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Claire 05-15-2006 10:19 PM

Your local food products
 
I really didn't know where to post this, but I'm curious. 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? I live in cheese land and hubby and I chase down aged/artisinal cheeses. But much of the regular cheese you buy in a grocery store is made here. Sausages are big. Daddy adores the cheese curds I try to get to him as much as possible. What is unusual to your area? What shoudl I try if I find myself in your home town?

Andy M. 05-15-2006 10:25 PM

I live in Massachusetts and have all of New England to supply me with things like:

Maple Syrup
Lobster
Boston Baken Beans
New England Clam Chowder (we have chowder contests in NE just like other parts of the country have gumbo or rib or chili festivals)
Blueberries

to name a few

ironchef 05-16-2006 01:37 AM

You can get pretty much anything in California, but here are few if you really want to bring something that is more notable. Many places will pack perishables for long trips (up to 12 hours):

Olive Oil
Wine
Artichokes
Garlic
Wine
Beef/Pork/Lamb from Niman Ranch
Point Reyes Blue Cheese
Tomales Bay Oysters
Wine
Beer (Anchor Brewery, Mendocino Brewery)

jkath 05-16-2006 01:44 AM

ahem....ironchef....um.....did you forget the world's most perfect food that is so plentiful here in sunny So Cal?

Avocados!
We truly do have amazing produce here, as well as the Tri Tip steak.

ironchef 05-16-2006 01:46 AM

Yeah I did forget the avocados. I didn't put a lot of stuff but I can't think of them all. The amount of different products that is produced by California is phenomenal. Meat, Dairy, Produce, Vegetables, Wine, Seafood, etc. It's all here.

jkath 05-16-2006 01:47 AM

Ahhhh! We do have the artichoke and garlic capitals both in our state! Good call.

ironchef 05-16-2006 02:01 AM

And wine! (As far as the New World wine producing areas go)

jkath 05-16-2006 02:15 AM

Dang! We do have it all! Claire, it's time to visit the golden state!

Ishbel 05-16-2006 10:42 AM

Cheeses such as Dunsyre Blue and Lanarkshire Blue and Dunlop oh, and the best til last... Isle of Mull Cheddar!

Shortbread

Oatcakes

Smoked salmon

Smoked venison

Dundee cake

Selkirk Bannock

Clootie dumplings

Edinburgh rock

and, many, many more :smile:

jkath 05-16-2006 10:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ishbel


Clootie dumplings



What exactly is a Clootie dumpling? Such a cute name for food!

vyapti 05-16-2006 11:10 AM

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.

jkath 05-16-2006 11:33 AM

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.

BreezyCooking 05-16-2006 12:10 PM

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.

CharlieD 05-16-2006 12:55 PM

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. :sad:

BreezyCooking 05-16-2006 01:03 PM

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.

kimbaby 05-16-2006 01:08 PM

I am in the citrus captial of the the world,so I guess A fruit basket...

mish 05-16-2006 01:25 PM

Quote:

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..

BreezyCooking 05-16-2006 01:32 PM

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?

mudbug 05-16-2006 01:35 PM

Quote:

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.

mish 05-16-2006 01:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mudbug
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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