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Mar 14, 2012 07:56 PM

Looking for good food "souvenir" from Alameda County

I am out here on business trip for one more day, and I would like to take home an interesting & unique food souvenir for my wife which is distinctively local to the area (if not Alameda County around Fremont, then SF area in general would be OK). Can't require refrigeration on the long plane trip back to East Coast or be too bulky. I'm thinking some kind of candy or baked goods perhaps (?). For example, if I was bringing back something from Buffalo NY, it might be sponge candy....from Ohio, maybe 'buckeyes'....from Vermont, maple sugar candy......from Detroit, a can or two of Vernor's pop....that kind of thing. Any suggestions, please help ! Thank you.

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    1. re: GH1618

      Not a bad idea -- some salumi from Fra Mani might be good. Something from a local chocolatier. Did you know that historically, both salumi and chocolate were local products because the climate is ideal? From Alameda Country, you could take wine, or olive oil. It's expensive, but Wente makes some amazing olive oil from 100+ year old trees. Olivina is another Alameda Country producer that is available in some stores. And finally, from Fremont ... Afghan sweets. Check out the Afghan and/or Persian markets.

    2. Acme bread, two bakery locations in Berkeley and at retail locations (even Costco). The only problem is it's best eaten w/i 24 hours but if you get it home you can freeze it and it makes great toast. I'd get a baquette to eat. The sour batard is the closest thing to old school SF sour dough there is. Perhaps some Hangar One vodka.

      If you're flying out of OAK, you can get See's candy and Boudin sour dough bread at the airport. See's isn't Alameda but it's definitely California.

      1. How about coffee? Lots of local roasters (Blue Bottle, Mr. Espresso) and packs easy. I second the Framani salumi, sturdy and no refrig needed.

        1. June Taylor jams, made in her "still room" in Oakland--esp. the those w/ fruits that you can't get back east as readily (eg. blood orange, meyer lemon).

          1. Many thanks for all the replies & great suggestions ! I really appreciate it as a visitor.

            Ended up bringing home a box of assorted chocolate creams from Knudsen's in Castro Valley which was just a couple of miles from where we were working. Before leaving, I also took a 'side trip' up to Oakland and had an excellent ice cream sundae ----chocolate peanut butter crunch flavor---- at Fenton's (obviously that would've been a little difficult to bring home on the plane with me so I had it all to myself :-() Needless to say, the small sundae was more than enough...I did see comments on Internet about some folks feeling that Fenton's was a bit pricy but I did not think that was the case given the quality (plus I am probably used to big city prices).

            Nice area to visit, albeit for business way of a trip report, during my stay, I also really enjoyed Sunday dinner buffet at Bombay Garden in Fremont (or was it Newark ?), as well as lunch at Oasis Grill (terrific chicken shwarma, good value for price, nice 'side' salad with it), Taqueria Senaida (very tasty chimichanga platter, ate on the picnic table outside by the walkup window), and El Taquito (huge burrito platter, friendly & quick service).....the latter 3 all in Hayward within a few minutes drive from the office.

            Finally, when I was at the SFO airport waiting for my flight home, I did check out the See's candies and loaves of bread at the vendors near the gate. Passed on the See's offerings since I already had the Knudsen's assortment, and almost bought one of the rounds of sourdough but the dates on the bag in which it was packaged seemed a little less than optimal. Next time.....

            Thanks again :-)

            3 Replies
            1. re: bakersma

              Thanks for the report! I can't believe I've lived in the East Bay all my life and never heard of Knudsen's! Sometimes it takes an outsider to give you a fresh look.

                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                  The grand old ice cream and candy place in Castro Valley is Loard's - started going there over 50 years ago, had my first mocha chip cone from them and have never once changed my favorite ice cream flavor since -- and now get it as McConnell's Brazilian Coffee Chip which is even better than Loard's, but Loard's always gets the nod in the Castro Village when in town. And always one swing past Kaspers or Casper's for their simply lovely hot dogs.