LA Area Artisan Made Foods w/ Shelf Life
I want to put together a taste of LA’s special hand made foods gift basket that can survive the slow gathering of all items from the LA Area, slow packing and even a slower shipping schedule that may take a few months altogether – I am talking S-L-O-W! Granola would be good and also jarred stuffed olives, pickles, peppers and the like, but only those from a local shop and not TJ or other chain places. Extra points for meat, cheese and stuff that gets better with a few months of age.
What temperatures are these things going to be subjected to?
Winchester aged Gouda will hold up over time, but you wouldn't want to just leave it out for months or subject it to high temperatures.
BonBon Bars chocolate bars or marshmallows.
Toffee from Littlejohn's
You should check out some of the local farmers market for stands with olives, olive oil, pickles and such.
Granola from Europane in Pasadena. Caramels and housemade jams from Little Flower Candy Company in Pasadena. Cured chorizos from La Espanola in Harbor City. Beef jerky and pralines from AZ on Soto in East L.A. Pickled string beans from Harry's Berries in various farmers markets. King Kelly beach plum jam.
The most distinctive local cheeses are all fresh, and wouldn't keep at all. Although Vella Jack form Sonoma may be the best-keeping cheese in the world, if you buy it by the wheel.
Thinking of granola - I know it's local, but not sure where, exactly, it comes from - but the Sconeage (or Scone Age) bakery makes absolutely amazing granola - and granola bars. You can get it at Mother's Market, various farmers markets, and a couple other specialty groceries.
I second the Winchester Gouda - and you might find some other interesting stuff at your local farmer's market.