Presents for the Palate



Food gifts are great—luxurious and personal and no assembly or storage required. Here are some really special food gifts.

Mrs. Larkin’s (914-764-7699; mrslarkin@optonline.net http://mrslarkins.blogspot.com) buttery, chunky scones, made with pure butter and fresh cream, make any breakfast a celebration. Her most popular holiday flavors are cranberry-cornbread, pumpkin, and gingerbread. Mrs. Larkin prefers a two-week lead time for orders, which are only for pick up in Pound Ridge, and there’s generally a minimum order of six scones at $3 a piece. Mrs. Larkin’s also offers various cookies at $20 a pound.

The person who gets Lucky Chocolates (1534 Rte 212, Saugerties, NY 845-246-7337; luckychocolates.com) is indeed lucky. They are organic, handmade, Fair Trade, and outrageously flavored with ginger, chilies, and more. Shippable gift boxes cost $75 and assortments $16 to $50.

Give chubby bottles of Tuthilltown Rye or Baby Bourbon (tuthilltown.com) for holiday cheer. Made in small batches in an old mill in Gardiner, New York, the spirits taste of the grassy, local grains from which they are made.

Gorgeous, traditional bouche de noel ($40) from La Panetière (530 Milton Rd, Rye, 914-967-8140; lapanetiere.com) are gift-wrapped for Christmas giving. The light sponge cake, decorated to resemble a Yule log, is filled with chocolate ganache, coffee, or praline-mocha. Order them to pick up as late as a week before Christmas.

Whether your friend loves the rarest herbal teas or prefers the most practical of premium tea bags for the office, Harney & Sons Masters Tea Blenders (Salisbury, CT 888-427-6398; harney.com) can send them quickly and attractively gift-packaged ($12.95-$65).

Le Gourmet Store (41 East Elm St, Greenwich, CT 203-340-2781) offers one-stop shopping for house-made pâtés, smoked beef from Switzerland, black ham from Spain, Italian olive oil, or even pain Poilâne right from Paris. These special treats can be presented in gift baskets, too. This airy, new gourmet shop and café is the new venture of Le Wine Shop next door (and in Larchmont) and chef-restaurateur Jean-Louis Gerin.

The experts at the adorable Plum Plums (72 Westchester Ave, Pound Ridge 914-764- 1525) can help you choose an edible gift of special cheese, perhaps a generous hunk of the best stinky Stilton, gooey-ripe Epoisse, or sharpest northeast artisanal cheddar. Of course, you can add crackers, cheese tools, or quince paste to round out the gift.

For the ultimate unique foodie gift, send someone to The Culinary Institute of America (800-888-7850; ciachef.edu/enthusiasts) for a one-day boot camp in Hyde Park, or to another course from the Food Enthusiast curricula at the new Astor Center facility in New York City.