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SF-flavored Xmas gift for a foodie?

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My sister's a huge foodie and her boyfriend is a young but very handy chef in Texas. They're young and live like college students, so the best cooking they get to do is at the restaurant, rather than at home.

Any SF-specific gifts I should think of getting them for Christmas this year that would keep well over a flight or two? I'm already bringing them some local and homebrewed beers they requested in my checked luggage, but I have room for a lot more in my bag. Some rare ingredients, something San Francisco-flavored, or just really special would be nice - whether food or food-related.

Any ideas? Thanks, guys.

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  1. Pig products nduja and chicharrones.
    http://www.boccalone.com/
    http://www.4505meats.com/chicharrones/

    1. Not rare, just delicious:
      Hit any of the farmers' markets for California grown nuts, honey, and dried fruit. Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and candied versions of the same.

      Take a look at the various La Cocina companies, either at the farmers' market or at a place like Canyon Market in Glen Park. I'm very fond of Sabores del Sur's alfajores with dulce de leche, but there are a lot of other homemade sweets like Claire's Squares, Kika's Treats, etc.

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      Canyon Market
      2815 Diamond Street, San Francisco, CA

      Sabores del Sur
      712 Bancroft Road Suite 236, Walnut Creek, CA 94596

      1 Reply
      1. re: Windy

        I second La Cocina companies' treats. As a matter of fact, if you are around on Friday they are having a gift fair in the Mission http://www.lacocinasf.org/classes-wor...

        I also like to steam a few large dungeness crabs if I'm heading to visit someone non-West Coast during crab season. They are easy to transport once cooked.

      2. Maybe some exotic Rancho Gordo beans.

        Local liquor booze from Anchor, Hangar One, or St. George.

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        Rancho Gordo
        1924 Yajome St, Napa, CA 94559

        1. Crab and sourdough from Alioto Lazio

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          Alioto-Lazio
          440 Jefferson St, San Francisco, CA

          1. The gift of booze is a spiritual thing. I like it.
            A nifty fall-back position is a pair of rt Jet Blue/whatever tickets: Somewhere in Texas airport to SFO.
            If you can't bring San Francisco to the Texans, then bring the Texans to San Francisco. They should like this.

            1. Agree on the nduja and the 4505 chicharrones, and definitely the Rancho Gordo beans. I'll add chocolates from Recchuti (especially the fleur de sel), some good jams from Blue Chair Fruits, and if you can get to the bakery the day of or the day before your flight, some good breads and pastries from any of the great Bay Area bakeries (Tartine, Acme, Thourough). You could also see if Meyer Lemons are out in stores when you leave, some of those can go in your carry on and are hard to get outside of California.

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              Rancho Gordo
              1924 Yajome St, Napa, CA 94559

              5 Replies
              1. re: JasmineG

                I think they grow Meyer lemons in Texas. You can get them right now, although it's still early in the season.

                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                  Supposedly November through January is peak season for Meyer lemons around here, though they are grown in Texas.

                2. re: JasmineG

                  Bread, bread, bread.

                  Remember, bread was the one thing that came out in the "what does SF do better than NYC". If I was homesick for SF, and you brought me a baked-that-morning Acme sour batard, I would swoon.

                  Hint: put it in a plastic bag when you pick it up from the store. Paper is better if you're eating it at home, but plastic is better for transit.

                  Second place: crab. You could probably pack 3 or 4, cracked and cleaned but not picked, get some dry ice if it's a long flight (how does the TSA feel about dry ice?) Crab seems problematic, but cool if you pulled it off. You'd have to eat it that night.

                  Chocolates: retucci, xox, guitard (is guitard available everywhere, in all its flavors?)

                  Hangar One can be bought anywhere. If you had a source for a wine that was special to you and unavailable elsewhere, you would have already mentioned it. Maybe they sell stuff at the distillery they don't export (like what happened to that blue bottle coffee liquor?) It has to be something perishable - hard to export - but not too hard to export - that would be bread.

                  1. re: bbulkow

                    Acme levain travels well in a zipper bag. The texture of the crust is ruined, but it's good toasted for days.

                    1. re: bbulkow

                      Wife flew out to Casper with 4 crabs in her checked-in luggage. We bought and cooked the crabs the night before. Froze them and put them in a padded lunch bag (without additional ice) in the morning before the flight. They were still chilled by the time she got in at Casper 8 hours later and they had them for dinner.

                      It would be even better if you can bring them over live. Just saw that there are vending machines in China selling live crabs. They go into quasi hibernation when kept at a few degrees above freezing. I might experiment bring live crabs back to the east coast in a couple of weeks.

                  2. Blue Bottle coffee, if they are coffee-drinkers. Olive oil - Stonehouse, McEvoy Ranch, Bariani, or your personal favorite (yes, you can buy these widely in some places, but you're bringing it direct!). Frog Hollow or Blossom Bluff dried fruit.

                    If you can transport some cold items, Cowgirl Creamery cheese or Fatted Calf products.

                    Maybe not so SF - but truffle salt or other spices are easy to transport, and always nice for the less well-to-do.

                    1. The La Cocina and Rancho Gordo suggestions are worthwhile ones from my POV. Beans aren't hard to come by, but I doubt you can find the selection of heirloom varieties that they offer in most places. They can be a revelation if you like beans and haven't had them before. Get 'em at the Ferry Building out in front on Saturdays or at Rainbow Grocery. Does Berkeley Bowl carry them?

                      What about a loaf or two of Anna's Daughter's Rye Bread? It's an old world bread that uses fermentation instead of yeast. It's sour chewiness is not for everyone, but I love it. You can find this sort of bread here and there around the US, but it's not everywhere by a long shot.

                      http://annasrye.com/

                      Maybe some good farmers market produce that we see here that don't necessarily appear elsewhere all that often. Not certain what that would be in this case. Maybe some heirloom apples, unusual varieties of persimmons, etc. But maybe those things are readily available in certain parts of Texas.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: maigre

                        If they enjoy a tasty chocolate, how about the sea salt caramels at Hooker's Treats?

                        http://hookerssweettreats.com/

                      2. Sucre Punch are boozy gel candies made locally, sold at Cask (3rd and Market) $8.

                        1. Kika's Treats and Bacon Peanut Brittle from Humphrey Slocumbe. There is a great salt selection at Spice Hound at 331 Cortland.

                          -----
                          Spice Hound
                          331 Cortland Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110