The small kitchen-dwelling food lover is a curious beast. We love to cook, so your inclination is to gift us great kitchen equipment or the newest cookbooks. But since we’re also short on space, we might not know where to store the latest gadget.
That’s why gourmet food gifts can be the best way to go! For one, you’re giving us the experience of dining on delicacies we might not ever buy for ourselves. And second, we don’t have to make permanent space in our cabinets or pantries for your lovely gifts. A win all around. Below, a round up of mouthwatering treats, from ham to coffee, for your favorite quarter-lifer.
**Edible Holiday Gifts**
1. Callebaut Chocolate. The best chocolate chips I’ve ever had, but a little too pricey to buy all the time. Between making chocolate chip cookies, melting for chocolate bark, and eating straight from the fridge, no matter how big a bag you gift, they’ll be gone before long. To make it into a bigger gift, add Bittersweet by Alice Medrich or Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Chocolate Desserts, my favorite chocolate cookbooks. $12 for 2 pounds.
2. Whole Foods Gift Certificate. When I was in college and during the early post-grad years, this was a a much-loved stocking stuffer or anytime gift from mom. I’d use it on fancy little extras I wouldn’t normally buy, when I was feeling especially poor, or when I was throwing a party and didn’t want to make a dent in my wallet. An always appreciated little extra, especially for recent grads. Whatever denomination you choose.
3.The Essential Fermín Ibérico and Serrano Holiday Charcuterie Collection from Food52. Four different kinds of Spanish sausage and sliced cured hams come in this box, which make for delightful New Year’s entertaining – or easy picnic-style dinners in between parties. (You could splurge on a whole jamon iberico, pictured, for $650!). Use Code BGSK10 to save 10% off* in the Food52 Holiday Shop. $59 for 14 ounces of meat.
4. Arbequina Olive Oil. This fruity olive oil from California Olive Ranch gives pestos and salad dressings a lift, but I like it most of all for dipping bread. All of the company’s olive oils are delicious, and worth making room for in the pantry next to the everyday canola and supermarket olive oil. For a 10 percent discount, use code BLOGFRIENDS when you check out. $14 for a 500 ml bottle.
5. Peanut Butter and Jelly Taster. New York Mouth sells extraordinarily delicious gift packs, and all their food is from indie purveyors. Since great jams and nut butters can be really expensive, this PB&J snackpack would make a much-appreciated gift for the small kitchen dweller who eats peanut butter every day. Ahem, Alex. If that seems too tame, the Meat Market ($90) sounds pretty special. $40 for two gourmet jellies, one fancy nut butter, and a PB&J candy bar.
6. Penzeys Spices Baker’s Assortment. Stocking the spice rack is one of the biggest challenges of starting off in a new kitchen. If you buy all your spices at once, you’ll spend a fortune. But if you buy them one by one, as a recipe requires, then you’ll find yourself missing some staples that’ll prevent you from cooking up a pot of chili on a whim. The 9-jar baker’s assortment contains cinnamon, cocoa powder, ground ginger, and vanilla extract, among others. $69.99 for 9 spices.
7. Craft Coffee Three-Month Subscription. If you make coffee at home regularly, it can be fun to splurge on good-quality beans, since they’re still cheaper than buying made coffee from Starbucks. Craft Coffee subscriptions can add variety to your morning habit – each month, you’ll get 12 ounces of interesting coffee from roasters all over the country. (By the way, I use this Hario Slim coffee grinder to grind my whole beans, mainly because it’s so small.) If you’ve got a coffee obsessive on your hands, Turntable Kitchen has a thorough coffee lover’s gift guide here. $74.97 for 36 ounces of coffee.
*Offer ends December 31, 2012, at 11:59 p.m. PDT. Excludes past purchases. Limit ten discounts per customer. Excludes travel and copper offers. Minimum $20 purchase. Offer is subject to change without notice and is not redeemable for cash or cash equivalent. May not be combined with any other offer or promotion. Void where prohibited by law.