Also available for the giving are, from top left, a sapodilla treeling, Alan Wong's truffles; Indigo chef Glenn Chu's "Heaven and Earth" Sweet-Sour Tangerine Sauce; the Paradise Spice Co.'s blue palaka-topped Spicy Plum Vinaigrette; Mascotte Gourmet Foods' Delightfully Pickled Mushroom Caps; Fusion's Verjus food enhancer; on the plate are two sapodillas and White Fudge with 'Ohelo Berries and Macadamia Nuts; Paradise Spice Co.'s red palaka-topped steak sauce and 'Ohelo Berry Maui Onion Relish; Premium California Wine Vinegar; Paradise Spice Co.'s red ribbon-topped Waimea Strawberry Jam; Kanemitsu Bakery's Original Famous Molokai Sweet Bread Mix; and Island Style Wok-Charred Ahi Spice from the Paradise Spice Co.
A foodie, of course, is someone who savors every culinary experience. Foodies live and breathe food, reveling in thinking, as well as tasting new foods. Oh, and a key word is "tasting." Foodies take time to savor each bit, never chomping or gulping foods down.
Remember, two days remain until the Dec. 20 deadline to mail packages to neighbor islands and the mainland. One would receive on the 13 Days of a Foodie's Christmas:
A partridge in a sapodilla tree. A partridge would savor the sapodilla, a very sweet pearlike fruit with hints of brown sugar and cinnamon. Fruit-laden this month, the sapodilla tree comes from the southerly Americas and is popular in the Philippines.
A sapodilla search at Frankie's Nursery is a fascinating shopping adventure. Roam through acres of tropical and subtropical fruit trees while proprietor Frank Sekiya offers an encyclopedic array of knowledge. Sapodilla treelings cost $20 for a gallon size, $35 for a two-gallon size at the Waimanalo nursery. Call first, 259-8737.
Two pounds of snow pea sprouts. Snow pea sprouts hit the retail market yesterday and people's reaction is: Why didn't anyone think of it before? Dean Okimoto of Nalo Farms grows the flavorful, crunchy sprouts in the shadow of the Koolau mountains.
Add them to salads. Master sommelier Chuck Furuya stir-fries garlic, onion, shrimp, baby bok choy and fresh mushrooms in peanut oil; then adds the sprouts, soy sauce and, at the last minute, grated fresh ginger. Available at R. Field Wine Company (596-9463) for $6.82 per pound and at Nalo Farms (259-7698).
Three bottles of Verjus. Try a subtle culinary experience suited for discriminating tastebuds. Verjus is the unfermented juice of young grapes picked at the "Verasion" stage, when they're starting to turn color and develop flavor.
This natural flavor enhancer is similar to lemon but not as sharp, and it introduces an interesting grapiness that makes stir-fries and salad dressings more easily complemented by wines. Verjus made by Fusion of Rutherford, Calif., costs about $18 at R. Field Wine Co.
Four foie gras. Duck livers may be one of the season's richest, priciest taste experiences. Cut the large, yellowish lobes into medium-thin slices and saute in cognac or sweet sauterne - in a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet, just until the livers turn color.
The price tag for 1-1/2 to 2-pound packages is $43.50 a pound for Hudson Valley foie gras at Strawberry Connection, and $49.99 for Sonoma Muscovy duck foie gras at R. Field Wine Co.
Five pounds of Alan Wong's Truffles. Enter chocoholic heaven with truffles created by pastry chef Mark Okumura of Alan Wong's Restaurant. Flavors are lemongrass, chile pepper, coconut, ginger, Ka'u orange, Kona espresso, lilikoi, macadamia nut, pineapple, Waimanalo mint and pure chocolate - with a couverture (covering) of Hawaiian Vintage Chocolate, considered by foodies to be the world's finest.
Don't fear the chile pepper truffles. They feature a sultry, dark chocolate ganache at the start, followed by sensational tiny explosions of hotness. All are $1.25 apiece, or $20 for a box of 16, at Liberty House; 941-2345.
