My recent visit to two gourmet stores gave me tons of ideas of ready made food gifts (since I am not much of a baker), a refreshing change from the customary bottle of booze...
Like for example...
... wouldn't these beautiful bottles and pots of artisanal vinegar and mustard be the perfect housewarming gift and look incredibly appetising in a brand new kitchen?
Them, here is something totally out of the box:
English fruits for cheese?? Well here is something that I didn't even know existed! Imagine this little nifty container in a hamper with a selection of fine cheeses and a crusty French baguette? I almost gifted it to myself!
The following, however, is what really got my attention:
An absolutely beautiful jar of honey and nuts aptly called "Turkish Delight". I can't even start to fathom how the nuts were arranged so artistically inside the honey, without floating and staying in perfect order. Now, wouldn't you really feel special if someone showed up with THAT on your doorstep?
If the fiend you are visiting loves experimenting with exotic cuisines, a selection of these Moroccan sauces, spice mixes and rubs, would be a great choice. This was the first time I was seeing such a large variety of Moroccan flavours on a shelf and I was seriously tempted too!
Or in a more corporate environment, wouldn't you love to have this on your desk? Little incentives make a big difference...
All the above items can be found at the Westside food store in Kala Ghoda, Bombay
However, the absolute star of my recent discoveries are the gifts in a jar offered at Country of Origin on Napeansea Road. Imagine if, like me, you sometimes love to bake, but only truly enjoy the result and not the process. And someone gives you this:
A perfectly layered in a beautiful jar, pre-measured dessert ready for you to mix up and stick in the oven. And just consider the flavours you get: Cookie Dough, Caramel & Cream, Cookie Dough & Hazelnut Crème, Red Velvet, Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte. Oh-my-God! And you can say, "I baked it all by myself!"
And last but not least, if your friend is the hands-on, crafty type, yo can gift her a selection of seeds, pots and soil to plant her own window sil herbs garden.
The Ratanshi store in Byculla is famous and it offers anything a budding or an experienced gardener could ever need, including a huge variety of seeds.