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Jul 15, 2009 11:43 AM

Gifts Unique to Calgary & Area?

I'm going to visit family in Ontario and would like to take some uniquely 'Calgary" gift items. I thought about Bernard Callebaut, but that's nothing special now that it is available all over Canada. I so far have thought about Longview Beef Jerky, truffles from Choklat in Inglewood and Big Rock beer. I don't really want to take anything too heavy (like beer). Does anyone else have any good ideas? It doesn't necessarily have to be food.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.


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  1. Don't bother with Big Rock! You can get that at some spots in Ontario too. Try getting your hands on the seasonal half liter flip top bottles of Wild Rose Beer. That would be a great gift from Calgary.

    If Phil and Sebastian have their roaster up and running, a bag of fresh coffee would be a fantastic gift as well.

    2 Replies
    1. re: peter.v

      Insomnia Cafe downtown is selling very top-shelf beans from Fratello too, and the packaging is gorgeous. Calgary roaster albeit not as "local" as P&S, but definitely not available in Ontario.

      Saskatoons are not seen in Ontario- so maybe something saskatoon berry related?

      1. re: John Manzo

        Saskatoon berry related items are a great idea! There's a company called Parenteau's in SK that makes a good saskatoon berry jam with no sugar added as well as other jam products too. While it isn't truly from Calgary & area, the jam is very tasty. Parenteau's usually sets up shop at the Christmas craft markets (Art Market at Telus or the Festival of Crafts at Stampede). However, throughout the year you can buy their products at The Bay in Western Canada in the food section. I have seen the jams there.

        Another idea may be Cunningham's cold smoked salmon, trout, char, etc. Their products are delicious, esp. the candied trout as well as the cold smoked char and salmon. Here's a list of where you can get their products.

    2. Fieldstone wines for something different...

      1. If you get there fast....Ginger Beef?
        OK. Forget it.

        1. Like Fratello, not Calgary-local but unique to Western Canada: Chocophilia by Kerstin's Chocolates. You can pick up some bars at Savour in Inglewood and A Cookie Occasion in Marda Loop. I second peter.v's recommendation of Wild Rose Beer. I'm partial to the WRed Wheat Ale.

          I don't know how it'll keep but Sylvan Star Farm's Grizzly Gouda is FANTASTIC. Get some local preserves (maybe saskatoon berry jam, as suggested by John) and buy a loaf of bread when you get to Ontario. I think it'd be a big hit!

          1 Reply
          1. re: aktivistin

            Ooh! I'll second your recommendations too. Sylvan Star Grizzly is an excellent cheese. Kerstin's Chocophilia bars are delicious though I would be hard pressed to choose between them and the Choklat bars.

            As well, John, excellent point about Fratello. I haven't really tried their competition blend since the Prairie Regionals last summer but it was excellent.