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Great mail order food gifts you give

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Chow editors posted their top 10 mail-order food gifts (here: http://www.chow.com/stories/11964 ) and I started a comment thread on other great food gifts to give which has proven to be a treasure trove.

People had some great suggestions:

Many recommended Harry & David (http://www.harryanddavid.com/gifts/st... )

HillJ suggested Bella Viva (www.bellaviva.com )

Raedia sends apples from http://www.honeycrispvermont.com

amazinc's pays dividends in the spring: asparagus (http://www.misterspear.com/ct_asparag... )

Cooder had a whole list of local Texas products
"CollinsStreetBakery.com for cakes, cheesecakes and pecan pie
NBSmokehouse.com for ham, bacon, sausage
LammesCandies.com for chocolate pralines
PittmanDavis.com for fruit
SanSaba pecans and Austin nuts"

and bellywizard went DIY with sourdough starter kits (http://www.sourdo.com )

I think these are all amazing ideas and I never would have heard of them were it not for amazing Chowhounds. I've already ordered asparagus and a bunch of apples.

So, what do you send? I think we can create a great, eater-approved mail order directory for all kinds of items.

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  1. Besides Harry and David's I also send from Sea Bear Smokehouse. They have tons of fresh and frozen salmon, crabs, mussels, scallops, and soups/chowders. In addition, everything is sustainable. I always get some of their sliced smoked salmon for myself at the holidays so my dinner guests have good snacks and house guests have something to put on bagels in the morning. I sent Copper River salmon and fruit (apples and pears) to 2 sets of friends this year.

    1. Thaks for starting this thread! What a great idea!

      1. I love mail order food. It's a topic we've covered a lot here in the past but, IMO, one that you can never discuss enough.

        I love to get oranges and grapefruits as gifts, mmmm honeybells http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/570725

        1 Reply
        1. re: Chris VR

          Thanks for pointing out that thread, Chris VR. I suck at searching chowhound. I always get really irrelevant results.

        2. Well, I *really* enjoyed my gift subscription to the Pickle of the Month club. If for nothing else, it exposed me to the products of Ozark Pickle Pantry, which may be the best I've ever eaten in my life.

          3 Replies
          1. re: boagman

            that sounds like the perfect gift for my Eastern European grandma! haha. Also, their website is teh awesoem! http://www.ozarkpicklepantry.com/

            1. re: StrawbrryF

              That it is, and believe me: they are. Certainly not cheap as pickles go, but sometimes the "Costs a little more, but it's worth it!" mantra does actually apply. Last year, I bought a dozen jars, half for myself, and half to give away as gifts. They were quite well-received.

            2. re: boagman

              I'm a total sucker for "of the month" clubs. I've given Potato of the Month http://www.woodprairie.com/product/55... and received Bacon of the Month http://www.gratefulpalate.com/index.p...

            3. Yes, great subject (and timely, too!)

              For a local (Twin Cities/Minnesota) slant:

              I love Hell's Kitchen (Minneapolis restaurant) gift packages. Any combo that includes their housemade peanut butter or toasted bison sausage bread (sounds gross, but it's absolutely delicious) is fun. Ignore their juvenile "welcome to Hell" theme (although, you may need to exercise caution that the recipient of the gift wouldn't be offended by the theme...) http://www.hellskitcheninc.com/All-Pr...

              Also, for MN Native American foods, the BEST is hand-harvested and hand-parched Minnesota wild rice (seriously amazing; puts the commercially-cultivated stuff to shame), but their chokecherry jams and bison summer sausage are pretty delicious, too. http://nativeharvest.com/catalog

              Oh, and Kramarczuk's housemade sausages! I've never tried their mail order, so I don't know how their service is, but their sausages are the best. http://www.kramarczuk.com/Sausage/Var...

