Christmas is just three weeks away, and Hannukah is even closer, with the first night falling on the 10th of the month. If you’re looking for something to get the food lover and/or cook in your life, the following are some possibilities. As was the case last year, I will be presenting my recommendations in two parts. Part 1, which you are reading, will cover gifts under $50. Part 2, which will run tomorrow, will include gifts that run higher.
For starters, let’s talk truffles: the black kind. The kind trained pigs dig up in France and cost a fortune. If you’re as addicted to these fragrant fungi as our porcine cousins are, you’ll want to know about the Essential Truffle Collection from TruffleHunter, which bills itself as Europe’s leading producer of gourmet truffle products. The set contains 100-ml bottles of white truffle oil and black truffle oil, a jar of flaked black truffle sea salt, and a jar of white truffle honey. The set runs $36.95.
You’ve heard of cronuts and cruffs. Introducing the Truffny, which is a mashup of truffle and brownie. The result, which will be manna to truffle lovers (the non-black kind) is unimaginably decadent. Truffnies come in a wide variety of flavors such as toasted coconut, English toffee, fresh cracked peppermint, and cranberry white chocolate. Truffnies can be served chilled, to taste more like a traditional truffle (ganache, silky and buttery), or at room temperature to taste more like a rich brownie. Expect to pay between $8.95 (for a four-piece box) and $44.95 (for a 24-piece box.)
The COVID-19 pandemic has spawned a new generation of at-home cooks and wannabes. For the latter a company called Global Grub has come up with a collection of DIY cooking kits that help you cook dishes you’ve never dreamed of cooking. Like ravioli from scratch. Or fortune cookies. OK, you never dreamed of making fortune cookies, but the kit looks neat, and the marker used to write fortunes is supposedly edible. The kits, which may be purchased from Global Grub, range from $27.99 to $31.99.
Do you ever get blisters or fatigue when you do a lot of chopping or other work with a kitchen knife? If you do, you’re probably using this most fundamental chef’s tool wrong. But whether you are or not, the Ultimate Knife Grip may be the answer to your problems. The ergonomically designed grip, made of polymer, helps you control the knife better. The UKG, which is available from the manufacturer sells for $20 — $15 each if you buy two or more.
If your family celebrates Hannukah, which lasts eight days, you’ll want to consider the 8 Days of Hanukkah Gift Mailer sold by Sugar Plum. The assortment includes everything you could want and more, including a 4-ounce chocolate menorah sprinkled with blue and white nonpareils, two 4-ounce chocolate Hanukkah lollipops, and a 4-pack of our fluffy milk & dark chocolate-covered marshmallows. The 8 Days of Hannukah Gift Mailer sells for $49.
When I was growing up, my best friend, who was Jewish, always enjoyed coming to my family’s house to admire the Christmas tree and help build and design our gingerbread house. This year, Jews around the country can create their own Chanukah House Cookie. Manischewitz, maker of kosher food products, is offering a cookie house kit. The kit, which comes with everything you need to build and decorate your house, is available at Walmart and Stop & Shop and may be ordered from Amazon. The kits cost between $12.99 – 15.99.