All this week, I'm featuring my favorite culinary stocking stuffers and presents for the fervent foodnik, cook and restaurant fiend in your life, including the indulgent hot chocolate and salted caramel marshmallows from Spuntino, and EatDenver's gift that keeps on giving -- the 2013 EatDenver dining deck. These are all gifts that are available locally -- and locally made or produced -- and they're all things that I hope to find in my own stocking (or under the tree) this year.
Spice set from the Savory Spice Shop
Obsessed doesn't even begin to describe my infatuation with the Savory Spice Shop, where the exotic, fragrantly bold scents wafting from the front door are more alluring than the promise of a striptease or your mistress wrapped in red tinsel.
Here, in the knock-your-nose-off confines of spice utopia, the brainchild of married couple Mike Johnston and Janet Chambers, who now have numerous locations throughout Colorado (and elsewhere), you'll encounter more than 300 freshly ground spice, herb and rub varieties -- everything from flavored popcorn powders, to curry powders, to infused vanilla-bean sugar to powdered chiles that you won't find anywhere else. It's a sniffer's paradise, a cook's cloud nine, a chef's enlightenment, a gift-giver's awakening, and if you're searching for what is easily one of the best presents on the planet, the packaged spice sets -- or you can customize your own -- are the key to lifelong devotion. My personal favorite is the salt collection, but no matter which one you purchase, the recipient of your generosity is going to be eternally grateful.