The high-end American grocery store has launched its gift boxes in Europe just in time for Christmas. We pulled back the lid to see if they had the right amount of sparkle for corporate clients
Ever since we visited the original Dean & Deluca in New York’s SoHo district, it’s stuck in our mind as the pinnacle of gourmet shopping. Now, for the first time in the UK, you can order sleek white boxes filled with high-end products from the brand’s own label collection that range from £100 to £450. We review the top-tier option – the Upper East Side – below.
The stand outs
Truffle comes out trumps. Black truffle oil had the signature earthy and rich flavour you’d expect without being too overpowering. A good drizzling of it over mushrooms and ricotta on sourdough toast certainly brought supper up a notch. Next, a tiny sprinkle of black truffle salt upped the ante on our mashed potatoes, and a spoonful of acacia truffle honey worked just as well with savoury soft cheeses as it did with crumpets.
Once we managed to come out of our truffle coma, it was the Himalayan mineral salt that piqued our interested. And not just for its millennial pink hue – crush it on top of any cut of meat or fish you can get your hands on for a more enhanced flavour.
Other highlights include the creamy red pepper pesto, which we mixed into the penne rigate pasta. The sweet and sticky Vermont dark maple syrup is basically liquid gold.
Value for money
This is no cheap option at £450 a pop, but it is the Upper East Side we’re talking about here, and the quality of the gift box is worthy of the chi-chi neighbourhood’s name. For starters, there are five different truffle products. Plus, those who find themselves in the possession of one will find enough luxury cooking essentials to fill a good section of their store cupboard. Not to mention the elegant packaging and the fact it’s come all the way from the US of A. The only thing we felt it was missing was a bit of Christmas tipple.
Who to buy it for
This is for the client that likes to cook and always wants to be the first to try something new. It’s got the exclusive factor as it’s just arrived on our shores, but already has a big following. Any self-respecting epicurean will be itching to get in the kitchen after seeing the sheer amount of oils, salts, and sauces. The Upper East Side covers all bases too, while some of the smaller gift boxes are better suited to someone with a specific interest in, say, teas and coffees or Italian food.