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Have you had foods flown in to satisfy a craving?

  • t
  • TVC15 May 12, 2010 06:56 AM

I realize that there is a large mail order food industry in this country. But sometimes, a craving requires a little more work to satisfy. I once had andouille flown in from LA. and chocolate covered macadamia nuts flown in from Hawaii. I now think it would be cool to try real Texas bbq brisket. What about You all?
What foods have you or would you have flown in?

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  1. Had a couple of pizzas delivered from Candela Pizzaria in Trenton, New Jersey to...

    Lubbock, Texas!

    Don't ask the price.

    1. I haven't done it in a while, but I've definitely done it for crawfish (in a cooler on dry ice), dried chiles (no need to do it these days, but in the 80's it was hard to get that stuff by me), and green chile (I'd roast it myself and keep a freezer full to last until the next season).

      My brother-in-law is from the Chicagoland area and he and my sister are big on the Lou Malnati's pizza shipping service. They've been nice enough to give me some gift certificates over the years, so I've enjoyed that as well. I guess I see where he's coming from, satisfying his cravings and all, but personally I don't find them worth the expense.

      15 Replies
      1. re: TongoRad

        There are many exotic dried chiles that are almost impossible to find locally unless you live in a megalopolis, and even then you may be out of luck on some of these peppers. For that reason I've had many chiles delivered by mail.

        Also had Pedro's tamales (from Texas) shipped to me when I was in grad school in Missouri.

        1. re: Perilagu Khan

          I used to order chiles through a mail-order biz called Old Southwest Trading Company (from Albuquerque)- what was cool about them was that when you ordered something uncommon they would send you a recipe on an index card for how these chiles should be used. I bet I've still got a bunch of those cards somewhere. I really liked those guys, and haven't been able to find Cobans (smoked piquin- very hot and very smoky) since they stopped shipping. Those I would order in a heartbeat.

          Mentally I've just kind of simplified these days- ancho, mulato, guajillo, chipotle, morita, de arbol, piquin and pasilla are all varieties I can get without blinking an eye, and that's all I really need.

          1. re: TongoRad

            I can get most of those locally, too, but for the more obscure stuff such as aji amarillo, dundicut, and pulla (just to name a few), it's mail order time. And my favorite mail order house for peppers is www.myspicesage.com. Excellent products, superb service, and they'll frequently throw in freebies such as turmeric or Aleppo pepper.

            1. re: Perilagu Khan

              Aji amarillo! Ahhhh, fond memories of Bolivia; piquins too. Thanks for the tip.

        2. re: TongoRad

          I second those crawfish and add blue crabs (MD) and head-on shrimp LA). Plus Pascal's Manale's (New Orleans, LA) gator sausage and BBQ shrimp.

          If that oil slick kills any crawfish and shrimp there's going to be *heck* to pay! Fitting punishment should have BP sending shrimp and crawdads to us for FREE FOR LIFE!

          1. re: stuck in Hartford County

            Crawfish will more than likely not be affected as the farms are all inland, shrimp and oysters on the other hand....

            Does getting 200 pounds of crawfish shipped up so I could boil them count? Not so much a carving but a planned boil.

            1. re: roro1831

              Of course that counts!

              I need to stop automatically throwing out those Tulane alumni get-together ads and actually go to a boil or something. But crawdads and NYC (or CT!) just seem like oil & water...

              Oops!

              1. re: stuck in Hartford County

                There was a boil in NYC yesterday actually. I had an email about it but was not free to go. Cost was $50 or $60 bucks, all you could eat and drink. That price would have been so worth it for me.

                1. re: roro1831

                  Oh man. There are days when I just have to close my eyes and pretend I'm back in LA. Currently, I'm picturing myself at the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival. Those strawberries! The gator po'boys! The pig roast! Then a boil!

                  Aaaaaaaaaaahhhh! I hate CT!

