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What is THE food-related item that defines Philadelphia (gift idea)??

Hey all. So I am in a Christmas Gift Exchange with a group of people in an online forum/community. There are about 30 of us participating and we are going to ship food or food-related items to our secret giftee. The suggestion was that we each pick something that is regionally/locally known and ship that. There is a $25 limit (including shipping) and I was looking for some suggestions. Most of the people in this group are avid food preparers and eaters. Many are hunters (I'm not) and we all own smokers that we smoke our own meats, ribs, pulled pork, etc.

Obviously Philly is "known" for cheesesteaks, but I can't really ship that (for under $25). Any suggestions? This could be a local sauce, wine, etc. And I don't really want to do Tastycakes or soft pretzels...

Thanks in advance!


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  1. What about Taylor Pork Roll and/or Scrapple?
    Or Wilbur Bud chocolates?
    I know these are more Amish country things, but still regional...

    1. That's a good challenge. What about a local or regional condiment... a mustard or a horseradish perhaps? The PA general store at the Terminal Market might give you some additional ideas.

      1. I'm not in Philly, but what about a local microbrew?

        3 Replies
        1. re: centralpadiner

          Yards beers are brewed in Philly and are very good. You could go to the Foodery and assemble a variety pack of single bottles of Yards.

          10 Pine St, Philadelphia, PA 19102

          1. re: Buckethead

            Do you know if the bottled Yards beers are again brewed in Philadelphia? I know they were contract brewing the bottles, while the brewery was being assembled... Not that it wouldn't make a great gift, but am curious what state Yards is in these days. I haven't visited the new brewery yet.

          2. re: centralpadiner

            How about pepper hash? Vanishing condiment that is put on fish cakes and hot dogs.

            If you want to go the booze route, there is always Blue Coat gin, distilled in Philadelphia., and available at your local State Store.

            Also there was a great discussion on PA foods here... (not just philadelphia but you might find it inspiring.. )


          3. Microbrews are the rage, or a selection of PA Dutch specialties (apple butter, pumpkin butter, pepper hash, etc.)

            While the pretzel may not be your first choice, Phila. Pretzel Co. offers a nice gift box for around your price with a side of mustard. And it could be sent fresh for New Year's Day, Superbowl or whenever the recipient would like.

            Hunters who smoke their own meats should appreciate brew and hot pretzels while watching a game or two.


            1. oh well. i was gonna say tasykakes or soft pretzels.

              1. you can ship Bassett's Ice Cream thru the PA General store at the RTM. Also how about ingredients for Snapper soup and the recipe?

                Bassett's Ice Cream
                1136 Arch St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

                1 Reply
                1. re: Bigley9

                  Maybe a cookbook written by a great local chef? I stopped buying cookbooks some time ago, and I don't know the current landscape, but I still value my Frog/Commissary Cookbook from many years ago.

                  1. What about a couple lbs of La Colombe coffee? Probably ships well, is local, and is tasty.

                    1. Tastykake!!!! Oh, I see you don't want that. But it sure would ship well (much better than soft pretzels).

                      1. I have to add that on one of the other boards (might have been one of the South boards I was on for travel) people were making all kinds of deals to get the big log of Taylor Pork Roll delivered!

                        1 Reply
                        1. For an unusual selection, how about Root Liqueur, definitely regional and local? I've seen it sold at the Head House Farmers Market, but apparently it's also sold at the state stores.



                          1. Don't forget potato chips from Lancaster and York counties - the heart of the Potato Chip Belt

                            1 Reply
                            1. actually tony luke's frozen cheesesteak's are supposedly edible. my best friend (also a philly native) lives in austin and her man ordered them for her for her birthday. she was surprised that they were better than decent (so i am sure a non-native may even do backflips for them). they also ship frozen pork sammies too....oh no, it's $27.95 though.....