Think Inside the Box: Gift Subscriptions for Food Lovers

12/05/2013 at 02:18 PM ET
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BOXES O' FUN!

Alie Ward and Georgia Hardstark, a.k.a. Alie & Georgia, host Cooking Channel food-travel series Tripping Out with Alie & Georgia. Visit PEOPLE.com every Thursday for their playful spins on celebrity recipes, cocktails, entertaining ideas—and, of course, lots of laughs!

What do you get the friend or family member who’s been to all the hip new restaurants, has a kitchen full of the newest gadgets and toys, and never misses a weekly visit to the local farmer’s market? Put down the Williams-Sonoma gift card and check out our list of favorite subscription boxes for foodies. We promise these will put you in your food fanatics’ good graces—maybe even enough to have ‘em cook you dinner.

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STEEPSTER

Ten different teas a month from around the globe, complete with expert brewing instructions, will leave your leaf-loving friends steeped in flavor and caffeine.

BUY IT: steepster.com; $25 and up

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TURNTABLE KITCHEN'S PAIRINGS BOX

Each month, Pairings Box delivers ingredients and recipes for home-cooked dishes, plus a 7” record and downloadable mix tape that compliment the meal. Your hipster cred is sure to go up substantially with the gifting of this box—handlebar mustache and fixed gear bike not required.

BUY IT: turntablekitchen.com, $25 and up

Courtesy Skoshbox.com
SKOSHBOX

Perfect for anyone with a penchant for snacking, this subscription box full of colorful Japanese candy is a lot more interesting than plain old chocolate. It’s pretty much impossible not to smile when you open it each month.

BUY IT: skoskbox.com, $12 and up

Courtesy Julibox.com
JULIBOX

This curated-by-mixologists cocktail box gives your booze-loving friends the ingredients and recipes to create two different libations each month. The packaging is superb and the cocktails range from unique to classic favorites. We’ll drink to that!

BUY IT: julibox.com, $36 and up

Courtesy Healthy Surprise
HEALTHY SURPRISE

Now that we’ve OD’ed on Japanese candy and craft cocktails, let’s lighten things up with this box full o’ healthy snacks. With three box sizes available, this is even a great gift for the entire office—get one sent each month to root through with your coworkers (and say goodbye to scrounging for quarters for that Kit-Kat from the vending machine). Bravo to Healthy Surprise for actually making health food fun!

BUY IT: healthysurprise.com, $33 and up

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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