Just In For the Holidays: A Foodie’s Guide

Zingerman's Illustrations of Holiday Gifts

What makes the holiday season so magical? Is it the twinkly lights? The festive soirees? Maybe it’s the ambient spirit of generosity and gratitude?

Or maybe… it’s all about the food.

At Zingerman’s, holiday magic comes in many forms. It’s in our specialty Zingerman’s hot cocoa mix in giftable tins and in the sweet, permeating fragrance of our swoon-worthy spiced pecans toasting. It’s in the comforting and exotic holiday baked goods from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and beyond. You can definitely feel the magic behind the cheese case – our cheesemongers are giddy this time of year as they receive shipments of their special-ordered holiday cheeses.

The season’s magic is especially palpable when our guests make special outings to the Deli with their family and friends while everyone’s in town. Help us celebrate the fleeting season of holiday food traditions by sampling your way through our special holiday offerings. Above all, we think it’s the ephemeral nature of the season, which makes us slow down and soak up the magic, that makes this season special.

Read on for a preview of our special holiday exclusives. These much-anticipated items arrive every year, just in time for the gift-giving season. In browsing our gourmet gifts, you might even cross a few people off of your holiday gift list, or maybe you’ll find a treat for yourself!

Seasonal Candy at Next Door Cafe

Whether you’re looking for impressive presents, delightful stocking stuffers, the perfect hostess gift or sweets to accompany your holiday party, we have it all. Visit us in the Next Door Café to peruse our entire bounty of seasonal treasures.

Veruca Chocolate: Grown-Up Gelt for Hanukkah

Zingerman's Veruca Chocolate Gelt on a plate

Celebrate the tradition of Hanukkah gelt a bit more deliciously! Gold and silver dusted disks from Veruca Chocolates in Chicago, are formed to look like Judean coins circa 40 B.C.E. Available in two sophisticated flavors: dark chocolate with crunchy cocoa nibs and dark chocolate with crystals of sea salt. A great gift for every day of Hanukkah.

Askinosie Chocolate: Peppermint Bark

Zingerman's Askinosie Peppermint Bark

Our favorite artisanally-made “bean to bark” from Springfield, Missouri has returned to the Deli with much-anticipated delight. Layers of dark single-origin dark and white chocolates topped with all-natural crushed peppermint from Denver’s Hammond’s Candies. Made with complex 72% dark chocolate from Mababu, Tanzania and cocoa butter from the Philippines (which is pressed right in their shop!) Makes a cheerful gift or an indulgent confection to keep all for yourself.

Rabitos Royale, Chocolate Dipped Figs

Rabitos Figs

The finest figs selected from the Mediterranean! These luscious figs from Spain are filled with brandy and fudge and then covered with a delicate layer of chocolate and then individually wrapped. Their rich full-bodied flavor pair beautifully with a bold red wine.

Marou Faiseurs de Chocolat: Dong Nai 72%

Marou Chocolate Bars in a row with a gift bundle on the left

The cacao grown in this “pod to bar” chocolate is from the jungled hills of Dong Nai province, Vietnam. There, avocado farmers cultivate cacao that is both sweet and sour, similar to a tropical fruit parfait. Founders Vincent Mourou and Samuel Maruta roast their cacao slow and low so you can taste their hard work and the terroir of each of their provincial origin bars. Marou Faiseurs de Chocolat was among the first in the world to make chocolate at the origin. What began as a dream for two wayward Frenchmen has snowballed into a brand of pure dark chocolate entirely made from Vietnam’s finest ingredients

Béquet Confections’ Caramels

Zingerman's Bequet Caramales

From tinkering in her home kitchen to an award-winning confection maker, Robin Béquet’s caramels, from Bozeman, Montana, are some of the best in the country. A hefty half-pound bag of smooth, buttery rich caramels with notes of brown sugar. Available in an assortment of flavors. They’re an all-around crowd pleaser and make delightful hostess gifts and stocking stuffers. Grab an extra bag and spread some holiday cheer!

Chocolate Covered Clementines

Chocolate Dipped Clementines box

Juicy, delicious clementines from Calabria in southwestern Italy. This fruit is soaked in simple syrup for three weeks, cut in wedges and then dipped in dark chocolate. A perfect gift for a guest, a host or yourself!

NAR Gourmet Turkish Delights

Nar Turkish Delight pieces on a white and gold plate with the dark blue tin

A beautiful tin of traditionally made Turkish Delights. This version of a classic confection was hand-made in Istanbul and packed with double roasted pistachios Ideally served after meals or with coffee or Turkish black tea, this delicacy perfectly represents Turkish hospitality.

