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Foodie gifts | 2012 Holiday Gift Guide
Shop four new specialty-food stores to out-foodie even your foodiest friends.
By Julia Kramer
Published: November 13, 2012
For those who own every artisanal honey and barrel-aged tea that money can buy, head to these recently opened specialty-food stores for a taste of something new.
Photo: Martha Williamsgiftguidemain.jpg158637361
Spencer’s Jolly Posh Foods Anglophiles, candy fiends, Jamie Oliver die-hards: Jolly Posh caters to these niche subsets, with an abundant and eclectic selection of dry goods (teas, lemon curd) imported from across the pond. This is, of course, in addition to its own line of bangers, black pudding (not the dessert kind) and bacon. There are also some good finds here for home-cocktail enthusiasts, such as Belvoir Fruit Farms Organic Elderflower Cordial ($10). 1405 W Irving Park Rd (312-415-6919, spencerfoods.com).
Artisanal This new suburban store is a wonderland of local products (such as Phoenix Bean tofu) and small-batch spirits. This is the only place in the area we know of that sells Coolhaus ice-cream sandwiches ($5.69 each), shipped from the cult shop in Los Angeles. 414 Linden Ave, Wilmette (847-512-3155, artisanalwilmette.com).
Pasta Puttana There are only a few items in Jessica Volpe’s small store, but each is carefully selected to complement her handmade pastas. Our pick: her proprietary Pasta Puttana extra-virgin olive oil from Castelvetrano, Sicily, made from hand-picked Nocellara del Belice olives. The peppery oil is decanted at purchase from a vat into 250ml bottles, which can be refilled at the shop for a $2 discount. 1407 W Grand Ave (pastaputtana.com).
Publican Quality Meats Pair an artisan jam or mustard from the grocery shelves with selections from the exceptional butcher case: The subtly spicy bacon-wrapped harissa pâté ($26.99/lb) and black-pepper salami ($25.99/lb) are both outstanding. For a great host or hostess gift, snag a loaf of made-in-house bread, too. 825 W Fulton Mkt (312-445-8977, publicanqualitymeats.com).