Gift: Stock the Larder

Enji Kunsei Olive Oil, Japan,

What do you bring to your boss’s house for dinner? Gift your child’s teacher? Or your soon-to-be in-laws? Well, ask Good House Guest. I’ll do my best to hunt down a solution, like I did for my friend Sarah.

Q: We are invited to dinner at a couple’s house tomorrow night. They are retired and super foodies. They always cook us amazing dinners and never want us to bring dessert or anything, and I’m tired of bringing just wine. They are sort of no nonsense people. I need a suggestion of what to bring. Ideas?

A: Help re-stock their pantry. I like the combo of an interesting olive oil (comparable in price to a really nice bottle of wine) and sea salt. Super basic, but very necessary. The oil is something they’ll experiment with while cooking or appreciate for dipping. Plus, it’s a good excuse to stop by your local specialty grocery store and sample smooth oils from Italy or peppery ones from California. I even came across a cold-smoked olive oil from Japan. Sea salt is used to finish everything from fresh pasta to baked goods. It’s a staple, but you can find some cool small batch ones being made everywhere from the shores of Long Island, New York to the coast of France.



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