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Food gift guide 2012: 50 finds for $20 and under

Absinthe lollipops, truffle honey and gorgeous tabletop wares: Stuff stockings and treat friends with these culinary presents in our food gift guide.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Gun bottle opener

The heft of this rusted, cast iron gun model—whose trigger guard functions as a bottle opener—imbues the decapping of an IPA with the drama of a Western standoff. Available at Broadway Panhandler, 65 E 8th St between Broadway and University Pl (212-966-3434, broadwaypanhandler.com). $19.95.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Absinthe lollipops

These bright emerald, anisey pops, from Austin’s Lollyphile, have none of the spirit’s bitterness and all of its sexiness. Available at lollyphile.com. Four for $10.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Japanese style gold jigger

Bling out your favorite cocktail geek’s stocking with this gilded bar measure. It ain’t all good looks, though—while most commercial jiggers can turn out uneven shots, the drink nerds at Cocktail Kingdom manufacture these tools, with a narrower V shape for better precision and less spillage. Available at cocktailkingdom.com. ½oz and ¾oz jigger $15.95, 1oz and 2oz jigger $16.95.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Limited Edition Askinosie and Intelligentsia Coffee Sipping Chocolate

Two artisanal titans—lauded roaster Intelligentsia Coffee and small-batch chocolatier Askinosie—teamed up for this standout hot chocolate–java mix, a veritable mocha in a canister. Available at askinosie.com. 6oz $15.50.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Chalkboard spice jars (in gold and silver)

Practical as they are pretty, these storage jars can change their label as you change their contents. Available at Anthropologie, locations throughout the city (anthropologie.com). $12.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Smoked nib brittle

This dangerously addictive brittle features 67 percent cacao nibs, smoked in the same wood stove where Tennessee pork man Allan Benton prepares his famous country hams. The initial caramel crunch yields to smoldering, savory chocolate, with light hints of fruit. Available at Bedford Cheese Shop, 229 Bedford Ave at North 4th St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-599-7588, bedfordcheeseshop.com). $13.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

DCI Cut the Cheese knives

Always wondered what different-shaped cheese knives are supposed to do? This handy set spells it out, literally, on each piece. Available at Bowery Kitchen Supplies, 75 Ninth Ave between 15th and 16th Sts (212-376-4982, bowerykitchens.com). $20.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Droga Peppermint Peppies

Los Angeles confectioner Droga gives York’s iconic silver-wrapped treat an elegant update: Fragrant minty slabs are covered with rippled dark chocolate and a shock of the crushed red-and-white candy. Available at the Plaza Food Hall by Todd English, 1 W 59th St at Fifth Ave, concourse level (212-986-9260, drogachocolates.com). Twelve-piece box $17.50.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Gold soup can

Use this stylish ceramic vessel, inspired by disposable products, to store tea, sugar and other dry goods. Available at Future Perfect, 55 Great Jones St between Bowery and Lafayette St (212-473-2500) • 115 North 6th St at Berry St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-599-6278) • thefutureperfect.com. $18.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Mikkeller To Via From

Copenhagen’s cultish gypsy brewer brings back its giftable holiday beer with a festive champagne cork—this year it’s a light, spiced porter with chocolate and malt notes. Available at Good Beer, 422 E 9th St between First Ave and Ave (212-677-4836). $16.99.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Wine-o Bag

Give the gift of hobo chic with this insulated, waterproof synthetic paper bag, keeping a princely Sauvignon Blanc cool in faux-pauper garb. Available at Broadway Panhandler, 65 E 8th St between Broadway and University Pl (212-966-3434, broadwaypanhandler.com). $9.95.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Woodford Reserve Bourbon Sorghum Vinaigrette

This top-notch salad dressing combines two Kentucky icons: Southern sweetener sorghum syrup and Woodford Reserve bourbon. Available at Depanneur, 242 Wythe Ave at North 3rd St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (347-227-8424, depanneurbklyn.com). 8.4oz $14.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Sambonet cocktail spoon and fork

Forget toothpicks—serve your cocktail-hour nibbles in style with these sleek, modern utensils. Available at Eataly, 200 Fifth Ave between 23rd and 24th Sts (212-229-2560, eataly.com). $17.80.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Cacciatorini Piccante

Calabrian chilies and paprika add a smoky depth to these porky links. Toss a string in your bag before traveling for the holidays. Salumeria Rosi Parmacotto, 283 Amsterdam Ave between 73rd and 74th Sts (212-877-4800) • 903 Madison Ave between 72nd and 73rd Sts (212-517-7700) • salumeriarosi.com. Six links (about 12oz) $19.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

White Mikage soy pot

Crafted to resemble Japan’s traditional Mikage stone (granite), the speckled, cream-colored ceramic pot is a delicate and beautiful addition to any sushi serving set. Available at Korin, 57 Warren St between Church St and West Broadway (212-587-7021, korin.com). $14.90.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Truffle honey

