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REVIEW: Best Food Book Gifts

Mario Batali
Chef or emperor? Mario Batali is one of 50 memorable portraits by Melanie Dunea in her book, My Last Supper: 50 Great Chefs And Their Final Meals.
  So many books…so little time. When we looked at all of the food books published this year to put together our holiday gift lists, we found wonderful ideas for everyone—and while the books stand on their own, we paired most of them with actual food products for an even bigger gift. A few were published in prior years, but they’re not so well-known; we find them so valuable that we’d be grateful to get them as a gift. To develop expertise in specific areas of food, we have books on chocolate, crab, oysters and truffles (the fungus). For food history, Alice Waters & Chez Panisse, Moveable Feasts, a book on the history of food from farm to table that is a real page-turner, and the snarky The Food Snob’s Dictionary, a good stocking stuffer. There are many more, including cookbooks. But one that every foodie must own is My Last Supper by Melanie Dunea, intimate portraits of 50 top chefs who describe their last meals. Dunea’s photography is stunning—each portrait is as special as Mario Batali’s, at left. Read the full review. See many more gift ideas in the Gift Finder of THE NIBBLE online magazine.

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REVIEW: Best General Gourmet Food Gifts

Paromi Tea
Paromi knows how to rock a fruit tea; Ito En’s connoisseur teas are sublime.
  We divide our holiday gourmet food into 11 categories, and there’s one called “general” which contains all the yummy stuff that isn’t more specific—i.e., not chocolate, kosher, liquor, diet and organic foods. This year, our “general” fab foods range from chocolate-covered fruitcake squares (this is fruitcake you will like) to a gorgeous cube of pink Himalayan sea salt with a stainless steel grater (impressive at the table, and delicious salt) to pink rose nectar made from European rose petals (it’s wonderful to drink roses) to an anchovy sauce that’s descended from the famous garum enjoyed by wealthy Romans. And yes, there are divine cookies and teas. Take a gander at the full review and see if there’s something that belongs under a friend’s tree—or in your pantry.

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REVIEW: Kosher Gourmet Food Gifts For Chanukah

White Chocolate BrownieSomething different: a white chocolate chunk
brownie from The Exceptional Brownie.
  If you’re kosher or have friends who are, we’ve compiled our favorite kosher food gifts (delicious for anyone who likes fine food—kosher or not—these artisan foods just happen to have obtained kosher certification). This year’s selections have something for everyone. For sophisticates, take a look at Dagoba Chocolate tasting squares and flavored cacao nibs, Lucini extra-virgin olive oil and Savannah Bee Company rare artisan honeys. For kids and families, Cream-Nut peanut butter and peanut butter clusters (better than peanut butter cups), Divvies kettle corn, Enstrom’s peppermint bark, the Exceptional Brownie in eight flavors and Sweet Riot’s pocket-size cacao nib snacks. For corporate gifts—or just about anyone—Galaxy Desserts’ fancy individual desserts send the patissier to your gift recipient (figuratively, not literally), and Michael’s Cookies beautiful gift boxes. Read the full review. See all of our gift recommendations in THE NIBBLE online magazine.

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REVIEW: Best Chocolate Holiday Gifts

When you taste as many different chocolate and candy products a year as we do (500? 1000?), certain products stand out. Some of them get written up as full reviews in our Chocolate Section, some of them end up on our Best Chocolate Gifts list and some are in both places! This year’s gift list isn’t your typical selection of quality chocolates. We have artisan bonbons from organic and Fair Trade ingredients, chocolate-covered cacao beans (not nibs—the whole bean), the best peppermint bark we’ve ever had, jumbo slabs made of different types of chocolate and garnishes, our favorite chocolate-covered figs, chocolate sushi and more. Each item is truly special, and deserves to be part of a grand chocolate buffet. We’ll be showing other chocolate items in our Best Kids’ Gifts and Kosher Gifts lists (including great PB cups and PB turtles). But for now, take a look at the Best Chocolate Gifts. You can see the chocolate gifts from previous years in our main Gift Recommendations page of THE NIBBLE online magazine.   Poco Dolce Sea Salt Tablets
Poco Dolce Mint Toffee Sea Salt Tiles rock the chocolate casbah.

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PRODUCT REVIEW: Best Luxury Holiday Gifts

Fresh Lobster
Your own lobsterman, your own lobster traps, your own lobsters flown down fresh from Maine. Your own pockets: deep! From
  If you have deep pockets, you might want to take a look at some of these luxury holiday gifts. Not all are as pricey has having your own lobsterman catch fresh lobsters for you, but it’s nice to think big. Each year, THE NIBBLE online magazine presents the best gourmet food and specialty food gifts. This year we have 11 different gift lists: Book Gifts, Chocolate Gifts, Diet Gifts, General Food Gifts, Kitchen Gifts, Kids’ Gifts, Kosher Gifts, Liquor Gifts, Luxury Food Gifts, Organic & Green Gifts, Stocking Stuffers. Each day, we’ll present a different list here. They can all be found in the December issue of THE NIBBLE online magazine. So what else do we recommend for the luxury-minded? The Glenlivet Cellar Collection 1969, iGourmet’s Cheese Of The Month Club, The Little Pearl Caviar Club, the Nespresso Latissima Espresso & Cappuccino Machine, Pierre Marcolini White Truffle Chocolates, a tea-lover’s trip to San Francisco and Vosges Chocolat Sensory Collection, an opportunity to both study and enjoy serious chocolate. If you have really deep pockets, get one of everything!

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