                  1. re: stuck in Hartford County

                    Crawdads are really easy to catch in fresh water lakes and streams, even in the beautiful state of Connecticut. Take advantage of what you have around you.
                    Carpe Chow!

              2. re: roro1831

                It definitely counts, roro. My brother lives in Colorado; he's found a bunch of Louisiana ex-pats, and they have crawfish (not crawDADS, stuck in HC!) shipped in every couple of weeks during the spring and hold big crawfish boils. He says a few of the natives shake their heads at them, but the smart ones join in.

                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                  Actually, it would be CRAWdads...

                  1. re: stuck in Hartford County

                    That just gets *stuck* in my *craw*

                    Get thee to one of those Tulane alum crawfish boils, post haste--and get some of that NOLA groove back!

            2. re: TongoRad

              I too have had pizzas flown in from Chicago, along with giardiniera, neon green relish, sport peppers, Italian beef and Sweet Baby Ray's before it was available locally. I've also had pistachios and saffron sent to me from the Middle East along with sardines and chocolate-covered polvorones from the Philippines.

              1. re: TongoRad

                We tried the service from Chicago that sends Lou Malnati's pizza, Edi's cheesecake, and some Chicago dog fixin's - oh, and Carson's ribs.

                For what it cost, we decided we could spend the same in gas and drive the 700 miles to Chicago for the fresh stuff.

              2. I am in Texas and have had the following delivered to my home when cravings hit:

                pizza from Chicago
                bratwurst from Wisconsin
                Lobster from Maine (Even though I can get Maine lobster from markets here)
                Many heirloom beans from California

                1 Reply
                1. re: swamp

                  You rock!

                  I got a wild hair recently and ordered some Oregon Wild Truffles (ecologically responsible harvesters). They started out bland, but ripened until they smelled like heaven and earth colliding. I'm glad I ordered them now, but for a while I wondered what the fuss was all about.

                2. Both of our homes are in fairly large American cities (Boston, Jacksonville) so we can usually get whatever rare regional treat we might want. However, there have been times when I craved beluga or sevruga caviar and had get it flown in from Montana's Yellowstone River. Far superior in taste and ecological impact to the industrially produced and critically overfished Caspian caviars from Iran or Russia. I just wish it were distributed better!

                  Other impossible-to-find items that I've ordered to be shipped are the hams from genuine 'black footed' Pata Negra pigs in Spain, and of course cheeses from anywhere in Europe, particularly the raw milk varieties.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: fwright

                    DiPalo's has a fantastic selection of cheeses and other great things that you can order.

                    http://www.dipaloselects.com/

                  2. Recently? Oh, and I live in Texas.

                    Grass fed butter
                    grass fed beef (I can now get it locally)
                    See's Chocolates from California
                    Spices from WorldSpice
                    Perigourd truffles
                    Lobsters from Boston

                    I know there's other stuff, but it's not popping up on the memory screen.

                    1. Do you mean legally?

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        Okaaaaay.... What's cookin' at your house???

                        1. re: Caroline1

                          Well, nothing nefarious necessarily.

                          But I'll often have visitors who travel abroad internationally bring back goodies, which I think might (would?) be confiscated by TSA if they were, ahem, not so strategically packed away in the carry-on.

                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            Soon after 9/11 I tried to leave Venice with a zampone stuffed in my suitcase and touched off a kerfluffle. On the x-ray screen it looked like some sort of a bomb.

                            1. re: Perilagu Khan

                              That happened to me in Milwaukee a year or so ago. When I went through screening, the TSA staff asked me, "do you have Wisconsin sausage and cheese in your carry on?" I affirmed that I did, but she had to check with her wooden sticks anyway.

                              1. re: Ms.M

                                Is that a zampone in your luggage, or are you just happy to see me? ;)

                                1. re: Ms.M

                                  I came back from Spain with chorizo and had no problem getting it *into* the country, but when I tried to take it to California, the TSA agent tore my whole bag apart and took out practically everything I packed to run again, because it looked like a "liquid."

