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Gourmet Buying Guide to Food, Tools, and Cookware

Sometimes finding specialty foods or tools in your local area can be a daunting task. Lucky for us, the internet, along with mail-order, have made gourmet shopping as easy as boiling water. Let me show you some of my favorite places to buy gourmet goodies.
  1. Food Product Reviews (4)
  2. Gourmet Gift Ideas (17)

Best Places to Buy Gourmet Food Online
Looking for the best places to buy gourmet foods? Let me show you my favorite online stores for getting the best specialty foods at the best prices.

Top 12 Places to Buy Edible Gift Baskets
Gourmet gift baskets make a wonderful gift any time of the year but are especially welcome around the holidays. Don't know what to give someone or short on time? Almost everyone loves and appreciates the gift of food. It's hard to go wrong. There are thousands of gift basket companies, a few good ones and a lot of not so good ones. Here are...

Where to Buy the Best Premium Meats - Beef, Pork, and Lamb
Butcher shops are almost nonexistent anymore and we are stuck with limited choices at our local supermarket. The only time we see the butcher is when he comes out of the back to restock the cooler. If you know of a good butcher in your city, make him your friend. If you can't find a real butcher locally, check these online shops for incredible...

Where to Buy the Best Seafood
Finding great seafood can be more difficult than the actual cooking itself. If you live far from the ocean or in a small town, your choices can be very limited. Luckily, with modern shipping and online shopping, high quality seafood is available to everyone. But if you're looking for some great seafood, here are the companies I recommend.

Top 12 Places to Buy Edible Gift Baskets
Gourmet gift baskets make a wonderful gift any time of the year but are especially welcome around the holidays. Don't know what to give someone or short on time? Almost everyone loves and appreciates the gift of food. It's hard to go wrong. There are thousands of gift basket companies, a few good ones and a lot of not so good ones. Here are...

Best Places to Buy Kitchenware Online
Fancy cookware or kitchen tools aren't necessary to cook great food. They can, however, make your life a whole lot easier. Here are five of favorite online stores for kitchenware, in no particular order. So whether you're looking for a chef's knive or a cherry pitter or that whatchamacallit that does that thing, look here first. These shops...

The Best Food of the Month Clubs
Why give a gift just once when you can give someone a gift every month of the year? Some of the most respectable producers of delicious foods out there offer incredible food-of-the-month clubs to fit every taste and budget. From gourmet chocolates to craft coffees to artisan bacon, homemade pies to farmhouse cheese to fresh seafood - there is a perfect food-of-the-month club for you or your favorite foodie. Here is a list of my favorites.

Top 12 Places to Buy Edible Gift Baskets
Gourmet gift baskets make a wonderful gift any time of the year but are especially welcome around the holidays. Don't know what to give someone or short on time? Almost everyone loves and appreciates the gift of food. It's hard to go wrong. There are thousands of gift basket companies, a few good ones and a lot of not so good ones. Here are...

Where to Find the Best Gourmet Chocolates
Chocolate is the voice of passion and love, whether it is the love of chocolate itself or as an expression of love for another human being. Valentine's Day or Saturday, chocolate is the perfect gift for those we care about or just want to impress. Here are some online chocolate shops with some truly extraordinary products.

Fancy Food Show Gold Medal Winners Summer 2013
Here are the Sofi Gold Medal Winners from the 2013 Fancy Food Show. (SOFI stands for Specialty Outstanding Food Innovation but I think these products are just incredibly delicious!) This year’s Gold Award Winners were selected from a record number 2,573 entries across 32 awards categories and were announced at the gala red-carpet awards Ceremony at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City by internationally acclaimed Chef Marcus Samuelsson.

Ten Best Cookbooks to Give or Get
You don't have to love cooking to love cookbooks. Many modern cookbooks have beautiful photography and/or fascinating stories or essays making the recipes almost superfluous. 2008 was an exceptional year for cookbook lovers with incredible releases from an array of culinary greats: Achatz, Blumenthal, Adrià, Ramsay, Ripert, and Thomas Keller. Here is a list of my favorites.

Where to Buy Organic Foods Online
Are you looking for the best places to buy organic foods online? If you don't have a neighborhood natural food store or a grocer that has an organic section, it can be difficult to find some organic food products. Even if you are lucky enough to have a nearby shop, buying online can save you a lot of money not to mention the convenience. Many of the stores listed here also have deals on shipping. Here is a list of some of my favorite internet shops to find organic ingredients for cooking.

