It’s safe to say we’ve all travelled a lot less than we thought we might have this year. As 2020 draws to a close, why not travel through food (and drink) this Christmas with these excellent travel-themed stocking filler gifts? So many restaurants have transformed or opened up their delis or larder-style shops for delivery, allowing you to access some authentic ingredients that give you a little taste of around the world.
Think primo parmesan, top notch gnocchi and other ingredients that are essential to your kitchen cupboard but seem a little more special if they don’t come from Tesco. Sure, we might not be actually travelling to where are favourite eats lie this year but that doesn’t mean we have to miss out on the good food. Behold: House of Coco’s gift guide full of stocking fillers that will allow your fellow foodie to travel through eating and drinking this Christmas.
Bar Douro Portuguese Wine
In addition to Bar Douro’s Bottle Shop, the popular Portuguese restaurant has launched its subscription service, The Wine Club. Imagine: quarterly deliveries of some of the best wines around – from regions such as Alentejo and Madeira – and all curated by Bar Douro’s own Max Graham and renowned wine expert, Sarah Ahmed.
This is not only a great gift for any wine lovers out there but it’s also an opportunity to educate recipients on the lesser known grapes and regions of Portugal. Who needs wine tasting with six bottles of wine delivered to your door every few months?
Fidelari Fresh Puglian Pasta
The brainchild of ex-Theo Randall Head Pasta Chef and Restaurant Manager, Vanessa and Valentina, Fidelari offers authentic Italian pasta for you all to enjoy. With various options to order, such as pasta kits, naked pasta, as well as soups and focaccia, the duo are intent on sharing their passion for their Italian heritage and culture, both from Puglia themselves.
We’ll be asking Santa for the Cappelletti Squid Ink with ricotta and salmon pasta kit, while aspiring cooks in the kitchen are sure to love the naked pasta choices which include triangoli egg pasta and vegan spinach and red beetroot farfell.
Odysea Greek Meze Party Hamper
You know how on Christmas Day, you want to open all your presents and ‘play’ with them straight away? That’s what finding this Greek Meze Party Hamper inside your stocking would be like…except it would be followed by a family fight for devouring vaarious meze dips and dishes, instead of Christmas Day breakfast.
On a serious note, this selection of Greek goodies is the perfect present for any foodie who wishes to stock up on sophisticated nibbles or wants to create the perfect antipasti board. Featuring stuffed vine leaves, kalamata olives and spicy meze dips, this tasty little hamper beats a bath bomb any day of the week.
Scarlet Saffron from Iran
Seeing as saffron is more expensive than gold, when weighed, we can’t see any aspiring chef having a problem with receiving some quality spice in their stocking this Christmas. Scarlet Saffron’s product is all ISO Grade 1 (the highest and best), originally coming from Iran. Grade 1 saffron has the highest flavouring, colouring and aroma and many saffron brands on the market don’t even make it to Grade 3 standard.
Packed in the UK and ensuring that only premium red strands are in the jar, anyone who’s found they’re having fun in the kitchen is sure to enjoy this gift. Who knows – maybe cooking up some Persian dishes will inspire new travel plans when we’re allowed to fulfil our wanderlust dreams again.
Casa Costa Parmigiano Reggiano 24 Months
Parmesan is a staple in any non-lactose intolerant’s fridge these days but wouldn’t it be amazing to gift a true cheese lover a something approved by the best in the business? From the team behind Macellaio RC, Casa Costa brings you all the best ingredients from an Italian kitchen, straight to your own.
This particular parmesan producer creates four different types of Parmigiano Reggiano from four different cow breeds, with Casa Costa selecting the best of it. Rest assured, it’s going to be unique and flavoursome and the perfect stocking filler for anyone who’s been getting busy in the kitchen this year and is looking to up their ingredients game.
Howdah Indian Snacks Christmas Boxes
Get a taste of India via these authentic spicy snacks from Howdah Snacks. The perfect stocking filler, even as individual packs, thanks to the bright and colourful packaging, the brand is also releasing an exclusive Christmas Boxes to help everyone get into the holiday spirit. Box one includes two of each flavour; another option is the selection of snacks with a tea towel and saffron tea bags, while a premium stocking filler present would be the third Christmas Box, which indlues the eight bags of snacks and a classic Indian tea pot with tea bags.
Not only are Howdah Snacks Masala Dippers, Bombay Mix, Onion Bhajis and Bakarwadi Bites vegan, but giving them as a gift also gives another – as the brand operates a 1-for-1 concept, whereby for every pack of Howdah purchased, the brand pledges a free school meal for a child in need in India. If that’s not the spirit of Christmas, I don’t know what is…
Great British Porridge Co. Apple and Cinnamon
Seeing as most of us have sourced staycations for our travelling this year, it makes sense to include a local food offering in this stocking filler gift guide. The Great British Porridge Co. is 100 per cent natural, gluten-free, vegan and has no added sugar – and it’s just launched a new Christmas flavour.
