For the gastronomically obsessive in your life who needs a little something more than fruitcake, a popcorn tin or a restaurant-chain gift certificate, here are some spots for next-level culinary gifts.
Edelweiss Sausage & Delicatessen
3119 SE 12th Ave., 238-4411, edelweissdeli.com.
No one is especially friendly at this German market and they don't have to be. The staff often forgoes niceties to keep things moving at the deli case and get you your 20-plus-to-choose-from housemade sausages, assortment of liverwursts, Lyoner, speck and much more. The German customers can be brusque as well, but who cares? You just bought the foodie in your life a mini-keg of German beer and a gold-plated, limited-edition stein to pour it into. Or perhaps you got them tubes of imported creamed smoked roe (no, that's not toothpaste), Bavarian mustards and pickles, and European chocolates. After you give them any of these gifts, your friend at least will be nice to you.
Buy this: Non-pornographic sausage sampler ($6.25-$6.75 per pound). Choose from weisswurst, Hungarian bratwurst, blood sausage, beer sausage and others.
207 SE Clay St., 233-7450, rosesequipment.com.
Don't worry when they ask you the name of your business while you're checking out with your new tongs, chinoise and ramekins. You don't have to be in food service to shop at this new/used restaurant equipment shop in Produce Row with plenty of loot for the home cook. There are many ways to say "I love you" to the foodie in your life at Rose's: single-spindle drink mixers (hello, boozy milkshakes), large aluminum rolling pins, curved-handle tasting spoons, shakers, jiggers, juicers and muddlers. And most of what you purchase can really take a beating, since it's geared toward the professional cook.
1. Buy this: Carbon-steel, 18.5-inch paella pan ($27).
Barbur World Foods
9845 SW Barbur Blvd., 244-0670, barburworldfoods.com.
The pickle, olive and condiment aisle at this Middle Eastern and European family-run grocery store is impressive, and so are the halva, feta, olive oil and imported beer selections. There's a large walk-in in the back with all sorts of tasty brews with plenty of hard-to-find imports. You can get your staple shopping done here—produce, meat, dairy, etc.—while picking up culinary gems for your food-obsessed friends who, it's safe to say, could or should be into time-intensive things like making their own stuffed grape leaves and homemade Turkish delights, as well as wood-firing Lebanese pizzas.
Buy this: Turkish coffeepot ($6.99-$12.99) and canister of Turkish coffee ($9.49).
Powell's Books for Home and Garden
3747 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 228-4651, powells.com.
Buying a cookbook for someone you love should not be avoided, as gifting clothing, perfume and pets should be generally—at least early on in a relationship. Go boldly into the world of culinary tomes and get some good ones. The cookbook selection at this Powell's outpost is large and well thought out, with sections for pickling, soda making, Moroccan cuisine and even DIY sausage. Added bonus: head next door to Pastaworks and purchase some of the ingredients featured in whatever cookbook you decide to gift.
2. Buy this: The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz ($39.95). Then go to Portland Homestead Supply Co. and buy a stoneware crock to go with it.
Portland Homestead Supply Co.
8012 SE 13th Ave., 233-8691, homesteadsupplyco.com.
Gifting a loved one a pygmy goat is probably not a good idea. Gifting them a cider press, however, definitely is (if they love cider, of course). And this Sellwood DIY central shop carries several different types of them as well as bulk grains and grinders, chickens, ducks, goats and top-of-the-line German Gairtopf fermenting crocks. For the food-obsessed doers and makers in your life, you'll have a lot to choose from.
3. Buy this: Fermentation crock ($24-$260) to go with The Art of Fermentation book.
4500 SE Stark St., 232-8538, belmont-station.com.
Ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall doesn't even come close to what's on offer at this Portland institution and bottle shop, with 1,000-plus national and imported beers to choose from, along with hard cider, mead, sake and wine. There are all sorts of gift items to go with your adult beverage purchases, like steins, glassware (different styles of glasses to pour your brew into), wall-mounted bottle openers and even hops-flavored candies. That last one should appease any of the budding beer enthusiasts who happen to still be teething.
Buy this: Two 2-liter Warsteiner branded German beer Stiefels (glass shaped like a boot), with a 5-liter mini-keg of Warsteiner to fill them ($79.97).