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beyond Berger cookies and Old Bay

baltoellen Aug 29, 2007 09:14 AM

I'm going to dinner at a friend's house in Portland, OR, soon. The host is seriously into food and wine. The guests are too, including one who is a James Beard award-winning chef. (Who, unfortunately, isn't doing the cooking!)

I'd usually bring some Berger cookies and/or Old Bay (although I know that OB is available now throughout the country) but was wondering if there were any other great local food items to bring as a little gift?

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  1. ktmoomau RE: baltoellen Aug 29, 2007 09:27 AM

    Blue Crab Bay Co. has some great stuff. Bloody Mary Mix, Crab House Crunch which is addictive (peanut brittle with seafood seasoning). You can find it in a lot of different places. I think it would make a very nice hostess gift and it is packaged pretty.

    1. sistereurope RE: baltoellen Aug 29, 2007 09:28 AM

      OK, they're certainly not gourmet, but how about some Goetze's Caramel Creams?
      Or some local crab spice, like JO or Wye River...

      5 Replies
      1. re: sistereurope
        baltoellen RE: sistereurope Aug 29, 2007 09:33 AM

        Great ideas! I once brought Goetze's Caramel Creams to foodies in Singapore, since I figured it was the only thing sharable that would make the journey.

        I'm not familiar with the Blue Crab Bay Co......I'll go google them now!

        1. re: baltoellen
          aussiewonder RE: baltoellen Aug 29, 2007 09:40 AM

          I have a Balto friend who SWEARS by the Blue Crab Bloody Mary mix, i've had trouble finding it in the past but know that Hometown Girl on the Avenue sells it, i think Eddies or Grauls stocks it too.

          I'm heading to some foodies in Vermont who've requested fresh crab meat to make crab cakes, I guess it's easier and cheaper to get here than in VT, and local sweet corn!

          Another great foodie gift: the lady who does the smoked meats @ the JFX market (who also has a store @ Belvedere Square, sorry name eludes me today) offers an interesting array of locally smoked salts, might be something a bit different.

          1. re: aussiewonder
            l
            lbags RE: aussiewonder Sep 12, 2007 06:44 PM

            As an aside, aussiewonder, I just returned from a month in Vermont, and the corn there can't compare to Maryland's. It's relatively tasteless. But be tactful. Vermonters are very proud of their corn. They just don't know what good corn really is. Also, they have no crab meat at all. Years ago I was able to find soft shell crabs in Vermont, but obviously, they were frozen and not very good.

            1. re: lbags
              aussiewonder RE: lbags Sep 13, 2007 04:58 AM

              Def each to their own. I thought the corn I ate whilst there was far sweeter than what I've had this summer in MD. But then, we had yellow corn in VT and here all I can seem to find for local corn is Silver Queen/white. Maybe it's a 'down under' thing, but I've never gotten used to corn than is anything but yellow! So i much preferred what I had in VT.

              1. re: aussiewonder
                h
                Hal Laurent RE: aussiewonder Sep 13, 2007 07:41 AM

                Actually, none of the corn around here is Silver Queen anymore. Silver Queen is no longer commercially grown.

                I've gotten bi-colored corn (white and yellow) a few times at the Baltimore farmers market this year.

      2. h
        Hal Laurent RE: baltoellen Aug 29, 2007 09:36 AM

        Polish sausage from Ostroskowski's (on Washington St.)?

        Italian sausage from Mastellone's?

        3 Replies
        1. re: Hal Laurent
          baltoellen RE: Hal Laurent Aug 29, 2007 09:40 AM

          Those would work....but a bit hard to transport in my luggage. BTW, checked out the Blue Crab Bay Co...looked good, but it's from *gasp* Virginia!

          1. re: baltoellen
            ktmoomau RE: baltoellen Aug 29, 2007 09:47 AM

            Yes it is from VA, but the Eastern Shore of VA... still a regional specialty, and a good small business, not some huge chain. They have some of it at Wegman's here in VA I don't know about MD. It is in lots of places in Annapolis, but I think you are in Baltimore, if you are in Annapolis though they sell it at the Museum Store downtown, and some of the other downtown shops, but I think the Historic Annapolis Foundation's museum store has the biggest selection. I have had them make me some gift baskets that have gone over really well with people I was staying with in France.

          2. re: Hal Laurent
            Pool Boy RE: Hal Laurent Sep 13, 2007 05:54 AM

            I'll second stuff from Mastellone's too. They have great house-made pastas. If you can manage a hard or soft cooler, this would be a great choice.

            Another thing you could try, if you expand your definition of 'this area' is Lebanon Bologna. They usually make 'regular' and 'sweet' varieties. Brown's Farm/Orchard Stand in souther PA not very far off of I-83 is a good source for the real deal, but you can also hit up any local WEIS market and get Heltzer's (I think that is the brand name). A PA Dutch Country treat!

            www.roguefood.com

          3. m
            MrsWheatie RE: baltoellen Aug 29, 2007 09:46 AM

            A thermos of crab soup. If flying out of BWI there are a couple of "Celebrate Maryland" stores. Or here is a website of Maryland treats
            http://www.marylanddelivered.com/holi...

