The holiday gift-giving season can be undoubtedly stressful, but shopping for your food-obsessed friends doesn’t have to be. That’s because there are so many awesome, edible presents on the market nowadays, sure to please even the most discerning epicureans. From an elite collection of whiskeys to a cookbook all about, well, cookbooks!
“Over The Top Shelf” Spirits Assortment: $20 or under seems a reasonable amount to spend for most people on your gift list. But there are always one or two people — i.e. our spouse, parents, or our need-to-impress boss, that are totally worth the splurge. That’s where the “Over The Top Shelf” from the indie food purveyor, Mouth, comes in. This year, they’ve debuted a $1000 taster of 22 different small-batch American spirits, including Industry Standard Vodka, Craft-Method Brandy, Breckenridge Bourbon Whiskey, Bar Hill Gin, Green Absinthe, Organic Fruitlab Orange Liqueur, and Armadillo Cake Vermouth. It’s the ultimate assortment for the hardcore, at-home mixologist!
Thomas Keller’s Cup4Cup Gluten-Free Mixes: Gluten-free dining is big business nowadays, but the holidays can still be a tough time for wheat-freers, considering the emphasis on festive baked goods like cookies, breads and cake. That’s why an assortment of Cup4Cup’s brand new flour alternatives and mixes would make an especially thoughtful and appreciated present. Founded by renowned chef Thomas Keller, and one of his French Laundry protégés, these admittedly pricey, and somewhat hard to find packets will make believers out of even the most committed gluten eaters. Try the regular or wholesome flour blends, or pick up the makings for pancakes and waffles, cornbread, brownies, or even pizza!
Stem Metal Citrus Spritzer: There are all sorts of single-purpose cooking gadgets out there, from cherry stoners to melon ballers to bagel slicers, but most of them just end up in a discarded jumble in one of our kitchen drawers. But here’s an ingenious tool — devised by one of the at-home inventors that sells through the website, Quirky — that we can imagine becoming just as indispensible as our cutting board, Calphalon pans, and Santoku chefs knife. The serrated edge of this stainless steel nozzle settles easily and seamlessly into the flesh of just about any citrus, allowing you to spray a steady steam of juice over cut fruit, steamed fish, fresh salads, and more. And the best part is? No pesky pits!
Mama O’s Kimchi Kit: Korean food couldn’t be hotter right now, and one of the absolute staples of the cuisine is the spicy, fermented vegetable mix known as kimchi. But as even the most accomplished Korean cook can undoubtedly tell you, it can be a real pain in the butt to make. That’s where Mama O’s comes in. In addition to selling ready-to-eat bags and jars of fiery red, umami-rich kimchi, the New York City-based business recently launched a line of DIY kits, allowing you to make Original, Super Spicy, and even Vegan Kimchi in less than ten minutes (not counting brining and fermenting time, of course).
La NewYorkina Gift Sets: From her giant, passion fruit and hibiscus-laced donuts at Dough, to her inventively flavored paletas (ice pops) at La Newyorkina, Fany Gerson is the last word on Mexican sweets in New York City. And while the aforementioned items are admittedly difficult to ship, you can still share some of her exotic treats with your loved ones, packaged into gift sets like the “Spicy Mexico” (Chipotle Brownies, Fiery Lime Jam), the “Sweet Mexico” (Goats Milk Caramels, Pumpkin Seed Brittle), and the “Big Sampler,” containing all of the above!
The Cookbook Book: Considering how many new cookbooks are released each season, it’s pretty tough to recommend just one. That’s why we’re all about Phaidon’s Cookbook Book, which celebrates 125 of the most celebrated food tomes to come out in the last 100 years. Enjoy recipes, stories and full color photographs from seminal publications such as Mastering the Art of French Cooking and Larousse Gastronomique, as well as from quirkier, more modern manuscripts, like The Mafia Cookbook, courtesy of former mob informant “Joe Dogs.”