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From a monthly chocolate-box subscription to an embossed rolling pin, delight your culinary-inclined friends with these items

Handmade Maitake knife

A knife from Grindhouse Blade Care and Ware

Grindhouse Blade Care & Ware, Halifax; $160 for a standard knife

Ask any chef to name an essential tool and a well-made knife tops the list. This Nova Scotia company creates quality knives that are, yes, a cut above. For those who need a sharp blade that is functional and also beautiful, the Grindhouse Maitake is solid and all purpose, appreciated by both kitchen professionals and avid home cooks. All Grindhouse knives are constructed from high-carbon steel recovered from vintage saw blades (most forged between 1900 and 1950), and created completely by hand, from the steel selection to the heat treatment to the final edging. Reclaimed Nova Scotian hardwoods are often used for the handle material, ensuring each knife is one of a kind.

Chocolate subscription

A delivery from Cacao Avenue

Cacao Avenue, Toronto; $29 to $49 for holiday box; $43 to $48 for regular monthly subscription

What's a better gift for a chocolate connoisseur than a subscription box of artisan Canadian chocolates? Members of this newly launched company receive a monthly five-piece collection of truffles and bars along with tasting notes about the flavours and chocolatiers. A special holiday box (available in nine or 15 pieces) has been carefully curated to blend new flavours with classic favourites. Send one box or sign up for three or six months of surprise sweets delivered to the door.

Flour and sugar scoop

Baking scoops from Herriott Grace

Herriott Grace, Vancouver Island; $240 (U.S.)

On a small hobby farm in Victoria, retired welder Lance Herriott hand-carves spoons and other objects out of wood he's been collecting since the 1970s. What started with small homemade care packages sent to his daughter in Toronto has evolved into an online shop offering Herriott's hand-carved wooden wares, along with a selection of porcelain and stoneware. The flour and sugar scoop is ideal for any dry good, and is sure to be a well-used kitchen keepsake.


Preserves from Kitten & The Bear

Kitten and the Bear, Toronto; $12 jar (250 ml); $28 for the Tasting Box Trio of three mini jars

There's jam, and then there's the elevated French confiture style of preserve cooked in hand-hammered copper pans created specifically for the purpose. This modest retail shop in Toronto creates jams, jellies and marmalades completely by hand, in small and often limited batches. The flavours of fresh fruit and spices burst from the tiny jars. Signature flavours include banana, bourbon and vanilla bean, as well as sweet orange and honeyed whisky, while a limited holiday collection includes black-plum Earl Grey and Christmas cranberry.

Embossed rolling pin

Etsy Rolling Pin Images

Perfectly Me Vancouver, Langley, B.C., $35

Why roll plain dough when you can roll out a cute pattern or a design? These embossed rolling pins are cut with a precise laser engraver to add a creative, personalized stamp to cookies and pie crusts. More than 20 designs are available, including holiday prints such as candy canes and stockings. You can also request a custom design: names and family pet paw prints are popular requests.

Gift box

A foodie gift box from Foodie Pages.

Foodie Pages, Toronto; $55 small box (5 products); $100 large box (10 products)

This four-year-old company has been introducing Canadians to close to 200 small-batch food and wine makers across the country.

The best of 2016 box features small-batch products chosen as their favourites by clients and subscribers.

Inside are diverse new flavours destined to become kitchen essentials, such as Abokichi's Chili Okazu, a Toronto-made Japanese condiment made with miso paste, sesame oil, fried garlic and chilies; or a Nova Scotia maple syrup infused with cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Monthly boxes are also available for subscription, each curated by a different chef or tastemaker.