In the run up to the holiday season, why not gift the new, limited edition Apple & Cinnamon festive flavour? Not only is the blend of sweet and fruity flavour with the fragrant and spicy cinnamon taste an excellent combination, it’s also a great option for breakfast time, come January.
Tony’s Chocolonely Personalised Bars
Hands up: who’s been to Amsterdam (or anywhere in the Netherlands) and immediately gone to buy a few bars of Tony’s Chocolonely? I know it’s not just me. Aside from the fun and colourful packaging, these chocolate bars are some of the best-tasting around. Did you know that Tony’s Chocolonely was founded by a Dutch company, is made in Belgium, using Ghanian and Ivorian cocoa beans. If that’s not enough travels for you, I don’t know what is.
The brand has introduced a personalisation service so you can have text and a photo of your choice printed on the wrapper. Think Willy Wonka – but better. The perfect stocking filler this Christmas, you can decide what gets printed: selfies, embarrassing moments, family photos – you can choose whether you’re going to be cruel or kind. On top of all of this, you can buy Tony’s Chocolonely guilt-free, knowing that the brand is on a mission to end slavery in the cocoa industry.
£6 for a large bar, available at tonyschocolonely.com
Jack Links Beef Jerky From The Midwest
Transport yourself to the midwest with this beef jerky from Jack Link’s, a family smoked meats company, based in Wisconsin. The salty snack is made using only select rump beef, cut into thin strips, then seasoned, dried and smoked. Using only 100 per cent lean beef, this snack is a moreish one – and not ridiculously calorific either, with each serving containing less than 80 calories.
I don’t know about you guys but beef jerky reminds me of American TV programs and gas station snacks in the US and now Jack Link’s gives you a taste of that with its Original, Sweet & Hot and Teriyaki beef jerky flavours.
Hoppers Sri Lankan Jaffna Mix
Another excellent thing to come out of lockdown is Hopper’s Cash and Kari online supermarket which offers you a one-stop shop for Sri Lankan and South Asian foods. The restaurant’s Jaffna Mix is a great stocking filler for anyone who’s either a fan of the London-based eatery or partial to Sri Lankan food in general.
Give the gift of a savoury mix of roasted lentils, nuts and spiced gram crisps and let yourself be taken to the streets of Sri Lanka as it’s one of the country’s most popular drinking snacks and you won’t have a beverage served without a bowl of this spicy mix.
Talisker Whisky Sea Salted Caramel Gift Set
Although it does seem that everyone jumped on the Scotland staycation bandwagon – myself included – perhaps you want to return to the Highlands and make your way to the Isle of Skye. Talisker Single Malt Scotch Whisky has once again partnered with Edinburgh-based chocolatier, COCO, to create a bespoke gift set that will be the perfect stocking filler for both chocolate nad whisky lovers.
The Talisker sea salted caramels contain sea salt from the Isle of Skye – in case you didn’t make it on your road trip or had plans to go that were postponed – and the box also contains a 5cl bottle of 10 year old Talisker Whisky. Don’t underestimate those caramels, by the way, they are such an indulgent treat and the perfect start to Christmas Day.
Quick Brown Fox Coffee Liqueur From New Zealand
Not only is this premium coffee liqueur all the way from New Zealand – for anyone who’s missing a taste of it – but its made exclusively from fair-trade and organic roasted coffee from farms across Sumatra, Colombia and Papa New Guinea. A pretty exotic drink to get you travelling to a variety of places in your mind with each sip.
The handcrafted liqueuer is low in sugar and ABV and has no artificial flavours so is a guilt-free treat come Christmas. The coffee beans are specially roasted by hand to slightly darker than espresso, so the complex flavour is ideal for all coffee-lovers out there. Espresso Martinis, come Christmas Day?
PATRÓN Mexican Tequila
Hands up who would rather be in sunny Mexica with tacos in one hand and a shot of tequila in the other? Well, I’m not responsible for you physically being there but, mentally, transport yourself to sunnier climes thanks to PATRÓN. The premium tequila is actually sustainably produced in the brand’s hacienda in Jalisco, Mexico. Get your hands on a custom design bottle this Christmas, which features monarch butterflies, colourful marigolds and the sugar skull, all celebrating Día de Muertos. The limited edition bottle can be further personalised at the INKD online store, if you’re looking to gift an extra special stocking filler this year.