Top 10 Long Term Food Storage Companies
Emergency Preparedness (being a Prepper, as it's called) seems to be in fashion these days. You may not believe in a coming zombie apocalypse, pandemic, or government collapse but it's perfectly reasonable to assume you may find yourself a victim of a natural disaster. Disasters can come in many forms: tornadoes, forest fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, blizzards. Any of which may leave you without access to a food source, sometimes for a considerable amount of time.

The Best Chef Knives
Every cook needs a good knife. It's the one thing you can't do without in the kitchen. If you can only have one good knife, a chef's knife is what you want. A chef's knife has a blade between 8- and 10-inches long and is the most suitable for the greatest variety of tasks. A high quality chef's knife will cost you at least a hundred dollars, but if properly taken care of it will last a lifetime.

The Top 5 Ice Cream Brands by Mail Order
Call me sentimental, but there is something amazing about walking into a shop where the ice cream is made by hand. Even the most mundane of flavors seems extraordinary compared to most of the stuff you find in the frozen food section of your local supermarket. Here are some of my favorite ice cream artisans.

Mail Order Gourmet Appetizers - Have Your Party Delivered
When planning a party, especially a large one, using prepared foods can be a huge time saver. Cooking for 5 or 6 people is one thing, but what about cooking for 12 or 20 or 50! Here are some companies that will deliver high quality appetizers right to your door. Just heat and serve.

Gift Ideas for the Outdoor Gourmet Cook
Cooking outdoors, whether on your patio or deep in the woods, can create delicious foods as great as any restaurant kitchen. If you or someone you know loves cooking outside, here are some unique gift ideas that you are sure to love.

What to Bring to the Party - Suggestions for a Gourmet Lover
If you have been invited to dinner or a party, but have not been asked to bring anything, you may still want to consider bringing a gift. The gift of drink or food is almost always appreciated. Even if your gift does not match well with the theme or flavors of the gathering, your small donation is highly unlikely to have any negative impact...

Places to Buy Gourmet Salts
All salts are not created equal! As most cooks know, using sea salt rather than iodized or kosher salt adds more flavor to a dish. Sea salts, however, come in a variety of flavors and colors. Experiment with different salts in your recipes and see what happens. For best results, many of these salts should be sprinkled lastly on a dish like a...

Best Online Wine Shops
A great meal is made even more memorable with a great bottle of wine - a bold Cabernet Sauvignon for that perfectly cooked steak, a great bottle of Shiraz to go with those sweet and spicy barbecued ribs, a beautiful Pinot Noir to enhance an earthy dish of mushroom risotto, a luscious, buttery Chardonnay for that grilled salmon, or a nice...

Where to Buy Fresh Wild Mushrooms
The best place to buy fresh wild mushrooms is locally such as the farmers market or a specialty grocer. When that's not possible, though, here are some online mushroom sellers that provide quality products. Some mushrooms are highly toxic, so whether it's your local vendor at a farmers market or a box store, always be sure of the seller's credentials when buying wild mushrooms. If you're unsure…

5 Vintage Cooking Gifts
Some kitchen tools just can't be improved upon. Many of them designed almost 200 years ago, are just as useful and reliable today as when they were first introduced. Not only fun to use, these items become kitchen essentials and are great for everyday cooking in the kitchen. Well-made out of superior materials, they will generally last a lifetime. Here are my picks for five vintage cooking tools you should make a part of your kitchen toolbox.

Drinking Chocolates
"Drinking Chocolates" are made from real chocolate as opposed to "Hot Cocoa" which is made from cocoa powder (the powdery remains of chocolate liquor after cocoa butter is removed). Drinking chocolates are not instant like hot cocoa. You must add hot milk, cream, or water . Because of the higher cocoa butter content, drinking chocolates will...

Best Places to Buy Gourmet Cheeses Online
Gourmet cheeses are a world apart from the factory produced cheeses found in the chain supermarkets. Gourmet cheeses can be hard to find locally if you don't have a specialty market or cheese shop. Here are some online sources where you're sure to find some fantastic tasting cheeses.

Gourmet Chutney Brands
Chutney is a traditional Indian condiment that is made from fruit, sugar, and spices. It's a wonderfully versatile ingredient to have in the kitchen. Chutneys are good for more than just Indian dishes. Try chutneys as an accompaniment to cheese, as a sauce for meats (especially pork, lamb, and chicken), stirred into rice, as a sandwich spread, or even over ice cream.

