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Gifts with a little bite.
Food is one-size-fits all. Well, I guess unless you have allergies. Or are a picky eater. Or have a spice intolerance? But assuming there’s at least someone on your list who’s as gluttonous as the staff here at VanMag headquarters, we’ve got you covered with our list of edible goods made right here in Vancouver. Local just tastes better, right?
You could get a jumbo plastic jar of everyone’s favourite all-purpose Korean condiment from T&T, but the Vancouver-made Salty Kimchi—available in classic kimchi, white kimchi and radish kimchi flavours—comes in much more gift-worthy packaging. Plus, the recipe is courtesy of the beloved MDG Korean restaurant on Denman, where customers have been obsessing over the homestyle fermented cabbage for 20-plus years. $10.95, available at Meinhardts and Federal Store, saltycabbagekimchi.com
The vegans on your shopping list will love you for this one (just keep it refrigerated, not under the tree): fresh, unpasteurized tempeh made in North Van. Tempea’s Indonesian soy protein is made from non-GMO beans; the earthy chickpea and lentil option uses ingredients sourced from Flourist. It’s tasty stuff with just the right amount of fermented funk—even carnivores might just be tempeh-ted (see what we did there?) to sub it in for meat. From $5, available at Nada Grocery, BeFresh Market and more, tempea.ca
The pickle-obsessed Vancouver duo are set to open up a third outpost of their brinetopia in L.A. shortly, so get a jar of the excellent mustard pickles into your loved ones stockings now so you can say you were into them before they went Hollywood. Granville Island, Stong’s Market and more, kaylinandhobbs.com
“Mushrooms and cacao” may not have be as common a duo as “peanut butter and jelly,” but Vancouver’s Blume is working hard to make it happen with its reishi-infused hot chocolate. Health nuts say reishi boosts immune systems and fights the blues; we’re not sure that’s true, but if you can gift that possibility to someone in a creamy, chocolatey package like this one, that’s a holiday win in our books. $18, available at itsblume.com
Thanks to the infusion of Ocean Wise kelp flakes, this finishing salt packs an umami punch. Sprinkle it on literally anything—fish, chicken, hummus, a spoonful of other salt—for a visceral taste of the West Coast. Famous Foods, Federal Store and more, canadianseasalt.com
The housemade hot sauces from Fable add a little hit of spice without taking you to “Hot Ones” level sweats: all made from locally grown hot peppers, choose between the mild Wax On, the 45% More Kapow, or Dang That’s Hot Sauce and spice things up. $8 each, available at Fable Diner, fablediner.com
The angles in the milk chocolate slab look like the mountain range; the cinnamon-sugar pecans taste like Christmas. If you’re lucky, maybe your gift recipient will share a piece. If they don’t, sign yourself up to Beta 5’s chocolate subscription and pretend it’s from a secret admirer. $11, available at Beta 5, beta5chocolates.com