Make your gift selection from among these savory and
sweet delights this holiday season.
By Jannette Witmyer
National Geographic Foods of the World
How easy is it to get authentic Prosciutto di Parma from Italy or organic Garam Masala from India for your favorite gourmand? Super easy, if you visit this new online marketplace from National Geographic. The site offers a diverse assortment of competitively priced artisan and specialty items from more than 30 countries, mostly from small purveyors, ensuring fresher, higher-quality products. Make your gift selection from small, moderately priced packages like the Indian Spices Collection ($26), one of the assorted cheeses (the English Cheese Flight ($33) is delectable), or go all-out with the World Explorer Gourmet Food Club. Your recipient will get one basket per month filled with sauces, cheeses, meats, and more from a different region of the world, and a one-year subscription to National Geographic Traveler magazine ($729/12 months).
Biagio Fine Chocolate
1904 18th St. N.W. 202.328.1506.
Itâ€™s a small Dupont Circle/Adams Morgan shop with a big mission: provide the D.C. metro area with the finest collection of chocolate and chocolate-related products from around the world. Co-owner Biagio Abbatiello, who also happens to be a flight attendant, literally searches the world for the finest artisanal chocolates such as Malagasy Ltd. from Madagascar, Kshocolat from Scotland, and Dolfin from Belgium. Create a ballotin of your ownâ€”up to 20 individual pieces for about $36â€”from the storeâ€™s choice selection of local chocolatiers such as Wanders Chocolatier in Manassas and J Chocolatier on Capitol Hill. You can also select from gift sets by Amadei, Michel Cluizel, and the popular MarieBelle line.
3201 New Mexico Ave. N.W. 202.363.5800
10323 Old Georgetown Rd. Bethesda. 301.564.3100
600 Franklin St. Alexandria. 703.549.6611
6655 Old Dominion Dr. McLean. 703.448.3828
Balducciâ€™s hallmark is gourmet quality at a reasonable price, offering an assortment of fine cheeses, confections, and meats roasted and smoked in the Old World tradition. Choose from an array of items from their private label; the part-time chef on your list will love their signature gift basket ($65), which is filled with favorites like their exclusive marinara sauce, artichoke hearts, and barrel-aged balsamic vinegar, bottled just for Balducciâ€™s in Modena, Italy.
5805 Clarksville Square Dr. Clarksville. 443.535.9321.
If youâ€™re looking for a specialty gourmet item for the vegan on your list, stop by the â€œConscious Cornerâ€ in the Clarksville Square Shopping Center to check out the goodies in Roots Market. This independent, natural, and organic market caters to the gourmet and natural foods enthusiast, with a focus on local producers and fair trade practices. Ask for one of the gift baskets they create just for the holiday season.
5100 Wisconsin Ave. N.W. 202.363.3466
4301 Randolph Rd. (at Viers Mill) Wheaton. 301.946.3100
White Flint Plaza. 5148 Nicholson Ln. Kensington. 301.881.6253
Once anointed by The Washington Post as â€œthe weirdest little drugstore in Washington,â€ Rodmanâ€™s has evolved into an international marketplace filled with unusual and exotic foods, wines, ales, and confections. Youâ€™ll want to check out their selection of rare and hard-to-find wines; a Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1998 can be had for $17.