Gifts for food and drink lovers
These gifts are perfect for the foodies and drink lovers on your list.
To see more holiday gift guides, visit newsday.com/giftguides.
Try The World subscription(Credit: Try The World )
Try the World is an Internet club that sends members a gift box full of international foods every two months. Each box focuses on a specific country, but the Holiday Box mixes it up with panettone from Italy, chocolate truffles from France, olive oil from Israel, gingersnaps from Sweden and tea from England, among other treats. A year's subscription (six boxes) is $198; shorter subscriptions are also available. More information: http://bit.ly/1WlVN3X
2015 Samuel Adams Utopias(Credit: Boston Beer Co.)
Jim Koch, founder of Boston Beer Co., calls the 2015 Samuel Adams Utopias "the lunatic fringe of extreme beer." It's also crazy good. Utopias is made with fresh beer blended with beers from other years dating to 1992. Finished in barrels used for cognac, Armagnac, port, Madeira and bourbon, this is a powerful, rich, complex production that comes in at 28 percent alcohol by volume. Less than 10,000 of the artful bottles were made. More information: http://bit.ly/1PYN8Gd
Hu Kitchen chocolate bars(Credit: Newsday/ John Paraskevas)
Hu Kitchen in New York City makes chocolate that eschews refined sugar, gluten, dairy, emulsifiers, stabilizers, soy or GMOs. But that doesn't stop the Almond Butter + Puffed Quinoa or Crunchy Fig bar from being delicious -- they are like darker, more complex versions of a Nestle Crunch or Mr. Goodbar -- with about half the grams of sugar (coconut sugar, in this case). Each 2.1-ounce bar is $5.99 at Fairway in Lake Grove, Westbury and Plainview.
Whale-shaped cutting board(Credit: Harbor Market and Kitchen)
After doing all of the millwork work for Harbor Market and Kitchen in Sag Harbor, local artisan Alex Stivala of Carpen House noticed that the shop was selling a whale-shaped cutting board. He told owner Abbey Warsh that he could make a nicer one for them, and now he does. The Market will ship one of his handmade boards ($96) anywhere in the U.S., packed in a branded burlap bag or as part of a larger gift bag or basket. To order, call Harbor Market and Kitchen, 631-725-4433, or go to harbormarket.com.
'The Wine Bible'
The second edition of Karen MacNeil's "The Wine Bible" (Workman, $24.95) will provide all you need to know about California wines, and just about everything else that's vinous. Informed and entertaining, it's a comprehensive, one-volume education, deftly written and handsomely presented. "The Wine Bible" merits a toast.
Hanukkah-themed chocolate pops(Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas)
These Hanukkah-themed chocolate pops in dreidel, menorah and Star of David shapes come in milk and white chocolate. They are $1.99 a pop at Messina Market in East Norwich.
The Rabbit freezable beer glass(Credit: The Rabbit)
The Rabbit freezable beer glass swiftly turns beer cold. A food-safe chilling liquid is in the walls of the 12-ounce glass. A set of two is $35. More information: http://bit.ly/1NDNVbZ
North Fork Sea Salt(Credit: Bruce Gilbert)
Harvested from the waters of Long Island's East End, North Fork Sea Salt comes in a variety of flavors. Bee-Pollen salt (left, $14) is blended with pollen from the beehives at Browder's Birds in Mattituck and has a mild, sweet, floral finish. And you can't beat the simple, clean North Flake crystals ($12). For more information: http://bit.ly/1SckQ9h
Core Kitchen silicone whisks(Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas)
Whisk away without fear of damaging your nonstick pots and pans with this set of two rainbow-colored silicone whisks from Core Kitchen, $5.99 at Stop & Shop.
