As a family of foodies we often gift each other with gourmet foods. These tend to be foods that the person would not buy for themselves but not always. When we wed almost 35 years ago, my husband's parents still had kids at home. They started a Christmas tradition of giving a chocolate initial to each family member along with an institutional sized container of their favourite food (eg. dill pickles, mayonnaise, ketchup). We continued with the large sized containers of food but one of our kid's and spouse took over getting the chocolate initials. The good news is no one picked up on giving a live piglet in a dog carrier so that was a one year only foodie gift. Our BIL was ecstatic with the piglet for starting his dream of becoming a pig farmer. Two more piglets joined the lone one because not knowing anything about pigs, they need other pigs for the heat to stay warm in the winter. But I digress. Onto my foodie gifts...
There were four items in the gift bag. The tall box contained Olearia San Giorgio extra virgin, cold extracted olive oil made in Italy. This light fruit flavoured olive oil won the Sial Calad Olive D'or 2011 gold medal as well as International Recognition Olio Award 2010 in Hamburg, Germany. I can't wait to savour this olive oil! The taller jar contained Corte Donda Giardiniera made in Italy. Giardiniera is a mixture of preserved vegetables with this one being French beans, pepper, fennel, onions, cabbage, celery, carrots, sunflower oil and vinegar. The larger squatty jar to the front contained Mint & Pistachio Pesto from Bella Cucina Artful Food of Atlanta, Georgia. This pesto is a winner of the Outstanding Product Line in the International Fancy Food Show. I grow a lot of mint so this will be a product I will try to duplicate. The smallest jar was Essence of Niagara White Ice Jelly produced by the Niagara Vinegar Co. The Niagara region of Ontario is one of our favourite areas. It is home to many ward winning wineries. Actually the entire region from the Niagara spanning west along the Talbot Trail (Highway 3) close to the banks of Lake Erie to almost Windsor is a mecca for small wineries, produce stands, mushroom farms and so much more. It is a beautiful drive! We always come home laden with a multitude of foodie finds. Ice wine is made from grapes that are allowed to freeze on the vine then picked at the coldest moment of a Canadian winter's night. Each frozen grape only produces a drop of icewine which explains why icewine is so expensive. Icewine is one of the very few wines my husband will drink.
We use a lot of olive oil in our heart healthy recipes. I will be using the olive oil as a dip for homemade breads, in pesto and in homemade salad dressings. The pesto will be used in a sauce as well as a spread, possibly for dipping breads as well. The icewine jelly will be used as a glaze for brie of which I forgot to mention the package of Castello Rosenborg Brie (made in Denmark) for this purpose. The giardiniera will be used as a condiment similar to pickles. Thanks so much to the gift givers. You know who you are. These wonderful foodie gifts are very much appreciated! I can't wait to visit Pusateri's the next time we are in the GTA!
[Disclosure: I am part of the Life Made Delicious Connector program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.]