            2 Replies
            1. re: MrsWheatie
              j
              Jason1 RE: MrsWheatie Aug 29, 2007 10:07 AM

              I'm pretty sure this wouldn't get through with the liquid restrictions.

              1. re: MrsWheatie
                p
                pomme de terre RE: MrsWheatie Aug 30, 2007 07:22 AM

                No more Celebrate Maryland in BWI -- they had a dispute with the airport over proprietary rights (it was something like they had an agreement that the big chains couldn't sell certain things and then the Hudson News and such started stocked MD knicknacks) and had to close.

              2. k
                KAZ RE: baltoellen Aug 29, 2007 10:26 AM

                How about getting some franks from Attman's and volunteering a Baltimore appetizer of hot dog's with bologna? What James Beard award winning chef wouldn't love that?

                Alternatively, throw a flask of Pikesville Rye into your checked luggage.

                1 Reply
                1. re: KAZ
                  baltoellen RE: KAZ Aug 29, 2007 10:31 AM

                  served on toothpicks? ;-D

                2. JonParker RE: baltoellen Aug 29, 2007 10:56 AM

                  Before the liquid restrictions, I took a cooler of Andy Nelson's BBQ back to Oklahoma. I had pulled pork, pit beef, potato salad and baked beans with Guy's pig dip and Andy's BBQ sauce. It was a huge hit. Doesn't help you because of liquid restrictions, but it was fun.

                  Hal's suggestion of the sausage is a good one if you can take a small cooler as carry on. You can't take ice, but if you pick up a couple of bags of cheap frozen veggies to use as ice blocks it should work. I was considering doing that the next time I fly back to OK.

                  1. Bob W RE: baltoellen Aug 29, 2007 11:57 AM

                    This time of year, how about a peach cake from Fenwick Bakery?

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Bob W
                      m
                      Monti RE: Bob W Aug 29, 2007 12:32 PM

                      My sister lives in Eugene, OR. and I travel there several times a year.
                      They have come to expect Maryland crab cakes for dinner upon my arrival.

                      I freeze fresh crabmeat overnight and then pack in a bag I check thru. Use a small soft cooler, crab tubs wrapped in plastic with freezer packs.
                      The luggage compartment stays cold and usually the crab is still mostly frozen by the time I land in PDX!

                      1. re: Bob W
                        p
                        pamd RE: Bob W Aug 29, 2007 01:37 PM

                        Woodlea bakery peach cake is a fave too! Not necessarily MD, but when I put a package together of some of these items, I also included Tastykakes (PA), since a local thing.

                        1. re: Bob W
                          f
                          fenwick_mike RE: Bob W Sep 4, 2007 02:23 PM

                          Bob W, you are obviously a man of discriminating taste!

                          1. re: Bob W
                            f
                            fenwick_mike RE: Bob W Sep 4, 2007 02:28 PM

                            Just a BTW, but Fenwick Bakery peach cake is available through Chesapeake Bay Gourmet (www.cbcrabcakes.com). They can ship it to Eugene, Or. I imagine <G>.

                            1. re: Bob W
                              Pool Boy RE: Bob W Sep 13, 2007 05:52 AM

                              ANYthing from that place would rock.

                              www.roguefood.com

                            2. e
                              ec rocker RE: baltoellen Aug 29, 2007 12:39 PM

                              I think a few boxes of Rheb's chocolates would be pretty airline friendly.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: ec rocker
                                baltoellen RE: ec rocker Aug 29, 2007 12:56 PM

                                mmmmm.....I'm beginning to get the feeling that the really GREAT local treats will require a cooler. I do have a soft sided one, so maybe will re-think everything.

                                Thanks, all, and keep 'em coming!

                                1. re: baltoellen
                                  Bob W RE: baltoellen Aug 29, 2007 01:13 PM

                                  If you're going to bring a cooler, then I'd say bring some Faidley's crabcakes. We send some every year to a dog breeder in North Carolina who blessed us with our little dog. She is always extremely appreciative. One year we deviated and sent some delicious pistachios from Eagle Ranch in New Mexico -- we never heard from her. LOL

                              2. d
                                Denise RE: baltoellen Sep 4, 2007 02:43 PM

                                How about this genuine Balto tradition that travels well: peppermint sticks and lemons.
                                http://coconutlime.blogspot.com/2006/...

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Denise
                                  baltoellen RE: Denise Sep 11, 2007 11:45 AM

                                  Thanks for these suggestions.....definitely love this last suggestion, and will keep it in mind for next trip. Despite best intentions, it WAS Berger cookies, and they were well loved!

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