Snow pea sprouts top a basket filled with, clockwise,
Valerie Puanani's Exotic Ginger Miso Dressing,
Chinoiserie Hoi Sin French Raspberry Dressing
and two jars of Copper River Wild's
Smoked Alaska Sockeye Salmon.
Flavors include Tangerine Sweet and Sour, Black Bean Chile, Dragon Fire Hot, Ginger Mint, and Raspberry Hoisin, at $6.50 to $12.25 per 8.5-ounce bottle. At A Compleat Kitchen, Island Provision Co. at Vagabond House, Ward Centre (593-0288), and Strawberry Connection.
Seven bottles of Wok-Charred Ahi Spice and other Paradise Spice Co. flavorings. Respected Hawaii Regional Cuisine chef Amy Ferguson-Ota unveils her Paradise Spice Co. line, featuring Island-Style Wok-Charred Ahi Spice made with sea salt, ginger, lemongrass, cilantro, black sesame seeds and sweet chile peppers. The powder for fish and scallops also comes in original or Cajun-style at $5 for 3.5 ounces.
Ferguson-Ota's brand new line also offers Spicy Plum Vinaigrette made with plum sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, fish sauce and anchovy - appropriate for somen noodles and roast duck; Sweet Maui Onion and 'Ohelo Berry Relish, a condiment for roast turkey and grilled or smoked meats; Paniolo Steak Sauce made with ancho and chipotle chiles, fresh tomatoes and achiote seeds; $8 and $9 now only at Cook's Discoveries, Waimea; order at (808) 885-3633.
Eight fresh mushroom baskets. Mushrooms Hawaii, Inc. designs baskets ranging in price from $25 to $150. Arrays can include fresh exquisites such as enoki, $2.75 for a 3.5-ounce package; hedgehogs; oysters, $6.50 a pound; portobellos, $10; shiitake, $6.50; and hon-shimeiji, $3.50 for a 3.5-ounce package.
Fresh- and/or dried-mushroom arrangements also include flavored vinegars and salts, infused oils, pastas, mushroom cookbooks, utensils and mushroom teas. Order at 526-3400.
Also, design your own fresh mushroom baskets at Strawberry Connection.
Nine pounds of Gittard chocolate-coated, crystallized Big Island ginger. Combine one of America's finest chocolates with the world's finest ginger and voila! Golden Glow crystallized ginger morsels dipped in Gittard chocolate. The Golden Glow company is out of Hilo. A half-pound box is $14 at Cook's Discoveries, Waimea; order at (808) 885-3633.
10 pounds of 'Ohelo Berry Macadamia Nut White Fudge. Here's a yule treasure for sweet tooths that won't stop: Chef Amy Ferguson-Ota's new Paradise Spice Co. creates unique island-style confections, such as dried 'ohelo-berry macadamia-nut white fudge; $14 for an 8-ounce bar.
Other treasures include bittersweet-chocolate macadamia-nut fudge, and Kona coffee bittersweet-chocolate fudge. They're available at Cook's Discoveries, Waimea; order at (808) 885-3633.
11 bottles of Chinoiserie Hoisin French Raspberry Dressing. Caterer Valerie Puanani Pursel offers a double whammy of Chinoiserie Hoisin French Raspberry Dressing, and Exotic Ginger Miso Dressing for dipping spring rolls, dressing greens and marinating, sauteing, basting and roasting meats and vegetables. Available in hot chile-flavored versions only at It's Chili in Hawaii, 2080 S. King St., 945-7070; a 12-ounce bottle is about $5.
Also at A Cup of Joe, Broke the Mouth, Gourmet Express, Island Provision Co. at Vagabond House, Island Treasures, Kokua Market, Martin & MacArthur, and Pat's Island Delights.
12 bottles of Bardolino Novello. Beaujolais nouveau has cachet but demand has indeed been brisk for the French wine. So give Bardolino Novello, its Italian counterpart recommended by sommelier Furuya as a complement to Mediterranean-style foods; about $12 at Longs Manoa.
13 mason jars of Copper River smoked salmon. World-famous Copper River sockeye salmon is commercially processed for the first time ever in mason jars. A 7-ounce jar is $7.59, exclusively at Copper River Wild, Aloha Tower MarketPlace; call 524-2987.