              For Scandinavian food treats, a Minneapolis institution, Ingebretsen's. This is the real deal (for Garrison Keillor/Prairie Home Companion Fans): housemade baked goods (lefse, limpa, julekake) or home-smoked/cured fish (salmon, lutefisk, salt cod, etc.) For the housemade specialties, you have to be certain that the recipient is going to be home, though, as it's perishable. Lots of other imported food goods available through their site, too http://www.ingebretsens.com/categorie...

              I've only visited their shop, I don't know good their mail-order service is, and their business is highly-seasonal (very close to winding down right about this time of year) but Dockside in Grand Marais, MN for Lake Superior smoked fish (trout, salmon, herring) http://www.docksidefishmarket.com/cat...

              Oh, and completely impossible to resist guilty pleasure, the Chicago Mix popcorn from St. Paul's old timey Candy store, Candyland. I'm sure their other house-made candies are worth mailing, but if I don't send it every year, people will complain "Where is my Chicago mix?" http://www.candylandstore.com/ab_best...

              ~TDQ

              3 Replies
              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                Hey! This northern Minnesota-loving Iowan (don't start with the Border Jokes! ;-) loves your links. And the smoked seafood from Dockside is wonderful...as was the cute, articulate fishmonger gal who helped us, last time we were there. Dh wanted to take her home, too.

                1. re: Beckyleach

                  Hey, you're a Minnesota-loving Iowan, I'm an Iowa-loving Minnesotan! Border, shmorder, who can find it under all of that newly-fallen snow anyway. :).

                  There are plenty of awesome mail order goodies from your side of the border, too:

                  How about Maytag Blue Cheese? http://www.maytagdairyfarms.com/aspx/...

                  Or those Chocolate Chunk Cookies that Obama loves so much from Baby Boomer Cafe in Des Moines?
                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5883...

                  Or, those caramels from the nuns in Dubuque?
                  http://www.trappistine.com/whoweare.asp

                  And, the prosciutto from La Quercia?
                  http://www.laquercia.us/

                  ~TDQ

                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    Although two years later, I want to thank the Dairy Queen for the nun caramel link - I've haven't lived in Iowa since 1993 and had simply forgotten that they existed.

                    I'll add my own link:
                    http://www.vdrf.com/index.php
                    Van de Rose Farms - I've only had their Duroc Ham but it is simply lovely. (fair warning - the website does not look like it's finished but you can see what they have to offer and pricing but you'll have to order it over the phone)

              2. Mrs. Prindables caramel and chocolate coated apples, especially the caramel with nuts:

                http://www.mrsprindables.com/store/in...

                Folks at my husband's job had never seen them before, and really love them.

                3 Replies
                1. re: mcf

                  I've had the ones from this shop:

                  http://theapplelady.com

                  She was featured on a Food Network show (forgot which) so when we were in Baltimore we had to pay her a visit and buy some apples!

                  1. re: TexSquared

                    Those also sound delicious! I think Mrs. P's may be a tad prettier, though.

                  2. re: mcf

                    I have to add azurechocolat.com. Local to me, the best truffles and the nicest folks ever.
                    My husband knows not to let an occasion go by without a box from these folks. I learned about them on the boards here at chow.com

                  3. For people who have moved out of Chicago I always go with something from Tastes of Chicago. www.TastesofChicago.com

                    I've also sent Eli's cheesecakes from their website - http://www.elicheesecake.com/. That was my mom's favorite I think.

                    Also, my brother loved his gift box from Penzey's - http://penzeys.com/.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Missy2U

                      Second on the Penzey's gift boxes. Some very reasonable price points, and I don't feel like I have to worry about damage in transit like I would with a lot of other food products.

                      1. re: Missy2U

                        Eli's Cheesecake dippers are always a hit.

                        1. re: RetiredChef

                          Eli's Cheesecake dippers ARE good!

                          1. re: KatherineQ

                            I received my first ever Eli's cheesecake dippers yesterday....OMG! These are AMAZING!!!!! I got them for my Husband's valentine's present and I'm so glad he shared them with me. I almost didn't get them because with shipping they are outrageously expensive, but I am really glad I did now!
                            Thanks so much for posting the link!

