’Tis time for nicely seasoned
greetings and foodstuffs of all sorts. So being the practical, world-conscious
Canadian gal that I am, can I gently remind you of the best gifts of all
— ones that disappear, preferably those that are B.C.-born or
How about a year’s supply of Whistler
Chocolate? Gift certificates, or the real thing, from Howe Sound Brewing? Or a
sack of Across the Creek Russian blue potatoes paired with a couple of
Pemberton Meadows steaks for the pal who has everything. You can offer to cook.
On the other hand, I can’t think of a
soul who wouldn’t welcome rare and exotic already-homemade comestibles, or even
down-to-earth retro ones like a batch of spicy nuts ’n’ bolts mixed up by your
very own hands and baked golden-brown in your very own oven.
Or consider beautiful B.C. wines, a
box of smoked salmon that’s easy to ship to friends in other time zones, fine
hand-made soap from an emu farm in the Okanagan — gifts like these give
double or triple overtime when you count the giftee, who’s delighted to receive
it, the giver, who’s delighted to source it so easily and conscientiously, and
the delighted gift producer, who’s grown, raised or made it and has friends and
family of his or her own to support this Christmas season.
Another usually welcome gift that
produces volumes of pleasure beyond the physical resources it consumes or
tangible space it occupies is a mighty good book. Chances are that once it has
been consumed by the intended recipient it, too, will disappear — into
the hands of another eager reader or, at least, into a second-hand book sale
where its capability to give will keep on giving.
Thankfully, ideas centred around food
and eating, in case you haven’t noticed in this column, segue into just about
every human activity and foible, from politics to pottery-making. Lord knows
you don’t have to be a “foodie” — how I hate the term, sticky as it is
with classism and the swagger of competitive eating — to appreciate a
good book about food. So here are a few offerings, in time for holiday or
In Bad Taste? The Adventures
and Science Behind Food Delicacies
Dr. Massimo Francesco Marcone. Okay, so you’ve caught me
red-handed, but wasn’t that a good set-up for a book bent on demystifying food
brinksmanship? Like, is it worth paying 30 bucks for 50 grams of coffee (
<) made from coffee beans a civet in
Indonesia eats and then poops out?