Anyone can cook — but if someone in your life is angling for whatever the at-home version of a Michelin star is, they know it takes more than understanding the difference between sautéing and simmering. These incredible culinary gifts will help your at-home gastronomist take their kitchen game to the next level.
Foodies will flip out over this trio of haute cuisine kits. First, you’ve got the Cuisine set that lets you craft recipes that sound more like fantasies — everything from chocolate spaghetti (for the Buddy the Elf in your life) to whipped clouds of lemon. The 10-piece Food Styling tools allow for artful sauce spreading and perfectly chiseled details with a food scalpel. And finally, the curious Aroma forks allow you to infuse your meals with a whole new sensory level of flavor. Dinner parties will never be the same again.
If you’re shopping for a home brewer who’s always looking to mix up something a little different, why not give them the option of hard cider? Simply add some fresh cider to produce three delicious batches of tart and bubbly hard apple cider using a traditional fermentation brewing method. They’ll be in good company: The ancient Greeks and Romans were among the first to enjoy this sparkling alcoholic drink, which continues to be perennially popular.
Achieving the proper temperature when cooking meat and fish can stress out even seasoned home chefs — or at least those who haven’t tried sous vide. This French culinary method involves sealing food into packages and boiling it in lightly churning water. The result is a perfect cook every single time, and the most moist, flavorful morsels you’ll ever lay your eyes (or mouth) on. This nifty device saves you from having to buy an entirely new appliance — simply add it to any large pot and it’ll cook your food in no time, without ever having to turn on the stove. Hands-free culinary rock stars, this is your dream gift.
If you haven’t tried mochi yet, it’s worth a bite. Imported from Japan, mochi is basically the frozen aisle’s M&Ms (you know, “melts in your mouth, not in your hand”). The chewy, portable rice ball on the outside contains a frozen, creamy dream on the inside, and it’s finally becoming a known dessert stateside. This adorable DIY kit contains everything you need to whip up four batches of the little balls of frozen delight at home. It’s a perfect way to spend a quiet afternoon while enjoying the sweetest rewards.
When you fill regular ice cube trays with tap water, the resulting ice cube can often turn out kind of foggy or white — and when it melts, it can impact the look and taste of your specialty cocktail. Enter True Cubes. This purifying ice cube tray removes 95% of total dissolved solids (i.e., inorganic salts and trace metals), creating crystal clear cubes that look amazing, melt slowly, and taste like, well, nothing. It’s an excellent accompaniment to a bottle of good stuff, ensuring the only thing they’ll be savoring is their drink.
Fermentation is one of the latest dietary health crazes, said to promote great gut health while being pretty tasty to boot. Of course, fermentation is hardly new — scientists have found evidence dating it to 6000 B.C., and nearly all cultures have some beloved fermented food. Whether your culinary giftee prefers kimchi or sauerkraut (or loves both in equal measure), this convenient kit includes a 5L glass fermentation jar and weight, as well as a recipe book to concoct everything from kombucha to pickles.
The typical American reportedly eats a whopping 18 pounds of bacon each year, so surely someone on your list could benefit from this crafty kitchen kit. The Original Baconkit comes equipped with curing salt, maple sugar, and a curing bag, so if you pair it with a slab of premium pork belly from the butcher, it’s an ideal gift for the budding bacon artisan.
In Finland, visiting a sauna for a purifying steam is a regular way of life. And according to the people behind Vaportini, to spice things up on special occasions, some sauna visitors will bring in a bottle of spirits, like vodka, pour it over the hot coals, and inhale it — which yes, does in fact get you inebriated. Short on saunas but curious about the concept? Enter the Vaportini, which lets you inhale the liquor of your choice for a unique and powerful way to imbibe your favorite brews. Cocktail scientists can get busy creating their own infusions for an even more unique flavor experience.
Sushi may come from Japan, but the United States has come up with some truly wild and crazy combinations of their own (except, notably, the California roll, which was invented in Canada!). This nifty set of three sushi molds will let your imagination run wild as you stack and shape sushi towers for any type of sweet, savory, or spicy meal.
10. Foodie Dice
True chefs are able to whip up a masterpiece with just their intuition, senses, and skills to guide them, no recipe required. If you’re friends with such a master chef, they might appreciate this cute novelty gift that’ll spice up dinner prep. Each bag comes with nine dice; start by rolling the five primary dice that cover the protein, cooking method, grain, herb, and bonus ingredient to being cooking with, and then add in one of the four seasonal vegetable dice to round out the meal. From there, it’s off to the pantry (or grocery store) to see what you can concoct. For extra fun, make it an event: Host a Zoom challenge with friends to decide which at-home Iron Chef reigns supreme.
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