                      2. http://www.bellaviva.com/new/gifts/gi...

                        StrawbrryF, what a nice post! My intro with Bella Viva began as a recipient. This specific basket was my gift and I even reused the wooden box as a book shelf in my kitchen library. Their products are superior. Happy shopping!

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: HillJ

                          http://www.charleschocolates.com/pate...

                          A number of our friends don't like chocolate or nuts (imagine!) but this line of fruit gems from Charles Chocolates is gift worthy!

                          And for those special people in your life that toast each day with a piece of chocolate (yes, we are out there!) there's this edible chocolate box http://www.charleschocolates.com/sign...
                          sublime!

                          1. re: HillJ

                            You guys are making my Christmas shopping so easy! My grandmother-in-law loves those types of jellied fruit candies: can't wait to get her a fancified version! (Yes, everyone is getting food this Christmas! Or experiences... I'm done getting people crap they don't need to clutter up their closets.)

                            1. re: StrawbrryF

                              I'm with you StrawbrryF, food gifts are so much better! Dh & I have also given cooking classes, wine making, wine tours, city food tours, Costoc mem cards and xx of the month gifts over the years and homemade/handmade gifts always win out.

                        2. For coffee-lover friends, go to coffeereview.com, pick one of the top rated coffees of the current year, and order them a pound of it. Always appreciated. Have to be for a real coffee fan, not a Starbucks or Tim Horton's(Canada)/Dunkin Donuts(New England) zombie.

                          I've never ordered from them nor received anything from them, so I guess I'll ask here -- any opinions on Geoff and Drew's cookies and brownies?

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: TexSquared

                            TexSquared, I have a great cookie recommendation for you.

                            http://www.levainbakery.com/

                            I work close to the bakery itself so I became addicted and started sending these. A friend of mine gets a box shipped to her in CA every couple of months because she needs her fix. They are honestly the most delicious thing ever. I get one each chocolate chip and dark chocolate chip on Friday night and we're nibbling on them all weekend. They're huge!

                            1. re: StrawbrryF

                              Thanks for the recommendation! One of my friends sent us a box of 12 of these for Christmas... all I could say was wow... WIfe said she'd get headaches from the sugar and butter rush whenever she ate a whole cookie in one sitting!

                              Favorite for me has to be the dark chocolate with peanut butter chips...

                          2. any recs for jerky?

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: swoll50

                              We like Jack Link's which we get locally:
                              http://www.jacklinks.com/home/buynow....

                            2. Any recommendations for tamales?

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: knb1055

                                http://www.thetexastamalewarehouse.co...

                                As a matter of fact the Texas Tamale Warehouse has a delicious combo pack; both savory & "sweet" -- the sweet mex. pumpkin is my fav. Sale on right now.

                                1. re: HillJ

                                  The pumpkin tamales sound good. Are they meant as a dessert, or as a sweeter side dish (like sweet potatoes)? Their gift packs look really good, and reasonably priced too.

                                  1. re: mountaincachers

                                    They aren't as sweet as you might expect (not like pumpkin pie) more like savory sweet potatoes (as you said) you would bake but inside a tamale an unexpected and yummy side dish. The cinnamon raisin apple IS more dessert like and needs nothing but heating. The gift packs and prices are excellent.

                              2. John and kiras chocolate. Delicious, with interesting very intense flavors. Yum. I believe the website is johnandkiras.com

                                1. We love the cheeses and fruit cake made by Trappist monks in Kentucky. They have been a part of our own holiday tradition for years. The aged, smoked, and mild are our favorites. Really, really good. Free shipping is a good thing, too!

