Gift Guide for a Food Science Enthusiast

You know someone, or maybe you are someone, who enjoys to experiment with their food and understand what happens. And maybe you want to get that someone a gift, for whatever reason. Maybe to celebrate global food science day (does that day even exist)?

Well, then we’ve got a few tips for you!

First of, before you run/browse to your store, be considerate. Can you buy something used instead of secondhand? And will that someone really like this specific fancy tool? It’s a real waste for the environment if things aren’t used, or used very little. Personally, I love to get things used, especially if there’s a nice story attached to how that person found the thing!

Books

When it comes to books, I tend to look for books that:

  • don’t just contain a lot of recipes, but also contain a compelling overarching story, teaching you about a new cuisine/concept/etc.
  • teach me something new about food, whether it’s facts, chemistry, or human interaction with food

Based on those criteria, these are a few books I’d recommend for sure.

On Food and Cooking

The Basics: On Food and Cooking

If your someone loves food & science and doesn’t yet own this book, this should be the book to get. I still regularly use it to look up stuff. It’s kind of like an encyclopedia with a little bit of text on just about any food.

hello my name is ice cream book cover

For the ice cream enthusiast: Hello, my namie is ice cream

It’s probably my favorite ice cream science book written for anyone interested in ice cream making. There’s something in it for novices, as well as experts and has some great sciency chapters.

book cover sweet yotam ottolenghi

For the lover of sweets: Sweet

It’s probably my most baked out of book by far. I’ve made a ton of recipes from the book. They’re so original, with interesting flavor combinations and textures. It’s all new, but still not that hard to make. One book I wouldn’t want to miss!

First Bite book cover

More than just science: First Bite

I found this a very inspiring book. It discusses how we learn to eat during our lives. Inspiring and gets you thinking since it so impacts how and what we eat.

The Dorito Effect

For the flavor aficionado: The Dorito Effect

This book has had a lasting impact on how I understand how people eat, learn to eat and decide what to eat. It has so many fascinating story angles about how we naturally know what we should eat (though our brains get in the way some times).

There are many more books that are great to read, depending on your area of interest. For instance, we’ve written a separate book guide for those who are into baking bread. Or, get more inspiration by looking at all of our book reviews here.

Didn’t exactly find what you’re looking for? Send me a message or leave a comment.

Equipment

Equipment tends to be an expensive gift. So, be sure to check that your food science enthusiast is really into whatever you’re giving. Not yet sure? Buy a (cheap) used piece of equipment they can try out first and see whether it’s for them.

It’s what we did with our air fryer. It’s a very cheap used one that certainly wasn’t perfect anymore. This turned out to be a good thing since I managed to burn a whole in the plastic outer layer within a couple of weeks after getting it. Nevertheless, almost a year later, it still works great, so we have yet to replace it!

ICE CREAM MACHINE

Ice cream is probably one of the nicest foods to do experiments with, faster cooling, slower, with inclusions, new flavours or colours.

SOUS VIDE COOKING

Anova Nano side view

For those who like to experiment in the kitchen (not sure what sous vide cooking is?). REVIEW

FOOD PROCESSOR

food processor

Because if you live with a food science enthusiast you’d like to reduce the number of tools in your kitchen. This one blends, cuts, slices, grates, mixes, etc.

PRESSURE COOKING

Instantpot Duo Plus 9 in 1 front view

We own an Instantpot and it’s great, soups, stews, chilis, all done within an hour instead of hours! (here’s some science to it). REVIEW

STAND MIXER

Kitchenaid stand mixer

Took us >5 years of doubting to finally buy one, been worth every penny! Use it for bread baking experiments

Cast-iron

Because even though it might require extra care and effort, that’s exactly what your food science enthusiast loves. Figuring out how best to take care of it is part of the fun. What’s more, these things last a life time and they are super versatile! We happen to be Lodge fans, but there’s more choice out there of course.

PANS

cast-iron braising pan

This large one can be used for baking breads, deep frying, soups, etc. A small frying pan always comes in handy as well

BREAD PAN

For those scientists exploring the science of bread baking, but of course, to be used for any sciency experiment with the shape of a loaf

GRIDDLE + GRILL-IN-1

lodge cast-iron grill + griddle

To bake pizza’s, make a pancake, fry

breakfast, prep your hamburger feast and the list goes on.

Tools

No need to go expensive! There are plenty small things that make the life of a food science enthusiast so much easier.

THERMOMETER

thermometer

Can’t do no good science without great measuring devices! Essential for candy making. IKEA has a great one, way better than most ‘fancy’ thermometers, good for meat, candy, really anything!

SPATULAS

spatulas

Essential for mixing, cleaning, scraping and any other food sciency kitchen task. Make sure they’re heat resistant

STORAGE CONTAINERS

To store all those experiments and to not forget what’s inside there! Our favorites are from IKEA

Sign up to our weekly newsletter to be updated on new food science articles.

MEASURING SPOONS

You want to be precise and normal weighing scales won’t work well for these small quantities!

WHISK

whisk

To mix all those weird batters a good STURDY whisk is essential. No clue where we found ours, but don’t get a thin wiry one please.

SCALE

Baking by weight instead of volume will give so much more accurate results and gives you so much extra flexibility. You definitely need a scale for them

Last but not least: what you shouldn’t buy

Just like with any gift giving, don’t give gift just for the sake of giving gifts. At least that’s our opinion, that cool little garlic slicer or that one handy dandy tool to peel just that one specific fruit, there’s not a lot of people that will be happier after having that (except of course, if your special person happens to be a huge fan of that specific fruit). Also, for the food science enthusiast in your life, a kitchen is there to be used, as is the stuff inside, so don’t buy:

  • Expensive sets of cutlery and plates, chances are these will be used for all sorts of experiments, not a good idea.
  • Really, anything that can’t handle a creative mind at work in the kitchen ;-).
  • That little cookbook with a random collection of topics, you food science enthusiast will be happier with a specific in-depth cookbook or science book.

That said, you know your food enthusiast best, so use that knowledge to come up with that brilliant gift!

Newsletter Updates

Enter your email address below to subscribe to our weekly newsletter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.