Here are some ideas for gifts with a local twist for the food obsessive in your life.
A New Turn in the South by Hugh Acheson
Acheson is having his moment in the limelight right now — his restaurants are lauded, he's now an official TV celebrity with his judge gig on "Top Chef." His new cookbook is garnering him a lot of buzz as well, picking up accolade after accolade including a recent nod by the New York Times as one of the 10 best cookbooks of the year. And you know, for once the Times is right (hardy har — just joking, NYT!! We love you!!). Acheson's book is beautiful, with an aesthetic that matches the recipes: clean, quirky, simple. Recipes include some dishes that regulars of 5 & 10 will recognize, including the signature frogmore stew, but are mainly suited for the type of home cooks who take their inspiration from farmers markets and seasonal treats.
Coffee subscription from Counter Culture Coffee
We are blessed in Atlanta to have a couple of genuinely world-class coffee roasters in town, and one of them, Counter Culture, offers subscriptions. Coffee subscriptions seem a little silly until you've had one, then they seem totally indispensable: Coffee is just one of those groceries that's better when you can count on it to be delivered to your door. Counter Culture offers subscriptions for either two 12-ounce bags of its Farmhouse Seasonal blend for $19.55 per month or two different 12-ounce bags of single origin coffees for $20.65 per month (prices are for a six month subscription). www.counterculturecoffee.com.
Cocktail-making kits from H&F Bottle Shop
There's plenty to buy for the booze enthusiast at H&F, but its kits are especially giftable. Right now kits include a build-your-bar kit, filled with all the stirrers, muddlers, and other tools needed for a professional setup at home ($55), and a Sazerac kit with the booze, bitters, and recipe for New Orleans' most famous (and delicious) libation ($50-$58, depending on the bitters).
Drinking chocolate from Cacao
Kristen Hard's stores, which resemble glittering jewel boxes, are like a wonderland of gift possibilities: truffles, macarons, and chocolate-dipped fruit. One of our favorite treats (and one of the most affordable) is her thick, rich, decadent Aztec Sipping Chocolate ($15). You can even buy handmade marshmallows in plain, cinnamon, or peppermint to sweeten the deal. .
Now that growlers are allowed and have become a huge part of our beer culture, a number of stores are offering creative ways to give the gift of brew. Hop City is selling empty growlers along with gift cards so your giftee can fill it up with the beer of his or her choice. The Growler in Avondale Estates is selling cute holiday-themed full growlers, which make great hostess gifts or bring-alongs for holiday parties.
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