                                  http://www.gethsemanifarms.org/

                                  1. Many thanks for this post! I just ordered a gift crate from Harry & David and also a sampler of ice cream sauces from Sassy Sauces (#8 recommended gift by chow.com). I was on the Sassy Sauces website and had a question about the sampler gift pack and phoned the # on the site. The owner herself, a former Cafe Boulud employee, answered and was delightful to chat with. She was surprised to learn that chow.com listed her sauces as a one of the top 10 mail order gifts. She also recommended a website to me that hosts food gift from small, artisinal producers - www.foodzie.com. I checked it out and its a great resource and I plan on ordering a jerky sampler for my husband for xmas.

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: lynnlato

                                      Wow, lynnlate, what a great link (foodzie). I love that they have a map so you can pick local vendors.

                                      Btw, I ordered from one of the vendors on there, whimsy & spice, back when they were on etsy. I had cardamom marshmallows and the caramel brownies. Both delicious. Great for giving: their packaging is gorgeous!

                                      1. re: StrawbrryF

                                        Whoa, cardamom marshmallows??? Wowza, they sound good!

                                        Okay, I just went to their website and I am in love! Thank you for telling me about this place. I think I'm going to place an order for a gift box for myself! (chocolate orange cardamom shortbread cookies, honey lavender shortbread cookies, brownsugar ginger spice cookies, chocolate chili cashew biscotti & chocolate dulche de leche brownies - OH MY!

                                        www.whimsyandspice.com

                                      2. re: lynnlato

                                        I just bought a sampler gift from Neuske's Smokehouse, after reading several positive posts. This sampler was 2 lbs of applewood smoked bacon, a 3 lb smoked ham and a 2 lb smoked turkey breast. $65 including shipping.

                                        1. re: lynnlato

                                          that sounds like a great idea!
                                          someone is definitely going to appreciate that.

                                          1. re: dinaofdoom

                                            My niece doesn't cooking, but she loves to eat. My nephew just returned from Afghanistan and has been eating everything in site! The ham and turkey just need to be warmed and they can whip up a couple of sides and voila - Christmas dinner!

                                        2. re: lynnlato

                                          I totally hate that Foodzie forces you to sign up before they provide any information about what's available. No, thanks! I'll do business elsewhere.

                                        3. This is a great thread and you've all given me some helpful ideas for this year's gift list. Here are some of my faves:

                                          For really great cheese try something from the Burnett Dairy, one of Wisconsin's best:
                                          http://burnettdairy.com/

                                          Maple syrup is great for tucking into a breakfast-themed gift basket. I like Anderson's pretty well:
                                          http://www.andersonsmaplesyrup.com/ho...

                                          I've bought fresh pecans from Rosalie's online and roasted them myself then packaged them for gifts. Cajun-spiced pecans are easy to make and are good hostess gifts. They make great pralines and pecan sauce, too, for a home-made touch.
                                          http://shop.rosaliepecans.com/

                                          And I've never gone wrong with Penzey's spices. My daughter loves the salt and pepper mills she received for a wedding gift. I've given gift certificates from them to people far away and they've been much appreciated.
                                          http://www.penseys.com

                                          1. Bien Fait Specialty Cakes in Greensboro, VT has nice holiday products.
                                            www.bienfaitfruitcakes.com

                                            1. You know your a pathetic food geek when your "Favorite Places" are
                                              predominently Mail Order food sites or links to recipes . . . .

                                              That being confessed, I will concur wholeheartedly with the Penzy's and
                                              Texas Tamale Warehouse suggestions. My additionsIwould be the following:

                                              September Farms - Lancaster County, PA. Artisinal cheese makers. Family farm. We visited there not long ago - beautiful place and a spotless facility. I found the extra-sharp cheddar, in particular, to be special. (In fact, I just ordered some to surprise my wife.)
                                              http://www.septemberfarmcheese.com/

                                              Browne Trading has a lot of cool stuff, but if you want to pull some special stops, check out the caviar!
                                              https://www.brownetrading.com/

                                              Being an offal fan, I know that's a fix not everyone needs. If someone you know does, this place is the 'wurst!
                                              http://www.schallerweber.com/meatprod...