                              2. re: ipsedixit

                                Although when you come back from or travel to Hawaii, you are not supposed to take any plants or produce, so an unassuming lime or two in your suitcase can be problematic. They actually x-ray carry-ons specifically looking for food right before your board the plane.

                          2. My husband will arrive in Cairo tomorrow and his suitcase will be filled with the sublime and the ridiculous -- ribs, prosciutto, steaks, hamburger buns, hot dogs and napkins, tortillas paper towels.

                            1. I read recently that Prez Obama had such a craving for nasi goreng after his planned trip to Indonesia had to be canceled that he had some delivered from a restaurant in Bali. Man, the perks of being president...
                              www.thebalitimes.com/2010/04/01/obama...

                              ETA: Just noticed that this article was posted on April fools day, so take it with a grain of salt. Fun story in either case.

                              1. After eating at El Cholo in Los Angeles last year, my husband fell in love with their tamales. We live in NY. For father's day I ordered him a dozen of the tamales. I ordered them via the El Cholo website and thought that it was pretty reasonable...only $42.

                                However, after you hit the "submit" button with all of your information (and credit card info), they then send you a confimation and advise you of the shipping costs...$100! So the 12 tamales ended up costing me $142!

                                I guess it was good that I didn't know the shipping charges beforehand...ignorance is bliss. And my husband was thrilled. And the tamales were delicious!

                                1. Mine is a little embarrassing. I once had my mother ship salad dressing (Betty's) from Michigan. It's a gloopy, sweet orange-colored concotion that I can't get in Chicago, and when the craving struck, I could not stop thinking about it. I should have been content let it be a fond memory. I had the one salad, and the rest of the jar sat there until I finally threw it out.

                                  I also came close to ordering a case of Ranch beans, but then I looked at shipping costs, as well as the sheer number of cans I had to order to be awarded delivery, and had to ask, "How much *do* I like these beans?" I mean, they're canned beans. I debated it with myself for weeks before I decided I didn't want to explain to my boyfriend why our food budget had increased so alarmingly that week.

                                  And now I'm craving those stupid canned beans again.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: onceadaylily

                                    I had a similar experience once. About ten years ago, I couldn't stop thinking about Hawaiian punch. I hadn't had any since i was a boy and I remember LOVING it then.
                                    So I had to buy a can. One sip. Done. The rest of the can in the garbage. Now that childhood memory is shot!

                                    1. re: onceadaylily

                                      I recently sent off for a case of La Martinique Blue Cheese Vinaigrette, so I know where you're coming from on the salad dressing. And as a Texan in good standing, I can certainly appreciate your Ranch Style Beans jones.

                                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                        Funny, when I met my husband, he was addicted to this stuff. I have a super easy recipe for blue cheese vinaigrette, which proved the methadone to DH's addiction. If you want it for when the LMBCV is gone, let me know.

                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                          Will do. Thanks.

                                    2. Read this and got tremendous cravings for Bolivian saltenas, Norwegian spekemat (dry cured leg of lamb) or Finnish siliaka, in Swedish, stromming (salt cured herring). Does anyone know where I can get these? Fresh sturgeon too.

                                      6 Replies
                                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                                        There has got to be fresh sturgeon sold somewhere around Portland OR. I've seen it freshly smoked at the farmer's market there-- but never fresh. Maybe it's hoarded?

                                        1. re: Vetter

                                          You had me excited for a second, then I noticed OR. I'm in Maine, you see, wrong Portland. Sturgeon are making a comeback in the Pennobscot River, but are still endangered.

                                        2. re: Passadumkeg

                                          "Dry cured leg of lamb?" That sounds incredibly delicious. There's a local chef who's into curing meats; I'll have to get him to try his hand at this. Is the lamb you've had spiced in a particular way?

                                          1. re: pikawicca

                                            A few years ago, I dry cured a deer haunch (hind quarter). A lot of work but very interesting meat.

                                            1. re: Passadumkeg

                                              Love venison. How did you do it?

