Gift Guide 2020

November 16, 2020

If ever we need presents, this is the time. So once again I’m going to be posting a daily suggestion of swell items you might send your friends.

Never have I been better prepared. For the past 9 months the mailmen have been beating a daily path to my door, and I’ve discovered all sorts of new items you can send away for. And since the mails might be slightly overwhelmed this year, I’m starting earlier than usual.

To begin, my current obsession: the best anchovies in the world.

If you don’t like anchovies, it’s because you’ve never tasted these very special little fish from Cantabria in the north of Spain. They are in a class of their own.

Fished only in the springtime, when the quality is at its peek, they’re quickly salted and left in presses to mature for at least eight months. Then they are washed and filleted by hand before being plunked into extra virgin olive oil. The result is a rich, sweet, full flavor that you simply can’t forget. These aren’t anchovies to cook with; they’re anchovies to eat.

They’re crazily expensive – about $2 a filet – which makes them an excellent gift. Although I must tell you that your friends may not thank you. These tiny fish are truly addictive, and they quickly become a very expensive habit.

I’ve tried many different brands, and Don Boccarte from Dao Foods are, hands down my favorite. They’re also the most expensive, so lately I’ve been ordering the giant tin – 550 grams – which cuts the price almost in half.

I might mention that I’m also very fond of these anchovy-stuffed olives. Serve them with drinks and watch them disappear.

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