They say the quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and for centuries mothers, wives and girlfriends have been forging that very path with signature dishes and time honored family recipes. American men have always been fans of good food, but it wasn’t always the case that they took such a great interest in where it came from or how it was made. There have always been male gourmands, of course, but for most men, a burger and fries was a square meal, and anything fancier could be left to the posh people. Nobody can really be sure of the exact moment when the average man in America went into the kitchen, picked up a whisk and a ladle and started to experiment with porcini mushrooms, black truffle butter and arugula.
Now the male gourmet can be found in every city across America. We see him in Whole Foods, deliberating over the organic whole wheat, cracked wheat and spelt, and in Dean & DeLuca, handling the heirloom tomatoes for ripeness. He can be found in Williams Sonoma browsing pasta-making utensils, or in a Wolfgang Puck restaurant, nodding in approval at the handmade Agnolotti.
Some say that the advent of the Food Network’s male TV chefs played some part in inspiring the common man to go culinary. Whatever prompted the change, it became very clear that gourmet was no longer just for Julia Child, Alice Waters, and the French and, as women all over America rushed to buy their boyfriends and husbands “boys only” cooking classes, the wheels of change were turning.
There’s no better day in a man’s life to be pampered than on his birthday. Gourmet food is still the quickest way to his heart, so indulge him in epicurean gifts. Whether he is just starting out on the road to Foodie Heaven, he’s half way there, or he already owns the joint, our guide to Gourmet Gifts for Men will help you find the right birthday treats for your “bon vivant”.
Starting Out: “Baby Steps”
If your man is entering the world of gourmet food with a certain amount of trepidation, don’t force the issue. He’ll come around – they all do – you just need to take baby steps. So he still loves a BLT with a side of potato chips. That’s okay. It’s an American favorite and needn’t ever be removed from our food lexicon. But we’ve mixed things up a little. We’ve taken the humble potato chip and we’ve made it gourmet, using a nifty little trick we learned from Nigella Lawson a long time ago, called “dipping it in chocolate”. Salty potato chip: meet sweet, sweet chocolate. This clever little maneuver gives us the ultimate gourmet gift for men, we like to call, “Chocolate Covered Potato Chips.”
To “err” is human, to “arr” is pirate, as they say - he’s still a beginner at this point - give him time to dominate the culinary world. Favorite birthday treats for the man with a sweet tooth are our Pirate Chocolate Cake Pops. Delicious balls of gooey chocolate cake are covered in confection to resemble all things pirate, like pirate ships, ship anchors, treasure chests, skull & crossbones, and of course, pirates!
Almost There: "Half Baked"
If your man loves baked goods, send a care package of scrumdiddlyumptious birthday treats to his workplace. Handmade Birthday chocolate cake pops, a giant 12" Mrs. Fields "Happy Birthday" cookie cake, or a Happy Birthday Surprise cookie bouquet will take him through his mid afternoon lull, and leave him plenty to share with his colleagues (or bring home to you). And for his birthday celebration at home, our Hand-Dipped Caramel Pretzel Rods are the perfect alternative to the froufrou of cupcakes. Finally, a sweet dessert that respects his masculinity, pretzel rods are the official “macho candy.”
Nobody said your man had to give up ESPN in favor of the Food Network - that’s what the DVR is for. Celebrate his passion for sports just as you celebrate his love of fine food. Our hand-dipped sports berries gift box is a collection of hand-decorated strawberries made to look just like little baseballs, basketballs and footballs, complete with stitching detail.
It’s unlikely that he loves just one sport exclusively, but its not impossible, so we’ve gone ahead and separated the sports berries – you can now get a dozen football berries or a dozen basketball berries. If he’s more of a baseball kind of guy, you’ll score a home run with our new MLB licensed tins of Mrs. Fields Nibblers® including favorites like chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin.
The Connoisseur: “Foodie Heaven”
When he’s all the way there, we have the perfect gifts to maintain his gastronomic interest. Gourmet cakes are a Shari’s Berries specialty and our Chocolate Mousse Torte, Carrot Cake, Vanilla Bean, and Tiramisu Cakes make every other cake you’ve had, taste like a packet mix. Go large, or send him sweet birthday treats in the form of gourmet cupcakes. These are no ordinary birthday cakes.
For the savory tooth and wine connoisseur, we’ve teamed up with our friends in the ProFlowers gourmet food and wine department to bring you the exclusive Stonewall Kitchen Grilling & Wine Gift Set. A summer BBQ does better with the right sauces and rubs, and a bottle of perfectly paired wine. The grill kit has everything you need to create a gourmet party in your own back yard. We’ve included Stonewall Kitchen's award winning Maple Chipotle Grille Sauce, a bottle of Stonewall Kitchen's Honey Barbecue Sauce, and two fantastic spice rubs, as well as bottles of both a Cline Zinfandel and a Dancing Bull Cabernet.
Wherever he is on the gourmet food scale, his birthday is the perfect opportunity to cultivate his curiosity in all things gastronomic. Delight him with gifts that take aim at his heart - via his stomach. Bon appétit!