Holiday Gift Guide for the Hungry Geek

The holidays are quickly and inexorably approaching. And if you’re like me, you’re likely to find a few hilarious (and well-intended) presents under the old Christmas tree, or your celebratory equivalent. Because, try as our families might, sometimes it’s just plain impossible to find a good gift for a geek without some really good direction. Why? Our tastes are narrow, our opinions quite harsh. No wonder they run in fear, leaving gift certificates and socks in their wake.

But have no worry. We’re going to be presenting a series of gift guides for you–and your non-geek family members–that should hopefully prevent any holiday mishaps.

Today I look at the edible gifts that can make the holidays oh so much better. But, as you’d expect, all of these have their own geeky twists. Food for the masses just doesn’t cut it for us geeks.

Astronaut Food: Okay, so from a culinary point of view, these freeze-dried packets might not be the most appealing. But they are worth their weight in spice just because of their geek factor. When I was in elementary school, I never once got space ice cream. My friends did, oh yes. And I watched in wonder as they bit down into the crumbly, pastel blocks and smiled. Because nothing tastes as good as space. Expensive space. But, after years of popularity and mass-production, the prices are quite reasonable now. Over at Amazon, you’ll find an assorted package of space food, including ice cream, peaches, and chocolate sticks for just under $13.

Mmm… Bacon: Need I say any more? First, Bacon Mints, a perfect stocking stuffer. I mean, even if you aren’t going to eat these, the awesome factor alone is pretty high. For other bacony-flavored delights, consider the Bacon Lip Balm, Bacon Dental Floss, and Bacon Toothpicks. And if you are looking for something really special, consider a Bacon of the Month Club. This miraculous company delivers bacon to your house, monthly. There are a few options to select from, but I promise you: there is nothing more magic than bacon. Especially when it comes to your house.

A Shortcut to Mushrooms: Got a hobbit freak on your hands? Mushrooms are highly respected in the culinary world, not just for their rustic delight, but also for their wide variety of tastes and types. With a mushroom sampler, your geek will get six different kinds of mushrooms, including chanterelle, shiitake, porcini, wild morels, black trumpet, and melange de la foret. Since they’re dried, they’ve got a long shelf life. So these mushrooms, unlike the fresh varieties, can be enjoyed for months. They’re perfect in soups, stews, and stir-fry. I’ve even seen mushroom bread. Mmmm… fungus. And if you really want to up the ante, there’s always the mushroom kit. If your geek is particularly inclined toward cultivating food at home, the Mushbox means fresh mushrooms. Really, really fresh.

Health and Mana Potions: If your geek is a gamer, as many are wont to be, nothing says love quite like health and mana potions. Sure, we can’t raid IRL, but we can drink like we do (unless you’re a warlock like me who, with the new structure really has no need for paltry health potions and mana potions… hee hee). For under two bucks, you can get a health potion at Amazon. The mana potion, apparently, runs a little higher. I suppose getting the ingredients is a little more complicated. Or else someone’s fixing prices in the auction house again.

The Buzz: Yeah, caffeine. For many geeks, it’s the legal drug of choice. And, leave it to the marketing experts around the world, but wouldn’t you know there are just tons of caffeinated items out there. From gum, to mints, to soap, to water. Even if you don’t like coffee or tea, there are plenty of options to keep you up all night tossing dice, killing zombies, or whatever your geeky past-time happens to be. Rest assured, with a thoughtful gift-giver this holiday season, you’ll twitch your way through the night without a wink of sleep.

The Squid Quotient: If you’ve got a culinary adventurer on your hand, consider squid. Why squid? Because cephalopods rule, that’s why. Every geek knows that. And through the magic of the internet you can delight your geek with an assortment of squid snacks: dried squid, squid in ink, squid noodles, and even squid ink all by itself. Personally, I’d get a kick out of the tubes and tentacles pack

Also, be sure to check out the Food and Drinks section over at Neatorama’s Neatoshop. There’s a lot of really neat stuff over there!

Whatever your geek’s defining characteristic, the truth is food is one of the universal languages. You’d be surprised how much chemistry goes into something as simple as a cookie. And if you’re creative, you don’t even have to depend on the internet. Nothing says I love you (or, “you make me lose sanity”) like a batch of Cthulhu cookies