                                              I swore I could stop at 3, but I was wrong. For shear variety, ease of access to small producers, and it's sort of an "under one roof" concept, there's Foods of the Web:
                                              http://www.foodsoftheweb.com/index.as...

                                              1. Help! I would love to ship food gifts to South America (Brazil and Chile) from an online website. It's summer below the equator so chocolates are out. Any good ideas/experiences?

                                                1. Thanks for the info on the Honeycrisp apples! After checking out the Web site, I realized the apples were the perfect gifts to send to my clients.

                                                  1. Has anyone tried shipping latkes from http://www.russanddaughters.com/ ?

                                                    I know they're incredibly delicious in the store, but I can't image a latke is something that holds up well to transcontinental travel. I'd love to send some to a friend in California that I have special latkes memories with, but I don't want to ruin those latke memories with bad latkes.

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: StrawbrryF

                                                      StrawberryF....I just called R & D's now to order the latkes but they said today was the last day they made them and it was to late by the time I called.... and Chanukah isn't even over yet??? What a bummer..they would have made a perfect gift for my friend and her kids too. Normally, I would have the same concerns as you about mailing them but all I can say is that everything I've ever sent or received from R & D's has arrived perfectly and they've definitely got the packing down right so I would have faith if they are offering something as able to ship. Well guess I'll have to wait till next year to try or give the latkes but there is always their blintzes for now. (I recently sent a care package and included them...just heard back they were really good)

                                                      1. re: chocolate

                                                        thanks for the feedback, chocolate! i'll definitely try next year. this year, i just sent warm wishes and will follow up with a more durable present!

                                                        1. re: chocolate

                                                          Going to NY tomorrow and will be stopping at Russ & Daughter's for their whitefish salad. It is truly the best I've ever had.

                                                          1. re: DaisyM

                                                            You may want to read this thread.......

                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/701185

                                                      2. http://www.petrossian.com/chocolates-...

                                                        For the hot chocolate lovers in your life, a unique gift!

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: HillJ

                                                          I just checked this website out - how cute! Maybe for valentine's day.

                                                        2. i like to alternate through the years, so that my recipients don't get bored.

                                                          last year, i did some of my own spice kits (chili kit for one, curry kit for another) with penzey's.
                                                          the order arrived really fast, didn't have high shipping charges, and there were even some samples in the box.

                                                          this year, i am doing some vosges, and they currently have a free shipping off $70+ orders for the next few days.
                                                          the mix and match exotic chocolate bar set is a bargain, as you pay for 5 and get 6.
                                                          it's the perfect thing to send to my family back home, 1 for each.
                                                          i've ordered from them before, and they have GREAT shipping packages that protect your little chocolatey morsels.

                                                          and i am sad to say that my first (and sure to be only) foodzie experience has been completely dismal.
                                                          i cannot in good conscience recommend them to any fellow hound.
                                                          synopsis: bought some cyber monday specials, didn't get any notification they had shipped (like i was supposed to), the items were damaged in transit, no one did anything about it, i finally heard back that they were looking into it, and none of my follow-up emails requesting a credit rather than a re-ship have received a response.
                                                          the items are not gonna get to their destination in time, and at this point i've lost faith that the items can make the journey ...

                                                          so, just be careful with your holiday online gift purchases and make sure you use a company with stellar customer service!

                                                          1. Don't forget Zingermans!
                                                            http://www.zingermans.com/

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: jackiecat

                                                              This Christmas I ordered the SO an assortment of bacons from Zingerman's. He loved the gift, it arrived on the date I requested, and their customer service was great (I asked via email that they make a correction to the gift message and my request was accomodated in under 30 mins).

