This year can end on a high note! I guess one way to do it is to craft yourself a Christmas tree made of cured meats like my pal Silvio Imperati of Salumificio Cardone in Agerola. Another is to give gifts purchased from small businesses and celebrate the spirit of Italian artisanship with thoughtful items for the kitchen, bookshelf, and beyond.
Wine & Cocktails
First up, I am absolutely thrilled to announce that my Gola Podcast co-host and I have curated wine boxes for Biondivino, an exceptional small wine shop in San Francisco specializing in wines from small Italian producers. Each of our 3 boxes can be consumed alongside a dedicated podcast episode. There’s a 6-bottle box featuring wines from around Italy, a 3-bottle pack of Italian Sparkling Wines, and a 3-bottle pack of Lambruschi. Shipping is available to around 40 states. Chicago area people can order the Lambrusco pack from another small shop, Anfora Wine Merchants in Oak Park. They can ship within a roughly 100 mile radius.
If you want a more personalized experience, I am offering private virtual wine tastings and cocktail seminars via Zoom. They are a blast and a really fun way for your pod to drink new things together or for distanced friend groups and families to connect. I select wines and liqueurs from small family owned vineyards and liquor companies! Alternatively, lead yourself on an Italian cocktail tour with the help of Spritz: Italy’s Most Iconic Aperitivo Cocktail, With Recipes, Amaro: The Spirited World of Bittersweet, and Herbal Liqueurs, with Cocktails, Recipes, and Formulas.
We’ve all been cooking SO. MUCH. Sometimes finding inspiration is hard. I turn to these cookbooks whenever I need ideas for my next meal (if you can, please purchase from an independent bookshop like Now Serving, Book Larder, Omnivore, and Archestratus, all of which ship).
- Pasta Grannies: The Secrets of Italy’s Best Home Cooks
- Pomp & Sustenance: 25 Centuries of Sicilian Food
- Bitter Almonds: Recipes and Recollections from a Sicilian Girlhood
- My Calabria: Rustic Family Cooking From Italy’s Undiscovered South
- Southern Italian Desserts: Rediscovering the Sweet Traditions of Calabria, Campania, Basilicata, Puglia, and Sicly
- The Heart of Sicily: Recipes and Reminiscences from a Country Estate
- Friuli Food & Wine: Frasca Cooking from Northern Italy’s Mountains, Vineyards, and Seaside
- Preserving Italy: Canning, Curing, Infusing, and Bottling Italian Flavors and Traditions
- Mastering Pasta: The Art and Practice of Handmade Pasta, Gnocchi, and Risotto
- Naples at Table: Cooking in Campania
- Bitter Honey: Recipes and Stories from Sardinia
- Two Kitchens: 120 Family Recipes from Sicily and Rome
- Tortellini at Midnight And Other Heirloom Family Recipes from Taranto to Turin
- Honey from a Weed: Feasting and Fasting in Tuscany, Catalonia, the Cyclades and Apulia
- Italian Liqueurs
- Cooking By Hand: A Cookbook
- La Grotta Ices: Ice Creams and Sorbets
You can also gift signed copies of my cookbooks, available here. There’s merch, too, like Food of the Italian South market totes and notecards and anchovy onesies!
Italian Pantry Items, Pandoro, and Panettone
Gift a curated gift box or build your own brimming with pasta, extra-virgin olive oil, Italian sweets, and more from these businesses specializing in fine Italian (and Italy-inspired) foods:
- Gustiamo (check out the “KP Italian South Box!”)
- Bread & Salt
- Semolina Artisans
- Di Bruno Brothers
- Pastaio Via Corta
Pasta Tools and Kitchen Implements
I love gifting Sardinian pasta and pastry cutters from Etsy, a huge array of kitchen tools, especially for pasta, from Antica Aguzzeria del Cavallo and hand crafted knives by Rocco Petrunti in Frosolone, Molise. I dream of being gifted a custom knife roll from master leather worker Federico Polidori.
Buone feste e arrivederci 2020!