                                              1. re: pikawicca

                                                Daily salt rub and hung in the cold dry attic of the garage. My deer stand is 100 yds. behind the house. Woe unto any long legged rat w/ antlers that messes w/ our garden. Even hosta eating is a capital offense.
                                                Not mail order, but we are taking a 40 mi. round trip drive in the Miata on a sunny spring Sunday morning to get 20 lbs. of soft shell (steamers) clams from one of my students in Winter Harbor, Me. Clam bake tonight. Friday I found a 5 gal. bucket of lobsters on the passenger side floor of my car after school. Being a good teacher has its rewards.

                                        3. back in the early 70s I was in college in Philadelphia. I am a New Haven native and couldn't eat the pizza in Philly.

                                          Allegheny Airlines had a nonstop propeller flight from New Haven to Philadelphia. I used to pay a stewardess from Allegheny to go to Sally's on Wooster Street in New Haven each Friday afternoon and pick up 3 apizza pies for me and fly them to Philadelphia. I'd meet her at the gate at 6:20 PM. It got me through the lousy culinary scene in Philadelphia.

                                          12 Replies
                                          1. re: bagelman01

                                            Really?! The pizza scene in Philly was that bad? And it was that much better in New Haven? Amazing.

                                            1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                              The Trenton tomato pie scene was just cross the river, rivals New Haven in me 'umble opinion. But it seems to be human nature to want what one grows up with.
                                              The Philly 9th Street Italian market area has superb offerings of Italian foods.

                                              1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                Actually, Camden and Cherry Hiil are just across the river, Trenton is further away and not easilly reached by by public transit (college kids in Phila in 1970 were not likely to have cars). Pizza in Phila in 1970 was like a round cardboard disc with sweet red sauce and plastic cheese.

                                                The tomato pie scene in Trenton developed in later years.

                                                1. re: Veggo

                                                  yes, in those days, it was $13.84 on Amtrak plus 75 cents to check a bike, and only $19 youth fair on Allegheny.

                                                  But, I never found edible pizza in Philly, just cheesecake, cheesestaeks, and Moo Shui Pork at 10th and Race

                                                  1. re: bagelman01

                                                    I doth protest. Camden, the US highest crime rate? I've been on top of the big blue water tank in Cherryfield, NJ. NJ is home to a lot of good pizza, just ask the Soprano. I think youse guys were just rich college kidz who didn't know any townies to ask where to get good "Za". Remember Tigers chew up Bulldogs.
                                                    I think the Trenton pizza joints are older than the apizzas in New Haven.

                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1863...

                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                      Yeah, I find it difficult to believe that Philly in 1970 (population ca. 2 million and probably a quarter of them with good Italian blood flowing through their veins) produced nothing but cardboard discs with sweet sauce and plastic cheese while little New Haven was cranking out pies to make Garibaldi swoon.

                                                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                        I drove from Boston to New Haven one afternoon because we had a craving for clam pizza. I''m a Chicago girl and we have our own ideas about pizza, but New Haven pizza is something special.

                                                        1. re: lulubelle

                                                          And now I am curious.

                                                          As someone who lived on the East coast for a few years (and loved it dearly) before she was transplanted to Chicago, I had to sloooowly become converted to this odd specialty (the sauce is on the top, people, and a knife and fork go without saying). "Why? Why can't I see my toppings?" I asked my boyfriend, upon the arrival of the first Chicago pie. "Seriously, a fork?"

                                                          Clam pizza. If anyone can tell me how to do this, I would be ever so grateful.

                                                          1. re: onceadaylily

                                                            I've never tried to make it, because I think you really need a pizza oven to do it justice. but here is a link with a review and an explanation of clam pizza http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Write...

                                                            As for Chicago style pizza. I really don't know many people who eat it more than once or twice a year. Going to Gino's or Uno's was always a special occasion type of thing, a birthday or a treat for getting straight As. Our regular Friday night pizza was always thin crust sausage and onion, cut in squares not wedges.

