Wok This Way

If you're looking for something beyond the standard-issue wok, you might consider one of these: Berndes's glass-covered wok ($120; 800-966-3009), All-Clad's polished stainless-steel wok ($170; 800-255-2523) and Le Creuset's snazzy mini-wok ($118; 800-827-1798).

Fat City

Some of the world's best hamhails from Toledo, Spain. And thanks to Balducci's, this air-cured cousin to prosciuttois now available in the States ($24 a pound; 800-225-3822).


Clear a space on your shelf for two more Italian cookbooks: Nancy Harmon Jenkins's deliciously authentic Flavors of Tuscany ($27.50; Broadway Books) and Eileen Daspin's charming Diary of a Tuscan Chef ($35; Doubleday).


Three restaurant chefs allow patrons to pay with something other than cash or credit cards. Allen Susser of Chef Allen's in Miami trades mangoes for a meal; Thomas Keller of Napa Valley's French Laundry accepts figs as payment; and Ben Barker of Magnolia Grill in Durham, North Carolina, barters for baby leeks.