From quarterly food deliveries to fun cookbooks, here are five creative ideas for food lovers:
Global bacon: Forget the fruit o' the month club. Belcampo had us at "bacon." Anya Fernald's Belcampo Meat Co. is all about sustainably, humanely raised meat, raised on their pastureland, butchered in their processing plant and sold from their storefront and restaurant at Larkspur's Marin Country Mart. Your favorite foodie can enjoy quarterly deliveries of five pounds of bacon, made from organic, pastured Ossabaw-Berkshire heritage pigs. The January delivery, for example, includes classic bacon and guanciale, an unsmoked Italian riff that comes from the pig's cheek -- yummy in pasta, divine on pizza. April features classic and English-style back bacon, July is pancetta month, and October brings a smoky, coffee-rubbed bacon. ($299 for four deliveries of five pounds each; www.belcampomeatco.com)
Salumi socks: Tasty salted pork products and socks -- could there be a better match? San Francisco chef Chris Cosentino certainly didn't think so. Struck by the striking similarity between tube socks and sausages, Cosentino thought, "Salami comes in a tube. Why not salami socks?" Why not indeed? Everyone needs a three-pack of these socks, printed in mortadella, sopressata and prosciutto designs. (They even come with sock insurance, in case Fido absconds with your footwear or your washing machine turns sock-ivorous.
For added gift-giving oomph, pair the meat feet with edible salumi -- or Cosentino's Marvel comic book, "Wolverine in the Flesh" -- from his Boccalone Salumeria in the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Marketplace. (Socks $33, www.betabrand.com. Find salumi, Boccalone gear and the Marvel comic book at www.boccalone.com)
Malty Monopoly: What led monks to become commercial brewers? What's the difference between English and American Pale Ales? If your favorite beer lover knows the answers to these questions and other hoppy trivia, let her show off those bragging rights with Beer Nerd, a beer-tasting board game from the chef who developed Winerd. Up to four players or teams use a tasting sheet to record their impressions of three beers that they taste blind. Identify the beer's name and origin correctly and you'll move ahead to test your knowledge of beer facts, like what the origin of the word pilsner is or what the difference is between a krug and a stein. The first player to reach the final blind taste test and correctly name the beer wins. ($35. www.chroniclebooks.com)
Oak-colored glasses: Want to look chic and block harmful UV rays while sipping your oaky chardonnay in the sun? Robert Mondavi Private Selection and Chico-based eyewear designer Woodzee have joined forces to create stylish sunglasses out of the estate's recycled oak wine barrels. The wood frames come in a classic wayfarer style with spring hinges, polarized lenses and etched logo detail on the interior and exterior arms. The unisex shades offer 100 percent UV400 protection and aromas of vanilla, of course. ($120. www.woodzee.com)
Make-your-own gin: Gin is gaining on whiskey for the title of trendiest booze, and, in this age of DIY-everything, spirits lovers can now craft their own using the Homemade Gin Kit. It includes a blend of spices, botanicals, and flowers, a tin full of juniper berries, two Italian glass swing-top bottles, a double mesh fine strainer, and a funnel. Feeling festive? Add the limited-edition Christmas spice blend, which features notes of cinnamon, clove, ginger, and rosemary: The holidays in a flask. And, no bathtub required. ($49.95; Christmas spice blend refill, $10. https://home
For the tea lover: This sleek Tea Tube infuser allows you to steep a fine cup of tea anywhere around the world without having to deal with a messy strainer. Tiny holes allow the tea leaves and hot water to mingle. It's made by a Netherlands design company, Kikkerland, and carried by Flight 001. ($12, www.flight001.com)