Vegan cheese subscriptions, vintage Pyrex and exceptional beans to eat (and grow!).
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By Tejal Rao
I’ve already got books, stickers and slime for my nephews (they can’t enough slime!), and I’m planning to bake some cookies for my neighbors — if I can just get it together between the last few deadlines of the year. For everyone else, here are some veggie-friendly gift ideas with notes on prices from the time of publication.
If you’re looking for something a bit luxurious, a box of vegan chocolate caramels (above, $18 to $70) from Lagusta’s Luscious in New York is perfect, with a mix of interesting fillings (all of them delicious).
I really like the hand-printed dish cloths ($13; I especially love the artichoke print!) and reusable bags ($28) from Kei & Molly in Santa Fe, N.M., the beautiful block-printed linen napkins from Block Shop ($12 to $14), as well as the silk-screened tenugui in a dreamy seaweed pattern by Jessica Li in Los Angeles ($40).
For a serious cook who’s interested in making tofu from scratch, you could get a tofu press ($46.95) with two tension springs that fits easily into the fridge. It can make firm, low-moisture tofu ideal for frying, as well as softer, silkier tofu.
A quality donabe, or Japanese clay pot ($220), makes for a stunning gift, and I’d emphasize that it’s not just a pretty piece of pottery to put on display. It’s practical for veggie-filled hot pots, cooks rice beautifully, and can be adapted to all kinds of everyday cooking.
If you want to spend a bit less, there are some fun vintage cookware deals on Etsy — cast-iron waffle presses, wooden spoon collections and novelty cookie jars. Right now, I’m keeping an eye out for vintage Pyrex (prices vary, but pieces start at around $10), particularly that discontinued mushroom pattern from the 1980s.
The mystery box of fruit ($90) from Full Moon Fruits in Los Angeles could be a really special treat for a fruit lover who can’t usually access things like Thai guavas, sapodilla, sugar cane or persimmons.
Rebel Cheese in Austin makes some of the most delicious artisanal vegan cheeses that I’ve tasted, including an ash-dusted chèvre and a bloomy-rind, Brie-like cheese veined with truffles. Check out their monthly cheese subscriptions (starting at $50 a month).
I love this sweeping spice collection ($127.99) from Barkha Cardoz, sold through Burlap and Barrel, which includes essentials like chile powder, garam masala and asafoetida, along with some more personal blends inspired by the chef Floyd Cardoz, Barkha’s late husband.
One trip to your local bookshop could take care of all your holiday shopping in one go! Consider a revised edition of Diet for a Small Planet ($18) by Frances Moore Lappé, or a new cookbook like Super Natural Simple ($28) or The Korean Vegan ($35), which both made our list of the best cookbooks of the year.
They’re gorgeous, they’re practical, they’re tasty — don’t underestimate beans. You can give wonderful heirloom beans from Masienda, Rancho Gordo or Purcell Mountain Farms (prices vary). And I think a pound of good black-eyed peas ($4.25) is always a sweet host gift this time of year, so your loved ones are ready to make a big pot on New Year’s Day.
If you’re shopping for a gardener, consider a few packets of different heirloom beans for them to grow ($2 to $4.50) in 2022.
For even more gift ideas, visit Wirecutter’s kitchen and dining section, which has deeply researched suggestions for bakers, coffee lovers, and more. And below you’ll find a few recipes to pass along to whomever gets that tofu press, those beans, that donabe. Thank you so much for reading the Veggie, and see you next week!
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