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Dec 13, 2010 10:19 AM

Help Wanted: Local Gift Ideas for Irish Friend

I traveled to Dublin, Ireland for Thanksgiving and got robbed of my money and camera by a group of idiots...a wonderful gentlemen who witnessed the ordeal ended up helping me by calling the police and lending me some money. I'd like to send him a package with some local goodies to say 'thank you'. I definitely want the items to be quintessentially Texan.

So far, I have bought a 6-pack of Saint Arnold's Christmas Ale and Real Ale's Coffee Porter (yes, I realize you're not supposed to mail alcohol...I'll take my chances).

I think I'm also going to buy a jar of El Fenix Salsa. Out of all the jarred salsas I have tried, I find that one to be the best combination of flavor and spice.

I'm thinking some pecan pralines would be a good gift, but really don't know where to go to get an excellent version.

Any ideas on where to get some southern confections, or maybe some ideas on other "Texan" gifts I can buy? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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  1. With the excellent beer and ale selections available in the UK, do you really want to send alcohol?

    I would look at some of the online sites that specialize in Texas food gifts and send them a gift basket. You'll know the products will be properly packed and will withstand the overseas trip.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Scagnetti

      Unfortunately, Dublin does not benefit from the wonderful selection of beers that you're able to get elsewhere in Europe. Their beer selection is very limited...most bars have the following, and only the following, beer offerings: Guinness, Carlsberg, Smithwicks, Budweiser, Miller, Bulmer's Cider, and Paulaner. Beer stores are much the same. I searched high and low for some local beers, or anything resembling a great international beer list, and only found two functioning breweries, and one bar with an international beer list.

      So, in summary, yes, I think sending alcohol would be a great idea.

      I'll check out the recommendation, CocoaNut.

    2. Agree with Scagnetti. Fredericksburg Farms has great selections - baskets, samplers or I imagine they'd make one to your liking. I've never tried their salsas, but the glazes and sauces are very good.

        1. re: luniz

          Oh, I wish! That would be awesome. I just looked at their transit map and they only ship within the U.S. That's the kind of stuff I'm looking for, though. All ideas welcome.

        2. for what it's worth, Misty, I have FedX'd a bottle of wine to France, and it was delivered without any problems. I declared it as grape juice. As I recall, this was pre 9/11, so today's landscape may be different. Wish you luck.

          1. A pint glass from Franconia in McKinney and perhaps one from Rahr in Fort Worth would make good gifts from a drinker.

            I would send him some tortillas both corn and flour. Best corn I have found that are mass produced are El Milagro brand available at Central Market. Wrap them up pretty securely and they should do well.

            If you want you could send him some Zamykal Kolaches....would be my vote for the best.

            A unique gift might be some local to Austin produced sauerkraut. I have all the different varieties and love them all. If you can find her she is at one of the many F.M.'s in Austin. I bet she would be willing to ship some to you or to Dublin.

            Not sure if you are FedExing but a good cheese would pair with those beers and Veldhuizen comes to mind or even some of Paula Lambert's Smoked Scamorza

            Some jerky perhaps from Woody's in Centerville

            Spicy Landjager or even some frozen brats from Kuby's in Snider Plaza

            Some chocolates from Dude Sweet Chocolate

            Maybe some pecans....tons of vendors for those.

            Just a start!

            5 Replies
            1. re: LewisvilleHounder

              For pralines I have friends in Canada that beg every year for pralines from Pulidos in Benbrook. I love them too!

              1. re: texaspeppers

                Tortillas is a great idea. Definitely going to go that route. Also I was thinking about buying some local chocolates, so I'll take you up on the Dude Sweet Chocolate recommendation. And I'd love to send him some of Paula's cheese...just not sure about the shipping aspect of it. I'll go up to the store and talk to someone about it. I'm sure they'll have great recommendations.

                Pint glass from Rahr has been secured. Going to check out the praline recommendation...will be picking up some for myself, too. ;)

                You guys are awesome. Many thanks.

              2. re: LewisvilleHounder

                On the Italian front, not saying we are better than Philly or NYC.

                I fogot about Blumetti's pasta sauce is made here in Dallas.

                Also some dried pasta from Phil Civellos over close to Jimmy's

                Texas Olive Ranch Oilve Oil, particularly the Mesquite Smoked

                Basalmic Vinegar
                I would go with Texas Hill Country Olive Co. Their original is the most balanced I have had since I was in Italy several years back.

                1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                  I love that Texas has good, local products of the Italian variety, but our recent experience of living in Dublin for 1 1/2 years was that they have excellent Italian markets and restaurants available in the city.

                  As suggested above, BBQ sauce and salsa are great ideas. We made our own because you just couldn't find any worth eating. Pecans, too, maybe with a pie recipe? They were pretty much non-existent over there.

                  Oh, and Hershey's chocolate. Yes, I know it isn't Texan and this isn't WW II, but my friends there would crave Hershey's. Where you can find it, it's crazy expensive.

                  Great idea, BTW

                  1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                    I just placed an order for the Mesquite Smoked olive oil. Thank you for that recommendation.

                    And lvandavgv, BBQ sauce is a perfect idea. Any particular brand you are fond of? I'm not huge on BBQ sauce myself so I really haven't tried many varieties.