‘Tis the season for giving—and receiving. Not sure what to buy for your favorite food lover, gracious hostess, or yourself? Allow us to share our wishlist. For more gift-giving inspiration, see the December issue’s “Gifts to Devour.”
An Immersion Circulator: Anova Culinary makes immersion circulators—the high tech devices necessary to cook foods sealed in a bag (also known as sous vide)—for the home cook. Calibrated to a tenth of a degree, the slender device has sous vide short ribs or Christmas ham written all over it. ➳ $199, anovaculinary.com.
A Handmade Textile: The patterns on these colorful rugs from Cinco in Westchester nearly eclipse those found on the plates at the casual Mexican eatery. Made by head chef José Miguel’s father, Honorio Miguel, they’re now on sale at the restaurant. Miguel has been making the rugs by hand, using a traditional telar, for over 20 years in San Miguel del Valle in Oaxaca. ➳ $50-$250, cincola.com.
A Fancy Bottle: New to the market, Mezcal El Silencio is as smoky as a wood-burning fireplace. Resident Mezcal expert Bill Esparza tells us “it’s a very clean distillate.” He prefers it over many of the more popular and more expensive varieties. “The blend of common espadin with mexicano and tobaziche agaves gives it a little something extra.” ➳ $59, klwines.com.
A Good Book: James Oseland has edited the book all food lovers wish they could compile. Some of the best food writers in the country recount tales of travel and tastes of far-away places in Lonely Planet: A Fork in the Road. Writer Sandi Tan was born in Singapore, educated in the UK, and lives in Pasadena. She shares a story of growing up with the food and rituals of different cultures. ➳ $11.95, amazon.com.
A Box of Macarons: There are at least two dozen bakeries that specialize in macarons in Los Angeles, but it’s the ones at Hakkasan in Beverly Hills that achieve the right texture and are infused with vibrant flavor. Yuzu-lychee remains balanced between tart and sweet, pistachio tastes of freshly shucked nuts, and violet is a reminder of spring. ➳ $12, hakkasan.com/beverlyhills.
Spicy Candy Canes: Three words—Sriracha candy canes! Now available far and wide, we love the slighly charred red pepper flavor when it hits our tongue with all that sugar. A ting of peppermint keeps the flavor alive. ➳ $7.99, jdfoods.com.