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What's your favorite obscure website/catalog to order food?

I know about the usual suspects but love discovering new resources

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  1. We order caviar, Daniel Boulud smoked salmon and John Dory from Browne Trading Company. Great quality and great service at reasonable prices.

    Link: http://www.brownetrading.com/

    1. If somebody knows one that has Black Walnuts, esp if it's in California, I'd love to hear about it. Especially if it sells them in-shell. Yes, I know the shells are practically impossible to crack, it's for a joke gift.

      11 Replies
      1. re: Louise

        Hammonsproducts.com sell black walnuts in the shell. They are very helpful so you can probably get them to sell you less than their standard 5 lb box.

        1. re: PrincessBakesALot

          Hammons also for the chocolate covered black walnuts, the shelled black walnuts for baking, and the black walnut taffy.

        2. re: Louise

          Goodness, I could probably pick up some and send them to you. They grow wild around here and we run over them in the car all the time. I was thinking about picking them up and trying to shell them but someone told me I need to actually pick them off the tree and I have no way to get that high. lol

          1. re: alliedawn_98

            We gather BW all the time, you do not need to pick them off the tree, just gather the ones on the ground with the hard shells on, not the green husks since these are not ready and are wormy. Make sure the walnuts have a little weight to them, this means they are meaty. When you crack them the meat should be dry, if the meat is moist on the fingers they need to dry out longer. Just store them in a cool dry place for a few weeks. Also DO NOT leave them outside where the squirrels can get to them, the little thieves will steal them quicker than you can blink. Don't know where you are located but it is walnut gathering time here in PA! My mother makes a wonderful apple and black walnut cake!

            1. re: kpaumer

              Thanks for the tips! I really thought you could get them off the ground but was told otherwise a few weeks ago. The only ones I've seen are still green. I'm in extreme northeastern Indiana......about 15 miles from Michigan and 25 or so from Ohio.

              I brought in a green one from the ground a week or so ago. I decided to try and see if I could cut it open since I'd never even touched one. lol Of course, that didn't happen. The green rind did smell good to me, kind of citrusy and I was wondering if I could find some way to use it in potpourri or something. Yeah, I get strange ideas in my head, I guess.

              1. re: alliedawn_98

                Not necessarily strange. Nocino (walnut liqueur) is made with green walnuts, though usually english walnuts I think. If you search on the Home Cooking boards or Spirits boards you should find directions. It is too late to make it this season, they are supposed to be very immature and soft all the way through, and the traditional time to make them is late June.

                1. re: Louise

                  Wow, so I'm not crazy after all! I really loved the fragrance of the rind and it made me want something citrusy. I'll definitely do some hunting for recipes and try to remember to try it next spring/summer.

                  Thank you, Louise

              2. re: kpaumer

                One of my earliest memories is of my great-grandmother cracking black walnuts (from the tree in her back yard) using a hammer and an old flatiron. They are absolute hell to pick out of the shells but there is no other nut like them for baking. She used to make brown sugar icebox cookies with black walnuts in them.

                1. re: Querencia

                  Yes, that's probably why you don't see nice halves of black walnuts the way you do with English walnuts, just pieces.

                  It's also why I'm thinking of wrapping up a five pound sledgehammer in a nice ribbon to give alongside the black walnuts in shell.

                  1. re: Louise

                    I like the sledgehammer idea, nice touch Louise.

            2. re: Louise

              NutsOnline has them. Pick up some of their whole, salted sunflower seeds and Turkish Antep pistachios while you are there.


            3. don't know how obscure this is, cybercucina.com They have a wide variety of items.

              1. Grateful Palate http://gratefulpalate.com/?p=MultiOpt...

                Get the Bacon Peanut Brittle ... it's like freakin crack in a box.

                1. http://www.noramill.com/
                  Great grits and cornmeal; multi-grain cereals, too.

                  1. Darrel Corti's in Sacramento; Shagbark syrup in Indiana

                    2 Replies
                        1. Teitel Bros. in NYC (Bronx). Good prices on Italian cheeses, oils, tonno, etc.


                          1. I guess Zingerman's catalog might be considered a usual suspect? Their stuff is so good!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Chew on That

                              And really over-priced. You can find most of there stuff at other site online for lots less. Their prices really are outrageous.

