Rancho Meladuco Medjool Dates Box
Joan Smith’s luscious sun-ripened Medjool dates are hand packed into sturdy kraft boxes illustrated with charming pen-and-ink farm scenes and nifty date facts. Grown on her small farm in California’s Coachella Valley, these caramel-and honey-like jewels are the perfect gift for health-conscious foodies with a sweet tooth. Lucky recipients can enjoy the fruits straight out of the box or use them to make sumptuous appetizers, salads, and sweets. (I recently served them alongside tangerines, toasted walnuts, and shards of bitter chocolate for a dessert my friends adored and couldn’t have been simpler to prepare.) Smith’s efforts to fight hunger and food insecurity, and goals for a zero waste harvest, add a cozy feel-good vibe to this pretty present.
To buy: $16 for 2 lbs.; ranchomeladuco.com.
Kosterina Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Cold pressed from early harvest olives grown organically on the Greek island of Crete, this pungent green oil ups the ante on any salad game. Owner Katerina Moutanos is passionate about spreading the worthy gospel of single varietal extra-virgin olive oil, and with Kosterina, she gets that right and more. Her gorgeous white bottles lettered in black brush script type protect the oil from daylight and provide an eye-catching design. Give a single bottle or a quarterly subscription that will keep your friends in healthy green gold all year long.
To buy: $27 per bottle, with free shipping over $50 and bulk order discounts; kosterina.com.
Stick With Me Sweets Bonbons
In a tiny jewel box of a shop in New York City’s Nolita neighborhood, master chocolatier Susanna Yoon crafts exquisite hand painted bonbons that are almost too pretty to eat. Her milk, white, and dark chocolate confections are flavored with sophisticated ingredients like yuzu, kalamansi, and togarashi pepper—but Yoon has a playful side too. PB and Jelly and Milk Chocolate Cookie are richly addictive renditions of the classic kid favorites. And “New York, New York”—a crunchy, chocolate-covered pretzel covered with peanut butter praline and enrobed in a dark chocolate shell—is her hymn to the city’s iconic street snack and one not to miss. A former pastry chef at Per Se, Yoon packages her shiny polish-finished bonbons into fanciful book-like boxes. Your choice of 6, 12, or 24 candies can be arranged in a seasonal Christmas tree book box or one of Yoon’s beautiful non-themed books.
To buy: From $25 per set, swmsweets.com.