to eat there, and it smelled so good!” Almost Meatless , the cookbook she coauthored with fellow local food writer Tara Mataraza Desmond, is a useful how-to for herbivores getting back into the game as well as carnivores seeking to slim their meat intake.
Afro-Caribbean, Asiatica, Latina, Mediterranneo and Winter Sweet spice blends made by Top Chef hostess with the mostess Padma Lakshmi. Are they good? Do we care?
Easy Exotic Spice Collection, $29.95. hsn.com
A subscription to this club was one of the best gifts we’ve ever received. Fashioned by Zingermans, the Ann Arbor deli-turned-mail-order-megatron, it includes dry-cured Broadbent bacon from Kentucky, thick-cut Neuske’s applewood-smoked and a third version crusted in funky, floral Balinese long-peppers.
Bacon Club, $99. zingermans.com
Girard Avenue’s sustainable seafood market Otolith has taken the CSA concept and applied it to fish. Shares in the winter program that begins in January get members up to five pounds of wild Alaskan spot prawns and up to seven pounds of wild Alaskan King crab legs, all harvested through sustainable fishing practices.
Community-Supported Seafood Share, $180. otolithonline.com
“This is the greening of the urban environment,” says Curt Alexander, who recently opened Urban Jungle, a gardener’s oasis in a vacant 4500-square-foot East Passyunk garage. Rowhome-dwelling growers can hang these breathable pockets to their walls to create a vertical garden suitable for edible herbs and decorative plants.
The future is upon us. We'll soon be walking around with cybernetic body parts. What better way to prepare your friends and family to participate in this evolutionary milestone than with totally bitchin’, high-tech gizmos?