Epicurean Collapsible Pastry Stand(Credit: Epicurean)
For such a rarely used item, cake stands take up an awful lot of room. The elegant Epicurean Collapsible Pastry Stand can be quickly disassembled into three flat, easy-to-store pieces. Made of a non-porous wood-fiber composite, it is durable enough to cut on as well. Available in nutmeg or slate; small or large. More info: http://bit.ly/1MrKG4I. Find the best price: http://bit.ly/1XFIm1t
Homemade Gin Kit(Credit: Homemade Gin)
Yes, turn your home into a gin mill. The Homemade Gin Kit provides two 375ml glass bottles and ingredients, including juniper berries, plus a funnel and a strainer. It's $49.95. Add $14.95 for either a hopped grapefruit, spiced or smoky blend. Available at homemadegin.com.
Crimson & Clove 'make your own mustard' kit(Credit: Crimson & Clove)
Earlier this year, young marrieds Alicia Valeo and Kevin Breslawski started Crimson & Clove, a company that hand packs spices and makes its own spice blends. This "make your own mustard" kit contains vials of yellow mustard seed, brown mustard seed and horseradish powder plus instructions for mixing up your own condiment and customizing it with your choice of vinegar, honey, beer, etc. Includes an empty 4-ounce jar plus a blank tag for gift labeling. More information: http://bit.ly/1PwH8nU
Cooking class with Nader Gebrin(Credit: Bravo Nader )
A cooking class with Nader Gebrin, chef-owner of Bravo Nader in Huntington, is as much about dining as it is about cooking. A Sunday afternoon class, which runs from noon to 3:30 p.m., involves a five-course meal accompanied by unlimited wine, beer and soda. Attendees relax and eat while Gebrin demonstrates the preparation of each course; recipes are later emailed. Classes are held once a month on random Sundays; check the restaurant's website (bravonader.com) for the schedule. The cost of a class is $100, exclusive of gratuities. To purchase a certificate for a cooking class, call or stop into the restaurant (9 Union Place, Huntington, 631-351-1200) or contact Gebrin's wife Mary at 631-425-7661, email@example.com.
The Pizzeria Pronto Stovetop Pizza Oven(Credit: The Companion Group)
A splurge for the pizzaiolo in your life, The Pizzeria Pronto Stovetop Pizza Oven turns your gas range into a 600-degree pizza oven. With a compact and heat-efficient design, it reaches that temperature in 15 minutes, and can cook a 12-inch pizza in 6 minutes. Available for $179.95 exclusively at Williams-Sonoma stores and online at williams-sonoma.com. More information: http://bit.ly/1kmit8a
Rabbit Electric Corkscrew(Credit: Rabbit)
The Automatic Electric Corkscrew from Rabbit uncorks a bottle on contact. No twisting, turning, pushing, plunging. It has a built-in foil cutter. You'll take the corks out of 30 bottles on one charge. Available for $50 on rabbitwine.com.
Black Coal Chocolatey Chunks(Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas)
Check off the applicable box on this Santa-themed package of Black Coal Chocolatey Chunks: "Naughty," "Nice," or "Tries Hard." It's $5.99 at Messina Market in East Norwich.
Le Matassine pasta(Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas)
The holidays are a perfect excuse to splurge on pasta. Le Matassine ("skeins") pasta, made by Filotea in Italy's Le Marche region, consists of little nests of egg pasta with a rough texture that holds sauce beautifully. Tagliatelle, left, and spaghetti alla chitarra are available in 8.8-ounce packages for $6.99 at Iavarone Bros. in Wantagh, Woodbury and New Hyde Park.
