Because really, who's got friends that fit squarely into either category?
For the Feisty Fireball:
- You know the one. She carries Sriracha Sauce in her purse. Deck her out in all her glory with a Hawt Pink Gold Polka Dotted Hostess Apron from DII ($18.94).
- Customize a basket or box of Tien Tsin Chili Peppers, Crushed Pakistani Red Pepper, and Vindaloo Seasoning from Penzys Spices (or, go with the Some Like It Hot Gift Box, $39.99)
- Even firebrands need a little something to spread on toast--Beth's Farm Kitchen offers a tangy-sour-sweet Mighty Hot Pepper Jelly ($8) that's a welcome kick in the pants for buttered toast and poached eggs. (Or make it a savory/hot trio with Habanero Jelly and Garlic-Rosemary Jelly.)
For the Hardware Harda*s:
- Busting out the Cuisinart isn't always the answer: For those who want a little more control and rhythm with their mincing ways, how about a double-handled Wüsthof Mezzaluna (7-inch, $67.95). [As bada*s as the double-bladed ones look, I'm not certain how you'd go about cleaning it without hurting yourself.]
- Big-Eyed Curvy Bombshell let me in on a dirty secret to quicker prep: Microplane Graters ($12.99) for fast-planed garlic, feather-light curls of hard cheese, easy citrus zesting and grating whole nutmeg. They're wicked-sharp, last forever and now come with soft-touch handles in a fancypants array of colors.
- Safety first! With any large-prep project, I always fear for my knuckles when peeling and grating. Peel with impunity with the Victorinox steel-wrapped safety glove ($24.09).
For the Funk-Friendly:
The fabulous Matt Armendariz brings up an excellent point; sometimes it's hard to get excited about food specialty items. Enter Matt's latest obsession, Colatura, AKA Italian fish sauce, AKA the modern form of Roman Garum, AKA liquid gold for jaded foodie friends down with fermented fishies.
Next up: What to get boozehounds and bookworms.
Gift guides of Holidays Past: