‘Tis the Season for Gastronomic Gift-Giving

Whether you are heading home for the holidays or hosting here in Boston, be sure to share a bit of New England and your Gastronomic know-how with your friends and family. We’ve gathered up our favorite food-filled reads and games as well as the best local (and easily transportable) edibles from across the area. Grab a few to give as gifts or maybe reward yourself for that 25-page Food and Senses research paper with a little New England nosh. 


1. From Absinthe to Zest by Alexandre Dumas. An old book with a clever new cover stuffed with food related notes from around the great culinary world.

2. Foodie Flashcards are grade-school style flashcards with all the terms you should have learned in Food and Anthropology or Theory and Methodology. 

3. Get your DIY on this holiday break with one of America’s Test Kitchen’s (located in Brookline, Mass) newest publications, DIY Cookbook. Recipes include homemade preserves, marshmallows, sauces, cured meats and more.

4. Foodie Fight,  created by Gastronomy grad Joyce Locke (MLA 2002), is a food themed Trivial Pursuit style board game fit for Gastronomy students and their less-gastronomically inclined family members.

5. Cook like the colonials did with the newest version of the Old Sturbridge Village Cookbook

6. Another game for food-lovers, Menu Mash-Up combines Diner Dash with Apples to Apples. Fun for the whole family!

7. Relax over the holidays with a bit of lighter reading with this year’s collection of Best Food Writing

newenglandfoodcollage1. Boston based Effie’s Homemade, founded by Gastronomy grad Irene Costello (MLA 2006), makes a range of biscuit-like products like these nutcakes, corncakes, and traditional Nova Scotia style oatcakes. Perfect for snacking with tea or hot cocoa.

2. This Vermont cheesemaker is located in the historic village of Grafton. Started in 1892, Grafton Village Cheese is now part of the Windham Foundation, whose mission is to promote local rural communities throughout the state. They have a range of cheesy products, but their Vermont aged cheddar is a local tradition.

3. The Boston Honey Company produces honey from bees in eastern Mass in unique flavors like local New England wildflowers, Japanese Knotweed, Black Locust, and Basswood.

4. While you can find these old-timey candies just about anywhere these days, Necco Wafers actually originated in Cambridge in 1847. The candy’s name comes from the original company name New England Confectionery Company (NECCo). An easy stocking stuffer for friends and family with a unique New England history.

5.  Created in 1867, a local Boston cook crafted a unique combination of herbs to create the Bell’s Seasoning. This salt-free seasoning tastes good on almost anything and is an easy and lightweight local edible to pack or ship to distant loved ones.

6. While a freshly baked version is always better, this traditional canned Indian Pudding from Bar Harbor is a New England tradition reaching back to colonial foodways.

7. Various companies harvest sea salt from Maine’s chilly coast including the Maine Sea Salt Company and Stonewall KitchenYou can also try local Cape Cod sea salt from the Wellfleet Sea Salt Company.

8. Another local tradition, Marshmallow Fluff originated in Lynn, Massachusetts just after the first World War. This is the perfect holiday treat and works wonders in a hot cup of cocoa. 

9. Produced since 1882, Wood’s Boiled Cider is made from local Vermont apples and concentrated to a sweet-tart ratio of 7 to 1.

10. These old-fashioned Brown Family Farm Maple Candies are shaped into iconic maple leaves and made from pure maple syrup sourced from real Vermont maple trees. Can’t get much more maple than that!

11. With over two dozen products to choose from, Taza Chocolate (located in Somerville, Mass) combines traditional Mexican chocolate making traditions with seasonal and unique flavors. Try this holiday chocolate bar infused with seasonal gingerbread spices.

12. Lugging home a 5-lb bag of locally milled King Arthur Flour might not sound like fun, but this Vermont-based historic mill and bakery have you covered: they sell teensy versions on their site along with other traditional New England baking ingredients.

Happy Holidays from the Gastronomy Program!

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