The Foodista editors have compiled a list of their favorite, must-have items for the food lover - from gourmet foods and spices to cookbooks and essential kitchen tools. We've even included items our own children play with like cuttable wooden fruit and vegetables and an eco-friendly cookware set. We own each of the items on this list and give them all our thumbs up! So if you're looking for the perfect gift for the food lover, we've got the ideas here!
Must-Try Foods & Spices
Kitchen Curry Masters
This amazing kit is complete with everything you need to cook Indian cuisine! 2 pounds of 12 essential spices and an easy-to-use cookbook that gives you step-by-step instructions for 25 delicious recipes.
Slide Ridge Honey Wine Vinegar
We love this vinegar drizzled over fresh fruit or tossed into salads (it's especially great on arugula!). Try it drizzled over cheese too.We love this vinegar drizzled over fresh fruit or tossed into salads (it's especially great on arugula!).
Red Boat Fish Sauce
We think Red Boat is by far the most superior fish sauce. If you love Asian cuisine, this is a must-have ingredient. And, it's loaded with B vitamins and minerals and is packed with protein, making it a healthy addition to your diet.
Add flavor and dimension to dishes with fennel pollen. A pinch added to soups or atop grilled meats and vegetables will have your guests wondering what that amazing special ingredient is!
Smoked Grape Seed Oil
Smoked oils are perfect for anyone who loves to grill. Drizzle a bit over grilled meats and vegetables for a wonderful smoky flavor.
Fat Cork Champagne Club
Give the gift of exclusive and unique Champagne found nowhere else in the US. Each bottle is hand-selected based on your taste preferences. Learn more about their bubbly program here.
World Spice Merchant's Harissa Blend
World Spice's harissa, a popular North African spice blend, is our favorite and has just the right amount of spice needed to flavor dishes like Moroccan tagines. We order it ground and mix it with a bit of olive oil to make a deliciously addictive paste.
World Spice at Home Gift Set
This great all-in-one kit comes with an assortment of essential spices and a cookbook featuring 75 delicious recipes from the award-winning spice merchant.
Food and Wine Magazine called this salt the "most coveted new ingredient" and we couldn't agree more! Sprinkle over dishes for a distinct and delicious flavor.
Murray River Flake Salt
This finishing salt (added to dishes after cooking) is a staple in our home. We sprinkle it on everything from salads and pastas to vegetables and meats. It's light, airy and has a wonderfully delicate flavor.
Jacobsen Salt Co. Lemon Zest Flake Sea Salt
Another one of our favorite finishing salts, this lemon salt, harvested from the pristine waters of Oregon, adds a wonderful punch of flavor to dishes
Smith Tea, Lord Bergamot
We love any of teamaker Steve Smith's tea, but in the morning it's a cup of his Lord Bergamot we heartily enjoy.
Smoked Black Pepper
Why use plain black pepper when you can add depth of smoky flavor to your food with smoked black peppercorns? Try it on eggs, salads, grilled veggies and more!
Willamette Valley Confectionery's Deluxe Peppermint Bark
The holiday season would not be complete without a box (or two!) of Willamette Valley Confectionery's peppermint chocolate bark. What sets their bark apart from others is their use of superior quality dark and white chocolates. They also use a high peppermint oil, making this bark simply sublime!
Artisan Green (Spinach) Chorizo
Unlike traditional chorizo, Don Felipe's have little to no fat so don't feel guilty about indulging! We don't! We love this green chorizo (filled with spinach) in dishes like mussels in white wine.
Nutmeg Spice Grinder
Fresh nutmeg adds amazing depth to any recipe. This grinder makes it easy!
Our Favorite Books
Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good: A Memoir of Food and Love from an American Midwest Family
This charming, heartfelt and funny memoir from New York Times best-selling author Kathleen Flinn will have you laughing out loud. Flinn shows us how meals are made into memories in this delightful read.
Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day
Whether you eat a gluten-free diet or not you will love this book (we have the non-GF edition, too). Complete with 90 easy recipes all made with gluten-free flours and easy-to-find ingredients.
Eat Your Vegetables: Bold Recipes for the Single Cook
Named among the best cookbooks of 2013 by The Atlantic, The Boston Globe, and NPR's "Here and Now"! Joe Yonan, food and travel editor of the Washington Post, has created an eclectic variety of vegetarian and vegan dishes perfect for the single eater or to serve as small sides. Even meat eaters will delight in these recipes!
The Vegetarian Flavor Bible
More and more people ditching meat (or eating less of it) and reaching for vegetables instead. In her latest book, Karen Page, through insight from dozens of leading chefs, shows us how to maximize the flavor of vegetables.
Modernist Cuisine at Home
This book is a must-have for the cook who loves to geek out in the kitchen! From sous vide and innovative pressure cooking, you'll discover the science behind our food and how we prepare it along with hundreds of stunning recipes.
Shroom: Mind-bendingly Good Recipes for Cultivated and Wild Mushrooms
We think mushrooms are the it ingredient of the season, perhaps the year! Be inspired by 75 inventive mushroom-based recipes in this delicious cookbook by chef and cooking instructor Becky Selengut. You'll soon become a mushroom master after reading her book!