Crown Maple syrup(Credit: Crown Maple)
The 800 wooded acres of Madava Farms in Dutchess County, New York provide the tree sap for Crown Maple syrup. The syrup comes in four hues-golden, amber, dark and very dark-and as the syrup gets darker, the taste becomes more robust. All are bottled to look like fine whisky, but for the adult pancake lover on your list, there's Bourbon-barrel-aged maple syrup, which contains up to 2 percent alcohol. All varieties come in Crown Maple's 375 ml "Royal Treatment Box," $20.95 to $25.95. For more information: http://bit.ly/1QHxz4Z
Carolina Reaper puree(Credit: Bruce Gilbert)
Here's a little gift that will blow the top off of the heat freak on your list: Carolina Reaper puree, made from the world's hottest pepper, according to Guinness World Records. A cross between the Pakastani Naga and a Red Habanero, the Reaper has an average of 1.5 million Scoville Heat Units and can go up to 2.2 million. A 2-ounce vial of Smokin Ed's Carolina Reaper puree is $20.99 at Some Like It Hot & Spicy (380 New York Ave., Huntington). More information: 631-427-7429, http://bit.ly/1o6It4C
Inglenook wine(Credit: Inglenook)
Francis Ford Coppola has won Oscars for his classic movies. And he has produced many award-worthy wines. Coppola has restored and renewed the historic Inglenook name. His winery produces the flagship 2012 Rubicon, a superb, complex cabernet sauvignon, full of black cherry and blackberry, floral, herbal and harmonious. It's $210. The balanced, berry-driven, slightly floral 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon CASK is a standout selection from Inglenook that evokes Bordeaux. It's $75. More information: http://bit.ly/1oWHOoy
La Florentine milk chocolate pralines(Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas)
For the opera-loving chocophile (or chocolate-loving operaphile), these milk chocolate pralines filled with crunchy hazelnut cream from La Florentine are packed in tins bearing collectible posters from the Puccini operas "Turandot," "Madame Butterfly" and "La Boheme." Each is $19.99 at Uncle Giuseppe's in Smithtown, Port Jefferson Station, East Meadow, Port Washington and Massapequa.
OXO Illuminating Digital Hand Mixer(Credit: OXO)
OXO, maker of ingenious, ergonomic kitchen tools, has turned its attention to electrical appliances: toasters, coffee makers and grinders, blenders and mixers. We're impressed -- and charmed -- by the OXO Illuminating Digital Hand Mixer, which features a soft-glow LED "headlights" to illuminate the bowl you're mixing in. Soft-touch controls allow you to smoothly adjust mixing speed. The power cord swivels and snaps into either side of the mixer to stay out of your way while working, and then wraps and secures around the base for compact, upright storage, $79.99. More information: http://bit.ly/1LWvZGG; Find the best price: http://bit.ly/1P8ymup
Masseria Dauna pomodorini(Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas)
These beautiful pomodorini (cherry tomatoes) from Masseria Dauna in Puglia look like so many Christmas ornaments in a jar. For a special marinara sauce. The 27-ounce jar is $7.99 at Iavarone Bros. in Wantagh, Woodbury and New Hyde Park.
Savino wine preservation system(Credit: Savino)
Lengthen the life of your uncorked wine with the Savino wine preservation system. Pour what's left of the bottle into the Savino decanter. Then, insert the float to block wine from oxygen. Add the carafe top to bar spills. Available in plastic or glass, $29.95 to $59.95. More information: http://bit.ly/1jQw4El; Find the best price: http://bit.ly/1jvN7fu
Oliviero almond torrone(Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas)
Think of it as an elegant, Italian take on the black-and-white cookie: This 11-ounce slab of Oliviero almond torrone (nougat) is half chocolate, half vanilla. It's $9.99 at Uncle Giuseppe's in Smithtown, Port Jefferson Station, East Meadow, Port Washington and Massapequa.
