Christmas Gift Ideas for Foodies

The countdown to Christmas has begun and there’s less than a month left to get your Christmas shopping done. Last week we brought you our gift shopping guide for fashionistas, this week we move onto the foodies.

From new local cookbooks to the best artisanal drinks, unusual specialty ingredients and luxurious handmade chocolates, here’s our Christmas gift shopping guide for foodies.

Handmade chocolates from Chocoloza

Whether it’s a birthday, Christmas, baby shower or anniversary present, a box of the best handmade Belgian chocolates from Chocoloza can never fail to impress. Trained in Belgium, chocolatier Vicky Bain’s chocolates are made using only the finest ingredients and she likes to experiment with flavours meaning that every season there are always new and unusual varieties to try. Visit their store at 44 Stanley and mix and match from more than a dozen flavours. Sampling them yourself before you choose what to gift is all part of the fun!

Where: Find Chocoloza at 44 Stanley, 44 Stanley Ave, Milpark

Wines from Joburg’s very own winery

Forget the Cape winelands, nestled in the middle of suburbia is Joburg’s very first winery Gerakaris Family Wines, situated in the delightful REEA Foundation urban farm in Craighall. Visit the on-site tasting room to sample Gerakaris’ syrah and two chenin blancs and choose a bottle or two for an unusual local gift.

If you’re looking for something extra special for a wine buff then head to the Norman Goodfellows flagship store in Illovo for expert advice and an excellent range of local and international wines plus convenient delivery and gifting services.

Where: Visit the Gerakaris tasting room at 20 Marlborough Ave, Craighall Park. Norman Goodfellows flagship store is located at 192 Oxford Rd, Illovo.

New South African cookbooks

2018 has been a great year for new cookbooks by local chefs promoting South African flavours and cuisine. For the novice chef we recommend The Lazy Makoti’s Guide to the Kitchen which is filled with recipes that are designed to be easy to make for even the most inexperienced cook. For something more advanced Lesego Semenya (aka Les Da Chef)’s Dijo mixes tips on traditional South African dishes with advice on how to plate like a Michelin chef and get to grips with fine dining techniques. Enlivened with beautiful photography and stories from both the much-admired chef’s Soweto childhood and from his high flying culinary career, it’s also an entertaining read.

We also recommend David Higgs’ gorgeous Mile 8, a 330 page book that is so beautifully presented it can double up as a coffee table book. Packed with recipes from the famous chef’s career at some of South Africa’s most celebrated restaurants plus invaluable tips on ingredients and techniques, Mile 8 is also an autobiography of a chef’s life.

Where: Available at all good bookstores including Exclusive Books and Love Books.

Luxury African tea blends

Nirvana for tea lovers, if you believe everything is made better with a cup of tea, then Yswara is for you with its enticing selection of exquisitely packaged and ethically-sourced African tea blends. Described by founder Swaady Martin as ‘Afro-Zen’, Yswara’s aromatic black tea, rooibos and herbal blends come neatly packaged in elegant rose gold metallic tea canisters.

Where: You can find the full Yswara tea range on sale at the Luminance department store in Nelson Mandela Square and Hyde Park Corner shopping malls.

The spice is right

Up your spice game with unique spice blends picked up at Akhalwaya’s Masala Centre in Oriental Plaza in Fordsburg. If you’re shopping for somebody who is really looking to up their curry making skills then you can’t find a better place to start than Fordsburg’s biggest spice shops.  Shop for blends like ‘mother-in-law masala’ and create a hamper of hard to find ingredients such as kalonji seeds, fenugreek powder and kewra water. On your way out make sure to drop by the World of Samoosas for some snacks to keep you going!

Where: Shop for spices at Oriental Plaza, 38 Lilian Ngoyi St, Fordsburg

Locally roasted coffee and a barista course

In Joburg coffee is not just a drink, it’s a lifestyle. Shop for single origin unblended coffee from Rwanda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Kenya at Bean There, South Africa’s first roaster of Certified Fairtrade coffee, while savouring the heavenly smell as the beans are roasted onsite at their 44 Stanley coffee shop and roastery. Bean There also offers Home Barista and Home Brewing courses for those wanting to further their craft and make the perfect cuppa, a great gift for anybody who’s serious about their coffee.

Meanwhile for the hipster coffee drinker you can’t go much better than a neatly packaged box of one of Father Coffee‘s signature blends, available at their Rosebank and Braamfontein shops.

Where: Visit Bean There at 44 Stanley and find Father Coffee at The Zone@Rosebank and at 73 Juta St, Braamfontein.

A bottle of local craft gin

First came artisan coffees, then came craft beers and now Joburg is awash with craft gins with interesting new labels appearing all the time. In fact it is estimated that there are now more than 160 different South African craft gins on the market!

Of course we suggest finding something local to gift and Joburg has plenty of good distilleries to choose from. Our favourites include Time Anchor Distillery, whose colourful Mirari range magically changes colour when you add tonic to it and the Ginologist. Based at the 1 Fox Precinct in historic Ferreirasdorp, you can now visit the Ginologist tasting room to try their full range of unusual craft gins, a great excuse to get some G&Ts in while you are out gift shopping.

Where: Time Anchor Distillery and Ginologists gins are available at all good liquor stores including Norman Goodfellows.

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