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Food Souvenirs from San Francisco??

Travel Forums North America Food Souvenirs from San Francisco??

1. Posted by MarleneMax (Budding Member 49 posts) 8y

I need to bring some food souvenirs from San Francisco back to Canada. My relatives are expecting something yummy to munch on. What places I should shop at? Any edible suggestions?

2. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 8y

Ghiradelli Chocolates is quite famous, and everyone loves chocolate.

3. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 8y

Sticking with the chocolates and candy theme, I recommend See's Candies. They were founded in 1921 by Charles and Mary See (son & mother) in Los Angeles. They are now headquartered in San Francisco and have several locations.

I love Ghiradelli but See's chocolates and candies can't be purchased at everyone's local grocery. Honestly, get both!

4. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 1993 posts) 8y

You can't go home without a loaf of crusty SF sourdough bread. The top brands include Boudin and Acme, but there are also several other smaller brands. I don't recommend the Parisian brand (just air). The unsliced round loaf is the best for travel since it spoils less, and if you can find wheat, that spoils even less. The very best sourdough is packaged in paper since plastic destroys the crust quality. Sourdough makes the most wonderful toast you ever had.

SF used to be famous for Dungeness Crab too, but now it's mostly frozen shipped down from Seattle.

If you get a chance, visit Rainbow Grocery in the Mission District to see what a great natural food market looks like.

[ Edit: Edited on Jul 8, 2008, at 8:56 AM by Daawgon ]

5. Posted by Calcruzer (Moderator 1989 posts) 8y

If you go to the Bowdoin Bakery right at Fisherman's Wharf, they make sourdough (and other breads) in shapes of various animals, including crabs, lobsters, and bears (fairly unique--and still yummy). You can also get about 35 different types of breads (although sourdough is the best to get in SF).

Also, it is true that you can get Ghiradelli chocolates everywhere, but at Ghiradelli Square (just a few blocks from Fisherman's Wharf), you can get varieties of Ghiradelli chocolate not normally available in their retail stores--or sold any place outside of San Francisco.

See's Chocolates is a nice idea, but you can get that at the SF or Oakland airports--so while it's a nice present and easy to take as a last second gift, it's not really so unique. On the other hand, it is what my mother-in-law asks me to bring her every Christmas when we go visit.

Other gifts that you might take to others are the following:
(1) Fairly unique California wines that are not so easy to find back in Canada
(2) Cheeses from the Sonoma cheese factory that can't easily be found outside of California (I especially think their Old World Portuguese cheese goes great with red wines)
(3) Specialty teas from Chinatown. You can find teas that range from $1 per pound to $300 per pound or more--it all depends upon what you like, and lastly (for the medically inclined)
(4) Ginseng--a very unique plant that is believed to solve tons of medical ailments and also (by some) to extend life and improve your love life. Ginseng comes in over 800 varieties and all of them can be found in Chinatown shops. Be aware that Ginseng is fairly expensive, though.

I also find people like the rice cookers (and other unique cooking items) you can find in Chinatown (and they are really cheap--although they will take up room in the suitcase, I suppose. California brown rice is considered the best in the world, and the sake's not bad either. (I always found it funny that the Japanese chefs on the original Japanese "Iron Chef" show always used only California rice in all their recipes.) Now it's a US show, but they still all use only California brown rice in the rice recipes.

Enjoy.

[ Edit: Edited on Jul 8, 2008, at 10:21 PM by Calcruzer ]