Trade in your truffle oil for this fragrant Italian honey, which showcases the prized mushroom’s delicate flavor more elegantly. Available at gilttaste.com. 2.82oz $19.95.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Babushkups

Space is precious in cramped city apartments—maximize the room in your cabinets with these cute nesting cups. Available at the Brooklyn Kitchen, 100 Frost St at Manhattan Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-389-2982, thebrooklynkitchen.com). Set of three $19.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Avant-Garde Kashmir Spice chocolate bar    

Heady cinnamon, cardamom and clove lend a heavenly exotic perfume to this silken chocolate bar. Available at Chocolat Moderne, 27 W 20th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (212-229-4797, store.chocolatmoderne.com). 2.5oz $8.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Govino decanter

Elegant and practical, this unbreakable plastic decanter is also superaffordable. Available at MoMA Store, locations throughout the city (momastore.org). $13.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Poorfarm Pure Vermont maple syrup

Bright, citrusy notes pep up the caramel character of this spirited maple syrup. The slender bottle easily slips into a stocking (leaving plenty of room for nestling other goodies). Available at Lucy’s Whey, Chelsea Market, 425 W 15th St between Ninth and Tenth Aves (212-463-9500, lucyswhey.com). 8oz $12.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Artisan mini salt cellar (in gold and silver)

Give the essential mineral salt proper staging with these stunning serving containers. Available at Anthropologie, locations throughout the city (anthropologie.com). $12.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Peanut cocoa butter

This craveworthy spread—a blend of stone-ground chocolate, wildflower honey and roasted nuts—is the best peanut butter we’ve tasted in ages. Available at Greene Grape Provisions, 753 Fulton St at South Portland St, Fort Greene, Brooklyn (718-233-2700). $13.79.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Blue and brown bowl

Fading from sky blue to acorn brown, this bowl’s exterior resembles nothing so much as a robin’s egg. Inside, minute cross-hatching lends a textured look, but it’s smooth and glossy to the touch. Available at Korin, 57 Warren St between Church St and West Broadway (212-587-7021, korin.com). $6.20

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Brooklyn Brine Co. Hop-Pickle

Spiked with Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA and habanero chilies, these complex vinegared cukes pack a serious punch. Available at Brooklyn Brine, 574 President St between Third and Fourth Aves, Gowanus, Brooklyn (347-223-4345, brooklynbrineco.com). 16oz $9.99.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Gold sugar tongs

Sweetening your morning coffee gets a luxe touch with this radiant utensil. Available at Whisk, 933 Broadway between 21st and 22nd Sts (212-477-8680) • 231 Bedford Ave at North 4th St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-218-7230) • whisknyc.com. $5.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Farmstead goat’s-milk caramels

Raw goat’s milk from Vermont’s Big Picture Farm lends a creamy mildness to these succulent, award-winning caramels, infused with bourbon vanilla and dusted with sea salt. Available at Lucy’s Whey, Chelsea Market, 425 W 15th St between Ninth and Tenth Aves (212-463-9500, lucyswhey.com). 3.2oz $12.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Shesham salad servers

Made from eco-friendly Indian hardwood (shesham), these wide serving utensils easily gather and toss greens. Available at CB2, locations throughout the city (cb2.com). Two for $19.95.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Dirty Dick’s Hot Pepper Sauce

Fiery-food fiends will get hot for this standout sauce, an enlivening, complex mix of habanero chilies brightened with pineapple and mango. The pauseworthy name also makes for some cheap jokes around the Christmas tree. Available at Dickson’s Farmstand Meats, Chelsea Market, 75 Ninth Ave between 15th and 16th Sts (212-242-2630, dicksonsfarmstand.com). 5oz $7.50.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Hamburger kitchen timer

The fuddy-duddy kitchen timer goes darling with this Pop Art burger shell. Available at kikkerland.com. $6.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Mama O’s Premium Kimchi Paste

Ferment your own kimchi—or just spice up soups, stews and stir-fries—with this spice blend, from the popular Lower East Side brand of Korean snacks. Available at Greene Grape Provisions, 753 Fulton St at South Portland St, Fort Greene, Brooklyn (718-233-2700). $8.99.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Old-fashioned tart server (in French blue and bright fuschia)

This dreamy acrylic dessert server is made in an array of saturated colors. Available at leifshop.com. $18.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Red Bee honeycomb box

Bring one of these sweet golden boxes to your next holiday party for serving alongside the cheese plate. Available at Murray’s Cheese, locations throughout the city (murrayscheese.com). 16oz $18.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Egg pants

These three-legged silicone stands keep boiled morning eggs stationary—and in style. Available at the Brooklyn Kitchen, 100 Frost St at Manhattan Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-389-2982, thebrooklynkitchen.com). Two for $5.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

