5 Holiday Gift Ideas brought to you by French Startups

Dec 7, 2012
Vote on Hacker News

Before you rush to make your holiday list this year, pause and actually think about the investment.  What gifts did you get last year? Do you remember? Someone waited in a long line to buy something you probably threw away or re-gifted. FEAR NO MORE, this holiday season’s gifts MADE-IN-FRANCE, will make memories-not  regrets.

QOOQ

QOOQ presents a virtual cookbook archiving 3,681 recipes from 100 or more professional cooks and chefs. A foodie, stay-at-home mom or dad, or aspiring chef will drool over the seasonal dishes, kid-friendly options, and health promoting tips. This is a great gift to impress a girlfriend who isn’t tech-shy and has a Pinterest account dedicated to food porn.
Specs: Wi-Fi, 1.5 GB storage, 5 hour battery life, dual-core 1GHz Cortex A9 processor. 10.1-in. LCD moisture-resistant screen.
Price: $399 + shipping & handling.
Available: http://storeus.qooq.com/
Review: “In each video, a chef walks you through the recipe step-by-step, in a way that’s engaging, but slow enough to follow along.” – Alex Colon, PCMag.com.

Le Petit Ballon

Hold it to the light, swirl, look at the film coating the glass, take in the sweet aroma, slurrrp, rinse and repeat! This holiday season indulge in France’s best wine with Le Petit Ballon. You’ll get two bottles of FINE French wines delivered monthly along with a wine connoisseur’s tasting guide. The top wines by the region/season are tasted, tested and tried for to satisfy your palette and oenology. The selection is done none other than the France’s renowned sommeliers. It’s like Oprah’s book club for wine! This would be a spectacular gift for your friends living abroad or retired father-in-law.
Price: Monthly subscription of €19.99
Availablehttp://www.lepetitballon.com/

Parrot AR.Drone

This is a quadrotor helicopter controlled by iOS or Android platforms, equipped with alimetry-detecting sensors and a hi-definition camera for capturing in-flight films and photos. The absolute best part about the Parrot AR.Drone is that it is a toy. This means hands-on piloting activity, augmented reality games and real-life competition with other drones. Order online for your gamer brother or college buddy- they will spend hours on this!
Price: $299.95
Available: US Apple, Amazon, B&N, Brookstone, Verizon retail stores and online.
Review: “Pros: Easy to operate, Safe to use indoors, Not too noisy. Cons: Short battery life, very limited range, very limited height, and slight lag in the controls.” Shin Lee, customer at Apple.com

Withings Wifi Scale

Information matters. Knowing what foods to avoid is an essential part of a New Year’s resolution to adapt a healthier lifestyle. Are you making trips to the supermarket only to return with the same calorific-snacks and beer belly beverages? There is just too much effort spent on amateur weight-loss techniques instead of pursuing realistic goals based on personal health data and medical research. The Withings scale is going to make the dreams of serious dieters everywhere come true!
Price: €129
AvailableWithings
Review: “For a WiFi-equipped gadget that comes with free support, a free Web service, and free mobile apps, the price of the Withings scale is not all that terrible. It gets a bonus, too, because it looks nice…very Apple-like.”- Jacqui Cheng, ArtsTechnica

Pastas Party Soirée 

Pastas Party is a French start-up launched in 2007 dedicated to arranging soirées and dinners for singles in their late 20s-30s throughout France. A typical event consists of 50/50 women and men conversing, dining and mingling. It’s relaxed but at the same time intentional- be sure to purchase this gift for a single friend (there are 15 million in France) brave enough to go on group blind dates.
Available: Le Collectif de Nöel
Price: € 60 reduced from € 75.