During the Christmas season, we as humans love giving and receiving gifts. It’s a tradition that is both timeless and borderless. One of my fondest memories growing up was gathering items to create customized Christmas hampers with my mum. A ready-made Christmas hamper is an easy option. However, nothing beats a well thought out collection of delectable goodies. Hampers can be made with an array of items. The typical content of a hamper is food, drinks, books, and household items.
We all have busy lives, so creating a customized Christmas hamper might be a bit of a challenge. Actually picking out a gift, in general, is a challenge for most people. Hence why we have things like a wishlist. Over the past year, I have curated a list of amazing food and beverage brands, restaurants and other creations. All of which are black-owned and/or black-created. This list is evidence of the awesome creative minds of black people across the globe. As a black chef, I am proud to see such amazing work.
1. LAPIN ROUILLÉ CHAMPAGNE
The first Black-owned and Woman-owned champagne from the UK.
Lapin Rouillé Champagne is the exemplary first release from the Rusty Rabbit Drinks warren. Traditional style champagne, crafted from hand-harvested Pinot Meunier grapes from Massif de Saint-Thierry, Reims. Dry with pronounced floral and red berry characters over juicy, vibrant acidity and light minerality. - RustyRabbitspiritslounge.com
2. YOLÉLÉ FOODS FONIO PILAF
Fonio is a gluten-free ancient African grain. The brand name Yolélé is a Fulani term of exuberance used throughout West and Central Africa.
Fonio is light + fluffy and has a slightly nutty, earthy flavour. It soaks up spices and sauces beautifully, making it a perfect base for just about anything. - Yolele.com
3. HOUSE OF CINN BAKERY
A social enterprise using cinnamon goodies to help the homeless.
Our handmade cinnamon buns are filled with goodness. We recreate classic flavours to bring you buns with a difference. Every time you buy a bun, you bring balance to society by helping a rough sleeper get back on their feet through our project. - Houseofcinn.co.uk
4. ÌTÀN TEST KITCHEN
ÌTÀN (ē-tohn): meaning story or history in Yoruba. A test kitchen based in Nigeria that tells the story of Nigerians, by Nigerians of our food, culture, traditions and people. Founded by Chef Michael Adé Elégbèdé.
At the core of our values is our mission to elevate the experience of Nigerian cuisine, on a global stage. "ITÀN is not only a test kitchen, it is also an educational space where we share our knowledge & ideas with the next generation of Nigerian chefs." - itan_tk
5. JOLLOF COFFEE BY TERANGA FOODS
Organic coffee beans grown in Garbon and roasted in local Senegalese farms. Jollof Coffee offers a uniquely smooth and delightful flavour further enhanced by the spice called “djar” (grains of Selim).
"Our organic bean is grown is small farms in Gabon and stands above the rest in terms of taste and refinement. During its roasting process, the spice Djar is added to it elevating the finished product. Djar contains alkaloids, proteins, essential oils and camphene which gives it its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory effects." - Teranga Foods Co.
6. NOTES FROM A YOUNG BLACK CHEF
A memoir by Chef Kwame Onwuachi and Joshua David Stein.
In this inspirational memoir about the intersection of race, fame, and food, Chef Kwame shares the remarkable story of his culinary coming-of-age; a powerful, heartfelt, and shockingly honest account of chasing your dreams—even when they don’t turn out as you expected. - Penguin Random House
7. AFRICAN PRINT MUGS COLOURSHOT
A collection of Mugs and travel mugs hand-crafted with African print fabrics. Another woman-owned business based in the Uk.
Colourshot uses lovely, colourful African fabric in everyday contemporary ways. Founded by Tanya, A small buysiness that initially began by making cards, then jewellery, completely handmade, using fabric and wood. Then mugs and coasters, which were and still are a major hit. - Colourshot.co.uk
8. PEDRO’S PREMIUM OGOGORO
Awaiting its global and eCommerce launch is Africa’s first Premium Ogogoro. 100% organic spirit made from palm.
Micro-distilled in small batches and handcrafted in Nigeria's riverine communities and then refined in Lagos. Pedro's is spearheading a new African narrative, audaciously unsurpassable and unapologetically local. - Pedro.africa
9. ZOE’S GHANA KITCHEN COOKBOOK
An innovation to new African cuisine by Chef Zoe Adjonyoh.
"Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen Cookbook is my love letter to Ghana. It’s an introduction to the life, culture, and kitchens of my people. In the cookbook, I’ll introduce you to Ghanaian ingredients, flavours, and styles of cooking and give you a cheat sheet, a playlist (Spotify - Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen) and a kitchen companion as your guide to the ingredients and flavours from across West Africa..." - Zoe Adjonyoh
10. HIBISCUS FLOWER POWDER
By Iya Foods – an e-commerce brand that innovates with African superfoods.
"A delicious tart flower also known as roselle and flor de jamaica, dried hibiscus powder is used for a variety of culinary, nutritional, and beauty purposes worldwide. Iya’s hibiscus powder is made 100% from dried hibiscus flowers." - iyafoods.com
If you like this list you might also like 9 Recipes to spark up your Christmas menu.
If you are keen on learning about Nigerian food check out The Nigerian Jollof 101 – Extras & Essentials.