Sweet Gift: Sugars from Chambre de Sucre
Whether or not it's true that we eat with our eyes first, the gorgeous, intricate sugars from Japanese company Chambre de Sucre can't help but impress. The 270-year-old family-run operation, based in Nagoya, has long since made a name for themselves in Japan, supplying their handmade sugars to even the Japanese emperor, but only started to sell in the United States earlier this year.
Of course, such ornate hand-formed sugars don't come cheap (starting at $10.95 a container); are they worth it? We didn't notice a difference in taste, but really did in texture. The orbs, in particular, seem to dissolve instantly in water of all temperatures, which we particularly appreciated in iced coffee. They hardly need a stir to coax them along.
They're an indulgence, of course, the appeal almost purely cosmetic. But for a hostess gift or an occasion that's just too special for rough-edged sugar cubes, they're an awfully fun one.
Order online at chambredesucre.com