For residents of Los Angeles, the food-and-art nonprofit Active Cultures’ Home Assembly Meal Kit 1 incorporates everything needed for an exquisite candlelit dinner for two. This not only includes recipes and ingredients for a three-course meal from chefs Niki Nakayama and Carole Iida-Nakayama (partially prepared at their two-Michelin-star establishment, n/naka) but also a limited edition sculpted candle by artist Glenn Kaino and a music program (with playlist) by Liza Richardson. From the Seared Albacore Sashimi Salad to the Yuzu Pound Cake, it’s a multi-sensory food adventure. With all proceeds supporting Active Cultures’ work, it’s also a gift that gives.
The first-ever official Prosecco Rosé to enter the US (following the approval of Prosecco Rosé DOC production by the Prosecco DOC Consortium in May 2020), Mionetto’s brand new liquid is 90% Glera and 10% Pinot Noir. Very dry and deliciously fruity, this well-balanced Prosecco Rosé sends fine bubbles skyward. This six-pack of 187ml bottles is the first iteration to be available for purchase and a slow expansion is expected moving forward.
Only the 19th vintage of Krug Clos du Mesnil—an elegant liquid crafted entirely from Chardonnay grapes grown during one harvest cycle upon a charming 4.5-acre plot of land in the iconic region—the luminous 2006 liquid exemplifies the celebratory spirit of Champagne. Though it noses of citrus and dried fruits, it flourishes on the palate with flavors of buttery pastry and meringue. There’s a welcome intensity to the bubbles, and a lengthy finish. There are only 14,973 bottles of this vintage.
Helmed by NYC-based chefs from all over the world (including Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Senegal and Cambodia), Eat Offbeat celebrates food and flavor, as well as diversity and culture. While their meal delivery service (run out of Long Island City by individuals who are immigrants and refugees), they also have online offerings like their holiday hampers. The Wanderer’s Box includes Persian quince jam, Senegalese spiced candied peanuts, Syrian Barazek cookies, Venezuelan Torta de Navidad, Middle Eastern Zhourat tea and Mediterranean za’atar mix. There are larger options, as well as a vegan selection, available too.
Located in the Yarra Valley (located just outside Melbourne, Australia), Four Pillars crafts creative gins using native ingredients. For their new Olive Branch expression, they reached out to Cobram Estate to incorporate three types of cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil along with olive leaf tea from their groves in Boundary Bend. Homegrown rosemary and bay leaf as well as native macadamia nuts and lemon myrtle add even more flavor to this spirit. The result is a textured, elegant, bright and savory gin that doesn’t overwhelm with botanicals, but hints at them. It’s the perfect gin for an ice-cold martini.
Somali chef Hawa Hassan’s In Bibi’s Kitchen shares recipes and tales from grandmothers living in the eight African nations that touch the Indian Ocean: South Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar, Comoros, Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia and Eritrea. The 288-page book goes beyond instructions and dives into the histories behind each dish. From highlighting a region’s importance in the spice trade to Hassan’s personal tales about particular recipes, the book tells stories and teaches lessons on food, history, culture and tradition.
Anyone who’s ventured to a Nordic nation understands the importance of smoked herring—perhaps with dark bread or schnapps (as the Danish brand Glyngøre suggests). Named after a town in Denmark, Glyngøre’s kippers in oil are tinned smoked herring fillets in vegetable oil with salt. Savory and delectable, they’re also reasonably priced.
From Lior Lev Sercarz’s NYC-based spice studio, La Boîte, the Tunisian-inspired Izak N37 blend uses sweet chilies and cumin (as well as garlic and salt) to evoke harissa flavors without the heat. This dynamic blend can complement everything from lamb stew to Niçoise salad without overpowering the other ingredients. La Boîte’s roster of spices runs deep so it’s worth exploring their other offerings—some made with Michelin-star chef Eric Ripert, too.
Bringing a bit of Alpine dining coziness to your home, Swissmar’s Stelvio Raclette Party Grille broils cheese on one level and grills meat and veggies on top. This two-tier model—which features granite above and stainless steel below—includes variable heat control. For anyone who hasn’t yet hosted a raclette dinner for their housemates, the grille also comes with a straightforward recipe book.
For the whiskey collectors among us, Woodford Reserve’s Baccarat Edition sits with the most rarified releases in 2020. This prestigious Kentucky Bourbon spent three years “finishing” in select XO Cognac barrels. Altogether, the time in French and American casks imparts a nose of vanilla bean and cocoa powder, as well as cloves and cinnamon. On the palate, caramel carries into a lengthy finish. Woodford Reserve commissioned the Baccarat Crystal vessel specifically for this liquid.
Few flavors call to mind Scotland quite like peated scotch—and there are none peatier than Bruichladdich’s highly sought after Octomore expressions. Hailing from Islay, this limited edition annual offering of the liquid was distilled in 2009 and bottled 10 years later at a whopping 108.6 proof. The complex liquid isn’t just a whirlwind of smoky notes though; that time in ex-bourbon casks lends it a nice nuttiness.
From actor and designer Waris Ahluwalia’s House of Waris botanicals brand, the Organic Turmeric Honeybush tea blends rooibos with ginger, cinnamon, black pepper and bee pollen, as well as turmeric and honey bush. Each package contains 15 sachets to steep individually for five to seven minutes in order to achieve ideal flavor.
Comprising three high-quality Italian products—olive oil from Lazio, tomato puree from Puglia and spaghetti from Umbria—Sardel + Roscioli’s pasta cooking kit perfectly illustrates how delicious a simple meal can be. All the products can also be found at Roscioli, a beloved family-run restaurant in Rome.
For anyone seeking an exciting addition to the classic Old Fashioned cocktail (or any number of beverages, boozy or otherwise), family-owned and Vermont-based Runamok Maple’s Smoked Old Fashioned Maple Cocktail Syrup lends complex complementary flavors. This cocktail syrup is composed of their acclaimed, pure and ultra-premium Pecan Wood Smoked Maple syrup and real orange essence. It is not too sweet and lightly smoky. Runamok is certified organic by the Northeastern Organic Farmers Association—and certified bird friendly by the National Audubon Society. They’ve also launched a brand new line of bitters, too.
Poilâne’s sourdough Miche (a large, round loaf with a signature P carved before baking) is a Parisian staple. Now available for delivery, it brings a little bit of Paris to us when we aren’t able to visit. Four humble ingredients—sourdough starter, stone ground wheat flour, sea salt from Guérende and water—are baked to perfection in a wood-fired oven. Much like a NYC bagel or yakitori in Japan, this bread delivers perfection in its simplicity, texture and terroir that can’t be found elsewhere. While shipping can be pricey, it’s an indulgence for bread lovers.
From the first-ever Vietnamese bottled cold-brew coffee brand, Omni Bev—founded by first-generation Vietnamese-American entrepreneur Tammy Huynh—comes this six-pack of dairy-free Coconut Matcha Plant-Based Cold Brew Coffee. This delectable and delicately sweet beverage contains more than two times the caffeine of a regular cup of coffee. Omni Bev’s products are also sustainable and fair trade. For those who love the flavor as much as we do, the brand also offers subscriptions.