                                                            2. There is really only one thing I send, candy! My dad is always looking for good and different sugar-free chocolates and treats. So far, his favourites have come from A Bountiful Harvest. I also send a lot of stuff from Burdick chocolates, for the sugarly-abled in my family. There candies are gorgeous and attractive and the customer service is great.
                                                              Those are really the only edibles I send.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: MinkeyMonkey

                                                                I've been sending folks hams and bacon from Harrington's of Vermont for years. Really outstanding products. I have friends who have requested Harrington's bacon for any and all occasions. (Gave 10lbs as a wedding gift once. BIG hit.) Check it out. http://www.harringtonham.com/?gclid=C...

                                                                1. re: MinkeyMonkey

                                                                  Yes,yes,yes to Burdicks! Gifts from there have wow-ed everyone I've sent them to - family and business clients!

                                                                  Also gift boxes from The Spice House

                                                                  http://www.thespicehouse.com/

                                                                  http://www.burdickchocolate.com/

                                                                2. Just discovered a great coffee delivery service: http://www.gocoffeego.com/ You can create a queue of coffees you want and they'll show up in your mailbox. Seems like a great thing to get the coffee lover in your life!

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: StrawbrryF

                                                                    cool idea-- kinda like a netflix for coffee!

                                                                  2. Cheese from Carr Valley Cheese company. They have an outstanding variety of unique cheeses.

                                                                    1. Maybe I missed it, but has nobody mentioned Zingerman's yet? Really great bread, cheese, oils and vinegars. We always send their Reuben Sandwich Kit and people love it. Their customer service is fantastic, too; if anything doesn't work out, hey, if you just don't like it, they replace it with no questions asked.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: carminabee

                                                                        I second Zingerman's. I love their breads and they do have great customer service!

                                                                        1. re: tdmort

                                                                          Zingerman's does have some good stuff.

                                                                      2. For those familiar to LA's Philippes (french dips), I'll send their mustard.
                                                                        http://philippes.com/store/index.php/...

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: OCAnn

                                                                          Stonewall Kitchen in York, Maine for fabulous chutneys, mustards, specialty jams, hazlenut hot fudge sauce, lemon curd, marinades, maple chipotle grilling sauce, scone & waffle mixes and beautiful gift baskets for the cook and host.

                                                                          1. re: GIgirl

                                                                            Stonewall Kitchen will also ship in flat rate boxes if you ask them to. It saves a ton on the shipping costs!

                                                                        2. I love giving Zapps chips, Graeter's ice cream and The best Wine Jelly.

                                                                          www.zapps.com, www.graeters.com and www.bestwinejelly.com

                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                          1. re: LA Buckeye Fan

                                                                            Have you ever tried Jeni's Ice Cream, Sorbet & Frozen Yogurts/OH?
                                                                            I enjoyed nine of their flavors over New Year's Eve w/guests and everyone of them was
                                                                            a winner. http://jenisicecreams.com/index.html

                                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                                              No I have not...thank you for the recommendation. I love Graeter's raspberry chocolate chip. But I'm willing to branch out!

                                                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                                                holy crap, do those look good.
                                                                                sadly, the TX shipping is $35.
                                                                                otherwise i would get some for myself.
                                                                                but, i do need to ship some gifts to MA, which is only $10...

                                                                                1. re: dinaofdoom

                                                                                  They ship in well packed, dry ice 1-2 days and they arrived frozen as could be. I was looking at the new baked goods lineup and really itching to place an order!

                                                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                                                    oh, i am sure they do a good job.
                                                                                    i was just lamenting the high price for my area, as i don't feel i can justify spending that much on myself when i am trying to stick to a tight budget.
                                                                                    but $10 S&H for a birthday gift for someone is totally do-able.

                                                                                    1. re: dinaofdoom

                                                                                      dinaofdoom, this was my first experience trying their line of goodies; came recommended by an ice cream loving friend..and she was soooo right. I took a chance because it was a splurge for me to buy what I can make (not exactly but I make plenty of homemade frozen goodies too). I was really impressed.