How to Shop for Gourmet Food
Shopping for gourmet foods can be very intimidating. Many products have labels in a foreign language and price variations that make no sense to the casual observer. How, then, is a consumer to make any rational buying decision without spending hours of preliminary research? Don't despair. Here are a few easy tips to reduce your stress and...

Where To Buy Wild Game
A few decades ago wild game was a huge part of the average American's diet. As people moved away from the country and into the cities, however, we lost this connection to the land. Consumers relied more and more on factory farms and our meat choices were reduced to beef, pork, chicken, and lamb. Today several companies specialize in game meats and have made these once rare products readily available to consumers.

The Best Cheesemakers of Vermont and their Hand-Crafted Artisan Cheeses
Only recently, in the past 20 years or so, has the craft of American cheesemaking been able to compete with the Europeans. A revolution has occurred with major hotspots for cheese developing in California, Vermont, and elsewhere. The small state of Vermont hosts dozens of artisan cheesemakers. With so many great cheesemakers creating a huge variety of cheeses, it's impossible to say who's the best. This list only reflects some of my favorites.

Gourmet Tableware
Company's coming! Having appropriate tableware: plates, bowls, glasses, flatware, and whatever else adds to the general well-being of the party. Although we could all survive with paper plates and cups, having beautiful dinnerware makes life all the more enjoyable. Here are some places to start looking.

Top 10 Chocolate Bunnies for Easter
What is Easter without a chocolate bunny rabbit? Among a basket of jellybeans, chocolate eggs, and marshmallow chickens, only the chocolate rabbit stands alone. Towering over the other treats, the bunny surveys all he sees and decides he is the most worthy of being eaten. Rightly so, but all bunnies are not created equal. For a truly gourmet...

The Very Best Premium Vanilla Extract Brands and Where to Buy Them
Vanilla is an essential cooking ingredient for which there is no true substitute. The flavor of real vanilla is made up of over 250 organic components, which gives it great depth and complexity, compared to only one flavor component in artificial vanilla. There are three main types of vanilla: Madagascar Bourbon (named after the Bourbon islands not the liquor), Tahitian (fruity),and Mexican (spicy). Here is a list of premium vanilla extracts that I consider to be the very best.

Thanksgiving Survival Guide from Gourmet Food
Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of the year; friends, family, food, cooking, eating, stress, stress, stress. If you are the host of this year's Thanksgiving gathering, you may be experiencing a little anxiety. How am I going to cook all this food? What if nobody likes my food? I need help! Although I can’t help you keep Aunt Martha out of...

Hug Your Local Butcher
The village butcher is a relic of the past, a memory for most Americans. In a country of fast food, online shopping, giant chain-supermarkets and mega-department stores, no one is willing to be inconvenienced by making a separate trip just to buy meat. The number of butcher shops in America is near extinction levels. Butcher shops thrive in other parts of the world, so why not here?

Cyber Monday Deals for Foodies
Some of the best gourmet foods can be found online! Forget the crowds and long checkout lines, do your shopping from the comfort of your own home. I've listed several shops here that are offering great deals online for Cyber Monday (December 2). Whether you are looking for delicious specialty food gifts or something yummy to enjoy yourself, you will likely find something on this list that you can't live without!

Gourmet Gift Ideas & Holiday Recipes
What is your favorite thing about the holidays? For a lot of you, it's the delicious foods we get to enjoy. Here are some of my favorites. Looking for a gift idea for your favorite foodie or cook? Here are some of my favorite gourmet shops and specialty stores, along with a collection of recommendations on what to give.

Where to Buy Restaurant Kitchen Equipment
If you are starting a new food service business or have an existing one, having good, working equipment will make or break your establishment. Restaurant equipment is one of the biggest expenses for your business, choose wisely. The upfront cost is important but remember to calculate the cost of repairs or replacement in the years to come. Also, remember that large restaurant equipment's depreciation can be calculated into your financial statement.

Where to Buy Fresh Live Lobster from Maine
Looking for live lobsters to prepare for your next party or dinner? I recommend Maine lobsters for the best flavor. The meat is typically whiter and more succulent. I've listed 5 of my favorite lobster companies here - all reputable businesses who either are Maine lobster fishermen themselves or they buy directly from Maine lobster fishermen, and package and deliver the live lobsters to you overnight so they are the freshest possible.

Where to Buy Fresh Oysters
Do you love the almost magical flavor of fresh oysters? That amazing mineral-tinged and salty flavor of the ocean? Looking for the best fresh live oysters you can have delivered? Here is a handful of great reliable companies I recommend for getting your oysters shipped directly to your home.

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