Gift Guide for a Food Science Enthusiast

We’ve got the perfect list of gifts for you, if you’re looking for a gift for someone (could be yourself 😉 ) who loves food & science and who:

  • Will actually use that ice cream or bread baking machine;
  • Loves to figure out how stuff works and dedicate time to it;
  • Appreciates that special cookbook which teaches them something completely new;
  • Actually reads the explanations of how or why a recipe works;
  • Might possibly already have all of the stuff in the list, but let’s be honest, will always be able to use an extra spatula or trivet;
  • Doesn’t buy stuff because it’s fancy, but because they want to use it;
  • Wouldn’t mind if it’s second hand! (so don’t restrict yourself to new stuff)
  • Will save to buy the good stuff, instead of buying cheap, only finding out it’s ruined after there zillionth weird experiment.

Please note, this page contains (Amazon) affiliate links. This means that, at no extra cost to you, we will earn a small commission if you buy through these links. Always feel free to buy somewhere else (e.g. your local book or kitchen store). The links can be recognized by the text ‘BUY’.

Books

ON FOOD AND COOKING

On Food and Cooking

If your beloved food scientist doesn’t already own this, better get it first! REVIEW / BUY

MOLECULAR GASTRONOMY

A bunch of short ‘stories’ on interesting phenomena in food.
BUY

BRILLIANT BREAD

If he or she wants to apply their science on bread! REVIEW / BUY

THE CURRY GUY

The Curry Guy

Looking for a new cuisine to understand and explain? This books gives you a good intro to (British) Indian cuisine. REVIEW / BUY

GREEK

Greek

We’re big fans of Masterchef Australia (a great way to learn more about food), this is the cookbook of one of the presenters, has great modern Greek recipes. BUY

THE FOOD LAB

Food Lab front cover

This one’s impressive & fun to read, especially if you’re looking for ‘perfect’ recipes of all sorts it might be the book for you. REVIEW / BUY

SWEET

book cover sweet yotam ottolenghi

Probably our favorite cookbook ever. Great, new recipes, with surprisingly good flavour combinations and instructions.
REVIEW / BUY

PLENTY

Plenty book cover

We love Sweet more, but this is a great cookbook centered all around vegetables. REVIEW / BUY

FIRST BITE

First Bite book cover

Not a cookbook, but a book about how we learn to eat when growing up, but also as adults. Very inspiring. REVIEW / BUY

COOK’S SCIENCE

Cook's Illustrated book cook's science

A great book to get started with food science. Discussing the science of 50 common ingredients. REVIEW / BUY

SCIENCE OF GOOD COOKING

Cook's Illustrated book Science of good cooking

Similar to Cook’s Science, by the same authors but this time focused on 50 concepts as opposed to ingredients. REVIEW / BUY

HELLO MY NAME IS ICE CREAM

hello my name is ice cream book cover

Best book possible for your friend who owns an ice cream maker and loves making ice cream. REVIEW / BUY

DORITO EFFECT

The Dorito Effect

For those who like to learn more about how flavour changes the way we eat! REVIEW / BUY

BOOKS ON BREAD BAKING

For your bread baking enthusiast we set up a whole separate post listing our recommendations!


Equipment

Equipment tends to be a more expensive gift, so be sure to check that your food science enthusiast is really into whatever you’re giving.

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 / BUY

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. BUY

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 / BUY

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. BUY

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. BUY

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. BUY

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. BUY

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! BUY

STORAGE CONTAINERS

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

MEASURING SPOONS

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

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. BUY

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!

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