Zingerman’s Candy Manufactory: Original Zzang! Bar 6pk

Zingerman's Candy Manufactory Zzang Bar

There’s no mystery as to why the Original Zzang is our candy company’s most popular candy bar: it starts with honey nougat made with natural peanut butter rolled in silky muscovado brown sugar caramel, combined with big Virginia peanuts and finished with a dip into a rich bath of 64 percent dark Colombian chocolate. Makes a great stocking stuffer, addition to a gift basket or refueling snack while wrapping gifts.

Box of Chocolates

Zingerman's Next Door Cafe Truffle Box - staff tying a ribbon

Who doesn’t love a special box of handmade confections? The Next Door’s truffle case is a treasure trove of handmade confections from near & far, traditional to wild. We have pre-assembled collections available and staff ready to help you craft your perfect custom box of truffles and caramels.

Here is a seasonal list to get you started:

  • Grocer’s Daughter Peppermint Honey Caramel: Soft caramel infused with peppermint, lightly sweetened with star thistle honey, all dipped in dark chocolate. Also, cardamom, Mayan caramel, marzipan and more.
  • Chocolat Moderne’s Maple Magic: Maple caramel blended with warming spices cardamom, cinnamon, clove and a sprinkle of sea salt dipped in velvety chocolate. Also, strawberry balsamic, cherry cordial, single malt scotch and more.
  • Chocolate in Chelsea’s Orange Cardamom: Dark chocolate ganache brightened with orange zest, cardamom and orange oil all dipped in dark chocolate. Also, black forest, peppermint stick, honey lavender and more.
  • Sweet Gem Confections’ Cranberry Pâte de Fruit: Juicy French-style fruit candy made with tart & sweet cranberry purée balanced by a coat of rich dark chocolate. Also, black pepper & vanilla, smokey tea, raspberry Chambord, eggnog with whiskey and more.

More On Next Door Café’s Curated Chocolate Selection

The Deli is Your One-Stop-Shop for Gourmet Gifts

Whether you are looking for impressive presents, delightful stocking stuffers, the perfect hostess gift or sweets to accompany your holiday party, we have it all. As always, if you’re still hunting for that perfect something and need a little assistance, we are enthusiastic about showing you our favorites and helping you find a special gift for everyone on your list.

Olio nuovo

Zingerman's 2019 Olio Nuevo bottles outside in the sunset - New Harvest Olive Oils

We always get excited for our first taste of the ‘new harvest’ olive oils. Zingerman’s Delicatessen brings in a limited supply of these extremely fresh new harvest oils – also known as olio nuovo or novello – right after they’re pressed. Only weeks old, these are the freshest oils you will get a chance to taste with big, bold flavors that demand to be noticed. Every season, it’s a treat to see how the past olive season has impacted the flavor of the olive oil and to get a preview of the olive oil harvest that’s coming later in the year, after the oil settles.

Remember, these new olive oils are meant to be enjoyed quickly and with gusto. Each day we wait will mean they get just a tiny bit mellower so carpe diem and bon appétit!

Read About Our 2019 New Harvest Olive Oils!

Hand-sliced bone-in cured hams

Prosciutto slices

Zingerman’s Deli is proud to have one of the largest selections of hand-sliced bone-in cured ham in the U.S.. In December, we generally have five different types of cured hams available that we hand slice to order.

Our selection of bone-in aged hams:

  • Pio Tosini Prosciutto
  • Jamon Serrano
  • Iberico
  • La Quercia Tamworth acorn edition
  • Nancy Newsome’s Ham

When these hams are aged with the bone they continue to age and get tastier and tastier. We can give you a sample anytime! Just ask.

Learn more about Pio Tosini Proscuitto di Parma

Holiday Meats

Our special holiday meat selection doesn’t stop at bone-in aged hams. Here’s a list of the other great meats available this time of year.

  • ‘Nduja from Tempesta Market: Specially created for the holidays, the Deli carries a large format ‘Nduja in natural casing that is a spicy Calabrian-style treat.
  • Goose Mousse: Goose mousse and truffle mousse are wonderful ways to dress up a special holiday charcuterie board. The goose moose is made of goose liver, duck liver, duck and chicken fat with sauternes wine. The truffle mousse is made of chicken liver mousse with black truffles. (Both are pork free!).
  • Smoked Salmon: The Deli works with Kerrytown’s Tracklements, one of the best fish smokers we know, for our smoked salmon. We get in whole sides of smoked salmon and slice it to order. You can purchase as little or as much as you want! Similar to what is true about cheese and prosciutto, smoked salmon tastes best when it’s sliced as close to when you need it as possible, so come in and ask us to slice some up for your new year’s brunch!

