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May 24, 2008 12:33 PM

Food Gift From LA

I have a friend visiting from Baton Rouge. I would love for them to bring me some local favorites. They would have to be easily transported to New York. Any suggestions on what a New Yorker just has to try from LA.

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  1. I'd avoid canned or bottled products because of the weight and breakage possibility. Fresh food doesn't travel well, which pretty much leaves dry items.

    When I visit people out-of-state, I'll often bring some Community Coffee dark roast. My motives are not entirely unselfish because I don't like to be without my morning brew. Another suggestion is a bag of Stansel's popcorn rice and some Louisiana seasonings like Tony Chachere's.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Big Easy

      Fresh food travels very well. My dad flies in from NJ and brings me Sabretts, pastrami, Russian rye, lox, Taylor ham and a couple of pizzas. Everthing is wrapped in several layers of newspaper and put in a gym bag or extra suitcase along with some gel packs. Furthermore, my niece brought her parents in NJ some jumbo lump and fresh shrimp (she removed the heads before wrapping). She packaged them the same as my dad does and everything arrived cold. BTW, she lives down the shore so she had an additional 2hr. drive once she landed. Therefore, I would ask for some of our wonderul jumbo lump, fresh gulf shrimp, and spicy Richard's boudin. If you cook, request some (Prudhomme) tasso, andouille and Camilla red beans. Oh, and a plastic bottle or 2 of Zatarain's mustard. All to be checked with their luggage.

      1. re: JazzyB

        Let me clarify. I didn't mean that you can't transport fresh food, just that these days airline travel is enough of a hassle without having to schlepp an ice chest around the airport. Call me lazy, but I can't see doing it. If you want fresh food, there are places that will pack it and ship it FedEx overnight for little more than what it would cost to check an extra piece of luggage.

        1. re: Big Easy

          I've sent my dad a prime 2 steak gift pack shipped fedex overnight NYC to NJ. Cost $39. High end chocolate 2nd day (1#) $24. Fla. to NJ. I can't imagine how much shipping pounds of seafood overnight La. to NY would run. Besides, if the friend is only packing 1 bag, the second would be free (depending on the airline). A rolling carry-on would also work.

          1. re: Big Easy

            It's no harder to schlep an ice chest than a rolling suitcase. Just use gel cool packs in lieu of ice, wrap cold or frozen items in several thicknesses of newspaper (a remarkably good insulator), and fill the cooler completely, either with stuff or cold packs or spare newspaper. Duck tape wound around the lid makes me feel better, too.

      2. Of course this may depend on the difficulty of travel (are there stopovers, etc.), as the other poster said, but if they're willing to carry something on the plane I would not rule out canned items or even perishable items if they're packed well. Sausages like andouille or boudin would be my choice, with andouille being easier to transport, I would think, because it's cured.

        1. My dad used to travel to Colorado from Baton Rouge and check a cool box with crawfish tails (kept cool with gel ice packs) . Not sure how close you and your friend are, but if they are willing to deal with that it'll be awfully nice to have crawfish pie in New York! Otherwise, I'd agree with Big Easy and go with Community Coffee, Popcorn Rice (soooo good) and Tony Chachere's. Also - Zatarains Jambalaya mix is fantastic!

          2 Replies
          1. re: JBride

            It's currently brown shrimp and crab season. Crawfish peaked a couple of weeks ago.

            1. re: JazzyB

              Shrimp are excellent right now. Was down in Fourchon for four days and bought some off the boat. Boiled 'em that night. Beautiful.

          2. All of these seem like very tempting items. I love shrimp. I'll have to see what he can do about getting me some.

            I have a HUGE sweet tooth, any suggestions for desserts or sweet treats from the area?

            1 Reply
            1. re: misnatalie

              Well, pralines of course!
              Walgreens sells Loretta's Pralines, or at least they used too.

              Loretta's are my favorites!

              I'd ask for some olive salad too!

              Also, while Tony's is popular, I'm not a fan.
              I'd prefer Bayou Bang which is salt free & made locally.