AfterEllen.com’s Gift Guide for the Gay Woman 2012

The Fond-Of You Foodie

Does your friend, girlfriend, crush or undefined lady in your life know the difference between pate, terrine and galantine? Does she look down upon her nose at people who do not? If you said “yes” to the latter, read no further, because your friend is not only a food lover, she is a food snob, and food snobs are douchebags and do not deserve gifts.

This post is for pure food lovers. People who will go to any lengths to eat as many different things as possible β€” as long as it tastes yummy. People who shriek at the Food Channel like 15-year-old girls at Justin Bieber. People who have street food fairs saved in their calendars months ahead of time. People who ask themselves, “What does the color magenta taste like?” Great eats can come at any price, any place β€” including your own kitchen. Because if a foodie cannot get what she wants, she’ll just make it herself.

1. Exotic spicesPerhaps you do not live in a town where exotic spices are available. Never fear. New Yorkers rely on Kalustyan’s specialty food store to get the most obscure and hard to find spices. If Kalustyan’s doesn’t have it, no one does. Let that sink in. Yep, that is approximately 1,500 different spices and herbs – and you can order them online. Oh and 43 different types of mustards, 113 types of honey, 46 different types of olives, 225 different cooking oils – need I go on? If your culinary choices in your town are limited, start at Kalustyan’s online store, and bring all the tastes in the world right into your home. ($5.99+)

2. Chefbian cookbooks. Can’t make it out to NYC to try Anita Lo‘s foie gras soup dumplings? Don’t worry, the recipe is in her cookbook Cooking without Borders, which was released last year. Out chef Cat Cora has a few cookbooks, and you check out the selection on her official site. ($20)

3. Bacon and chocolate. Now let’s talk about bacon, which is the greatest thing ever invented besides the snooze button. Do you know what goes well with bacon? Everything. Even chocolate. Yes, chocolate. Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it. It is the perfect mix of savory and sweet, with a smoky kick. Chicago based Vosges Chocolates has a section dedicated to the delectable union of bacon and chocolate. Bacon truffles, bacon chocolate bars, bacon caramels. It’s like heaven in a little purple box. ($8-$180)

4. Mezcal. A meal is never complete without libations. Heather has you covered with her beer lovers’ list, and well, everyone knows to pair food and wine. How about something a little off the beaten path? Enter mezcal. Not too long ago, mezcal was known as the ugly stepsister of tequila. Recently, though, artisanal distillers of mezcal have cropped up, refining the process to deliver an exquisitely smooth and smoky spirit. One of these producers is Ilegal Mezcal, which crafts three varieties: Joven, Reposado, and Anejo. This spirit is not meant to be shot; it is meant to be sipped and savored. Buy it online here. Also, bonus! Ilegal Mezcal is a gay-friendly company that designed these “I’d Rather Kiss a Chick Than Eat Your Chicken” T-shirts and tanks to protest Chick-Fil-A’s homo hatin’. All proceeds from Ilegal’s T-shirt sales go to GLAAD. ($46)

5. A culinary tour. Let’s say you live in a city with a good amount of dining choices. Why not treat your girl to a culinary tour? XPerience Days has a list of food tours, and you can sort by state, metro, and price. If price doesn’t matter, why not take her to a food tour of Italy, France, or Southeast Asia? And if you are in the New York City metro region, how about a food tour sampling the culinary delights created by out lesbian chefs? Your itinerary: Yo In Yo Out by Chopped’s Yoanne Magris, Annisa by Anita Lo, and The Flatiron Room, which just had its soft opening, headed by executive chef Susan Burdian. And don’t forget Amanda Dunn and Kim Stolz‘s trendy new bar/restaurant The Dalloway. ($69-$160)

β€” Grace Chu

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