                                                                            2. My husband loves loves loves malted milk balls. Anyone ever mail ordered them?

                                                                              1. This is my favorite, either for giftgiving or for what's become a family tradition at Christmas:
                                                                                http://www.igourmet.com/shoppe/prodvi...

                                                                                I think I buy it just for the Dorothea goat's milk cheese. Love love love.
                                                                                eta: It started as a Christmas/housewarming gift for my parents and became a tradition - we've ordered other "samplers" but came back to this one two years in a row.

                                                                                1. Didn't see my personal favorite, Cougar Gold cheese from Washington State University Creamery. They have other kinds of cheese, and I think I've tried just about all, but the Cougar Gold is, in my opinion, the best. Each year, my mother calls me just before Thanksgiving to ask whether she will give it to me or vice versa, and when she should have it delivered or wants it delivered. As soon as it arrives, I have to open it up and taste it. Then it goes on cheese boards, sandwiches, mac and cheese, scalloped potatoes, and just into our mouths. I just finished my pound from this season. I know that you can order it any time, but we always save it for the holidays.

                                                                                  1. This isn't a unique source or anything, but Williams & Sonoma has absolutely GORGEOUS-looking red and white heart-shaped macaroons for Valentine's Day. Won't buy them for myself but someone should drop a hint for my hubby.

                                                                                    http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...

                                                                                    1. Truly authentic Texas Bar-b-que! It is fabulous!!!! http://www.countyline.com/

                                                                                      1. wanted to push this up to see if anyone had some new discoveries for this year

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: swoll50

                                                                                          Several!

                                                                                          http://worldspice.com/home/home.shtml
                                                                                          specifically their spice blends & recipes

                                                                                          http://www.wisconsincheesemart.com/mi...
                                                                                          for the Miller Pretzel bread (several styles avail

                                                                                          )

                                                                                          http://www.pennmac.com/page/439
                                                                                          for the cheese sampler; amazing customer service & prices

                                                                                          1. re: HillJ

                                                                                            RESTAURANT DOT COM IS A FOOD GIFT AND THE NEWSLETTER PROVIDED THIS OFFER: GET $25 GIFT CERTIFICATES FOR ONLY $3! Enter Promo Code: GIFT
                                                                                            We've used the coupons with great success; especially while on vacation and numerous times as gifts.

                                                                                        2. My world class DIL brought us a 7-layer caramel cake from www.carolinescakes.com and it was stunning. Can't tell you how good it was.

                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: lemons

                                                                                            Murray's Cheese! http://www.murrayscheese.com/ excellent service and reasonable shipping costs.

                                                                                            Grafton Cheese for their amazing chedder http://www.graftonvillagecheese.com/

                                                                                            1. re: DaisyM

                                                                                              Can anyone suggest a good source for smoked turkeys?

                                                                                              1. re: janeh

                                                                                                gobblegobble.com

                                                                                                greenbergs smoked turkeys

                                                                                                1. re: swoll50

                                                                                                  Thanks! I just found a link to the recent NYTimes article - sounds great.

                                                                                                  1. re: swoll50

                                                                                                    I second this recommendation. Greenbergs has great smoked turkeys. We get one every Christmas.

                                                                                                    1. re: mountaincachers

                                                                                                      I order a smoked turkey every year for Thanksgiving from Oklahoma Joe's in KC. It's spectacular. I've converted a few non turkey eaters over the past couple of years. My biggest gripe is the cost of shipping. Ok Joe's will only ship overnight and the cost of the turkey is 2.5x the price of the turkey. Has anybody ever ordered a smoked ham or turkey from Nueske? The shipping from Neuske's is much more reasonable but would like to know if the ham and turkey are as good quality as the bacon. Nueske has 3 day shipping which is much more affordable. If their ham and turkey are the same quality as the bacon I'm going to make the switch.

                                                                                            2. I've received many food related gifts over the years at Holiday time.....national companies and local sources......

                                                                                              Nothing has been more memorable than the cookies and pears from Harry and David....

