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May 12, 2010 10:18 AM

Need ideas for New Orleans food gifts to bring back for co-workers

My co-workers are always bringing back edible presents for us whenever they take vacations. Well now it's my turn. I'm taking recommendations on what to bring back for them that would be distinctively New Orleans but not too esoteric that it wouldn't appeal to a wide array of tastes.

My first thought was some charcuterie from Cochon Butcher, but not sure if one can put a bow on that and make it a distinctive gift.

Other options would be candies and sweets. Like from Charleston, SC a favorite of ours are honey-roasted pecans from Market Street Sweets.

Cochon Butcher
930 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130

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  1. Aunt Sally's Pralines. Yum.

      1. re: mrsfury

        I wholeheartedly second mrsfury on the Zapp's, specifically the spicy creole tomato flavor. Hubig's pies were consumed for breakfast each day of my last visit, a strawberry one to be exact. Many flavors to choose from, lemon, coconut, apple, chocolate, pineapple, peach,and sometimes blackberry and blueberry when in season.

        Pralines are also a winner for folks who like things really sweet. Sweet potato cookies are wonderful at Jazz Fest but I can't recall who sells them.

        1. re: roro1831

          For Sweet Potato cookies, Loretta's Pralines @ N. Rampart & Frenchmen in the
          Mariginy. Just the best ones. They ship too.

          If your budget allows, boxes of chocolates from Sucre on Magazine are tres chic!
          Absinthe truffles,

          PJ's and CC's coffeehouses also have Louisiana food gift ideas.

      2. Zapp's will ship so that you need not pack...things that people I kow like, and that are easy to pack, are bottles the various hot sauces..Crystal is a locla favorite, always said to be hot but also with flavor, plus the Bruce Foods products (Louisiana Hot Suace) which is out of New Iberia. I have had success with Konriko rice products...pecan rice, artichoke rice, and the various fish-fry and jambalaya mixes. Camellia Red Beans, of course...local seasonings of any kind, file powder (this last, to be authentic, should come home packaged, preferably in a gerber baby food jar but you don;t see those in town much)

        2 Replies
        1. re: hazelhurst

          I bought some fresh file powder at Jazz Fest in the LA Occupational tent, they were making it as a demo, great tasting stuff.

          And true with the Zapp's, the last couple of times we took some back on the plane the bags opened due to the pressure. Hubig's ship as well.

          1. re: roro1831

            Re; file powder, there are a coupleeofpeople who wander around making it in the wooden tub with the paddle..usually see one at Farmer's Markets...I have enough that I've not been looking for any lately. the Gerber jars I always used to see at store counters out in the country, along with pickled quail eggs.

            I forgot to mention Slap Ya Mama seasonings which are invaluable in that they are without MSG and they have a nifty white pepper version that'll keep 'em guessing at your home cooking prowess

        2. Your first thought was a GREAT thought - Cochon Butcher. I will beg all future travelers coming my way to bring andouille and praline bacon (smaller, lighter, good tiny unusual gift, and it's vacuum-paked)

          Depends if you're shopping for cooks and bakers -- where cane syrup, Slap Ya Mama or Tony Chechere's cajun spice mix or file would be a great gift -- or looking for something to leave out to everyone in the lunch room (sliced up andouille, praline)

          Cochon Butcher
          930 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130

          6 Replies
          1. re: pitu

            pralines are a must. File powder is an acquired taste. I wouldn't do that. There are lots of local preserves and Occhipinti olive salad mix is extraordinary.

            1. re: pitu

              Tony's and Slap Ya Mama are very! salty IMO, just as an fyi, although they are quite popular.

              Besides Zapp's, Hubig's and Aunt Sally's (pralines etc) web stores, Cajun Grocer is a great mail order site I have used many times to mail gifts to out of state friends.

              Cafe du Monde coffee and chickory if you have friends who are java fans.....Careful with packing/restrictions etc Olive Salad, and or Zatarain's creole mustard, dry red beans and rice mix in package or box....

                1. re: roro1831

                  Tony's no salt version contains potassium chloride which is a salt substitute. I wish they would just make it NO salt or substitutes.

                  1. re: Mytah

                    Not a fan of Tony's. It is more of a seasoned salt than creole seasoning. I prefer to mix my own. Recipes can be found in Emeril's, Prudhomme's and Brennan's cookbooks if anyone is interested.

                    Bring back a couple of muffs from Central grocery. They keep/travel well.

                    Emeril's Restaurant
                    800 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130

                    1. re: JazzyB

                      Maspero's on Decatur and Napoleon House (unheated) also will due if you go the muffaletta route (depending on how long your trip is IMO and when it will be consumed. You don't want it sitting out too long especially with all the airline delays now. But you could just eat it yourself while waiting HA)

                      For years I also used to use Paul Prudhomme seasoning (I believe there is a no salt one now)... I (as well) just mix my own currently...

                      You do have a lot of choices that's for sure.

                      Napoleon House Bar & Cafe
                      500 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

                      601 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70130