Hanukkah is ridiculously early this year-it begins two weeks after Thanksgiving. So, for those of you who want to get a jump on your shopping, here are eight days' worth of gifts that would make any food-lover very happy. (Note that all foods included are kosher.)
You gotta have gelt, right? But, while we all have happy childhood memories of the standard gold foil-covered coins, if you're a serious chocolate lover, it's time for an upgrade. Vermont chocolatier Lake Champlain Chocolates produces gelt that's a step above the waxy stuff. The all-natural, milk chocolate coins are made in small batches in the company's Burlington factory and are packaged in a blue box decorated with a menorah.
Based in Westport, CT, The Challah Connection is a small company that specializes in freshly baked kosher treats such as challah, babka, and rugelach. Their rugelach was named "best mail-order dessert" by aficionado David Rosengarten. Three flaky, buttery varieties (a mix of chocolate, cinnamon, raspberry, and apple-honey, depending on the baking schedule) are packed into a silver tin that makes a delectable Hanukkah gift.
Started by Louis Zabar more than 70 years ago, Zabar's market on Manhattan's Upper West Side is legendary for its lox and other smoked fish. Luckily for non-New Yorkers, you can also order their products online. This classic, mild variety of lox is their most popular. If you want to make your own gift basket, add some H&H bagels and cream cheese for the ultimate New York breakfast.
At the 2009 KosherFest trade show (the Oscars for kosher foods), this product, created by the largest kosher candymakers in the Midwest, won the "Best New Dessert, Candy, Cookie, or Cracker" award. Semisweet chocolate is marbled with creamy peanut butter and topped with chopped peanuts to produce the pretty bark.
Know a kosher wine drinker who would like to expand his or her horizons? For $113.85, you can sign him or her up for a three-month "wine tour" from kosherwine.com. Each month, your giftee will get two bottles (usually one red and one white, though occasionally two reds) from some of the numerous places great kosher wine is being made these days, including Israel, France, Italy, California, and Argentina. The bottles are carefully selected by the kosherwine.com staff, and include background information and tasting notes. Longer and ongoing month-to-month subscriptions are also available.
Here in the Epi offices, we've long been fans of the original edition of this cookbook. Montreal baker Marcy Goldman creates recipes that are simultaneously traditional and modern-the best, most delicious versions you've ever tasted of all those classics your grandmother used to make. This updated edition now also includes 30 recipes for nonbaked holiday dishes such as chicken soup and noodle kugel, along with favorites such as Goldman's much-loved caramel matzoh crunchand Shabbat marble cake.
When we first sampled Dale and Thomas' popcorn last year, we took to calling it "popcorn crack" for its unbelievable addictiveness. With its drenching of caramel, chocolate, and other amazing flavorings, the buttery, salty, sweet treat had normally jaded editors sneaking back for second, third, and even fourth helpings. So we were thrilled to discover that the company's products are kosher. This sampler offers four different options-Country Munchy, Simply Scrumptious, Chocolate Overload, or This and That-each of which includes six creative flavors that fit the theme.
High-end chocolatier Max Brenner opened his first store in Israel in 1996 and has since expanded to London, New York, and several other cities. His creations (some, but not all, of which are kosher) feature creative flavors and stylish designs. This kosher gift set includes four different types of chocolates-praline cream, caramelized pecan, honey chocolate cubes, and plain dark chocolate thins-all packed in a sleek pyramid-shaped box.
by Sarah Kagan
MORE HANUKKAH IDEAS FROM EPICURIOUS.COMSumptuous spreads for a buffet-style Hanukkah meal