                                                                                              1. Soup, soup, soup...
                                                                                                We have a dear friend struggling with bone cancer. He's really limited at this point to soups. Other than Harry and David are there recommended mail order places we should look into... Thanks for your help. This is a wonderful site!

                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: kpischel

                                                                                                  I sent my aunt soup from http://grandmaschickensoup.com/ in the past, and she seemed to like it.

                                                                                                  1. re: kpischel

                                                                                                    Ah, I'm sorry for your friend's struggle, and glad you're thinking of him. I've bought packaged dry mixes from Frontier Soups that were very pleasant and just handy to have around. Plus they look appealing and are easy to toss in a crockpot. Most suggest add-ins but can do fine on their own.

                                                                                                    http://www.frontiersoups.com

                                                                                                    And

                                                                                                    1. re: kpischel

                                                                                                      Check this link to see if the Soup Man is in your (friend's) area. They don't ship, but they have a great daily variety of soups that could be purchased and frozen in appropriate amounts. My best thoughts to your friend in his fight.

                                                                                                      http://www.originalsoupman.com/locati...

                                                                                                    2. Stonewall Kitchen has a (Maine) sea salt that is like tiny, salty, but mellow little "rocks" of salt for when you want to finish a dish with a little crunch. Each crystal is about the size of a peppercorn. http://www.stonewallkitchen.com/shop/...

                                                                                                      Fredericksburg, TX is the peach hub of TX. Fredericksburg Farm has some wonderful products highlighting the peach. When grilling chicken, you cannot find anything better than their Peach Pecan BBQ sauce - a little sweet and a little heat. http://www.fbgfarms.com/peachproducts... (Even if you don't want the product, check the recipe tab at the top of the screen)

                                                                                                      1. Some favorites, all from Kansas City:

                                                                                                        Christopher Elbow chocolates. www.ElbowChocolates.com

                                                                                                        Wolferman English muffins. www.Wolfermans.com

                                                                                                        Topsy's cinnamon popcorn. www.TopsysPopcorn.com

                                                                                                        Bogdon's Reception Sticks. www.BogdonsChocolates.com

                                                                                                        DIY rather than mail order: In vintage-style bottles w/ stoppers & wire bails, my eggnog "spike" mix of Cruzan dark rum + Maker's Mark bourbon + Hennessy cognac. And if I think the recipient might not have it, I'll include nutmeg & a little grater.

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: KansasKate

                                                                                                          Wolferman's ruined any other English muffins for me, even Bay's- they are to die!

                                                                                                        2. Bacon lovers - and for those that can't eat bacon, but love the taste... I love bacon salt on popcorn! www.baconnaise.com

                                                                                                          I ditto on the Cougar Gold cheese...OMG! I'm a recent believer! And to think its been around for years!

                                                                                                          1. What a list! I am going to go broke ordering from all these places. There are two I did not see that you might want to try. First, Golden Edibles (http://www.goldenedibles.com) and their triple chocolate cheesecake. Out of this world. Second, have some coffee with your sweets from Emery Coffee (http://emerycoffee.com). They have some of the country's best artisan roasters and also coffee subscriptions.

                                                                                                            1. Because vanilla bean lovers often don't realize how affordable buying the beans can be (really!) I'm adding my favorite supplier to this gift thread.

                                                                                                              http://www.theposter.com/vanilla2.html

                                                                                                              1. Harry & David??? Lol. Nice product; horrible customer service.

                                                                                                                Gifts I've sent over the years (like decades), as well as enjoyed myself:

                                                                                                                http://www.smokehouse.com/

                                                                                                                http://www.crawfordsausage.com/

                                                                                                                http://www.igourmet.com/

                                                                                                                http://www.gourmetfoodstore.com/

                                                                                                                http://www.milliespierogi.com/default...

                                                                                                                There are dozens of others - the above are just a few that I've enjoyed myself & have sent gift products to others.