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Old 05-16-2006, 12:10 PM   #11
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I just from a poe dink town. I now have access to several asian markets, ethnic delis and a couple fresh seafood markets (we live about an hour from the ocean). My favorite new additions are pancetta, reasonably priced soba noodles and all the cheeses.

I do miss the fresh produce I had access to, living in a rural area, especially asparagus and apples. An apple picked from the tree and one bought in a store are not even comparable.

For those of you in California, Have you had fresh picked avocado? How does it compare to store bought.
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Old 05-16-2006, 12:33 PM   #12
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There is no comparison between some avocados, but it's variety that counts.
In my opinion, Haas is the best. It's buttery consistency is amazing. They have a dark, thick blackish skin and the fruit is a perfect creamy green color. When they're from a neighbor's tree, they're the best, although they are almost as good if they're from a good market (since they're so abundant here), so long as they've been picked within a couple of days from purchase, and still have a part of their stem intact. Then, there's the winter avos. Thin green shiny skins... not too much as far as taste.
I think it's the variety, rather than if it's freshly picked. After all, you can pick a hard avo & keep it on the counter for almost a week before it's soft.
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Old 05-16-2006, 01:10 PM   #13
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Here in our area of Virginia the biggies are Smithfield Ham, Virginia peanuts, & wine (wineries are everywhere!!!).

Even though the peanuts are grown further south, they're still popular & are sold pretty much everywhere, & there's a shop in town here that sells nothing but different types of Virginia ham, Smithfield being the most popular nationwide.

Locally, bison & other organically-raised meats are becoming very popular as well. One can easily find & buy all types of free-range poultry, eggs, pork, goat, sheep, pretty much you name it.
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Old 05-16-2006, 01:55 PM   #14
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I don't know what you can find in Minnesota. Whenever I am looking for something unusual I endup driving to Chicago, or going to NY. As the matter of fact, everything fashinable comes here 2 to 3 years latter.
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Old 05-16-2006, 02:03 PM   #15
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Claire - I so love all the artisinal cheeses in your area!! I have relatives in Illinois (the Oregon/Rockford area), & when I was a kid I remember us all taking a day trip through a number of cheese-producing areas in both Illinois & Wisconsin.

Back then little farms would just have hand-painted "Cheese" signs at the ends of their driveways, & you'd pull up to the house & they'd take you down to the basement where they had stacks & stacks of homemade "brick" cheese (named for it's shape). Flavors ranged from mild to strong, my favorites being somewhat inbetween with a nice nutty taste. You can't get commercial cheese like that.
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Old 05-16-2006, 02:08 PM   #16
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I am in the citrus captial of the the world,so I guess A fruit basket...
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Old 05-16-2006, 02:25 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Claire
In the area where you live (please tell us where), what foods can you buy to bring to people as gifts? What are your favorites? What shoudl I try if I find myself in your home town?
Californ-i-a. When invited to dinner, ie., I bring a cake or libation - fitting the occasion and menu. Been awhile, but Michele Richard use to be close by - good cake! In New Yawk, Entenmann's, if you're in a hurry & want to bring a ready-made dessert. Champagne is another consideration, depending on the person's likes/dislikes occasion - or a wine they like. Don't think anyone would turn down a good bottle of Scotch, Johnnie Walker etc. Really depends on what my friend's likes are. I'm partial to cheesecake, but prefer New York's from anything I've tried in California..
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Old 05-16-2006, 02:32 PM   #18
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CharlieD - I'm not exactly sure which areas, but aren't many areas of Minnesota known for Scandinavian delicacies? Or am I thinking of a different state?
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Old 05-16-2006, 02:35 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by mish
In New Yawk, Entenmann's, if you're in a hurry & want to bring a ready-made dessert.
Is Entenmann's a walk-in-the-door bakery in Noo Yawk, mish? For years I've seen their coffeecakes, donuts, etc. in the bread aisle of all the grocery stores. Always thought it was a brand, like Sara Lee.
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Old 05-16-2006, 02:47 PM   #20
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Is Entenmann's a walk-in-the-door bakery in Noo Yawk, mish? For years I've seen their coffeecakes, donuts, etc. in the bread aisle of all the grocery stores. Always thought it was a brand, like Sara Lee.
I always knew it as a brand name as well - but pretty darn good in a pinch. Hey, there's also "Nobody doesn't like Sarah Lee."

If I'm bringing a food gift, I bring what my friend likes, rather than what I like. The gift for me, is seeing the delighted expression on their face.
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