Holiday Gifts 2011

The Gastro Gift Guide Part 2: For Those Who Slather

Rubs, jams, jellies, and condiments galore for a tasteful stocking.

By Stephanie Rubesh December 8, 2011


Sometimes Seattle and its sobering rain stats can rub people the wrong way. But believe us when we say Seattle knows how to do rub right. Jellies, spreads, and sauces too. A host of area restaurants, including Skillet, Wild Ginger, and the Tom Douglas empire, have achieved local condiment fame by offering their trade secrets in little containers for you to purchase. And then there are the offerings from our farmers markets, food boutiques, and specialty food shop. Yep, Seattle has rubs, condiments and spreads galore; and for (mostly) under $10, they happen to make excellent small gifts or stocking stuffers.

For the spice lover:

Curry powder from Wild Ginger is a signature spice blend of cumin, anise, ginger, and fennel among others. At $5 a bottle, it can be used as a marinade, in a sauce, or just to kick the flavor up a notch or three in any chosen dish.

The African Peri Peri Rub is a Tom Douglas concoction and part of his Rub with Love line; it’s infused with garlic, black pepper, citrus bursts, and chipotle chilies. Check out Douglas’s online store for more rubs, sauces, or snack mixes.

Pepper-jelly shop Mick’s Peppourri gives you a Red Hot Pepper Jelly: a delicious jalapeno jelly, light on the hot, heavy on the flavor. This is one of their flagship bottles, but go for raspberry pepper jelly, cabernet wine jelly, or hot garlic pepper jelly for a twist on the traditional. Order online or pick them out at Pike Place Market.

Food-truck phenom Marination finally buckled down and bottled their famous Nunya Sauce, a blend of mayo, onions, and a stash of spices that will remind your mouth what it means to be alive. Bottles are available at Marination Station or at the truck.

For the salt fanatic:

If you know Skillet, you know Skillet’s bacon jam. Really though, what’s not to love about bacon, onions, and spices in spreadable form? There was much fanfare and celebration when it hit the shelves in 2010, and now everyone (all but the vegetarians) on your Christmas list can find out why.

Volunteer Park Cafe made a splash in the NY Times with their bottled mac-n-cheese sauce (aka Mac Daddy) and we hear that it may be rolling back into town in time for the holiday season.

For the sweet tooth:

“Try us on toast” is their tagline, and after skimming a list of Deluxe Foods
jams that covers apricot vanilla, almond tea, jeweled strawberry, grape and walnut, gingered rhubarb (among others), all we can say is, “yes, please.” Rebecca Staffel is a jamming authority in these parts, and her creatively combined, locally grown fixings can be found either online or at a crowd of neighborhood shops and markets. Your toast may have met its renaissance.

Local chocolate artist Fran Bigelow transformed her renowned handmade truffles into delectable flowing form to top desserts (or oatmeal, or spoons, or milk) with ease. Fran’s Dark Chocolate Sauce is rich and creamy; buying it supports the work of Neighborhood House, helping with the fight against poverty—so really, you’re giving two gifts in one. Bravo.

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