It’s been a long, difficult year, but the holidays are now upon us, and sending thoughtful gifts to loved ones should make the winter days a little brighter. Here, Eater Seattle has curated a selection of items that have local connections, with many available for nationwide shipping. From packaged curries and African coffee roasts to hot sauce subscriptions and sake flights, there should be something for everyone on your list, purchased without having to leave the couch.
Frelard Tamales Gift Set
Throughout the pandemic, the farmers market staple-turned-restaurant Frelard Tamales has been proactive in supporting the community, giving free food for those in need and partnering with local businesses. Its holiday collaboration features soaps, candles, tamales (of course), a selection of pies from Baked from the Hart, and teas from geek favorite Friday Afternoon, along with a special surprise in each package.
Rainier Mountain Fresh Gin
A Pacific Northwest beer icon has gotten into the hard stuff. Earlier this fall, Rainier announced its own “mountain fresh” gin line, infused with huckleberry, juniper, and spruce flavors. And for those who are into the retro beer-to-liquor shift, Olympia started distilling vodka in Tumwater, Washington, using the same artesian well water that once made its brand so famous. Both are available in stores around the region.
Buy: Drizly ($33.99)
Milk, Spice, and Curry Leaves
“There is an art to Sri Lankan cooking,” Mercer Island resident Ruwanmali Samarakoon-Amunugama writes in her new cookbook, which includes many wonderful dishes she learned from her family and travels to the island country. From coconut roti to bitter gourd salad to beetroot curry, the artful recipes should delight all enterprising home cooks looking for fresh projects to get them through the winter. And shoppers should continue to peruse virtually at local cookbook specialist Book Larder for more great titles.
Buy: Book Larder ($30)
Savor Seattle’s Sweet Treats Box
Pike Place culinary tour company Savor Seattle has a holiday dessert box available, featuring treats such as cinnamon orange and nutcracker brittle bars from Theo Chocolate, Fluer de Sel caramels from Jonboy, vanilla bean popcorn from Toffee O!, and milk chocolate honey pecans from Chukar Cherries. It’s a good crowd-pleaser for out-of-town loved ones who may not be able to visit for a while.
Tote from Hood Famous Cafe and Bar
The International District’s popular Filipinx cafe has some cool merch in its online store, including this lightweight 14-inch cotton tote with the Tagalog word for “Thank you” emblazoned on the front. Those who want to add some stocking stuffers can choose from coffee cups, sticker sheets, enamel “Did you eat yet?” pins, and bags of medium-bodied Philippines Kalsada blend coffee roasted by Fulcrum.
Buy: Hood Famous ($25)
Cooking Classes at The Pantry
The wildly popular Ballard culinary teaching space has gone online with its cooking classes, which means anyone can have access from all over the country. Some of the December options feature instructions on latkes, Afghani dumplings, British bar food, and holiday cookies for kids (a January lineup should be announced in early December). The cost is per screen, so a whole household can join if one is gifting to a family, and there are ingredient kits available as add-ons. Classes fill up quickly, so best to jump on them now.
Famed Seattle deli Salumi underwent an ownership change and overhaul in recent years, and now has a line of packaged cured salami under its Coro brand. The flavors range from lemongrass to cracked black pepper with fennel and curry to an enticing blend of cardamom, orange peel, and red chili flakes, all great for light snacking or putting together one’s own charcuterie board at home. The meats come in a colorful package, and are available with three-day shipping.
Buy: Coro ($50)
Phocific Northwest Tee
International District design shop Drag and Drop is selling cotton t-shirts for pho lovers in forest green, army green, black, and orange. The logos and tees were part of a branding project for neighborhood client Pho Bac Sup Shop — fans may recognize the same lettering on takeout containers and a neon sign inside the restaurant.
JuneBaby’s Cornbread Mix
Made with Oregon red flint cornmeal, award-winning chef Edouardo Jordan’s cornbread makes a delightful dish for any occasion. And this kit comes with all the ingredients needed to bake it at home, including local-sourced wheat, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk powder. The mix comes in either a pint or quart, and the easy-to-follow cooking instructions are online.
Buy: JuneBaby ($10)
Hannyatou Sake Flights
Chef Mutsuko Soma’s Fremont bar, located next to her Japanese soba restaurant Kamonegi, is a sake wonderland. All the bottles are carefully curated, and the staff are happy to help customers sort through them all. But there’s also the option to purchase a sake flight as a gift, which includes three mini bottles for two people: the delicate “Drunken Whale” junmai from Suigei, Joto’s fruity and floral “Blue One” junmai nigori, and the complex notes of Kokuryu’s “Black Dragon.”
Buy: Hannyatou ($26)
Boon Boona Coffee
This Renton-based roaster highlights beans from farms in Ethiopia, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, and other African nations, with a focus on supporting woman-owned growers. Monthly subscriptions are available, featuring excellent options such as Owemba from Western Uganda, a medium-bodied roast with dark chocolate and dried fruit flavors.
Mark Thai Food Box Curry Sampler
Mark Pinkaow (chef-owner of Wann Yen and Thai Curry Simple) has a retail operation selling grab-and-go items, plus some precooked sauces. One particularly versatile gift package features six curries (red, green, panang, khao soi, kru kling, and massaman), with a wide range of spice levels. Each package can feed a family of four, takes only 8-10 minutes to cook, and are vegan and gluten free.
Deep Sea Sugar and Salt Hoodie
Georgetown’s dessert destination is known for its decadent cakes, but it’s got some style in addition to substance, too. On the merch side, there’s a cozy pullover hoodie with the shop’s logo on the back, evoking geometric modern art vibes and a motto to live by. There are also convenient thumbholes and a spot for headphone cords.
Addo Hot Sauce
There are plenty of cool pantry items to choose from at chef Eric Rivera’s hybrid restaurant, larder, and culinary lab in Ballard. While his collection of spices are perennial favorites, there are also a handful of sought-after hot sauces, including one called Pearl Jam, made with smoked habanero, pickled garlic, distilled vinegar, sazón, and pear jam that has some serious kick, with sweet and sour notes as well. Subscriptions are available, which features three other sauces: a plum fresno chili, pear miso, and apple jam.
Buy: Addo ($20 each)
Custom Macarons at Macadons
White Center’s small confectionery offers an array of colorful macarons, featuring Asian flavors such as taro and durian, as well as cereal-based ones (Fruity Pebbles). But there’s also an option to customize these treats with festive decorations or, say, the faces of your beloved pet. The shop suggests that requests be placed 1-2 weeks prior to pickup date.