Today’s column is a list called “Give Cape Ann,” 12 local favorites that make wonderful holiday or hostess gifts. Tape this list on the refrigerator or leave it in your glove compartment; have it ready to review when you’ve got a half hour to get to the next party.
Green Devils from Alexandra’s Bread, 265 Main St., Gloucester. Luxuriantly filled with green olives and red pepper, this uniquely spicy loaf is at first startling and then amazingly delicious. One taste in the car on the way to the party might be trouble, as green devils are almost impossible to set down once pulled open. By one for yourself, too.
Nisu from Brother’s Brew, 27 Main St., Rockport. The gift of tradition, nisu, the cardamon-scented bread beloved by our local Finnish community, is both retro and local. Wrap it in a placemat from the Sarah Elizabeth Shop at Rockport’s Whistlestop Mall for the ultimate Cape Ann present.
Cobrancosa Robust Intensity Olive Oil and Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar from Cape Ann Olive Oil, 57 Main St., Gloucester. There are rows of beautiful olive oils and vinegars to try in this user-friendly shop, but these two are my particular favorites. The olive oil is “olive-y,” which I like on a salad. The Dark Chocolate Balsamic is a wonderful surprise, simply a heavier stroke of the chocolate notes already present in a good balsamic vinegar.
Trupiano’s Sausage. Which was more important to Mike Ciaramitaro, the purchase of Trupiano’s grocery store over 20 years ago, or the recipe for the beloved sausage that came with it? The store is gone, but Mike is still answering the clamor for sausage, a staple on so many Gloucester holiday tables. The Cave, 44 Main St., and What’s Cookin’, 185 Washington St., both in Glouceter, sell this local charcuterie. Don’t forget to like Trupiano’s Sausage on Facebook!