Need non-wine, local chowish gift ideas
I'm going to visit my family in Taipei this month. Would like to bring them some gifts that exemplify the epicurian culture here in the Bay Area. I can only bring one bottle of wine under exemption, so I need other ideas that really say SF bay area or CA. Also, I want it to be something they can't get in Asia or the UK (as they travel there quite a bit). Please keep in mind, it needs to be something that travels relatively well for the 14 hr flight. Also, I think it would be better to be non-liquid as I don't know what the current liquid restrictions are. Thanks!
the best of what SF has to offer, IMHO, is in the ferry building. i'd walk through and gather a few things from a variety of vendors to take. i've been able to get the following through customs in taipei:
- COWGIRL CREAMERY cheese assortment
- with bread from ACME
- dried pasta, charcuterie and beef jerky from GOLDEN GATE MEAT CO.
- mushrooms from FAR WEST FUNGI (i think only fresh fruit is not allowed)
- TSAR NICOLAI caviar (which i transport in small styrofoam containers)
- pastries and dried nectarines from FROG HOLLOW FARM
- other fun stuff from BOULETTE'S LARDER
- RECCHUIUTI chocolates
- a bottle of wine to wash it all down from FB WINE MERCHANT
i'd also go and make myself a little snack pack for the trip. the airplane food has been so horrid. beware of jealous passengers.
safe travels and buen provecho!
re: Robert Lauriston
agree. i only listed inside tenants as i do not know when the poster will fly and if i'm picking up bread & pastry, i'd go same day or day before. my post's focus was one-stop shop, ease, and quality. i did not list FATTED CALF as they are only at the market on saturday's. or has that changed? please update.
Yes, Ghirardelli can be found worldwide, but it's certainly not as accessable as it is in the Bay Area. I have friends in Asia and even NYC (!) who still ask me to bring the stuff over with me everytime I visit. It's distinctively San Franciscan and always a nice treat for those who live outside of the Bay Area. There's also Scharfenberger Chocolates based in Berkeley, and many people forget but See's Candies is not available nationwide (mostly on the West Coast) so that's not a bad choice, too. When I visit Asia sometimes I bring back prosciutto, pastrami and smoked salmon from Costco or Trader Joe's. It's so cold on the bottom of the airplane that there's no risk of spoilage.
Garlic. I bring it to New York, where it gets a good reception. I've brought the ropes, and also the Christopher ranch bottled version. Make sure it's securely closed and then wrap it in multiple plastic bags. I think goat cheese would make the trip. Dried fruits are a nice gift. Trader Joe's is OK, but I usually bring Lunardi's, which packages their own. I don't know if there are any Lunardi's up the peninsula, but I imagine you could get Casa de Fruta somewhere.