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Gifts for the Enlightened Cupboard

February 13, 2009     Views 1,957     Grabbed 1     Grab    

Gifts for the Enlightened Cupboard

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Formaggio Essex for one-of-a-kind gifts

Our favorite source for last-minute, one-of-a-kind edible gifts is tucked way in the back of the Essex Street Market. The two-year-old outpost of a legendary Cambridge, Massachusetts store (a favorite haunt of the late Julia Child), Formaggio Essex stocks a continuous rotation of carefully chosen kitchen staples you won't find anywhere else.

Michele Cuniberto Cherries in Syrup
There's nothing complicated about these sweet Duroni cherries ($24 for 21 oz), which are simply picked and plunged into jars of sugar syrup. And once the gorgeous jar is opened, the cherries will disappear just as effortlessly into cakes, cobblers and cocktails. Save the leftover syrup for flavoring drinks or stirring into whipped cream. Also available online at

Floriano Turco Olanhas e Mel
Nutella can take a hike: Honey (not chocolate) is the best mate for hazelnuts. This caramel-colored blend of wild acacia honey and Piedmontese hazelnuts ($23 for 9 oz) from one of Europe's top honey producers will have giftees scrambling for ways to use it (hint: Start with ice cream and French toast). Available in store only.

Roi Monocultivar Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
The olives for this Ligurian oil ($29 for 25 oz) are picked late in the season, which produces a sweet, buttery oil with a noticeably spicy finish. Dumping this stuff into a frying pan would be a waste; save it for salad dressings and drizzling over vegetables and fish. Also available online at

Formaggio Essex
120 Essex St.
(between Rivington and Delancey streets)

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