A follow-up to Chef Yotam Ottolenghi's best-selling and award-winning Plenty, Plenty More features more than 150 vegetarian dishes - from salads to desserts - that will have you drooling.
Simple Thai Food
Learn how to make your favorite Thai takeout dishes any night of the week with Simple Thai Food. This cookbook offers quick and easy recipes that even the busiest home cook can prepare.
Down South: Bourbon, Pork, Gulf Shrimp & Second Helpings of Everything
Donald Link is one of New Orleans most beloved Chefs. Down South explores South foodways and shares some of the very best recipes of the region.
The Baking Bible
The Baking Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum draws on her expertise to help the home baker become a master of flour, butter, sugar and eggs. Her meticulously written recipes for pies, tarts, cakes, breads, and more not only provide detailed instructions but include helpful tips to ensure that each baked good is a success.
Flavor Flours: A New Way to Bake with Teff, Buckwheat, Sorghum, Other Whole & Ancient Grains, Nuts & Non-Wheat Flours
The grocery store no longer offers just whole wheat and all-purpose flours. Medrich bakes treats that use alternative wheat-free flavors that result in dynamic desserts.
Flourless: Recipes for Naturally Gluten-Free Desserts
Flourless is a dessert cookbook that shares sweet recipes that are naturally gluten-free. You will be drooling over the flourless chocolate cake with salted caramel sauce.
Even though the recipes in Yummy Suppers are crafted with the gluten intolerant in mind, it emphasizes eating all-natural whole ingredients that not only have health benefits but are delicious too.
Josey Baker Bread: Get Baking - Make Awesome Bread - Share the Loaves
If you are just beginning to explore the transformation that happens when flour meets yeast, Josey Baker Bread is a must-read. This cookbook is packed with useful tips and tricks to prepare the perfect loaf.
The New Indian Slow Cooker
The New Indian Slow Cooker by Neela Paniz rethinks traditional Indian recipes to make them accessible and convenient for the busy home cook. Many classic Indian dishes like butter chicken, lamb vindaloo, and vegetable curry simmer for hours which makes them ideal for the slow cooker.
Better Homes and Gardens New Junior Cook Book
Start your little chefs off right, with this Better Homes and Gardens cookbook made just for kids.
Gluten Free on a Shoestring
A first class recipe and how-to book for anyone who wants to learn how to make anything with gluten free flour. A must have!
Kitchen Essentials We Can't Do Without
Bormioli Rocco Bodega Stackable Mini Tumblers (set of 12)
We discovered these inexpensive, durable, and stackable glasses in a restaurant in Spain and now have them in all three sizes! The small size (7.5 ounces) is perfect for scotch or a casual glass of wine, the medium size (12.5 ounces) is great for juice and water, and the large size (17 ounces) is great for iced tea and beer.
Blendtec Designer Series Blender
We are simply mad about our Blendtec blender! It's super powerful; automatically speeds up and slows down, then shuts off when the cycle is complete; and its sleek control surface features illuminated, easy to read, icons for effortless use. It also comes with more than 230 delicious recipes to inspire you.
Ninja 3 in 1 Cooking System
Can you be in love with a slow cooker? We are! The Ninja 3-in-1 has a stovetop function that allows you to brown meats, an oven function (250°- 425°), a removable roasting rack, and more. You can even bake in it! This slow cooker is a must-have and is worth every penny ($198).
Kuhn Rikon Vegetable Peelers and Peeling Fork
This indispensable peeler set comes with a straight-blade peeler, serrated peeler, julienne peeler, and a peeling fork. We're especially fond of the julienne peeler which allows us to effortlessly cut long and beautiful strips of vegetables like carrots and cucumbers without losing our fingers.
KitchenAid Nesting Ceramic 4-Piece Bakeware Set
These beautiful and durable baking dishes versatile and save on space! They're microwave, freezer and dishwasher safe; can withstand temperatures up to 500°; and come in a variety of beautiful colors. Great for entertaining!
Anova Sous Vide Immersion Circulator
Cooking sous vide (low and slow in a water bath) is both easy and healthy! Meat comes out tender, juicy and the perfect temperature every time and effortlessly. It's like cooking in a slow cooker but in water instead. The Anova is super easy to operate, too.
ManPans Eco-Friendly Hard Coat Anodized Asian 13-inch Wok
We've owned a lot of woks in our day and this one is by far the best we've ever used. It's super light, extremely durable, you can even use metal utensils on its non-scratch surface. It's designed to be energy efficient and its Easy Release Coating is PTFE free, non toxic, safe, and doesn't affect the taste of foods. A must-have for anyone who loves to wok cooking!
Every kitchen needs a good citrus squeezer and this one is it!
ScanPan Professional 8-Inch Fry Pan
We love any pan made by ScanPan, but especially our 8-inch frying pan which is great for making the perfect omelette. Its patented ceramic-titanium nonstick surface allows you to use metal utensils and it's even dishwasher safe.
Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 3-Quart Saucier Pan
Our little Le Creuset saucier pan gets a workout in our kitchen and never disappoints! It goes from stovetop to oven to table.
Microplane Premium Zester/Grater
We would go through withdrawals without our microplane, a must-have kitchen utensil for any cook! It's great for zesting citrus, ginger, and grating hard cheeses like parmesan.
Kyocera Double-edged Slicer With Guard
A mandoline is a great tool for creating perfectly thin and uniform slices of foods. It's great for slicing cucumbers, onions, or potatoes for an au gratin dish. We love ours because it comes with a handy guard, keeping your fingers clear of it's sharper than sharp blade!
Shun Premier 8-inch Chef's Knife
A chef's knife is perhaps the most important knife a cook can own. We love our all-purpose Shun knife with its beautiful layered Damascus steel blade. Its Hand-hammered finish reduces drag when cutting and keeps foods from sticking to the knife blade.
Laguiole Steak Knives (set of 6)
This beautiful set of steak knives (available in an assortment of colors and materials like wood and metal handles) are full-tang steel and light to handle.
Flat Head Whisk
This handy little whisk is perfect for whipping eggs, salad dressings and more.
18.5 Inch Polished Carbon Steel Paella Pan
We use our paella pan year-round on the stovetop and on the grill! Cook up beautiful paella in this professional quality pan.
The Stovetop Smoker is an affordable and convenient kitchen tool that allows you to smoke your food anytime of the year.
Instant Pot Programmable Pressure Cooker
The single most used small appliance in our kitchen, use this for a whole new level of quick and easy cooking.
Stainless Steel Tiffin
If you love bento, try this Indian style bento box. It keeps all your food stacked in sturdy tins that look great and clean up beautifully.
Cuisinart Immersion Hand Blender
The secret to silky smooth soups and gravies is a good quality immersion blender. It's small footprint and handiness makes it a must have in any kitchen.
AeroGarden Indoor Herb Garden
Fresh herbs for your recipes, all year round. What's not to love?
Wireless Digital Thermometer Set
This handy wireless thermometer lets you monitor your food from up to 300 feet away. So grab a beer or a glass of wine and relax while you grill!
Himalayan Salt Shot Glasses
Add a salty flavor to your shots, these Himalayan salt shot glasses are as beautiful as they are unique.
Vegetable Peeler Pasta Maker
Make pasta with any veggie, this peeler is fun to use and just might convert even the most stubborn vegetable haters.
Stainless Steel Smoothie Straws
Many smoothie experts love stainless steel straws as an eco friendly, plastic-free alternative.
Whisky Chilling Rocks
Much cooler than standard ice, these whisky chilling rocks are reusable and elegant.
Rachael Ray Stoneware Ramekins
Bring a pop of color to your table with these personal sized ramekins. Aren't they adorable?
Non Stick Silicone Baking Mat
For gluten free cooks, these non stick silicone bakign mats are the perfect way to ensure no cross contamination in the kitchen. They are sturdy and will last for years. A must have for the gluten free cook.
Excalibur is a name that means quality. We have had ours since 2001, and use it constantly. It's great for making dried fruits and veggies, fruit leather and jerky. We even dry our herbs in it. Makes a wonderful gift!
2 in 1 Salt and Pepper Grinder
Now you can have both fresh ground pepper and salt in the same elegant grinder. It's a beautiful addition to the dinner table.
Herb Savor Pods
Keep your herbs as fresh as possible with these handy herb savor pods.
Silicone Ice Pop Molds
Save yourself a fortune by filling and refilling these silicone ice pops. They are squeezable and sturdy.
Culinary-Themed Gifts for Kids
Melissa and Doug Cutting Food
Melissa and Doug's cutting food toy is a fun introduction to knife skills. The kit comes with a variety of fruits and vegetables that are held together with Velcro and come apart easily with a slice of the wooden knife.
Green Toys Cookware Playset
Green Toys are made from environmentally friendly materials so they are safe for kids. This cookware set is the perfect accompaniment to a play kitchen.
KidKraft Vintage Kitchen
Any little future chef would swoon oven this vintage kitchen set. It's perfect for playing pretend with all the bells in whistles of a real kitchen.
Curious Chef Knife Set
If you can instill one piece of solid cooking advice in young cooks, it is to have great knife skills! The Curious Chef Knife set features a serrated blade, ergonomic handle and blunt tip so that it's safe for kids.
The Cookbook for Kids
A cookbook that is geared toward getting kids in the kitchen is a sure fire way to expose them to the wonders of cooking. This cookbook features 60 kid loving recipes that even adults will enjoy.
Curious Chef 17-Piece Measure & Prep Kit
Get your chef into the kitchen with these kid friendly, but accurate kitchen helpers. They are fun and functional. The perfect gift for a budding foodie.
Animal Friends Cutter Stamps
These adorable animal friends cutter stamps will make sandwiches and cookies as cute as can be without all the intricate preparation.
Lego-Styled Minifigures Silicone Trays
Make the coolest Lego themed treats in the world with these silicone trays.
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