Special Cheese

Zingerman's Wheel of Comté cheese cut

Our special cheese selection is coveted by cheese lovers, near and far. Here are some of the cheeses our cheesemongers order every year.

  • Extra Aged Comté: Comté is one of France’s oldest cheeses and one of the last really strong bastions of traditional cheese making. Special wheels are selected just for us from Fort St. Antoine.

    Learn More About Extra Aged Comté

  • Stichelton: A raw milk blue cheese. A classic English tradition from our friends at Neil’s Yard Dairy.

    Let’s Explore Blue Cheese!

  • Regal Raisin: A rich double cream cheese covered in brandy-soaked raisins.
  • Pimento Cheese: A great cheese to have on hand for both unexpected or invited guests!
  • Beurre de Baratte: A French, traditionally churned and cultured butter. This butter is a demi sel, so just lightly salted. The difference between the regular grocery store butter and traditionally made butter will surprise you. What better way to top your slice of country miche or slice of Beigli?

Traditional Balsamic Vinegar from Erika Barbieri

These are the vinegars about which legends have been woven. Savoring one is an experience to brag about. Buy one for a grand occasion. A golden anniversary. A wedding. A newborn. An election. Made from the must—freshly pressed juice—of Trebbiano grapes. The must is cooked down in open copper kettles to half its original volume, then put into wood to age for a dozen years.

But that’s just the beginning. It’s taken out and tested by a panel of judges. The qualifiers in Modena are graded gold and white. Then they return to the wood for another five, ten, twenty, or a hundred years or more. During the aging process, the vinegar is shifted from one type of wood to the next. Cherry, chestnut, oak and mulberry all leave their imprint on the flavor of the vinegar.

The result is an almost unbelievable concentration of sweet-sour flavor in a dense, intense, brown-black vinegar that hints of berries, grapes, vanilla. There is nothing like it in the world. Only a tiny amount is released each year, in elegant glass flasks. Let loose a few drops on ripe strawberries fresh from the market. An amazing treat you’ll always remember.

All traditional balsamic vinegar from Modena are bottled in Ferrari designer Giorgio Guigiaro‘s streamlined, sexy bottle, then gift boxed. They may all look the same, but the vinegar is not. We buy ours from Erika Barbieri, one of the only women balsamic makers. We think her vinegars are consistently fantastic—and the juniper aged version is unique.

Traditional Balsamic Vinegar from Erika Barbieri outside Zingerman's Deli

The Deli carries a juniper, cherry, mulberry, and oak in the vecchio (minimum 12 years aged) & extra vecchio (minimum 25 years aged).

First flush Darjeeling tea

Ari, Zingerman’s Co-founder, describes tea as one of the most affordable luxuries you can buy. Darjeeling is a well-known black tea and the first flush is the picking of the first buds of the season.

This year’s selection was harvested on April 20, 2019 from the Puttabong Tea estate, located just north of Darjeeling, India. A classic, eminently drinkable Darjeeling. The first infusion is full-bodied, crisp, and woodsy; just a touch of astringency on the finish. Subsequent steepings are superbly balanced with a fresh hay nose and toasted malt finish.

Zingerman's Tea Steeping Next To A Cup Of Leaves

Lavender Honey from Nature Provence

It’s the season for honey and tea! Bees scour the delicate lavender blossoms on the hillsides of Provence to produce this perfectly perfumed, richly flavored honey. This is our most popular honey – it’s so good you’ll want to eat it by the spoonful.

This elegant honey is opaque, the color of custard cream. It’s mesmerizing. It seems to glow from within and pours like melted butter or spun sugar. Pop off the top, and you’ll be hit by the perfume. Each whiff is like the start of another good year in Provence.

Spice Trekkers “Cook at Home” book

Épices de Cru’s “Cook at Home” cookbook is an exceptional gift for the foodie in your life or for yourself! The book includes 140 recipes and 28 spices and blend kit. A great way to spice up your holidays!

Make sure you stop in to sample these fleeting treats of the season! Don’t forget, when you shop at the Deli you have a chance to sample anything and everything.