Chocolate, Food Artisans, Gifts, Good Food, Mail Order

Unique Holiday Gifts

Behold the top five most unique holiday gifts from These rare food finds have holiday flavors and gift-worthy packaging.  

They don’t call Zingerman’s Mail Order the land of 1,000 flavors for nothing. The online retailer has been traveling the country and the world searching for the best in food since the 1990’s. Today they have an unrivaled selection of food gift baskets, olive oils and vinegars, exquisite chocolates and confections, as well as foods you can only find at Zingerman’s. Here are their expert picks for standout holiday gifts. These are rather dazzling rare food finds that show off special holiday flavors. If you’re looking to make more of an impact with your gifts this year, these unique treats are sure to leave a lasting impression on the lucky recipients.


Zingerman's LebkuchenLebküchen
An artful tin with a sweet German cookie tradition inside.

Sandy Lee fell in love with lebküchen, the traditional German Christmas cookie, while living in Berlin. “It was like nothing I’d ever tasted,” she recalls. “I couldn’t get all those complex flavors out of my head.” She became obsessed, learning all she could about them before returning to the states and starting her own lebküchen bakery.

 The recipe dates back to Medieval times and has many steps. The dough is made from almond and hazelnut flour, whole almonds, egg whites, honey, marzipan and a bevy of spices. The dense dough rests for nearly a day before heading to the oven. The finished cookies are hand glazed and studded with almonds (classic variety) or cloaked in dark chocolate.

 You will find three classic and two chocolate cookies in this wintry-themed tin, designed by Zingerman’s own super talented in-house illustrator Ryan Stiner, featuring foxes walking through the snow in front of Zingerman’s Deli. Each cookie is about four inches across and an inch tall. They’re thick, moist, slightly spicy, sweet and very nutty. The consistency is a cross between cake and marzipan, making them the perfect after dinner treat with coffee or tea. A cookie with history, a perfect gift for anyone on your list.

 “Even German expats find these gingerbread cookies (lebküchen) baked on the Lower East Side by a lebküchen obsessive named Sandy Lee bafflingly authentic — and delicious.” –New York Magazine


Unique Holiday Gift Sugar PlumsSugar Plums
Yes they are a real thing, and they are delicious.

We all know the line from The Night Before Christmas “Visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads”. Though, most of us grew up with sugar plums nowhere in sight. We assure you they’re real, Zingerman’s has them and they make a unique holiday gift.

Greengage plums are harvested in Portugal in late summer, then submerged in sugar syrup, where they rest for six weeks, slowly absorbing sweetness. Finally, they’re laid in the sun to dry. The long, complex process makes a candied plum. These are slightly sweet, green and fuzzy on the outside like a peach. Remarkably, the texture is firm, like a fruit you’ve just picked. An English and Portuguese tradition that’s very difficult to find in the United States.

“If Michelin rated fruits, greengages surely would merit three stars.” –David Karp, The Art of Eating


Unique Holiday Gift Chocolate FigsChocolate Dipped Ganache Filled Figs
Serenity in a wrapper from Spain.

Lynn Fiorentino, Zingerman’s employee for nearly 30 years, has eaten a lot of amazing food. Here’s her take on these popular confections.

“These figs are the best combination of fruit and chocolate that I have ever had. The figs themselves are luscious, rich, and full-bodied with a gentle sweetness. Their scent may be difficult to place at first, until you remember that they have been soaked in a liqueur. The flavor it imparts is subtle, though it adds another layer of richness without being noticeably alcoholic. The outer layer of chocolate is soft and also very deep, and collaborates deliciously with the fruit. Together, the flavors and textures of these figs are succulent and lush. I think that they pair beautifully with a creamy cheese and a heavy red wine, though they would also be a wonderful replacement or even companion to chocolate-covered strawberries. My favorite way to eat them is alone in a room with my eyes closed. I like to be able to concentrate fully on every sumptuous bite.”

The chocolate dipped figs are available in a 3, 6, 9 or 12 piece shiny gold gift boxes.


Robert Lambert Vintage FruitcakeVintage Fruit Cake
Flavor to be taken seriously.

These are no joke. If you already consider fruit cake a joke, the idea of a vintage fruit cake must seem like a real marketer’s whopper. Selling last year’s fruit cakes? Yes, that’s exactly what they’re doing.

In the summer of 2018, Robert Lambert made a small number of his rare citrus fruit cakes to age: a handful each of his classic White Fruit Cake and his dusky Dark Fruit Cake. He cellared them in California. Over the last year the flavor has developed, expanded and become more complex. Like a wine that was fun while young but more serious now that it’s aged, these fruit cakes have become a real fruit cake lover’s treat. Each cake is hand wrapped, tied with twine and gift boxed.


Holiday Gift PannetonePanettone Balsamico
A luscious dark twist on the cake of angels.

Italians inject their beloved balsamic vinegar into many foods. Turns out this invasion is an excellent innovation. And it kind of makes sense since cooked grape must—the base of balsamic vinegar—was traditionally a sweetener in Italy. That’s how it’s employed here. The balsamic is laced through the cake, forming a ribbon of sweet, dark glaze. Instead of finding panettone’s usual gems of candied fruit, you’ll discover veins of cherry-sweet, luscious caramelized balsamic. If you’re looking to expand someone’s horizons this makes a great gift. Like with all panettoni the packaging is stunning.

“The perfect panettone” –Charles Passy, Wall Street Journal


These unique holiday gifts from Zingerman’s Mail Order range from $7 to $85 each. Order them at, for shipping or pick up. Check out their list of most popular gifts