Our 2015 Holiday Gift Guide

noble plateware

Eve’s Cidery

A photo posted by Autumn Stoscheck (@evescidery) on Nov 20, 2015 at 5:39pm PST

These days, your hard cider options range far beyond the saccharine stereotype. New York State alone has scores of producers practicing centuries-old techniques that make complex, distinctly North American ferments. One of our favorite bottles is Eve’s Cidery’s sparkling cider, which is made with natural yeasts in a traditional Champagne style. In contrast to forced carbonation, this practice helps yield a silky effervescence and refreshing dryness that is exceptional in the American cider market. $15–$27

Harlem Chocolate Factory Whiskey Bonbons

harlem chocolate factory
Photo courtesy of Harlem Chocolate Factory.

Harlem Chocolate Factory chocolates can be hard to track down, but they won’t be for long. The company just won the New York Public Library start-up competition in September. The barks and bonbons are designed for specific neighborhoods of Harlem: chilis for Spanish Harlem, Champagne for Strivers’ Row. The standout is the whiskey bonbon, made with Hudson Baby Bourbon—a massive morsel that demands two bites. Check their website to learn which markets and pop-ups they frequent. $20/6

Martin Mazorra’s Edible Flower Prints

queen_anne_lace martin mazorra
Image credit: Martin Mazorra

In Clinton Hill, artist Martin Mazorra hand-draws, hand-carves and hand-prints graphic woodcuts. His tactile work often combines imagery and text to raw, visceral and frequently humorous effect. We’re especially taken with his recent edition of edible flowers that immortalizes nearby forageables like Queen Anne’s lace, Johnny-jump-ups and Squaw bee balm in a striking 18- by 24-inch format. If $400 is too much, Mazorra also sells a rotating lineup of $20-a-pop black and white prints via Brooklyn-based Cannonball Press. $20–$400

Fehlo Tongs

fehlo tongs
Photo courtesy of Fehlo.

Although generally unsung, tongs are indispensable in our kitchens. A good pair can give you nimble precision and control over everything from pot stickers to salad greens. These slick ones are handmade in Bakersville, NC (the hometown of one of our editors) from domestically sourced hardwoods and come in two different sizes because, yes, it matters. We’re not the only
ones who think so, either; they took home the “Best in Show” award earlier this year at Dwell on Design in L.A.

Jones of Boerum Hill Bib Apron

jones of boerum hill
Photo courtesy of Jones of Boerum Hill.

There’s a reason you’ll find Jones of Boerum Hill’s aprons in the kitchens at Marcus Samuelsson’s Streetbird and Danny Meyer’s Porchlight—they’re durable, substantial and stylish. The company also recently launched a collaboration with Eataly and debuted their aprons in Japan. But forget the name-dropping; you want these aprons in your kitchen because they hold up under tough conditions, looking good all the while. We like the Kyoto bib style, but they’re all nice. $73–$110

Sfoglini’s Emmer Reginetti

Photo credit: Jessica Chou

Local bakers, brewers and distillers aren’t the only ones exploring the potential of our emerging regional grain supply. Brooklyn-based Sfoglini fabricates a rotating lineup of dried pastas with nearby ingredients ranging from basil and ramps to ancient, Northeast-grown grains like einkorn and emmer. The latter two deliver many of the same nutritional benefits as a whole-wheat pasta with a subtler, nuttier flavor. Try pairing with a classic Bolognese sauce. $8–$11

Brooklyn Grange Hot Sauce

brooklyn grange
Photo courtesy of The Heatonist.

This cult favorite is made using a mix of heirloom peppers grown right on the Brooklyn Grange rooftop. The peppers are pickled within hours of harvesting to maximize freshness. And for the wussier eaters out there, don’t fret—this sauce has heat, but it’s not crippling. Part of the trick is a proprietary blend of sweet and hot peppers, cutting the burn to a manageable level. Organic vinegar and a floral, savory herb blend round out the flavor. 

Wynne Noble’s Amuse & Butter Bowls

noble plateware
Photo courtesy of Noble Plateware.

It can be tricky for craftspersons to scale their business; there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Local artist Wynne Noble seems to have cracked the New York restaurant code though—she supplies restaurants like Contra, Momofuku Ko and Maiden Lane with plateware that’s rolled, molded, glazed and fired in her DUMBO studio. Lucky for us, she sells her work online starting at $10nobleplateware.com

The New Persian Kitchen Cookbook Gift Box

the new persian cookbook spice set
Photo courtesy of Magpie Cookshop.

Local chef and author Louisa Shafia has paired with Oakland, CA’s Oaktown Spice Shop to assemble a spice kit inspired by her award-winning cookbook The New Persian Kitchen. The West Coast boutique grinds the spices themselves—this kit includes turmeric, cardamom, sumac, Spanish saffron, barberries, mustard seed, rose petals, fenugreek leaf, mint and black omani lemon. Ideal for the eager cook who doesn’t have time to troll specialty grocers for ingredients. 

UrbanGlass and Kings County Distillery’s Bourbon Tumblers

Photo courtesy of UrbanGlass.

As any seasoned imbiber knows, if you care about enjoying quality beverages, then your drinking vessel counts. In collaboration with UrbanGlass, Navy Yard–based Kings County Distillery has made a bid to create the optimal stemless snifter. Local artist William Couig—who also furnishes glassware for restaurants like Eleven Madison Park—makes each cup in their Fort Greene studios. Try and show us something more fitting for sipping your Brooklyn-made bourbon. $40

Greenpoint Trading Co. Pickling Set

greenpoint trading pickling set
Photo courtesy of Greenpoint Trading Co.

We all know the timeworn adage “Give a man a pickle….” For the aspiring food artisan on your list, Greenpoint Trading Co.’s pickling set is the perfect gift to get those (briny) creative juices flowing. Each handsomely packaged kit comes with a large portion of pre-mixed pickling spices, as well as salt, sugar, minced onions, minced garlic, whole black peppercorns and whole red chilis. Get pickled! 

Quinciple Gift Subscription

Photo courtesy of Quinciple.

We tried out Quinciple for our roundup of NYC’s grocery delivery services; that’s when it won our hearts and stomachs. Each week you get a well-curated, interesting box of groceries, with some gentle recipe suggestions. They choose interesting items, eg, short ribs, watermelon radishes, bacon-fat peanuts, yakisoba noodles. Each box provides enough goods for two sizable meals for two, plus snacks and leftovers. $43/week pickup or $50/week home delivery

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