It’s time to break bread with the fine folks down at Strippaggio! (Strippaggio is a term used for the actual slurping of olive oil as it’s being taste-tested by a potential buyer.) Inside this beautifully curated shop, you’ll find a host of flavored olive oils that, unlike other shops of this nature, come from a wide variety of high-quality olive oil producers — not just an outlet that distributes whatever new item crosses its path. Instead, the owners of Strippaggio! want to ensure a silky mouth-feel and gorgeous afterglow that only high-grade, authentic olive oil can produce. There are many oils to choose from, but my two recommendations are the Blood Orange Olive Oil ($23.95) and and the Basil Extra Virgin Olive Oil ($23.95). Try the former on ice cream (it’s life-changing!) and the latter for a killer bruschetta (or just a dipping oil for the table). Peruse their shop or website for even more gift-worthy goodies including spices, vinegars, and other types of oils.
855 Emory Point Dr C-135, 30329
St. Germain Artisan Breads & Pastries
The best Christmas gifter in my life is my wife’s Aunt Nancy. Each year, she buys a loaf of the finest bread and packs it neatly for us with small jars of fancy jellies, jams, and oils. Her stellar taste in gifts rubbed off on me recently when I found myself continuing the tradition and making a list of local bakeries that could wow the fuzzy Santa socks off my giftees. Alas, St. Germain in Ponce City Market has brought to life the stuff of your boulangerie dreams. Patrons will get their laissez-faire share of French pastries and baked goods such as eclairs, napoleons, croissants, macaroons, and (of course) baguettes. Further, there’s a variety of honeys and oils to choose from. Named after a posh section of Paris, Atlanta is now privy to carb-loading à la France.
675 Ponce De Leon Ave. NE
Suite N150, 30308
I recently asked some Irish friends what they’d like me to bring once I head to Dublin in March. Without fail, each of them wanted something that showcased some goods from my neck of the woods. It made complete sense, but piecing random Georgia staples seemed daunting. That is, until I stumbled upon a local gift-basket purveyor that specialized in All Things Georgia. Though they’ve got tons to choose from, I’m going with the Coca-Cola Gift Basket. It comes with six items you choose from their list of GA-centric goodies and is placed in an old-school Coca-Cola six-pack carton. Their items are plentiful, but I really like the Georgia Peach jelly beans and the Peach Bites candy. Other items include grits of many flavors, chocolates, and our world-famous peanuts.
The Cook’s Warehouse
Going to this website and looking at all their goodies is a practice of masochism for me. I want it all, but my budget says “calm down, woman.” Literally every section of your kitchen, from butter dishes to milk frothers, is here and comes in the most beautiful designs. There’s a three-tier salt/spices container that’s made of bamboo and it’s screaming at me! Their silicone bakeware (hello, easy clean-up and storage!) has me salivating, and their bar tools and drinkware make me want to install a wetbar in the dining room. I have to stop. If anyone’s getting a gift from Cook’s Warehouse, it’s me giving one (or ten) to myself.