                                                          2. re: lulubelle

                                                            I haven't myself but speaking of New Haven pizza, back in the 90s my dad had vaccuum sealeed new have pizza from Modern Apizza shipped to our house in MD. I don't think you could get anything besides plain red or white but the mailman said was the first time he had ever delivered pizzas.

                                                2. re: bagelman01

                                                  That is brilliant. May I ask how much you paid her?

                                                  1. re: hyacinthgirl

                                                    If I remember correctly, I gave her a ten dollar bill, plus she got a pie from Sally's on my bill for dinner as well.
                                                    Money well worth it. The local Italian restaurant closest to the UP campus was called Pagano's and their pizza resembled a cardboard cake circle painted with ketchup and spread with american cheese.

                                                3. Yes, but not as often anymore as so much is available locally.
                                                  The one thing I do order on a regular basis are wild mushrooms from Oregon. They are expensive and have to be shipped overnight, but they'll waive the shipping for orders of 10 lbs. or more. I get the fresh porcini and chanterelles when they're available. The quality of the chanterelles is far superior--and cheaper--than what I can get at Whole Foods, and I have not found another source. Of course I have to clean and roast briefly what I'm not going to use immediately--and that is a day's work, but so worth it. They go a long way. I also get their frozen porcini. They arrive frozen and go straight into my freezer, and are delicious when cooked.

                                                  1. I didn't have anything delivered, but I have sent some Tillamook Cheese from Oregon to my SIL in Wisconsin. She used to live in the NW and then moved and had a craving for the cheese. Only problem - it cost waaaayyyyy more to ship than the cheese itself!

                                                    1. I guess I do things a little backward. If I have a craving for huitlacoche in Guanajuato or lechon or conch in Quintana Roo or chiles en nogada in Puebla, I will usually fly me to the food.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: Veggo

                                                        Take me with you.

                                                      2. Some good friends of ours are from Chicago and, after 25 years in OC/CA, still buy deep dish pizza flown in from Lou Malnati's. The 9" pies run $100 for six. At almost $17 each that's a real craving in my world. For the same money I go to LaRocco's (San Clemente) and get a great New York style pie that's a good 18-20" and really enjoy it. To each his own.

                                                        1. Pierogies from Buffalo, NY and Pittsburgh, PA.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: monavano

                                                            Where in PA do you order pierogies from? I use to make them with my grandmother when I was little, she was from PA, I could get them in Phx, AZ at Stanley's but I am now in Tucson...no real Eastern Euro food here...thanks...

                                                            1. re: Wendywoo523

                                                              this is where I order and visit when home.
                                                              http://www.pierogies.com/retail/about...

                                                              Dubja, dubja!

                                                          2. I am totally obsessed with the LaTienda website.After seeing an article in Saveur magazine on some of their offerings I just had to try it. Bad move, I've been ordering from them once or twice a month for the last year. Razor clams are amazing as is their bleu cheese spread. So, when I'm ordering it's usually going to be an assortment of items so that I can have tapas at home.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: Pegmeister

                                                              When I first left Wisconsin, I ordered almond and/or raspeberry kringle from a Racine bakery a couple times. The problem was that I had to order an entire one and had no one to share it with, so a lot of it would end up going stale... so I only did it once or twice, when I was feeling homesick!

                                                              1. re: anakalia

                                                                Just an FYI about the kringle..... Feel free to order it from O&H and then when you get it cut it into quarters and freeze it. Take out a piece at night and by morning it is thawed and wonderful! Enjoy!! I work in Racine and send kringle to friends ALL of the time!

                                                            2. My sister stopped traffic at the airport x-ray machine when the frozen squirrel carcasses in her bag were revealed. Grandma had shot and cleaned them for me and my sister was bringing them to me in Toledo, from Missouri. I miss squirrel since Grandma died; I hate to hunt.

