2013 Gift Guide: Edible Gifts
When you’re buying gifts for a food lover, you can’t go wrong with, well, food. From chocolate to tea to Wagyu steak, these are our top picks for edible holiday gifts.
We love the playful, graphic packaging of these hand-baked cookies from Los Angeles bakery fruute. Colorful raspberry rolls, chewy hazelnut yogurt cookies, green tea sablés, and more come stacked in clear sleeves with cheeky messages like “if at first you don’t succeed, try a cookie,” and “some cookies are good with milk; others demand champagne.”
Assorted cookies, $8.50 for 4 oz. at fruute
For your favorite cook, a bottle each of thick, syrupy fig balsamico and bright pinot noir vinegar to keep on-hand for drizzling on salads and adding to sauces or marinades.
Pinot Noir Italian Wine Vinegar and Savory Fig Balsamico Artisan Vinegar, from $10–14.99 for 250ml at Lucini Rare Bird Preserves
Chicago-based Rare Bird Preserves makes their jams, curds, and spreads in small batches according to what’s in season–everything from cranberry clementine preserves and lemon curd in the winter to a lavender-scented jam with fresh peaches in the summer.
Rare Bird Preserves (flavors differ seasonally), $10/jar at Rare Bird Preserves Chipotle Chili Salt
Smoky, spicy chili salt from The Chili Lab adds a nice kick to everything from grilled pizza to crudo. Flavor profiles and heat level vary depending on the type of pepper used–try dried guajillo, piri piri, habanero, or one of their other varieties.
Chipotle Chili Salt, $12 at The Chili Lab Curry Ketchup
Popular in Germany, Belgium, Denmark, and the Netherlands, curry ketchup is like regular ketchup but made more complex with spices such as anise, cinnamon, clove, curry powder, and garlic. Put it on anything you’d put Heinz on.
Hela Curry Spice Mild Ketchup, $12 at Amazon Lyle’s Golden Syrup
Bakers will love this golden syrup made from sugar cane–with a light, slightly toasty flavor, it makes a great alternative to corn syrup or honey in dessert recipes.
Lyle’s Golden Syrup, $8 for 454g at Amazon
Super smoky and thick-cut, this is the platonic ideal of bacon. Give it to a friend or keep it for yourself and fry it up on Christmas morning.
Applewood Smoked Bacon, from $21.95 at Nueske’s Cinco Jotas Hand-Sliced Ibérico Ham
Nutty and rich jamón ibérico is the best of the best; it makes a gorgeous addition to any charcuterie plate.
Hand-sliced Ibérico de Bellota shoulder, $35 for a 3-oz. package at La Tienda
Wagyu beef (the same breed of Japanese cattle that produces Kobe beef) is known for its high marbling and rich flavor; these pasture-raised, grain-finished steaks from New Mexico ranch Lone Mountain are available individually or as part of holiday gift sets.
Lone Mountain Wagyu Beef, $35–$215 at Lone Mountain 44 Farms Steaks
This Texas cattle ranch produces finely marbled cuts of steak, plus ground beef, beef franks, and short ribs—all from Black Angus cattle.
Black Angus Beef, $55 and up at 44 Farms Black Angus Steaks
Everything you need for a gorgeous cheese plate: A selection of four French cheeses—a soft goat cheese, a camembert, a nutty comté, and a creamy cave-aged blue—plus crackers and a tart black cherry jam.
The French Connection, $68 from Murray’s Cheese
Decorated with colorful cocoa butter in Pollock-esque spatters, these chocolate squares are flavored with fillings both expected (marzipan and white chocolate) and unusual (tangy tomato caramel).
Avant-Garde Chocolate Bars, $8.00 ea. at Chocolat Moderne Tcho Holiday Gift Box
An assortment of milk, dark, and super-rich 85% cocoa chocolate candies—flavored with blood orange, bourbon, sea salt and more—fill a 25-piece sampler box from American bean-to-bar chocolate maker Tcho.
Artisan Chocolate Holiday Gift Box, $64.95 for a 25-pc. box at Tcho Chocolate Salted Caramel Stars
If your tastes run more towards the classics, smooth dark chocolate stars filled with buttery salted caramel from chocolatier Francois Payard fit the bill.
Holiday stars, $46 for a 20-pc. box at Francois Payard
Just add steamed milk to these cute popsicle-like treats for rich dark, milk, or white hot chocolate.
Hot Chocolate on a Stick 12 Pack Variety Gift Box, $35.99 at Amazon Elderflower Cordial
An infusion of elderflowers, lemon juice, and sugar, we like this delicately floral cordial in cocktails, stirred into tea, or just added to a little soda water for a refreshing sparkler.
Belvoir Farms Elderflower Cordial, $12.50 for 500ml at Depanneur Lovage Syrup
Syrup flavored with lovage makes a fresh, herbal, celery-like addition to cocktails and sodas–we especially like it paired with gin.
Lovage Soda Syrup, $10 for a 12.7-oz. bottle at P&H; Soda Co. DRAM Apothecary Herbal Teas
Colorado’s DRAM Apothecary blends their loose teas to create unusual combinations like wild posey (a blend of rose, lavender, hibiscus and other wild and organic flowers) and cascara coffee chai, a tea made from dried coffee berries mixed with ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and rooibos tea.
Cascara Coffee Cherry Chai Tea and Posey Wildflower Tea, from $6–10 at DRAM Apothecary
Beautiful-looking tins house tiny candies in flavors like anise, rose, violet, and mint, made in a small village in Burgundy, France. Les Anis de Flavigny candy, $4.75 and up at Amazon Lakrids Liquorice
Not everyone likes licorice, but those who do tend to be fanatics. This sophisticated set for licorice-lovers comes with four different flavors: sweet, salty, habanero chili, and salty chili cranberry.
Lakrids Liquorice gift set, $48 for 4 jars at Lakrids