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Feb 8, 2014 07:24 AM

Miami/South Florida Foodie Gifts

So I'm visiting Chicago in a few days and know four people there who grew up in South Florida many years ago. I was wondering what foodie gifts would be great for them that I could carry into my luggage. In other words, if you moved someplace so much more American and in colder climes, what is it that you would miss from Miami that you would ask your friends to bring that you may not be able to get over there?

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  1. Pastelitos
    Uncracked Stone Crabs
    Pan con lechon
    Cuban sandwich

    1. Key lime pie would be great but I don't know how you would get it into your luggage.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Alfred G

        Yes forgot that one. That would be #1

        1. re: The Chowfather

          How would you even pack a pie? Plus I think pie shops are more common in the north than down here. You don't think they would make a good key lime?

          And I thought about stone crabs but am not sure if it'll stink up my whole luggage if I can't keep it frozen long enough. And the sandwiches too but I think it would get mushy by the end of the day when friends get out of work.

          Pastelitos are a good idea though as they hold up pretty well. I may couple them with Don Pan's golfeados as well. Both are extremely rare outside of Miami.

          1. re: mialebven

            I've brought home those chocolate covered Key Lime coconut patty things that come in a small box & can also be found at Publix & the airports in FL (although cheaper at Publix!). My friends & coworkers love them! I believe they also come in a mango flavor.

      2. It is Caribbean not Floridian...

        But I might bring a jar of Walkerswood Jerk Seasoning.

        I'm a big jerk fan and you don't get that flavor up north.

        Many bigger Publix and WD have it. Try to get WW brand, others are not nearly as good.

        And get the rub/seasoning, not marinade nor bbq sauce. Here it is:

        1 Reply
        1. re: CFByrne

          I think this is a great idea as one of my friends are very much into grilling. I imagine it could be found in NYC with the city having one of the largest population of people from the Caribbean but it may be hard to find in Chicago.

        2. Also.. Whole Foods carries refrigerated plastic containers of Conch Chowder from Keys Fisheries...

          And it is pretty darn good. You could freeze a few and wrap them up or something...

          In the refrigerated case in the Seafood section at Whole Foods.

          5 Replies
          1. re: CFByrne

            I am a fan of Braswell's red pepper jelly. I can find it in at least two food stores in NYC, but it is much more pricey than in Florida. Publix carries it.


            1. re: erica

              I'm intrigued by this - I may get this for myself as well - what kind of cheese do you pair this with?

              1. re: mialebven

                Mild cow or sheep's milk....Manchego is an easy one. But I am not a cheese expert, so maybe get other responses to this question.

                Apart from cheese pairings, I've been eating it every morning while wintering in Florida.

                Whole grain toast from Old School Bakery in Delray. Cover with the red pepper jelly. Top that with either drained Greek yogurt, ricotta or farmer cheese. (You have to put the jelly on first, as it is hard to spread it on top of the soft yogurt or farmer cheese).

                You can also stir into salad dressing, and use instead of, or along with, mayo, on a sandwich of sliced deli meat, or cheese.

                1. re: erica

                  Btw, it is only $2.69 at Publix. Very inexpensive for a gift! :)

                  1. re: mialebven

                    Right! They have a couple of other flavors that I've not tried.

            1. re: gourmoo

              What kind of citrus can you buy in Florida that is unavailable in Chicago? (Honeybell season is just about over, I believe, and in any case we can buy them in the north). Key limes, Meyer lemons are sold up north, but might make a nice gift anyway, for someone who will use them.