Calivirgin extra-virgin olive oil
California has established a reputation for olive oils that are the equal of those produced in the countries that ring the Mediterranean. The Coldani family, whose ranch is in Lodi, grows Arbequina and Koroneiki olives that are cold-pressed within hours of harvest. Calivirgin extra-virgin olive oil is fresh, fruity and mild and comes in an opaque white bottle so that light doesn't damage it. A 17-ounce bottle is $26 at Red Maple Market, 1085 Northern Blvd., Roslyn, 516-801-8080. More information: http://bit.ly/1ParkFI
Govino plastic champagne flutes(Credit: Govino)
You can throw caution to the wind with Govino's plastic champagne flutes. Made from an ultra-thin, flexible, BPA-free polymer, the slim, stemless 8-ounce flutes feature a recessed thumb notch and are dishwasher safe. More information: http://bit.ly/1XzmJjf; Find the best price: http://bit.ly/1WkA0iw
Lingua di suocera(Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas)
We're not sure why these colorful ribbons of pasta are called lingua di suocera (mother-in-law's tongues), but let's take it as a compliment. An 8.8-ounce package of the supersized (15 inches) pappardelle from Pastificio Marella in Puglia is $12.99 at Messina Market in East Norwich.
Raw food classes(Credit: Positive Raw Power )
Give the gift of a new lifestyle. Long Island native Joanne LaCarrubba Steenberg, a founder of Positive Raw Power in Maine, is a certified raw food chef and teacher who offers classes at The Mill Creek Tavern in Bayville once a month. Attendees will hear Steenberg discuss raw food living and watch her demonstrate how to prepare a few dishes. Classes usually run the first Monday of the month from 6 to 8:30 p.m. and include handouts and recipes. At the end of the demonstration is a three-course, raw food sit-down dinner. A class at the restaurant costs $95 a person; private classes in the recipient's home are also available at $125 a person. More information: http://bit.ly/1PJrxQR
Clarkson Avenue Crumb Cake(Credit: Clarkson Avenue Crumb Cake Company)
The Clarkson Avenue Crumb Cake Company is a family-run, Calverton-based bakery seeking to recreate the kind of moist, plump-crumbed crumb cake that the older members of the Walsh family remembered from their childhood on Clarkson Avenue in Brooklyn. For the holidays, the Walshes are packing their three cakes into decorative golden tins. Choose from plain Brooklyn Crumb ($14.99), Brooklyn Black & White (chocolate cake, plain crumbs, $19.99) or our favorite, Brooklyn Blackout (chocolate cake and crumbs, $19.99). More information: http://bit.ly/1MxPhT6
Mount Taygetos herbs(Credit: Bruce Gilbert)
Noting that there was a distinct lack of Greek comestibles on the North Fork, Joanne Cosonas and Tony Medina opened Agora: The Little Greek Market in Mattituck in June. The bright shop stocks all the basics, including dried herbs from Mount Taygetos, the highest mountain in the Peloponnese. The 8-ounce jars of oregano and basil ($3.49) and mint ($4.49) are available at Agora (610B Pike St., Mattituck). More information: 631-315-5070
Fiasconaro's Oro Verde(Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas)
A luxuriant alternative to peanut butter, Fiasconaro's spreadable Oro Verde ("green gold") pistachio cream is lightly sweetened. Spread on toasted baguette and top with dark chocolate shavings for elegant dessert crostini. A 6.3-ounce jar is $10.99 at Uncle Giuseppe's in Smithtown, Port Jefferson Station, East Meadow, Port Washington and Massapequa.
Dinner in the dark at West East Bistro
It's not too soon to start planning for Valentine's Day. For their tactilely inclined customers, West East Bistro in Hicksville is serving a seven-course dinner -- in the dark. Diners will don blindfolds to enable them to better appreciate the feel, shape, weight, sound, and, of course, taste of a dinner prepared by chef-owner Jay Jadeja. Good luck finding your wine glass! The meal, Feb. 8 from 7 to 10 p.m., is $136.70 inclusive per person. For more information or to make reservations call 516-939-6618 or go to westeastbistro.com.
