Shortly after starting this blog in August of last year, I discovered so-called food blogging events. Assignments of sorts hosted by a particular blogger on a particular theme.
When I came across Food Destinations, an event created by Maki of I was just really very hungry, I decided to be brave and participate in my first food blogging event (Food Destinations #2). I loved the concept, perhaps because I love to travel and learn about other places. So following that experience, I thought, why not host one? I was scheduled to host in January or February but the busy holiday season left Maki in search of a host who had time. That wasn’t necessarily me, but I went for it anyways and tried to choose a theme tied to the holidays and gift giving.
Here I present the round-up and winner of: My Favorite Gourmet Shopping Spot.
IB, over at Gluten-Free by the Bay, tells us about Charles Chocolates, a chocolate factory in Oakland, California, that, he writes, “makes some of the finest chocolate I’ve ever had. Decadent chocolates. Expensive chocolates.” Perfect for gifts, maybe too expensive for daily consumption but definitely yummy-sounding. Although the store doesn’t have a dedicated gluten-free facility, IB writes that all of their products are gluten-free except for the Milk Chocolate Caramelized Rice Krispie Bar.
Isis, in Aix les Bains, France, tells us in her blog Yambalaya and Other Recipes, about not one but two favorite gourmet gift shopping spots — although she confesses she really has three. One of them is also a chocolate shop — a home-made chocolate shop no less. Isis doesn’t like chocolate but she loves buying gifts at this shop: “For me the pleasure is in buying the chocolates and than seeing the expression of sheer satisfaction on the faces of my beloved ones when they try this chocolate.” Her other favorite spot, a kitchen equipment shop called Rochet Revol, is filled with “new gadgets, new ‘must-haves’ and ‘want-to-haves.'”
And continuing with kitchen equipment shops, Barbie of barbie2be in San Jose, California, tells us about Cooking Etc., a locally-owned kitchenware store with friendly owners. The store “features just about every cooking implement I have ever seen on the Food Network and some I haven’t,” writes Barbie. If you visit the store, make sure to say hi to owners Dean and Sarah.
Now if you’re looking for a very high-end gift, and you happen to be in Switzerland, stop by Schweizer Heimatwerk, or Heimatwerk for short, which Maki of I was just really very hungry, tells about in her entry. The store sells Swiss handcrafts made by contemporary, local artists. Although the store’s products are not all cooking- or kitchen-related, judging from the pictures, the items that are would make wonderful gifts. That salt and pepper shaker set looks beautiful!
In my experience, foodies are just as content receiving kitchenware as they are receiving a good-quality sauce or food product. Sylee, an American living in Berlin, tells us about the food hall at Kaufhaus des Westens, or KaDeWe, in her blog Berlin Reifeid. Now, this sounds like a food-lover’s dream. One-hundred-sixty-three types of vinegar!!!! Yes, Sylee counted. If I spend hours at the supermarket, it would probably take me a day or two to navigate through this place.
Stuart of stuartblog2 likes to shop at Miles Farmers Market in Cleveland, Ohio, where he first went in search of Zingerman’s gelato. “Miles Farmers Market is not a gourmet shop,” writes Stuart. “It’s a grocery store but it seems to be the area’s go-to spot for exotic or premium foods.” Another place with a seemingly impressive breadth of food products that would make any foodie happy. You can also take Stuart’s suggestion and give your friends or family a gift card so they can go explore the store themselves.
Rachel, in Tampa, Florida, takes us back to her childhood in her blog rachel’s bite, where she wrote about Bari Foods, a gourmet store in Chicago where her family shopped for delicious Italian food treats since she was young. You can find Italian imports you can’t find anywhere else, writes Rachel. The store also sells high-quality meats — they are an original butcher shop, writes Rachel, not the kind at your local supermarket. If visiting Chicago, perhaps stop by to pick up a sandwich at their deli, but expect a wait during lunch time.
And last but not least, Chelsea of Tres Bon Vivant in Denver, Colorado, takes us to a spice shop in her city: Savory Spice Shop. “I have been known to invent errands that take me to their street, simply to have an excuse to stop in,” she confesses. Who wouldn’t? The scents of cinnammon, peppers and the other spices Chelsea mentions in her post would probably draw anyone into the store and I’m sure any cooking enthusiast would be pleased to receive high-quality spices. Visit one of these shops and you might end up throwing out your grocery-store-bought spices like Chelsea did.
And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for: the award goes to…
It was tough to choose, as I’m sure those of you who’ve hosted one of these events knows. I really enjoyed reading every single entry and they all had their merits, but after narrowing it down and consulting with my co-judge, I had to choose the KaDeWe entry by Seely of Berlin Reifeid. Even though she couldn’t take many pictures of the place because the store prohibits them, she did a magnificent job describing with words the suprises you’ll find in this store. Sylee’s entry was a real pleasure to read and kudos to her for counting how many vinegars they carry.
Congratulations Seely! Look out for a package with Diane Jacobs’s Will Write for Food:The Complete Guide to Writing Cookbooks, Restaurant Reviews, Articles, Memoir, Fiction and More in the mail soon.
And a special thanks goes to…
Everyone who participated in this, my first try at hosting a food-blogging event.
Make sure to visit Maki’s Food Destinations Central for past round-ups, future themes and more!
[tags] fd4, food destinations, food blogging events, gourmet shops [/tags]