Customers shop at Jungle Jim’s International Market Friday, July 6 in Fairfield. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Photo: Staff Writer
Photo: Staff Writer

Need gift ideas? Jungle Jim’s has 10 items you won’t find anywhere else

Two common afflictions of holiday shopping are either being starved for ideas or feeling you have no interesting choices. While Jungle Jim’s International Market could produce pages of potential gift items that you can’t find anywhere else, we were able to narrow it down to 10.

Extra Special Candy Canes
Photo: Contributing Writer

1. Extra Special Candy Canes

You might say these are reminiscent of Harry Potter’s Every Flavor Beans. While there isn’t anything that tastes like vomit or boogers, Jungle Jim’s does sell candy canes with some highly unusual flavors, including pickle, Rotisserie chicken, bacon, coal, and clam. ($4.99 and up)

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Exotic Jerky Treats
Photo: Contributing Writer

2. Exotic Jerky Treats

Along the same lines, Jungle Jim’s sells beef jerky flavored with animals that are either exotic or practically extinct. The flavors include bison, kangaroo, alligator, elk, trout, wild boar, ostrich, yak, venison and others. There are even fruit-flavored ones such as pineapple, cherry and orange. You won’t find any of these in those Jack Link Sasquatch commercials. ($3.99-$9.99)

Grow Your Own Christmas Tree Kits
Photo: Contributing Writer

3. Grow Your Own Christmas Tree Kits

Start with a tiny, empty dish, and after a few days, you’ll grow an action-figure sized Christmas tree in full bloom. A few of these could make nice additions to your mantelpiece. Think Chia Pet without the terrible song. ($2.99)

Funny Socks
Photo: Contributing Writer

4. Funny Socks

Socks are an inevitable, perennial Christmas gift. Yet Jungle Jim’s sells socks with humorous, often self-referential, messages, liable to produce a better reaction than the usual comic groan. While the socks pictured here are appropriate for a family audience, Jungle Jim’s has a fairly large number of “adult” socks as well. And they really do keep your feet warm. ($6.99-$8.79)

Liquor Chocolate
Photo: Contributing Writer

5. Liquor Chocolates

For those of you who’ve had those gold-wrapped chocolate pears, combining candy with a sweet liqueur won’t be a new concept. However, these liquor chocolates incorporate Scotch whiskey, Irish gin, and other hard liquors. In other words, you feel it when you eat them. These are not the items to turn to for those of you who like to give the kids a little taste of alcohol at Christmas. ($4-$12.99)

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Kombucha Beer
Photo: Contributing Writer

6. Kombucha Beer

Tapped (no pun intended) to be the next craft beer craze, Kombucha was originally a traditional Chinese tea loaded with health-promoting acids and probiotics. Then, someone figured out to deliver those health effects with a little buzz. The Kombucha bar at Jungle Jim’s comes in low-alcohol flavors such as Go Go Ginger, Jungle Hop Cider, and Tiki Tango. There are also higher alcohol varieties such as Unity Vibration KPA (Kombucha Pale Ale), and Unity Vibration Triple Goddess Ginger. You can try Kombucha on tap at Jungle Jim’s or fill up a growler or pint to take home. (Growlers are $5, beer fills are $16-$28).

White Shaved Coconut
Photo: Contributing Writer

7. White Shaved Coconut

Hailing from Thailand, this coconut contains a natural juice that cools and hydrates the body. In other words, they’re the ideal hangover cure after consuming all that Kombucha beer and liquor chocolates. ($4 for 2)

Kopi Luwak Coffee
Photo: Contributing Writer

8. Kopi Luwak Coffee

Also known as “poop coffee,” this is coffee flavored by coffee cherries that have passed through the digestive tract of the palm civet, an otter-like mammal native to Southeast Asia. Despite its intestinal origins, it’s reputed to have a remarkably smooth flavor, and is highly popular despite costing $19.99 per 10 grams. If you don’t think you can consume it without thinking about where it came from, just remember you’ve been doing the same with hot dogs for years. ($14.99 and up)

Rambutan
Photo: Contributing Writer

9. Rambutan

Yes, it looks like lawn debris or some weird creepy-crawly. But if you unpeel it, you have a sweet/sour fruit that tastes like a skinless grape. Rambutan has reportedly grown in popularity partially because people just want to see their family and friends’ reactions when they see it. ($3.99 per pound; prices fluctuate weekly)

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Dragon Fruit
Photo: Contributing Writer

10. Dragon Fruit

Hailing from Vietnam, dragon fruit resembles an especially ripe and virulent cactus. Cut it open and take a bite, however, and you taste something between a kiwi and an American pear. Dragon fruit is increasingly popular due to its health effects, containing high amounts of fiber and antioxidants. ($5 per pound; prices fluctuate weekly)

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