Our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide: Cheese, Truffles, Chocolate and More! - Formaggio Kitchen

Our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide: Cheese, Truffles, Chocolate and More!

Still Life with Bread, Ham, Cheese, and Vegetables - Luis Egidio Meléndez

We know that shopping for friends and family isn’t always easy. So, we put our thinking caps on, brainstormed, debated and created some exciting new bundles of goodies! We think there’s something for most every kind of foodie on your list:

Truffle Kerfuffle – Many customers come to us for all manner of truffle products, so this bundle was a no-brainer. While we don’t include an actual fresh truffle, this selection of products delivers the gorgeous, earthy truffle flavor in a variety of ways. The bundle includes a box of Marco Giacosa’s exceptional Tajarin truffle pasta, a bottle of truffle oil, a jar of truffle honey and a container of truffle salt. The pasta can fly solo with just a touch of olive oil to keep the pasta easy to twirl. The truffle oil we include is great for amping up risotto, soups or even your favorite mac and cheese. Truffle honey is beautiful when paired with robust, salty cheeses and aged Italian pecorinos. Last but not least, truffle salt – which we admit to using with abandon on big bowls of popcorn – or more classically, sprinkled on chicken or beef.

Marco Giacosa Tagliolini con Tartufo

Marco Giacosa Tagliolini con Tartufo

Mast Brothers Chocolate and Stumptown Coffee – Do you have a coffee and chocolate addict on your list? If so, this bundle will knock their socks off! Bringing together the best of both worlds, it includes a bar of Mast Brothers chocolate and a bag of Stumptown coffee. Both are true artisan producers at the forefront of their respective fields. Consume them together for a powerful flavor combo or separately to make them last that much longer.

Charcuterie Sampler – Our charcutière, Julie Biggs, works meaty magic every day she is in the shop. From fresh sausages, to pâté, to cured meats, her award-winning delicacies are favorites of staff and customers alike. This sampler includes a wonderful representation of her work: sausages, pork rillettes and bacon. If your gift recipient is local to the Cambridge/Boston area and you’re looking to up the stakes – don’t miss the charcuterie share in the Formaggio Food Community program – a perfect gift for a die-hard meat lover!

Formaggio Food Community Share - June, 2012

Formaggio Food Community Charcuterie Share – June, 2012

Olio delle Caselle Olive Oil and La Vecchia Dispensa Organic Balsamic Vinegar – Here, we pair one of our favorite olive oils with one of our favorite vinegars. Give this duo to the home cook who likes making salads, soups, grilled meats and/or pasta dishes. Produced by the Cimicchi family, Olio delle Caselle is a beautifully balanced expression of the ripe olives from their land near Orvieto, Italy. La Vecchia Dispensa produces a variety of superbly crafted vinegars and this organic balsamic is one of our go-to bottles.

Heirloom Beans and Ancient Grains – In this bundle, we combine a selection of some of the finest healthy and tasty whole grains and beans. Le Puy lentils are a protected food staple in France – small, green and flavorful, they are a wonderful base for a delicious salad. Rancho Gordo heirloom beans are a routine favorite in our staff survey. Steve Sando, the man behind the beans, is responsible for re-popularizing many heirloom varieties that present a wide range of flavors and textures. Also included in this bundle: a bag of ancient red farro from a small, Italian farm, Gioie di Fattoria in Le Marche and a bag of cicerchia beans, grown by the Loschi family on their farm in Umbria. Last but not least, we tuck in another Italian favorite – a bag of Mulino Marino’s cornmeal – perfect for making polenta or truly delicious cornbread!

Rancho Gordo Beans

Rancho Gordo Beans

Fondue Night – Party time! In this bundle, we include almost all of the ingredients needed for a tasty fondue evening with friends and family. Our house recipe is slipped into the parcel, along with three of our favorite fondue cheeses, whole nutmeg, white pepper and a jar of cornichons (a classic fondue accompaniment). Fondue is a great focal point for a holiday meal and we have many a fond memory of family gatherings around a bubbling pot of cheese. That said, we also enjoy this dish “à deux,” with a crackling fire in the background and a nice bottle of wine. Either way, we think this bundle will delight lovers of Alpine cheeses both young and old!

Cheese of the Month Club – If you know a cheese enthusiast, be they well-seasoned or new to the field, consider giving them a subscription to our Cheese of the Month Club. Available in three, six or twelve-month increments, this is a great way to introduce someone to new and exciting cheeses from around the world. Each month, Adam, the head of our mail order department works with our lead cheese buyer to select three cheeses for club members. The selection is seasonally appropriate and includes a variety of milks and textures. Connoisseur Club members receive a fourth cheese and a matching condiment is also selected. For gift recipients who are local to Cambridge, the cheese share in our Formaggio Food Community provides yet another alternative for cheese lovers!

Formaggio Kitchen Grilled Cheese

Formaggio Kitchen Grilled Cheese

Grilled Cheese Galore – On Christmas Eve and Thanksgiving Eve, we set up our panini press in front of the shop and make grilled cheeses for hungry customers picking up their holiday provisions. In 2011, we were thrilled to be recognized by Food & Wine as the makers of one of the top 10 grilled cheeses in the country — in this bundle we share our grilled cheese secrets! Included are the key ingredients for our two go-to grilled cheese pairings: Cabot Clothbound Cheddar with Wood’s Cider Jelly and Marcel Petite Comté with a caramelized onion spread. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed.