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The 26 Best Food Gifts for Every Kind of Gourmand

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

Edible gifts are pretty much foolproof. There’s something out there for everyone from the accomplished home cook to the avid eater who doesn’t know the difference between a fish spatula and a rubber spatula. This is especially true come Valentine’s Day, when you can channel your love through something small but fancy (hello, truffle-flavored potato chips) or go all-out with something distinctly special, like a splurge-worthy jar of honey. Here, we’ve gathered the best giftable foods around so you can find the perfect fit for whoever you’re looking to treat.

For the food lover who enjoys a spicy snack

$8

Your recipient can easily find a way to incorporate these traditional basque peppers into a meal. They’ll add a nice bite to any dish, but according to chef and food artist Laila Gohar (who introduced us to them when we asked chefs about the best canned foods), they also make a pretty good snack. “I just like to nibble on them plain, too,” she says.

For the food lover who enjoys a fancy snack

Lydia Richards, sommelier and founder of Vino Concierge, suggested these chips for our story on the best gifts for wine lovers. “I came across these amazing chips while I worked with a wide range of Spanish wine producers and attended multiple events focused on Spanish gastronomy,” she says. The Torres line includes foie gras, Iberian ham, smoked paprika, and, of course, black truffle flavors. “In my mind, they are built to pair with wine, as flavors are elevated and amplified during the pairing experience.” Now these chips plus a nice bottle seem like a sure bet to win someone’s heart.

For the food lover who wants their truffle fix in a more traditional way

Day Joseph, executive chef of Apt 4B in Atlanta, loves this truffle olive, which she calls “an amazing gift, since it won’t spoil and can be kept in the pantry.”

For the food lover who prefers their olive oil sans truffles

If a straightforward bottle is more their speed, try this favorite from start-up Brightland, which Anna Hezel, senior editor at Taste, says “everyone in food media seems to be totally nuts for.” Brightland sources their olives from California and packages the final product in a bottle your recipient will be proud to keep on their counter. If you want to shop around for more kinds of olive oils, we’ve got you covered.

For the food lover who likes an all-in-one kitchen staple

Annie Shi, owner and manager at King restaurant in New York City, describes this sweet-and-citrusy yuzu preserve as a “more versatile and delicious orange marmalade.” She has made a gin spritz with it, but says you can also add it into baked goods. According to the description you can also try it as a glaze for poultry or stir it into your tea as a sweetener.

For the food lover who’s also a honey snob

If they refuse to use honey from a squeezable bear, they’ll love this more-refined (and tasty) option. Acacia honey is a “delicate, floral, and ultranuanced honey,” says Lindsay Collins, host and creator of Effin B Radio. She learned about it while working at Per Se, where it was used “as an elegant way to finish desserts table-side or to garnish a decadent savory dish.” Collins suggests drizzling it on fancy blue cheese or a bowl of fresh figs.

For the food lover who doesn’t actually like to cook

Photo: retailer

This bone broth, a favorite of model Ashley Graham, comes from an NYC-based shop and ships nationwide, creating an easy meal for foodies across the country. The broths ship frozen, which means it can be used at the recipient’s leisure. “I keep it in the freezer, pop it out whenever I need it, throw it on the stove, and that’s it,” Graham told us. “I do not cook — it’s just not innately in me — so to know that I have bone broth in the freezer at all times is just a lifesaver for me because it requires no work.”

For the food lover who had to cancel their trip to Thailand

Sisters Vanessa and Kim Pham launched their company Omsom in collaboration with some of the most accomplished Asian chefs in New York City. The result is this spice kit of six flavor packets (equivalent to 16-plus meals) that allow any cook to easily create authentically flavored Southeast Asian dishes, including Vietnamese Lemongrass BBQ, Thai Larb, and Filipino Sisig, in 30 minutes flat. Omsom also has an East Asian sampler for fans of Japanese, Korean, and Chinese cuisines.

For the food lover who can’t get enough chocolate

Last year, singer Bebe Rexha revealed her unexpected expertise on the topic of chocolate-covered almonds, and these are her favorites by far. “I’ve tried every type of chocolate-covered almonds out there, and I swear these ones are the best,” she says. “They’re so addicting, like it’s really hard to stop.” Plus chocolate is a classic Valentine’s gift, so you really can’t go wrong.

For the food lover obsessed with fermented foods

Last summer, Nikita Richardson, former Strategist writer and one of the authors of this article, reported on the sudden onslaught of fancy vinegars — and then happened upon this exceptionally fancy version during a coffee stop in Troy, New York. It’s a single-origin kombucha vinegar made with jasmine and fermented in oak barrels in the Adirondacks. According to Yesfolk Tonics, you can “enjoy as a digestif, in a cocktail, as part of a special dish and whenever life calls for delicious vinegar.”