With the winter holidays on the horizon, grocery lists are now sharing fridge-front real estate with gift lists. If you’re shopping for foodie friends, family members and co-workers this year, we have a few ideas — from a local star chef’s just-released line of bottled sauces to gourmet-goods-stuffed baskets and a grill-cleaning robot.
From Concord farms to Revolution-era battlefields of Lincoln, Boston Honey Co. raises thousands of bee colonies across eastern Massachusetts to yield luscious raw honey imbued with unique flavors of the Bay State. Assemble a three-jar gift pack of single-flower varieties such as the minty Basswood, peppery Clethra and earthy Japanese Knotweed. ($24 at Boston Public Market, 100 Hanover St.)
Support unsung heroes in a vital New England industry. The first-ever Lobster Ladies calendar celebrates a dozen women — ship captains, scientists, bait dealers and more — making major waves in a male-dominated field. Proceeds from the calendar, created by restaurant chain Luke’s Lobster, which just opened its third Boston location in the Seaport, benefit the Maine Lobstermen’s Community Alliance. ($19.99 at lukeslobster.com.)
Spare the oenophile in your life your blundering bottle-picking. Upper Glass is a new Boston-based subscription service mailing monthly four-wine assortments curated by sommeliers straight from top local restaurants such as Waypoint and Catalyst. You can also choose individually themed gift boxes such as “Spectacular Sparklers,” a selection of sips perfect for New Year’s Eve. ($80 and up at theupperglass.com.)
Among Boston’s most famous dining tables is No. 40 at Parker’s Restaurant, where JFK proposed to Jackie. But guests eat like Camelot royalty anywhere using the Jackie O. placemat by Waltham’s Modern Relik. The sapphire-blue mat recalls famous tweed fashions modeled by the former first lady, and adds extra style and elegance to the dinner table. ($55 each at modernrelik.com.)
If King Midas had a favorite cocktail lounge, it’d probably be the glittery Gold Bar at Menton in Boston’s Fort Point. Home mixologists can try to replicate such rich tastes using the Menton Gold Bar Cocktail Set, a gold-plated cocktail shaker, gold-plated jigger and gold-plated teardrop bar spoon — plus a gorgeous diamond-cut mixing glass. Cheers! ($175 at mentonboston.com.)
Beloved by paleo diet adherents who tout its health benefits and cooks who simply call it delicious, bone broth is both trendy superfood and pantry staple. So the Home Cook Kit from Five Way Foods, Boston’s artisan maker of locally sourced beef, chicken and fish bone broth, is a must-have. ($49.99 at fivewayfoods.com.)
Though best known for fabulous floral work, Boston’s Winston Flowers also arranges delicious assortments of locally made foods in its Gourmet Gift Collection. The “Luxe Chocolate Crate” includes truffles from New Hampshire-headquartered L.A. Burdick; the “Farmhouse Cheese Crate” pairs artisanal fromage with Vermont Salumi meats, and the “Cookie Crate” culls treats from Massachusetts’s Bisousweet Confections. ($95 and up at winstonflowers.com.)
He wowed Gordon Ramsay as runner-up on “Hell’s Kitchen.” Now chef Jason Santos’ line of bottled sauces has rolled out across his Boston restaurants (and hits grocers in 2018). Flavors such as white BBQ, black garlic vinaigrette and BBQ syrup are found at New Orleans-inspired spot Buttermilk & Bourbon, New American hangout Abby Lane and just-opened Mexican joint Citrus & Salt.
Every kitchen needs a library. Luckily, several excellent cookbooks by Boston-rooted chefs have been released in recent months: Townsman’s acclaimed Matt Jennings (“Homegrown: Cooking From My New England Roots”), “Top Chef” winner Kristen Kish (“Kristen Kish Cooking: Recipes and Techniques”) and powerhouse duo Joanne Chang and Karen Akunowicz (“Myers + Chang at Home: Recipes from the Beloved Boston Eatery”).
Out: elbow grease. In: the Grillbot, an innovative, award-winning gizmo that cleans grills on its own. The rechargeable, whirring robot basically acts like a Roomba for grills, rolling around the racks while twirling dishwasher-safe wire brushes that remove the charred remains of your last cookout. Cleaning-wise, it accomplishes in seconds what would otherwise take time-consuming scraping. ($89.95 at grillbots.com.)
Have a homesick New England expat in the family? Deliver a taste of regional tradition with Legal Sea Foods’ “New England Feast,” a three-course meal from the fin fare specialist shippable anywhere with frozen gel packs. The feast features clam chowder, lobster and a Boston cream pie, while similar packages include the clam-packed “Maine Event.” ($99 and up at shop.legalseafoods.com.)
Though warmed cider might seem the most obvious choice for cold weather, you may be tempted by Newport, Vt.’s Eden Specialty Cider, one of the first American cideries to produce ice cider: a still-newish form of dessert cider uniquely made from apples frozen in the outdoors. The result: spectacularly sweet wine-like sips for fireside toasts. (Prices vary; edenciders.com.)...Read more