                                                              1. Several years ago my hubby was craving crayfish boil but we couldn't find any boil liquid. Ordered 5 small bottles online from Florida (we live in TO Canada). A week later he asks me to pick it up from the UPS office at the airport. Out comes a wooden box bigger than me!!! and a bill for just shy of $200. Got the box home and found 5 small bottles of boil liquid, 5 bottles of louisiana hot sauce and 5 bottles of cocktail sauce.

                                                                but ohh was that crawfish boil good!

                                                                1. I ship beef jerky, pistachios and sunflower seeds, to our sons in Seoul, Korea, but the customs officials started incinerating the jerky, because of their fear of US beef. I have started labeling it "hiking accessory" and the jerky gets through. I hope the customs officials don't read CH.

                                                                  1. Well, when I first moved to Bermuda, I had to spend my first Chinese New Year's without proper chinese food. My cousin was visiting in about that time and she was good enough to stash a daikon radish cake in her luggage for me. Luckily it's completely cooked already, she got pulled over by Bermuda customs and had to try and explain it to them. Would've loved to see the expression on custom officers faces after they got a whiff of it. They let her pass with it and I got to enjoy a little taste of home.

                                                                    Otherwise, everytime I get off island to home, I bring a cooler bag with me to bring all the frozen goodies from Vancouver (namely Asian products) to last me until my next trip. The things we do for the love of good food.

                                                                    1. we have had crawfish flown to us. i think a couple times whenever i use to visit new orleans back when we could check in luggage for free. one of my pieces of luggage was just a box containing the vietnamese be thui (vietnamese roast veal), cha lua and other things that my mom wanted from my trip to new orleans. whenever my dad goes to vietnam, he brings so many more. like we always hire someone to dry up like 50lbs of jackfruit or so and other various vietnamese goodies.

                                                                      1. I've never flown something in to satisfy a craving, mostly because things you order my mail here have a tendency not to arrive or to arrive months after the fact. I have, however, anticipated cravings by bringing a suitcase filled with food form home back to Bangladesh with me every time I go back to the States for a visit.

                                                                        Some of the things that I have brought back with me include
                                                                        5 pounds of Italian Beef and a gallon of gravy
                                                                        3 pounds bacon from the farmers' market
                                                                        salami, chorizo and other hard sausages
                                                                        A 4 pound wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano
                                                                        countless bars of Vosges Chocolate
                                                                        spices, vanilla and candied ginger from The Spice House

                                                                        1. Yup. H&H bagels when I lived out in Seattle. Cannot find a good bagel out there.

                                                                          1. I'm very close to ordering a couple dozen New York bagels. The last couple of years we've been able to visit NYC several times and always bring them back with us. But our freezer supply is getting pretty low. We usually buy ours from Absolute Bagel on the UWS. If they don't ship, I think I've read that H&H does. We will never again eat a non-NYC bagel. What a waste of good lox.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                              H & H ships, but the shipping costs are astronomical--3x the cost of a dozen. Fortunately for us, a couple of local stores get them so while we pay a slightly inflated price for the bagels, we don't have to pay the shipping. Maybe you can find a source near you that gets them so you can avoid the shipping?

                                                                            2. I had Trenton pork roll shipped to Western NY.

                                                                              1. I have had espresso flown in from some obscure brand in Costa Rica that wanted way too much personal information in order to process the shipment. But costa rican espresso is the only type I have found that doesn't pick up the slightest hint of bitterness when brewed with American water.

                                                                                As far as traveling, I regularly arrive in Italy with a nearly empty suitcase and pack it with the most mundane things that former residents of the boot miss: mulino bianco cookies, hot chocolate mix, anchovies and tuna packed in oil, etc. Ever since the ban on liquids in carry-ons though, I have been deprived of my favorite Tuscan olive oil because the producer is too small to ship here.

                                                                                1. I miss fresh shellfish!
                                                                                  We have had in the past clams, oysters and fresh Maine Lobster flown in.

