10 Ingredients Food-Lovers Never Buy for Themselves

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: The Kitchn)

One of the best things about giving gifts to a cook or food lover? The chance to buy them something they’d never pick up on their own, or might consider a rare splurge. Whether it’s a bottle of saffron, a specialty spice blend, or a package of what may arguably be the best bacon around, this is the way to spoil your loved one.

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Boiled Cider, $10.95 from King Arthur Flour (Image credit: King Arthur Flour)
  1. Boiled Cider, $10.95 from King Arthur Flour: Makes your baked goods that much better.
  2. Rosemary Olive Oil Caviar, $55 from Molecular Recipes: For the cook who truly has everything — pearls of olive oil that burst in your mouth! Magical.
  3. Saffron, $15.16 from Williams-Sonoma: It’s hard to justify a whole bottle of saffron just for the odd paella or risotto craving when you’re a home cook, but if you were given a bottle, that’s a whole ‘nother story. Paella for all!
  4. Vecchia Dispensa’s 30 Year Anniversary Balsamic, $50 from Zingerman’s: Every year for Christmas what we really hope for is a bottle of syrupy, dense, aged balsamic vinegar. Maybe you know someone else who is hoping, too.
  5. Roasted Pistachio Oil, $9.99 from La Tourangelle: A luxurious oil that’s delicious in salad dressings or drizzled over fish or vegetables.
  6. b’lure Flower Extracts, $10 from b’lure: An exotic yet natural way to both tint and flavor desserts and cocktails — flower extracts!
  7. Hickory Smoked Country Bacon, $30/pack of 4: Is this the best bacon in the world? You may have spotted this on PBS’ The Mind of a Chef — it’s David Chang’s favorite bacon. You can watch a little video on how and why this bacon is so fantastic — a real treat for any bacon lover!
  8. Dried Morels, $20 from Far West Fungi: Morels will make any food lover swoon, but fresh or dry, they’re pricey enough to be a treat that’s often coveted but rarely indulged. Go on, splurge for your favorite foodie!
  9. Sel d’Antibes (Salt, Bergamot, Herbs), $15 from Food52: Spice blends can be such a treat, and this blend from La Boîte sounds like the perfect finisher.
  10. A Whole Quart of Vanilla, $44.95 from For an avid baker who goes through vanilla, what better gift than a whole quart of it? (Our favorite is this spicy Mexican vanilla from Nielsen-Massey.) It may even last them the whole year!