Most food enthusiasts already have a glut of gadgets and cookbooks. These edibles make thoughtful gifts that run no risk of winding up wedged in the depths of a kitchen drawer.
For anyone on your list suffering from Euro-lust, a jar of Christine Ferber’s jam — which is seldom seen and flat-out exquisite — will set them right. Master patissière Ferber has been selling her acclaimed conserves for years, but until now, you’d have to make a trip to France to lay a hand on them. No over-sugared, distant echoes of summer’s glory here — these bright, clean jams demonstrate how preserving can actually elevate fine ingredients. Classic berry and apple-caramel flavors are superb; for added holiday spirit, opt for the dried-fruit-and-spice-laden Christmas jam or the fig, orange and Gewürztraminer New Year’s jam. $18-$20 per 220-gram jar, thesweetpalate.com.
West Chester’s Éclat will spread cheer to chocolate fans in your life. The new Good & Evil bar, made with rare Peruvian Pure Nacional cacao beans, is a small luxury. For a more elaborate gift, we’re fond of their beer lover’s collection, featuring caramel and truffle centers imbued with Victory Hop Wallop IPA, Calvados or single-malt whisky. If West Chester is too far a hike, order online or check out the Di Bruno Bros. in Rittenhouse for a selection of Éclat goods. Good & Evil bar, $18; Beer Lover’s Box, $26.50, eclatchocolate.com.
When asked what they want for the holidays, few people will come right out and say booze. Still, never underestimate how much most adults appreciate alc-oholic beverages that they didn’t have to pay for. Victory’s Red Thunder (their Baltic Thunder por-ter aged three months in red-wine barrels) debuts today, so it doesn’t get much more cutting-edge. And at comfortably under $10, a corked-and-caged 750 ml bottle is a nice little gift. $8, victorybeer.com.
For the beer-averse, Philadelphia Distilling Co. recent-ly released a couple of new flavored versions of its XXX Shine unaged corn whiskey; salted caramel is particularly well suited to cozy, cold-weather cocktails like hot toddies or spiked cider. $24.99 at PLCB stores, philadelphiadistilling.com.
If you’re considering handmade gifts, know that the holiday-confection beat requires some serious supplies. For cute cutters, wrappers, molds and more, try any of these spots: Sweet Creations Unlimited in Northeast Philly (5940 Torresdale Ave., swtcreations.com), Oasis Supply in Bensalem (1448 Ford Rd., oasisupply.com) or Cannon’s Cake & Candy Supplies in Clementon, N.J. (1027 Chews Landing Rd., cannonscakeandcandy.com).