Everyone knows edible gifts are some of the very best kind. Even better? Presents that take the foods someone already loves to the next level. Whether it’s an eye-catching grinder for spices and seasonings or a versatile lemon preserve that adds savory brightness to any dish it touches, these gifts will fit seamlessly into your loved ones’ pantries and fridges. These are the crowd-pleasing kitchen staples I’m gifting the cooks in my life this year—to spark joy meal after meal, all season long.
Hot chocolate is a winter holiday staple, but with many blends, one winds up with disappointingly watered-down drinks that miss the mark. This year, gift your loved ones with hot chocolate they’ll sip on repeat all winter long. This set from spice company Spicewalla, founded by James Beard-nominated chef Meherwan Irani, includes a classic hot chocolate, a Mexican-inspired blend, and another spiced with chai masala—decadent, boldly flavored beverages that will definitely amp up the festive spirit.
Oftentimes, a little sprinkling of salt or pepper is all you need to make the flavors in a dish really sing. Not only does this beech wood grinder give you a coarser or finer grind depending on which direction you twist it, it’s also a work of art that’s sure to lift one’s mood every time it’s used. With each sprinkle of seasoning, the recipient will think fondly of you—and your exquisite taste.
With these meaty anchovies in the pantry, one can rest assured that a delicious meal is never far away. Wild caught in Northern Spain with sustainable practices, these high-quality fish are cured to just the right level of briny flavor, then packed in an aromatic olive oil. With each jar, you’ll be giving the gift of endless meal possibilities—they’re perfect for fanning out on top of a pizza, mashing and sautéing into a vibrant pasta sauce, serving in a funky salad, or simply devouring atop buttered toast. (For even more perfectly giftable anchovies, head over to our guide to the very best anchovies here.)
MSG is the ultimate shortcut for awakening the umami flavor in any number of savory dishes. This three-piece shaker set from the food brand Omsom, known for its range of East Asian and Southeast Asian-inspired sauces, is rewriting the negative narrative around MSG by putting the Ajinomoto-produced seasoning on its rightful pedestal alongside salt and pepper. The shakers are a treat for the eyes, too—the neon design will brighten up any kitchen counter.
We love the sheer diversity of beans out there in the world, and every variety has different ideal uses—some are great for baking or braising, while others are perfect for blitzing into a sauce or dip. This year, introduce your friends and family to the versatility of this magical ingredient with this Rancho Gordo collection, featuring three lovely breeds that especially shine in Italian cuisine: Marcella beans, cranberry beans, and black garbanzo beans. Talk about living la dolce vita.
You won’t soon go back to supermarket charcuterie after tasting this stuff. Mercado Famous sources all its meat directly from Spain, where the co-founders grew up enjoying heaps of delicious charcuterie. The brand’s best cuts shine in this bundle, which includes a pack of 100% Iberico, Lomo, chorizo, and salchichon. The meats would be a great addition to any holiday hors d'oeuvres spread—or save them in your fridge all for yourself (we won’t tell!).
The best finishing touch for countless dishes, from juicy steaks to tender brownies, is a dusting of flaky salt. Not only does the powerful ingredient bring out the other flavors in a meal, it also adds textural interest in the form of a subtle crunch. But sometimes, a dish can benefit from the essence of another finishing flavor, too, and that’s where infused salt comes in. This five-piece set from Jacobsen Salt Co. includes seasonings infused with ingredients like habanero, black garlic, and lemon zest—to up the ante of whatever dish one is whipping up. Not to mention, the striped tins the salts come in are an adorable addition to any kitchen set-up.
Birghtland’s infused olive oils are a lovely gift in their own right, but this particular set is tailor-made for holiday gifting. The series includes four infused oils in petite bottles, all of which have limited-edition labels that were created in collaboration with artists like Lilian Martinez and B.D. Graft. The set arrives in a stunning box that’s ready for wrapping and presenting to any of the cooks on your gift list.
A little lemon preserve can go a long way in giving a savory, bright, and complex oomph to everything from dressings and dips to meatballs and baked goods. This small-batch version, made with lemons sourced from New Orleans, comes blended, making it easy to swirl it right into a stew or batter. Don’t be surprised when the recipients of your jar come back asking where they can buy another.
Dashi is a simple umami-rich stock that serves as the bedrock of many classic Japanese dishes. The mildly sweet and savory broth is generally made from water, katsuobushi, and kombu. This year, give loved ones the gift of flavor and convenience in the form of these pre-assembled bags that take care of all the prep work. All that’s left to do is steeping them in boiling water, and one is already halfway to a warming bowl of soba noodles or miso soup. Or, sprinkle part of a packet over some rice or a salad, to lend them irresistible umami.