                                                                                  Last time my husband brought a boat from NC to Bermuda he was lucky enough to get a cooler full of fresh Carolina Shrimp! YUMMMM

                                                                                  1. Had a splurge dinner tonight: Lobster Pot Pies from Hancock Lobster Pound. I've been ordering these for years. It's really nice to have a splendid meal waiting in your freezer for "when the moment's right," kind of like Cialis, only better.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                      That is where I taught and the next town over from Ellsworth. It's home!
                                                                                      Yum.

                                                                                    2. It's interesting. I live just outside of DC and can get most things. I used to have it sent but Sees Candy sets up a kiosk this time of year so I loaded up on the Toffeettes for gifts. We have a Penzy's store and I can get many LA must haves, including king cakes, but at a price. So I get a care package of Tony C's, Zatarain's crab boil, Tobasco chili mix from the family. .I can get crawfish but way too pricey. The one thing I have not shipped yet but have come ohhh so close...Graeter's ice cream. Grew up with it. Haven't found anything I like as much.

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: rHairing

                                                                                        rHairing -- where is the kiosk? I'm from So Cal and was just talking about See's the other day with my friend!

                                                                                        1. re: link_930

                                                                                          http://tiny.cc/gm2nf

                                                                                      2. not for myself, but i did something like that for my Mom. when i was a child and my grandfather became too ill to make the trip down to stay with us, we used to drive up to Pennsylvania to visit him in the nursing home (and eventually the hospital) before he passed away. on the way home we always stopped at Plain & Fancy Donut Shop in Schuylkill Haven and picked up trays of the BEST Pennsylvania Dutch sticky buns - Mom would wrap them individually and stash them in the freezer, and every once in a while we'd enjoy one as a special treat. it's been 26 years since my grandfather passed away, and i think the last time i had one was after his funeral, but we all still remember those sticky buns like it was yesterday.

                                                                                        we were reminiscing about those sticky buns on the phone one day last April, and Mom mentioned how desperately she missed them, partly because of the memories they represented. i live in California now, and i was already planning to fly out to NJ to surprise her for Mother's Day, but i thought if i could somehow get her those sticky buns, that would really be something. i tracked down a phone number for the shop (i couldn't believe it was still open!) and spoke to the wife of the current owner. they don't have a website, don't ship, and don't even accept credit cards, but when i told her the story, she actually got choked up, and said she'd figure out a way to do it for me...i ended up sending her a check - of course these little pastries aren't exactly a pricey, high-end item so the shipping fees were more than triple the cost of the buns themselves, but i would have paid ten times that to make this happen.

                                                                                        on Mother's Day, i was at the house with my folks and made sure i intercepted the postman when he delivered the box. i removed the shipping label so she wouldn't see where it was from, and later that morning when she came into the kitchen i gave her the box. seeing her reaction when she opened it to discover 2 dozen of those beloved sticky buns inside was one of the most rewarding moments of my life.

                                                                                        1. I'm from NJ and pizza is my all-time favorite food so I've had to transport it on several occasions. My folks retired to Missouri while I was in college in the 90's and even to this day it is hard to find a decent pie. For a week-long trip in the summer or around the holidays I would disassemble a large pie into individual slices, wrap them in foil then freeze them. I'd then ship them overnight the day before I flew out. If you let them thaw before heating them on a pizza stone in the oven you get pretty close. It was ALMOST like home.

                                                                                          And once right after college I was living on the East Coast and dating a girl who had just come from CO and loved Anchor Steam beer. The beer revolution had not yet hit so I had a case of shipped out for her birthday. Man, that gift cost me almost a week's pay. We managed to nurse that case for an entire summer. Good times.

                                                                                          1. Very rarely...but it has happened.

                                                                                            I've flown in olive oil, cheese, salumi, capers, and anchovies from Sicily and Italy.
                                                                                            Now, I'm sure I could find salt packed capers and anchovies here in the states, but when you read and speak with certain artisans, you want the very same product they made with their own hands...and that's what satisfies the cravings for me.

