It’s three days until Christmas. Are you starving for stocking stuffers for your favorite foodie?

Here’s a few last-minute ideas for food-related gifts that are sure to please, and if you do it right, most of them won’t look like you waited until Rudolph was already in the air to buy them.

The best thing is, you won’t have to pay outrageous “I forgot about Christmas” shipping charges. All of these products are readily available around town.


There’s a new food magazine on the shelves, so new that chances are your foodie hasn’t seen it yet.

Northeast Flavor, which is being published four times a year out of Kittery Point, debuted in November. The first issue featured, among other things, an interview with Mario Batali, an article on how to host a holiday dessert party, and a guide to dining in Portland.

“The Cabin Fever Issue,” coming in February, will have a piece that looks at Emeril’s New England roots, which means Maine will make another appearance since Emeril worked here early in his career.

Buy a single copy for $5.95, wrap it up nice, and include a note that you’ve purchased a one-year subscription (just $12). To subscribe, go to or call (603) 224-2468.


This was a great year for Maine cookbooks and books about Maine food.d

Chef Melissa Kelly, James Beard award winner and owner of Primo in Rockland, revised Marjorie Standish’s classic “Cooking Downeast,” and food historian Sandra Oliver updated “Good Maine Food” by Marjorie Mosser.

Food writer Michael Sanders and food photographer Russell French profiled Maine chefs and their restaurants in “Fresh from Maine.”

Then there were the fun looks at Mainers’ obsessions with whoopie pies (“Making Whoopies: The Official Whoopie Pie Book” by Nancy Griffin) and the state’s favorite lobster shack (“Red’s Eats: World’s Best Lobster Shack” by Virginia Wright and Debbie Gagnon Cronk).


When in doubt, go to your favorite local kitchen store and ask what’s flying off the shelves. If other people like a product that much, chances are your foodie will too.

Jane St. Pierre, co-owner of the Kitchen & Cork in Scarborough, says that every year a couple of items are huge hits. One is the muffin top pan.

“Huge. Huge,” she said. “That sort of started on Seinfeld, that crazy show.”

Another extremely popular item is the brownie pan that gives every brownie those crusty edges. Popover pans are popular this time of year, too, and can be paired with some Stonewall Kitchen popover mix.

Those little silicon poach pods for people who like poached eggs have been out for about three years now, but are still big sellers.

Novelty aprons are making a comeback, St. Pierre said: “Women are getting back into aprons again.”

Suzie Rephan of LeRoux Kitchen in Portland finds it “sort of odd” how many sets of kitchen scissors she’s been selling.

“They’re just these little kitchen shears, but I keep having customers coming up with two and three and four of them at a time,” she said. “It’s unbelievable.”

I’m not surprised. My mother bought me some of these a few years ago, and it’s absolutely amazing the uses you can find for them — not all of them in the kitchen.

Another item flying out the door is Sassy Bitch wine, which comes in both a chardonnay and a cabernet.

“This last weekend we sold a gazillion and one bottles of it,” Rephan said. “I don’t know that they’ve necessarily tasted the wine, but they sure like the name of it.”

Soda Stream devices to make homemade soda are also strong. Microplane graters and wine aerators are perennial favorites.

One of the store’s biggest sellers is its flavored vinegars and olive oils. This year the store has put them in gift packs of four. For $29.99 you can get a pack of olive oils from around the world, which includes oils from California, Spain, Greece and Chile. For $34.99, you can get a pack that contains 18-year balsamic, 12-year white basalmic, tuscan herb olive oil and lemon olive oil.

The store has a tasting area where you can try all of these products for yourself before you buy.


People are eating out less because of the recession, so why not treat your foodie to a gift certificate from his or her favorite restaurant — or one of the new restaurants in town?

District, the new venture of Pete Sueltenfuss (formerly a cook at Fore Street), opened about a month ago at 45 Danforth St., and Sueltenfuss tells me he is offering gift certificates for the holidays.

El Rayo has gift cards. Back Bay Grill has gift certificates in denominations from $25 to $250.

Is your foodie a fan of The Rooms? The Front Room, The Corner Room and The Grill Room all sell gift cards.

In addition to its usual gift certificates, T-shirts, hats and chef coats, Five Fifty-Five is offering for sale this holiday season peppermint patties, cocoa nib toffee, cranberry-sage and nutmeg pecan truffles, individually wrapped caramels, fig bars, and spicy-hot cocoa mix.


Staff Writer Meredith Goad can be contacted at 791-6332 or at:

[email protected]