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Local Food Gifts for Out of Town Relatives?

t
travelbuff Dec 7, 2007 10:45 PM

I'm interested in giving family members a taste of what's great in the area. I'm meeting everyone in Austin, so I could carry on perishable stuff since it's not a long trip. Pralines are a given (who makes the best???), as well as a big bag of satsumas. Are there any local candy makers that do a good job with chocolate?

  1. j
    JGrey Dec 9, 2007 05:41 AM

    Local coffee (Community, Union, or Orleans Coffee Exchange ( www.orleanscoffee.com ).

    Bittersweet Chocolates has a stand at the farmer's market; I haven't tried them but they look beautiful. There's a praline maker there as well, and multiple stands with cured meat, pepper jelly, homemade bloody mary mix, canned spicy veggies, etc, etc. Real homemade LA treats.

    2 Replies
    1. re: JGrey
      uptownlibrarian Dec 9, 2007 06:12 AM

      Also at the farmer's market is Mr. and Mrs. Mouton's honey stand. They make delicious creamed honey that's an absolute steal at $5/pint. It's great on toast, with cheese, on pancakes, etc.

      Also I see our new Rouse's has Mello Joy coffee! It's from Lafayette, but I prefer it to Community.

      1. re: uptownlibrarian
        a
        anteeks Dec 9, 2007 05:07 PM

        Sucre - This city is lucky to have such a great place. I go often and find their employees to be very friendly and knowledgeable. Check out their web site, www.shopsucre.com. I just sent several boxes of chocolates and macaroons to friends after pricing out sites like Vosges, Godiva and La Maison du Chocolate. Sucre was actually cheaper both on product and shipping. Blue Frog also has nice products but there is just no comparison in quality and taste.

    2. l
      lawstudent Dec 8, 2007 06:21 PM

      Personally, I think Sucre is way overpriced and too snobby. I have heard that Blue Frog Chocolates on Magazine has some great stuff. I bet you can find some fleur-de-lis shaped chocolates, that would be fun. Check them out.

      I would just travel down Magazine St. to see what you find - there is so much out there.

      1 Reply
      1. re: lawstudent
        k
        kmnola Dec 8, 2007 09:13 PM

        Blue Frog does have a great selection, including some imported truffles and other pieces that would make wonderful gifts. They will also wrap, ship, etc. A great option for those who don't want to spend an entire paycheck at Sucré.

      2. h
        Hungry Celeste Dec 8, 2007 10:26 AM

        Try the turtles at Southern Candymakers. Delicious....make sure you buy a few extra, 'cause they won't all make it to Austin. For high end stuff, try the chocolates at Sucre. I'm a fan of the meuniere: a choc fleur de lis filled with a white choc brown butter ganache (and I am a notorious hater of white chocolate).
        Buy a few bottles of Steen's cane syrup (at the supermarket, in a brown bottle w/a yellow label).
        Zapp's potato chips, esp cajun crawtator version.
        Andouille from Bailey's or Jacob's in LaPlace.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Hungry Celeste
          t
          travelbuff Dec 8, 2007 06:06 PM

          Does Southern candymakers have a retail location in town?

          1. re: travelbuff
            h
            Hungry Celeste Dec 9, 2007 04:19 PM

            Yes, 334 Decatur St. Also has a toll free number, too: http://www.southerncandymakers.com/St...

          2. re: Hungry Celeste
            h
            hazelhurst Dec 9, 2007 12:27 PM

            You surprise me with the antipathy to white chocolate....not that I don't have all kinds of food problems myself (fruits, melons). I always loved the white chocolate at kate latters' in the quarter. Don't thihnk I have ever had any better but, to be fair, childhood is peeking through here.

            I'd argue(as always) for French Market PURE coffee. I send it to friends in Europe who adore it.

            BTW, in the "Decline and Fall of Civilization" category, have you seen the TV ad for some coffee making device that grinds the beans and then makes the coffee? I will not mention a manufacturer but rise only to say that the "coffee" poured to the (paid actors) enthusiastic crowd is a horror. It's as dark as a box of starch. Truly offensive--and frightening--to see.

            1. re: hazelhurst
              h
              Hungry Celeste Dec 9, 2007 04:21 PM

              I like my chocolate & coffee to be the same color....dark comme la nuit. I'm at the tail end of an Amedei porcelana bar and trying to make it last 'til I can resupply. Now if only someone in NOLA carried Amedei chocolates!

              1. re: Hungry Celeste
                a
                anteeks Dec 10, 2007 04:53 AM

                Celeste - On a recent trip to New York we went to Saint Ambrose ( www.santambroeus.com ) for cappuccino and were so excited to see that they had Amedei Chocolates, so we bought a few. I know their reputation so I was excited to finally get the chance to try them. I agree that the Amedei bars are incredible but the chocolates were average and waxy. After enjoying the cappuccino which they have down to a science we got some bonbons to go. We also went up the block and got a small box at La Maison du Chocolate. Their is no comparison. La Maison has some of the finest chocolates in the world. Consider trying them, they are incredible.

                To order La Masion: http://www.lamaisonduchocolat.com/com...

                1. re: anteeks
                  h
                  Hungry Celeste Dec 10, 2007 06:27 AM

                  LaMduC is my hands-down favorite, too! I have a LaMduC bag in my desk drawer....I like the delicate, thin, low-melting point coverture used by La Maison...my absolute favorite is Jolika (pistachio marzipan w/kirsch). I don't know if it's the climate or what, but all of the specialty chocolates made locally use a coating chocolate that's a little too waxy for perfection (to me).

                  I also really, really like the Vosges bacon bar. Everyone else seems to think I'm nuts, but the combination of bacon, sea salt, & chocolate works for me.

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