The Jam Stand You’re My Boy, BLUE-berry Bourbon Jam

Think artisanal Brooklyn jams are so last year? Booze might change your mind: Sunny blueberry preserves get hair-of-the-dog treatment via a dousing of bourbon. Slather it on buttered toast in the morning or dab it on pound cake at night. Available at multiple locations (thej.am). 8oz $8.50.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Crushed cup

Netherlands ceramicist Rob Brandt crafts these minimalist crinkled cups. Available at Future Perfect, 55 Great Jones St between Bowery and Lafayette St (212-473-2500) • 115 North 6th St at Berry St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-599-6278) • thefutureperfect.com. $12.50.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Compartés Infinite Dream chocolate bars

This new line of bars from Los Angeles chocolatier Jonathan Grahm features single-origin cacao, a variety of flavors (almond, waffle cone, crispy rice) and hypnotic, Warholian packaging. Available at compartes.com. $9.95 (3.5 oz) per bar.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Psycho Diagnostik coasters

Analyze your drinking buddy with these colorful Rorschach-printed coasters, from the imaginative French design firm Atypyk. Available at atypyk-e-shop.com. Ten for $14.71.

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Photograph: Krista Schlueter

Ice shooters

Keep your holiday vodka slugs frosty with this novel ice tray, which produces an endless (and easily disposed-of) supply of shot glasses. Available at fredflare.com. $12.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Kuhn Rikon household shear and paring knife (in red)

Add a splash of color to culinary tasks—snipping whole chickens, slicing apples—with this bright multipurpose set. Available at Sur La Table, locations throughout the city (surlatable.com). $12.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Om beaker glass teapot

Loose-leaf fanatics will love this gorgeous crystal-clear teapot—a mash-up design of science beakers and Asian brewers—with a built-in steeping cup. Available at CB2, locations throughout the city (cb2.com). $17.95.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Microplane grater

The maker of the best rasp grater on the market—once available only in black—now offers the essential kitchen tool in a seven cheery colors, including green, yellow, purple and fuchsia. Available at Sur La Table, locations throughout the city (surlatable.com). $14.95.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Beer shot glass

The ultimate barfly accessory, this pint glass has a built-in shooter. Toast with a shot of something brown, then flip it over to fill with your brew of choice. Available at highwave.bigcartel.com. $19.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Claudia Pearson tea towel

Brighten your kitchen with pretty textiles celebrating local fruits and veggies, from Kings County illustrator and Brooklyn Flea vendor Claudia Pearson. Available at Whisk, 933 Broadway between 21st and 22nd Sts (212-477-8680) • 231 Bedford Ave at North 4th St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-218-7230) • whisknyc.com. $16.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Bobble water bottle

Enviro-enthusiasts or thrifty drinkers can filter water on the go with this dual-purpose bottle. Available at Green Depot, 222 Bowery between Prince and Spring Sts (212-226-0444, greendepot.com). $9.95.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Country cutting mats

Cross-contamination prevention gets a fun look via these funky cutting mats, separately made for meat, fish, veggies and poultry. Bonus: The thin plastic sheets won’t hog your cabinet space. Available at kikkerland.com. $12 for four.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Fiore di sale

Romantically named “flower of the salt” is gathered off the Italian coast and dried in the Sicilian sun. Available at Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria, 53 Great Jones St between Bowery and Lafayette St (212-837-2622, ilbucovineria.com). 6oz $12.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Get Jiro!

Foodie-ism gets the graphic-novel treatment with this outrageously fun tome from medium-hopping culinary celeb Anthony Bourdain. The glossy panels depict a blood-spattered dystopic future in which haute cuisine rules and people are willing to kill for a hot reservation. Sound familiar? Available at Barnes & Noble, locations throughout the city (barnesandnoble.com). $25.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Shuguh bowl

Add a dose of Brooklyn pride to your morning cawfee with this adorable sugar bowl. Available at Fishs Eddy, 889 Broadway at 19th St (212-420-9020). $13.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Tovolo sphere ice mold

This silicone mold—which produces perfect, slow-melting spheres of ice—will be a godsend to your friend who still takes his Scotch on a handful of bodega ice. Available at Sur La Table, 75 Spring St at Crosby St (212-966-3375, surlatable.com). Two for $10.95.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Snow and Pearl Cup

Iridescent as a fish’s belly, this stunning drinking cup will brighten any drab office desk. Available at leifshop.com. $14.

Left your holiday shopping until the last minute? Don’t panic: Blow through your list without breaking the bank using our affordable food gift guide. We’ve got the beer lover, chocolate fiend, elegant hostess and any other food fanatic in your circle covered. Check out the full slide show of culinary must-haves for $20 and under.

RECOMMENDED: Complete holiday gift guide

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