Chef's Choice electric knife sharpener(Credit: Chef's Choice)
If your knives aren't brand-new, chances are they aren't very sharp. You can fix that with this electric sharpener from Chef's Choice. The AngleSelect Diamond Hone Model 290 is a compact machine -- it will fit inside the average toaster oven -- that handles both Western knives (whose blades have a 20-degree angle) and Japanese-style knives (15-degree angle) as well as light sport knives and pocketknives. Clear instructions make it very easy to use. More information: http://bit.ly/1ScmAiR; Find the best price: http://bit.ly/1jVqcKE
Hamptons Salt Company artisanal salts(Credit: Bruce Gilbert)
Southampton-based Hamptons Salt Company sells dozens of artisanal salts sourced from around the world. For everyday use, the 14-ounce jar of Cooking Salt ($9.99) is a blend of Atlantic and Pacific Ocean flakes. If you'd like your salt to heat foods up, there's Ghost Pepper Salt (1 ounce, $21.99) made with sea salt and the Naga Jolokai (aka Ghost) pepper, one of the world's hottest. More information: Cooking Salt: http://bit.ly/1Xdiud4; Ghost Pepper Salt: http://bit.ly/1LDVK1Q
All-Clad fry pan set(Credit: All-Clad)
All-Clad's B1 nonstick cookware combines even-heating, hard-anodized aluminum construction with stay-cool stainless steel handles and a state-of-the-art, heavy-duty nonstick coating. The pans are suitable for all range types (including induction) and are dishwasher safe (which you will hardly need since they are so easy to clean). The 8-inch and 10-inch fry pans are indispensable for egg dishes ranging from scrambles to omelets to frittatas. The set is $59.99 exclusively at Bed Bath & Beyond. More information: http://bit.ly/1W0Z9OX
Urbani truffle honey(Credit: Newsday/ John Paraskevas)
Too many truffled comestibles have never seen a truffle -- the flavor is supplied by artificial flavors. Urbani is one of the country's leading truffle importers and its truffle honey is made with real summer truffle -- there's even a slice in the bottom of the jar. A 3-ounce jar is $21.95 at Fairway in Lake Grove, Westbury and Plainview.
Smoked Spanish paprika(Credit: Newsday/ John Paraskevas)
Smoked Spanish paprika, pimenton, is one of the most versatile spices in a cook's arsenal. Add a big pinch of it to some olive oil to drizzle over vegetables before roasting, or use it to dust pork, lamb or chicken. This pretty tin, 2.47 ounces, is $6.49 at Whole Foods in Lake Grove, Jericho and Manhasset.
Goat milk caramels(Credit: Big Picture Farm)
These outstanding goat milk caramels from Big Picture Farm in Vermont are made by hand using fresh milk from the farm's pasture-raised animals. They come in a variety of flavors (vanilla, maple cream, sea salt, chai), with the tangy milk coming through in a subtle way. Harbor Market and Kitchen in Sag Harbor will pack the pretty box ($48) in a burlap gift bag and ship anywhere in the U.S. To order, call Harbor Market and Kitchen, 631-725-4433, or go to harbormarket.com.
Molisana salami(Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas)
This Molisana salami (seasoned with pepper, garlic and sangiovese wine) is already decked out for Christmas in its red-and-green wrapping. The 6-ounce sausage, from Olli Salumeria, is $9.99 at Uncle Giuseppe's in Smithtown, Port Jefferson Station, East Meadow, Port Washington and Massapequa.
Corn relish(Credit: Bruce Gilbert)
Here's summer in a jar. A Taste of the North Fork shucks East End corn and pickles it with local peppers and onions to make this corn relish. A 16-ounce jar is $13 at A Taste of the North Fork (53975 Main Rd., Southold). More information: 631-734-6100, http://bit.ly/1inx69P
2011 Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon(Credit: Concha y Toro)
The 2011 Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon is the 25th vintage of the great Chilean wine, the elegant peak of Concha y Toro's repertoire. Smooth, aromatic and intense, the ruby-hued, full-bodied wine is loaded with black fruit. Find the best price: http://bit.ly/1oWHOoy
Maine Lobster Juice(Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas)
Give your next seafood soup or pasta sauce a luxurious start by using lobster juice instead of water. This 8-ounce bottle, from Maine-based Bar Harbor Foods, is $3.99 at King Kullen.