This Pantry Staple as a Holiday Gift

There is always going to be someone on your holiday shopping list that totally stumps you — whether it’s a neighbor, coworker, distant cousin, or Secret Santa. What do you get this person? Luckily, after a recent Twitter thread we saw with thousands of likes in agreement, we are no longer going to have this problem. What is this sure-to-please present, you ask?

According to Joel Golby, a writer for Vice UK and the author of Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant, the very best gift to give someone when in doubt is what Ina Garten might refer to as “good” olive oil. #GetThemTheFancyOil.

Specifically what hits home here is the idea that people “begrudge paying for it themselves,” which, honestly, is extremely relatable. In a reply, Vox writer Rebecca Jennings chimed in with an observation, comparing olive oil to “candle and bath stuff” that we also wholeheartedly agree with.


"Olive Oil Field"

"Zoe Organic Olive Oil"

There are a lot of reasons why quality olive oil makes an excellent gift, no matter who the gift recipient is. In the same way that soap is a fairly universal gift (especially these days!), pretty much everyone who cooks uses some form of olive oil, even if just a few tablespoons per day. A bottle of liquid gold is more thoughtful than a bottle of wine or a bouquet of flowers because it serves a very specific, daily purpose. (Plus, you could be shopping for someone who doesn’t drink or is allergic to flowers!)

“There’s that quote that goes, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” 

Like Jennings says, no matter who you get it for, olive oil “will get USED,” unlike a last-minute tchotchke or something you had on hand for future re-gifting purposes. Plus, even budget olive oil is somehow one of the higher-priced items on any grocery list, so treating someone to a fancier brand (one they might not shell out for on a regular grocery run) will feel like a treat.

Now that we know what we’re getting all the slightly random people on our Christmas list, here some of Kitchn staffers’ very favorite olive oils that would make excellent gifts.

Zoe Extra Virgin Olive Oil

This beauty is cold pressed from Spanish Cornicabra olives and makes the perfect finishing oil for dips, soups, and salad dressings. Not to mention, the tins are simply gorgeous (olive oil as art seems to be a theme!) and fairly inexpensive.

BuyZoe Extra Virgin Olive Oil, $23.99 for two 1-liter tins