                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: Novelli

                                                                                              http://store.dipaloselects.com/italia...

                                                                                              Not that they carry everything but DiPalos has a great selection of imported-from-Italy products. Great quality, incredible customer service and, of course, costs less than YOU importing them.

                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                Holy crap, Cath! fig Molasses??? Where has this been all of my life? Thank you, thank you.

                                                                                                1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                  i LOVE that molasses. of course now that this thread has reminded me, i want to buy another bottle of it...and DiPalo is out of stock! there's a specialty store here in LA that carries it, but i can't justify their $21 price tag. but if you can...
                                                                                                  http://www.cubemarketplace.com/p-417-...

                                                                                                  and here's another brand, from a different source:
                                                                                                  http://www.woodstockfarmersmarket.com...

                                                                                            2. Years ago, I took a six-seater amphibious plane from the 23rd St pier in Manhattan to Fire Island Pines and a seat was reserved for a bag of groceries from Dean and DeLuca. That was impressive.

                                                                                              1. Zotter chocolate. Yes, I can get it at Fog City News, which is but a 15 minute walk, but they don't even have a fifth of Zotter's over 100 bars. Shipping isn't too bad, at 20 euros. Still, this habitual craving is costly.

                                                                                                1. For some reason, I've been kind of hesitant to join in here. I know that half an hour after I post, I'll remember something great I should have mentioned. But I have had some great and not so great things flown in in my lifetime. There was a time when I used to have FRESH (caught that morning) beluga caviar flown in by the kilo for parties. Right time, right place, right cost. And if anyone ever invents time travel, I'm there again with a big glass spoon!

                                                                                                  My second husband used to bring home lobster by the dozen when he went to Boston on business trips. One trip he brought back three dozen and we had a sit down dinner for twelve, daring anyone to finish three lobster! Then a power failure that lasted THREE DAYS hit and I only had six lobsters cooked. Everyone ended up feasting on half a lobster and the huge chocolate torte I had made and a lovely home made dessert wine from one of the guests. We bought a lot of dry ice keeping the lobsters edible until the power came back on. They were delicious!

                                                                                                  When I lived in Turkey and was desperate for Mexican food, my mother used to send me care packages of canned corn tortilas, Hormel canned tamales, and refried beans. You cannot imagine how good canned corn tortillas can be when they are the only show in town!

                                                                                                  I frequently send birthday cakes to my kids. There's a lovely bakery in New York, a couple of places that specialize in decorated birthday cakes and even will include candles and party hats. But to date, the very best one was from Neiman Marcus. It went to my daughter and her husband, who almost share birthdays (two days apart), and the packing of the cake was remarkable, including dry ice, and they only charged me $9.00 for overnight shipping despite the fact that the website listed a lot more. At a time like that, you don't ask questions. Maybe it's because they felt I'm a home town girl living in the Dallas 'burbs?

                                                                                                  Of course, I've had See's chocloates flown in whenever I did not live in California. They're really magic. Eat a pound, gain two!

                                                                                                  And then there's a little hole in the wall pizza place in Bedford, Mass, called "Steve's" that has the greatest cheese steak sandwiches known to man! Grilled on the flat top, piled into a mini-baguette, piled high with cheese and finished in the pizza oven. Incredible! And EVERY time my husband flew to Boston, which was three to six times a year, I would implore him to bring at least one back for me. And he would board the plane with just one.... And eat it before he got home. I think that was a heavy contributor to the divorce. Couldn't he have bought enough so that at least one made it home? <sigh> Husbands I have known and loved and left behind with just cause! '-)

                                                                                                  1. guilty! Jeni's Ice Cream from OH; order twice a year our family favs. 100's of vanilla beans from CA. Maine lobster. Maryland crabcakes. Washington apples. French chocolates. Pretzel rolls from PA. Pizza supplies from an Italian deli in PA (just for a party). So many more. I keep a mad for food account just for this crazy habit of mine.