NEW YORK, N.Y. — What will you be getting for the cook on your list this holiday season? Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, most people have at least one person who loves to cook and wants the latest gadgets. Or do you have a potential sommelier in the family? There are new wine-related items on the market this season, too.
“Manufacturers and retailers alike are continually in search of the next best thing or trend,” says Jon Jesse, vice president of industry development for the International Housewares Association, which recently showcased a plethora of new kitchen and bar wares ideal for gift-giving at its annual Housewares for the Holidays show. Here are just a few standouts, most of which are available online to get your shopping finished at the click of a mouse.
» Tovolo’s Precision Pie Crust Cutter. One of the most difficult things about making a beautiful pie is creating the perfect crust with even sides and gorgeous scalloped edges. Tovolo makes it easy with its new Precision Pie Crust Cutter.
It’s a handy tool that adjusts to different sizes. Remember using a compass in algebra class? The crust cutter follows the same technique, allowing you to place the body of the cutter in the center of the dough and extend its arm to cut perfect dough circles. The cutter has four discs that cut different crust designs — fluted, tight wave, light wave and scalloped. The discs are stored in the base so they won’t get lost, making the Precision Pie Crust Cutter very compact. At a price point of less than $10, it’s affordable enough for every would-be pastry chef on your list.
Buy it at: www.amazon.com and www.surlatable.com.
» Bonny Bar Bottle Tag Corkscrew. A nice bottle of wine makes the perfect host/hostess gift during the holidays. Add a corkscrew and a card, and your gift becomes more than just another bottle to add to the collection, so make yours stand out with Bradshaw International’s Bonny Bar Bottle Tag Corkscrew. It’s an all-in-one corkscrew and “card” that bears a holiday greeting, such as “Making Spirits Bright,” with a space for “To” and “From” messaging on the back. The card is made of durable cardboard and fits over the bottle neck. It also has a pocket on the front holding a Bonny Bar winged corkscrew.
“It really dresses up a wine bottle,” says Bradshaw communication manager Bert Tanimoto.
Buy it at: JC Penney and Tru Value hardware stores.
» Kilner Fermentation Set. The continuing popularity of the farm-to-table movement has sparked a new trend in the culinary world that has housewares company Typhoon Homeware flooding the market with items that allow cooks to get back to the basics, such as its new fermentation set. The company predicts it will be a top-seller, so don’t wait till the last minute if the cook on your list is one who follows the do-it-yourself trend, a movement that company spokesman Ryan Murphy says is popular among millennials.
Pottery crocks have been used for centuries to make sauerkraut, kimche, pickles and other foods that require fermentation, but there are some drawbacks to the opaque containers. Topping that list is the fact you can’t see what’s happening. The Kilner fermentation vessel is made of glass so you can witness the fermentation process in action. Plus, there’s a glass valve on top “that lets the bad gases out and keeps the good stuff in without having to open the lid,” Murphy notes.
Buy it at: www.bedbathandbeyond.com or amazon.com.
» Gourmia WiFi Air Fryer. Air-frying is not a new cooking technique, but lately, it’s taken off as Americans become more health-conscious and try to follow better diets that don’t allow heavy fried foods. Air-frying allows us Southerners to enjoy more healthful versions of fried chicken, french fries and tater tots.
It’s a very multifunctional products that not only air-fries but also bakes and roasts. The three-in-one device takes the place of your toaster oven and deep fryer, allowing more counter space, making it ideal for those on your list who reside in tight living spaces with small kitchens.
Not only is air-frying more healthful than pan-frying in an oil bath, Gourmia has made it fun. The new model has a built-in “cook cam” that you can sync to your phone (iPhone or android), so you can watch your food from another room as it cooks and/or share your air-frying with friends via social media.
Buy it at: www.bestbuy.com, www.kohls.com or www.bedbathandbeyond.com.
» Vinturi On Bottle Wine Aerator. In a perfect world, a nice bottle of wine achieves ideal aeration in a couple of hours. But who has time or wants to sit around and wait that long to enjoy a glass or two of your favorite vintage? The wine lover on your list will appreciate the latest aeration technology that marries science with style: the Vinturi On Bottle Wine Aerator.
It’s a one-piece appliance that fits snugly into the wine bottle like a cork, followed by a sleek, acrylic spout that allows for both aeration and no-mess pouring. Decanting takes place in seconds, not hours.
“Every single Vinturi is tested, because if one is off just 5/1,000th of an inch, it won’t work,” explains Eileen McHale, director of marketing and business development for Vinturi parent company Legacy Companies.
The device is wider on the bottom and narrower at the top so that as air velocity speeds up, pressure decreases. “And right in that magical spot, air is pulled in like a vacuum,” McHale says. The entire process takes just seconds. Its size makes for a great stocking stuffer, too.
Buy it at: www.bedbathandbeyond.com.