I'm a big fan of food gifts for friends and family; they're all but guaranteed to be appreciated. Because even the person who has everything probably doesn't have bacon peanut brittle, or Long Island-made sea salt—and if they do, well, they'll just have enough for seconds. Edible treats are made to be eaten, after all.
And New York is a fabulous place to find such gifts, whether you're looking for locally made products or taking advantage of our many and varied food shops. Here are a few gift ideas, all purchasable in New York, and some just for New Yorkers. Take a peek.
Stocking Stuffers and Gift Baskets
High-end beef jerky from Slantshack Jerky, designer salts from Amagansett Sea Salt (which I sprinkle on just about everything I cook), creative mayonnaise flavors from Empire Mayonnaise, The Redhead's Bacon Peanut Brittle—there are any number of long-lasting foodstuffs perfect for stocking stuffers, or for putting together in gift baskets. Check out By Brooklyn, New York Mouth, Court Street Grocers, Bklyn Larder, and Brooklyn Victory Garden, all of which carry a wide range of NYC-made products.
Straight From the Farm
We're big fans of Good Eggs, the recently launched service that delivers locally grown and produced goods from farmers and foodmakers straight to your door. They've got a few tasty-looking gift baskets, including "A Taste of Brooklyn" and the "Brunch-Lover's Basket."
Meats and Cheeses
The best eating week I had all year: when I had a sizable quantity of 24-month prosciutto di Parma in my fridge, which found its way into omelets and pasta (or straight into my mouth) at every meal. The second-best week: when I had a massive wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano, deployed in much the same way. Never underestimate the joy that good meats and cheese can deliver. Eataly has a wide Italian lineup—and all manner of other potential holiday gifts—or you could head down to Little Italy and join the crowd at DiPalo's. (That's how we'd play it.) Fine fromageries include Saxelby Cheesemongers, Bedford Cheese Shop, and Murray's Cheese, which has plenty of gift-ready packages, if you want the choosing done for you.
For the Drinkers
If there's a New York cocktail-lover on your list, Cocktail Kingdom is the place to shop—whether you're looking for vintage cocktail books, professional-quality shakers, or elegant glassware. (True fact: Negronis taste better when made in a Yarai mixing glass.) But drinkable gifts tend to go over well, too. Why not head to one of our city's fine wine stores, such as Astor Wines & Spirits or Chambers Street Wines, and let the staff help you pick out something unusual?
The Gift of Learning
While some gift cards just languish in the back of your wallet, unused and unloved, we bet that most food-lovers will eagerly cash in their Coursehorse Cooking Class Gift Card. Available in any amount, it can be used toward any one of the cooking classes in the Serious Eats corner of the site —which includes experiences at the Institute of Culinary Education, Murray's Cheese, the Brooklyn Kitchen, and plenty more.
Anything we missed? What gifts do you give during the holidays?