Holiday Shopping Guide: Fabulous Eats For Foodies
Nothing says holiday l celebration like caviar and Champagne. Petrossian, tops in any town for caviar, has its own caviar concierge (800-828-9241). Call and get some advice about the briny pearls with the indescribable taste. With 18 different types of caviar options, advice is a good idea. If you're thinking "big deal," splurge on the 125 gram Special Reserve Ossetra at $1,253 plus special shipping. The Champagne to match according to an expert at New York's Sherry Lehmann is Vintage Krug 1998 at $269.95.
Live Maine lobsters are best bought on location, especially in Portland from the Browne Trading Company. If that's not an option, order them by phone (800-944-7848). Count on a 1 1/2 pounder for the typical appetite and expect to pay at least $30 for overnight shipping. While you're ordering, add a gift box of cold smoked salmon, around $105. Details at brownetrading.com.
Crab cakes can be wonderful or terrible. Typically, they look good but are disappointing ---not enough crab meat. The crab cakes from Chesapeake Bay(800-282-CRAB) won't disappoint. They are definitely not imitations for what usually passes as crab cakes. These are the real thing and they are crammed with tasty fresh crab meat from the Chesapeake Bay; cbcrabcakes.com.
Like crab cakes, smoked turkey that is authentic is hard to come by unless you order from Greenberg Smoked Turkey Inc. Their hickory smoked turkeys, said to be Oprah's favorite, have a fine balance between just the right texture and taste. The aromatic flavors come from slow smoking over a hickory fire and a family secret spice recipe. The turkeys range in size from six to 15 pounds. A good rule of thumb is a third to a half a pound per person for the average eater. An eight-pounder, $35.30 plus shipping, is fine for roughly 16 to 24 people. Order by calling 905-595-0725;gobblegobble.com.
Instead of turkey for the foodie on your list, DeBragga, one of the top butchers in New York, suggests a crown roast of naturally raised free-range pork from Iowa. The roast is sent ready for the oven ---but it's best served with a special stuffing. This is a gift only for someone who loves to cook. It's a lot of effort but worth it because of the quality. Send the roast plus the fixings for stuffing -- sausage, bacon, and glace de veau (veal stock) for about $225. Details and recipes at DeBragga.com.