                            2. Gustiamo.com. Great Italian artisinal products. Great quality but high prices.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: roxlet

                                High prices is an understatement, but excellent

                              2. Golden Moon teas! The Kashmiri chai in particular is the best ever.

                                1. Gethsemani Farms. www.monks.org. I was actually turned on to these guys by a fellow hound. Fern, I believe (thanks Fern!) They make the very best cheeses. The aged and mild ones are my faves "made in the style of Port Salut". They stink to high heaven. I place an order every few months or so as a present to myself. They also make fudge and fruitcakes but I have never ordered them. Great stuff, that cheese, though!

                                  1. Another great Italian website (they ship from Calif here I think): the best canned cherry tomatoes, prosciutto (if you can use 17 lb) and DOC olive oils. http://www.academiabarilla.com/prodot...
                                    The Pecorino Grand Cru is like nothing I've ever tasted.

                                    1. Great thread for the upcoming holidays. I live at least a few hours away from my family and everyone i grew up with. My friends have spread out over the entire country, and i'm always looking for sites like these so i can send something a little unexpected. I've really enoyed checking these out and know they'll probably be especially useful to me in a month or two when i'm stressing out wondering what to buy everyone.

                                      1. Not sure how obscure it is, but I love ordering from www.nutsonline.com You can order in bulk or not, and the dried papaya is the best I've ever tasted. They also have the all-praised freeze dried mango. The raisins are great, too, nice and big and plump. Not shriveled.

                                        Also, www.libertyorchards.com I haven't seen this one bandied about much. They sell boxes of the odd-shaped or just plain ugly pieces for a discounted price, which I love if I'm not giving them as a gift.

                                        1. Lee Valley Tools sells high grown Ceylon orange pekoe tea (tips and buds) in a traditional tin for only $7. Someone at this fine hardware company must be a tea lover!

                                          Lee Valley Tools Ltd
                                          900 Morrison Dr, Ottawa, ON K2H, CA

                                          1. my favourite website for ordering foods is definately welovejam.com, i love it. the apricot jam is by far my favourite- it has a taste that is reminiscent of tea. i've been on their jam waiting list for three years in a row now. they have been slowly adding more products, all small batch and handmade, biscotti, hand massaged dried persimmons, different varieties of plum jams, bbq sauce.... but the original is the apricot jam, made from blenheim apricots that are locally grown from heirloom seeds and it is heaven to me. forget bread, oatmeal, whatever. i eat it straight out of the jar, with a spoon. it is one more addiction for me.

                                            1. Fralinger's (on the Atlantic City boardwalk and online) for the best almond macaroons on earth---big, moist, very almondy.

                                              1. Not all that obscure, but Stonewall Kitchen... love the Roasted Garlic Mustard.


                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: Emme

                                                  Great extra virgin olive oils (the Meyer Lemon infused oil is fabulous,) jams and marmalades made from estate-grown fruit, and very good wines.

                                                  Excellent hot sauces, mustards, marinades made from the datil pepper plus other good condiments.

                                                  All of the beans, spices, etc. needed to grill Santa Maria, CA-style.

                                                  1. re: Nancy Berry

                                                    Love DaVero! Batali's restaurants use this brand too!

                                                    Other (not obscure) olive oil online purchases that I like: Round Pond and Sciabica

                                                    if you like Irish food, foodireland.com is pretty good!

                                                2. C'est trop facile! (It's too easy!) Whilst in France, I became addicted to walnut flavoured white wine vinegar. This stuff is incredible! Seriously, when I go to France I bring back more of this than I do wine! I can't seem to find my favourite brand online, but I do purchase the Fallot brand from www.touchofeurope.net in the "Gourmet Grocery" section. If you have never tried this before, you must! It makes the best vinaigrettes and marinades ever. :)

                                                    1. I will plug some "Downeast" favorites:


                                                      great variety of flavored mustards still made the old fashioned way


                                                      especially the dessert sauces

                                                      1. Just found great prices on shipped live lobsters at Sagamorelobster.com . It made a great birthday present for my SO who moved out here to the West Coast from Maine.

                                                        1. http://www.saffron.com/
                                                          fantastic prices on pure vanilla beans & saffron

                                                          ideal for pizza making supplies (00 flour, tomatoes, cheese
                                                          )fab pricing & selection on cheese

                                                          whole spice, spice blends & leaf tea
                                                          wonderful gift catalog

                                                          1. Market Hall for lots of good and unique stuff.