Shopping & Reviews

The Best Culinary Stocking Stuffers Make a Big Splash

Sometimes the best things come in small packages.

By Ellen Fort

Published on November 22, 2022

Sometimes the best gifts aren’t the biggest gifts, but the ones that can be slipped inside a stocking or carried in your bag on the subway. A candle that smells like a dinner party? A perfect gold spoon? Whimsical knife rests shaped like tiny vegetables? The best culinary stocking stuffers run the gamut, but they are all cheeky little numbers that will deliver big.

Big Night Dinner Party Candle

    What DOES  a dinner party smell like? The candle from Brooklyn’s entertaining store, Big Night, strives to provide an answer. It “smells like a kitchen where everyone wants to gather,” and unlike many scented candles it’s not an unwanted guest when snacks are served and the wine is poured. It’s designed to burn alongside a pot of dinner on the stove, and it is truly a pleasant addition, with fresh scents like lemongrass and basil paired with warm spices like saffron and musky wood.

    Gestura Utility Spoon
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      If there’s one spoon to rule them all this is probably the one to do it. It is truly a commanding spoon, made with attention to every detail—the ideal gift for the aspiring chef. It’s perfectly shaped for basting meat with butter or saucing a plate, with a long handle that can handle skimming a braise or stirring a deep pot. 

      Everybody Kitchen Timer
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        This cheeky little timer is always invited to the party, no matter what we’re cooking up in the kitchen. Designed by the geometrically inclined Dusen Dusen for Areaware, this pal will be there for any culinary adventure, from boiling pasta to remembering to take the roast out of the oven. 

        Tinned Sardine Snack Picks
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          A set of six fishy little snack picks is a great stocking stuffer or hostess gift. They're not exclusively made to accompany tinned fish and would look equally as adorable on a cheese plate as they would with a school of anchovies served with crusty bread.

          Loisa Tostonera
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            Slip this colorful tostonera into their stocking this year and give the gift of perfectly smashed plantains all year. The beloved latin snack—green plantains that have been smashed and then fried until crispy—is delicious served with a garlic dipping sauce or on their own, sprinkled with sea salt. For someone super serious about tostones, Loisa offers a gift set that includes a matching masher and skimmer in addition to the tostonera.

            Areaware Serving Friends
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              Salad doesn't have to be so serious...toss up a whimsical bowl with these flower-shaped servers from Areaware. And really they're not just for salad, of course—use them to delicately serve asparagus, a bowl of Brussels sprouts, or even a bowl full of cacio e pepe. It's a fun gift for the friend who loves to entertain and set a table that's big on personality.

              Gilda Pintxo Set
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                Gildas are the iconic Basque pintxo named after a Rita Hayworth character (and movie of the same name). Like Gilda, the pintxo is salty, spicy and green, composed of an anchovy, an olive, and a guindilla pepper on a toothpick. It's a perfect umami bite with texture and heat. Olasgasti anchovies are high quality and plump, and not overly salty, perfectly complemented by Spanish peppers and olives.

                Hedley & Bennett Chefs Knife
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                  The dynamic LA-based apron company has released a chic chef's knife designed with the needs of chefs (and avid home cooks) in mind. They worked with professional chefs to craft a knife that is versatile, tough, and good-looking, too. The blade is three layers of Japanese steel that comes with a lifetime guarantee. It’s available in enoki white, shiso green, and caviar black to match any style. A quality knife is truly the gift they’ll use every day.

                  Susan Alexandra Bubble Cup
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                    This plump little cup will delight anyone on your list with its cute little curves and fun colors. We’d suggest filling it with wine, sake, and cocktails, but it would be happily filled with olives, nuts, ice cream, or flowers, too. Mix-and-match with four different colorways.

                    Shishimi Togarashi by Yawataya Isogoro
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                      A favorite of SAVEUR’s chief creative Kate Berry, this particular blend of shichimi togarishi packs in the flavor, and the heat. It includes numbing sansho peppers, ginger, bright yuzu and orange peel, shiso, and black sesame. It’s perfect on any Japanese dish for a hit of heat and umami, but is an ideal addition to almost anything.

                      Vegetable Knife Rests
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                        Give your friend who loves to host this set of knife rests in the shape of tiny vegetables and win yourself an invitation to every dinner party. The hand-painted set includes a carrot, onion, asparagus, turnip, radish, and sweet pea. 

                        Material Forever Peeler
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                          This is the gift that they don't know they needed: An uber-sharp peeler that's also aesthetically pleasing. Material's Forever Peeler has an ergonomic shape that makes peeling a breeze—a pile of potatoes is no match. It's also super tough, and comes with a replacement blade to keep things sharp down the line.

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