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An idiosyncratic gift guide for the food- and drink-obsessed |
Food & Drink

An idiosyncratic gift guide for the food- and drink-obsessed

| Saturday, December 13, 2014 8:27 p.m.
Musical Wine Glasses
iCoffee Brewer
Max's Mug with Basketball Hoop
Crack'em egg cracker
Foodie Dice
Motion Chocolate Monopoly
Popcorn Bowl with Kernel Sifter
Potato People
Selfie Toaster
Wet My Whistle Musical Straw
Whiskey Wedge
The Dipr
Happy Chef Uniforms Knives T-shirt
Mixology Dice

Inventive ideas churn up amazing, food-related items on this year’s holiday wish lists. If you imagine it, it can be yours. If you can’t even dream it, it’s still out there, waiting for a taker. So harness those reindeer and jingle some bells. Tra-la-la.


Wet My Whistle , by Fred & Family, is a functional straw. Cover the whistle hole while you sip, or blow to produce a simple tune. The company suggests using it at an adult cocktail event to call the host for a refill — such class! But kids love the cacophony it adds to a birthday party. Ear plugs not included. $10 for set of four.

Teacarina is an attractive teacup of various designs and doubles as an ocarina, a small, ancient wind instrument. Blow through four air chambers to produce music. Finger the holes of varying size to change pitch. An instruction book is included. $18. To see and hear a demonstration:

ICoffee , from Remington, with its patented SteamBrew technology, makes an excellent, low-acid brew. Though named Opus, the newly released version SpinBrew Single Serve does not emit melody, but it will accept any brand of single-serve cups. Instant gratification hits a high note. Multicup $149.95; single $139.99.

Musical Wine Glasses turn your dinner party into a tabletop symphony. The eight-glass set runs the full A-major scale. Sand-blasted fill lines on each glass guide the various amounts of beverage needed to produce the right note. Just run your finger around the glasses’ rims. Sheet music for “Beautiful Dreamer” accompanies the set. Additional sheet music can be downloaded from the website. $240 for set of eight.


Mug With a Hoop says it’s good to play with your food. The basketball-shaped ceramic mug with an attached hoop calls for tossing mini-marshmallows into hot chocolate. Also fun: throwing cereal into milk, raisins into oatmeal and crackers into soup. Developed by Max J. Ash at age 8 — he’s now 10 and working on other sports mugs — the project donates five percent of profits to charities supporting learning disabilities, including dyslexia, which Max happens to have. $24. maxis

AromaFork lets you explore what your nose knows while tricking the brains of food fanatic dinner guests. The tongue’s taste buds can identify only five flavors — sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami — but the nose can sense nearly a trillion. Combining entertainment and science, the kit offers four forks, 24 liquid aromas, four droppers and 50 different diffusing pads. Drop the scent on a pad, place the pad on the fork behind the real food item, lift to taste, and the aroma hits the back of your throat just as the food enters your mouth. Confusion? Enhanced flavor? Gouda combined with smoke sounds good. Chocolate with wasabi, not so much. $58.95.

Foodie Dice aim to free playful spirits from the confines of recipes. Another benefit: inspiration for simple seasonal dinners. The basic set, available in a tumbler ($38) or pouch ($24), presents five primary dice—engraved with a protein (including a vegetarian/vegan option), cooking method, grain/carb, herb and bonus ingredient — plus a die for a seasonal vegetable. The idea: shake, roll, shop, cook and eat. There are over 186,000 possible meal combinations. How about pan-fried lamb with potatoes, onions, dill and fennel — a tidy answer to “What’s for dinner.”

Chocolate Games put a spin on classic childhood board games — Monopoly, Clue, Scrabble and more. The games retain their essential features, but Belgian chocolate, encased in printed wrappers, replaces the original cards and tiles. Also, modified rules change the dynamics of play. Smart kids get the point: grab all the chocolate. But eat your winnings here, and — game over. From $9.99.


Chef’s Knives T-Shirt helps you look sharp. Chefs are never without their knives, and this shirt lauds that. $14.99.

Whiskey Wedge offers a totally suave way to chill a fine spirit without diluting it. Just fill the silicone wedge with water and freeze. Top up the other side of the glass with booze for a stylish sip. $14.95.

Crack’em is designed by a U.S. Marine and funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign. A simple tray holds a raised bar for cracking eggs. Available in four colors, the plastic utensil catches drips and shell fragments and also doubles as a spoon rest. The company’s slogan: crack more and clean less. Check out its amusing website video. $6, $15 for three, or, if you’ve got a lot of stockings to fill, 10 for $50.

Popcorn Bowl With Kernel Sifter is a handsome glazed-stoneware bowl designed by Oregon ceramicist Catherine Smith. Fluffy popcorn fills the main container, while a removable bottom filters out and traps those pesky unpopped kernels. $75 may be pricier than your usual snack bowl, but it’s cheaper than a chipped tooth.

The Dipr invites you to join the Dunking Revolution. It’s a spoon, or maybe a hook with a handle, that secures any sandwich cookie for dunking into milk or other beverage — preventing crumbling or messy fingers. There’s also a specific plastic cup designed to optimize dunking. $2.99 per dipr; $3.99 per cup.


Toaster Selfie , an option from the Vermont Novelty Toaster Corp., will put your face on toast. Upload a good photo to their website, choose a toaster style, decide if you want the toaster personalized with a photo sticker ($6 extra) —and voila! Your mug pops up with every slice. If you can’t meet the deadline for this holiday, buy and give a coupon to redeem in the future. Do not, however, expect a Rembrandt. $63.98.

Potato People provides stainless-steel hats and shoes to dress your baking potatoes as a chef, cowboy, pirate and firefighter. Adorable, yes, but also, hidden metal studs pierce the spuds to conduct heat efficiently for faster baking. $14.99 for set of four.

Pinch & Dash Salt & Pepper Shaker Set has two porcelain hands that set down just the amount of salt and pepper that Nana’s recipe calls for. $10.

Ann Haigh is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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