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Giving Good Taste: What to Buy a "Foodie"

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Have a food-fanatic on your shopping list? May we suggest some local sources for fabulous gifts, both big and small. LAist will help you Eat It, Use It, Learn It, and Read It with our food-focused installment of the Holiday Gift Guide. Some of these items will last for just a few precious bites, and some will let your lucky recipient get their own hands dirty. Since the clock is ticking, you'd best high-tail it to a retail location in person, and skip the online ordering. We definitely suggest giving the retailer a call before trekking out if you're in search of a very particular something.

Eat It
Handmade caramels and marshmallows from the Little Flower Candy Co. Online ordering is no longer an option, but get thyself to one of the local stores that carries these amazing confections. Our favorite is the coffee marshmallow; it's like a little pillow of heaven.

Local cookie emporium Platine Cookies has a Cookie of the Month Club which offers 3, 6, or 9 months subscriptions ($85, $150, $220 respectively) to get 18 of a featured artisan cookie the first week of the month. We like their signature cookie (which kicks of the year in January) and their snickerdoodle (comes along in April).

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Stop by the Cheese Store of Beverly Hills for a gourmet gift basket stocked with their top quality cheeses and other accoutrements.

Arrange for a future delivery of local french-style chocolates from L'Artisan du Chocolat.

Use It

Find kitchen gadgets, baking notions, and gourmet goodies at Culver City's Surfas.

Get a CozmoDeck and give the gift of savings when you dine out and shave $15 off your tab. More from our earlier mention here. Don't forget the LAIST coupon code to score your 10% off!

Learn It
Cook like a pro for the evening and enjoy one night as one of Monika's Hipcooks, which will run you $55 per person, and can be purchased as a gift certificate. Or, get serious with a single specialty class or a full series of courses from the New School of Cooking; they're also offering gift certificates (through Dec. 23). LAist favors the New School; we're just about done with their Professional I series, and are almost ready to tell all.

Sign you and/or someone on your list up for any one of the several "Wine Camp" classes offered locally by

Read It
If you're shopping for an adventurous kitchen dweller, you might want to pick up the Bon Appetit Cookbook, which came out earlier this year. A caveat, though: With Bon Appetit you run the risk of running yourself ragged trying to hunt down some of the harder-to find ingredients, and the weekend chef might find many of the recipes a bit high-falutin'. The perk is in the bonus; your purchase gets you a year-long subscription to Bon Appetit mag. If you want to play it safe, you might want to get the Gourmet Cookbook. It's a couple of years older, but a bit more user-friendly.

We talked about it yesterday: The Hungry? Los Angeles restaurant guide. It's stocking-sized.

The Hollywood Cookbook is a new release that features 20 celebs and their personal fave recipes. $5 from each purchase goes to charity.