32 amazing foodie gifts
Handmade kitchen gadgets, delectable treats, and more for the gourmand or avid home cook
It was meant to be merely a prop, but we fell for this leather-handled tray sold by Heath. Walnut tray, $300; 14 by 21 1⁄2 in.; heathceramics.com
Planning on giving someone breakfast in bed this holiday season? (Or hoping to be the recipient?) A whimsical birch tray, hand-printed by L.A.-based designer Annabel Inganni, could come in handy, either in delivering the goods—or the hint. $68; 14 by 19 in.; wolfum.com.
Designed and made in a one-woman shop in L.A., these walnut serving boards come in a range of shapes and sizes; the one shown here, the Moon board ($145), is a 10-inch round. From $145; primitivereserve.com.
This reversible bowl, handmade in Vietnam, does more than just provide a pretty stage for produce. Buying it helps Shopping for a Change, a Bay Area nonprofit, foster creative talent in developing countries. $45; shoppingforachange.org.
It is baking season, after all—why not up the odds of getting more homemade pie in your life? Give your in-house baker one of the Washington State company’s elegant and extremely functional pins, and watch the flour fly. (They come in beech, maple, sapele, Doug fir, or walnut for $39; $49 will buy one jauntily painted with food-safe pigments.) knotweld.com.
We had our doubts, but this take on Sriracha sauce, made with Ravenswood’s Old Vine Zinfandel, is not, in fact, a waste of good grapes. The chiles have a hefty kick, but the Zin is quite capable of holding its own. (The sauce comes in a Petite Sirah version too.) $14; lovehardinc.com.
Since 1994, firefighter Lee Taylor grows a legion of peppers in the Palo Alto fire station’s backyard. Our heroes who make this zesty sauce give all proceeds to the Palo Alto Firefighters Charitable Fund. $6 for 8.5 oz. bottle; paloaltofirefighters.com
It’s high time for a local alternative to the usual French aperitifs. This well-balanced newcomer—made in Sonoma by San Francisco mix master Duggan McDonell—combines a white wine base with 10 locally sourced herbs. Use it in a cocktail, or drink it on its own, over ice. $30; jardesca.com.
Sure, one could simply grind some star anise or chop some Thai chile or tarragon and toss it in one’s drink. But Addition, a Seattle-based line of tinctures, lets the home bartender flavor a cocktail with exactitude, medicine dropper and all. The 25 flavors range from tarragon to horseradish to “filthy dirty”—for martinis, of course. From $16 each; drinkaddition.com.
How’d this tall, handsome drink of water get its name, the Oaxifornia? While on vacation in Oaxaca, Mexico, the owners of the San Francisco haute-kitchenware store March were introduced to these hand-blown carafes, and it was love at first sight. (On their side, at least—carafes don’t kiss and tell.) $75; marchsf.com.
This cheery blue critter by Sallie Williams—one of the original artworks adorning a set of four drinking glasses—would brighten anyone’s day, says Megan McCrea, assistant to Sunset’s editor-in-chief. Even better, the proceeds help support the disabled artists working at Oakland’s nonprofit Creative Growth studio, where the pieces were created. $32/set; creativegrowth.org.
Pitcher perfect: the recently reissued iconic vessel created by Russel Wright, who brought modern design to the masses. American Modern pitcher, $90; bauerla.com
Perfect to share a home brew, this customizable Western red cedar beer caddy can also step up even the most basic six-pack. $49; gifts.redenvelope.com/gifts/wooden-beer-holder-30143892
Made with raw honey by a beekeeping family in Utah, these slightly chewy caramels have a warm, deep sweetness. Honey caramels from $8 for a 1⁄4-lb. box; beesbros.com
We’re big believers in buttery caramels, and these Montana-made sweets are the creamiest of them all. The best part: Your purchase could help such environmental charities as The Nature Conservancy and Arbor Day Foundation keep the West—and the rest of the planet—beautiful. $40/30-caramel Eco Gift Box; goodkarmal.com.
Some might call it gilding the lily—taking roasted Oregon hazelnuts, candying them, and then coating them with cocoa—but we wouldn’t. Well, maybe we would, if we weren’t too busy polishing them off … $15/4 oz.; getyourhotcakes.com.
Where have all the penny-candy counters gone? Never fear—now giving classic candies is as easy as sending an email. You pick the size of the box and hit “send,” your beloved chooses the actual assortment (shown here, clockwise from top, licorice pastels, Boston Baked Beans, Sour Patch apples, pink Sixlets), and Denver-based Sugarwish takes it from there. $25/1-lb. box; sugarwish.com.
The next best thing to living in California’s Mendocino County is eating like you live there ... which means terrific cheeses from Pennyroyal Farm. A sampler includes Boont Corners 2 Month, Bollie’s Mollies, Boont Corners Reserve, Boonter’s Blue, Boont Corners Vintage, and Laychee chèvre. $66; pennyroyalfarm.com.
Funny thing: Soon after this wooden crate arrived from Portland and its contents were photographed, they vanished, never to be seen again. No one admitted anything, but the faint aroma of saucisson sec (garlic and black pepper), saucisson d’Alsace (baking spices), and pork pistachio pâté could be detected near our photo studio, and one of our photo editors looked suspiciously content. $90; olympicprovisions.com.
A San Francisco fave, Ritual Coffee Roasters delivers the caffeine—12 ounces of special seasonal blends—without the crowds. $20/shipment; ritualroasters.com
Finally, the perfect present for the serial coffee monogamist in your life. You know who we mean: She’s always trying the most-talked-about (or, alternatively, most obscure) beans around. The Bay Area–based company Mistobox sends regular care packages containing coffee from four different under-the-radar roasters from around the country—think Ristretto, from Portland, instead of Stumptown. $105/3-month subscription (four 3.4-oz. bags/month); mistobox.com.
Get your favorite home cook the gift that keeps on giving (and hope you'll be invited over to taste the results). Choose from the favorites on our food editors' bookshelves, from a collection of garden-fresh recipes to the latest from San Francisco's incomparable Tartine Bakery.