Mail order of popular local dishes fosters a sense of place

Sending food and gifts is an easy way to spread the holiday cheers when you are socially away. And when you order your local favorites from local or local restaurants, a little nostalgia and a sense of place will be added to your gift.

This year, many local restaurants and food companies that previously did not offer mail-order have pivoted to respond to the situation. With a little digging and brainstorming, you’ll find robust and fun choices from ice cream to alcohol, barbecues to bagels.

First, think about local and homemade dishes. Perhaps it’s the food you’ve grown up and enjoyed, or something specific to where you live now, and you want to share it with your mom or your best friend. Check out the websites of bakeries, coffee shops, jam companies and cheese makers to see what they have to offer in terms of shopping and shipping. Calling a store and talking to someone is never a pain.

Alternatively, visit a site like This site introduces local and artisan dishes from all over the United States.

For example, if your barbecue lives or grows in a great place, there’s a lot to explore. Family-owned Smoky John’s is a Dallas facility founded in 1976. Fans can now send barbecue sauce and barbecue love anywhere in the country. You can order batches of gala-style hot sauce, barbecue sauce, and spice mix from South Carolina’s minority and women-owned Charleston Lilies.

Or send a real barbecue (ribs, pulled pork, brisket) from your favorite places such as Joe’s Kansas City or Rendezvous in Memphis, Tennessee.

Bagels and salmon bring New York City right in front of you (local favorites include Zuckers, Zabar’s, H & H; bagels); Cheese reminds me of Wisconsin. Lobster is a Maine calling card (,

Coffee is another great category of mail order, with many individual locations and small chains included in the game. D’Amicos in Brooklyn has enthusiastic fans, including Tandem in Portland, Maine and the non-profit Kusanya Café. A coffee cafe on the south side of Chicago.

Of course sweets. Baked sweets, chocolates and other sweets. Dandelion chocolate in San Francisco, or the Bronx sol cacao chocolate bar in New York City. Buttercream Bakery Baking Kit in Washington, DC, River Street Sweets Praline in Savannah, Georgia, Garrett Popcorn’s salty sweet cheddar caramel corn mix in Chicago.

It’s also a great way to go for local sake. Obviously, there are hundreds of small beer, spirit and winemakers. If you need help sifting through your choices, check out Craft Beer and Cider (from the US) Tavour and Independent Winemaker (from all over the world) Naked Wines. ..

Shipping ice cream is also a fun and unexpected gift, and many people deeply miss the local ice cream spot. Places such as Philadelphia’s Bassett, Harlem’s Sugar Hill Creamery in New York, and Cincinnati’s Greaters (black raspberry chocolate chips are legendary).

Goldbelly founder and CEO Joe Ariel states that from the beginning his mission has been to deliver comfort through food and is more welcome than ever. At this point last year, food makers have almost doubled (more than 700), orders have doubled, and business is on track, he says.

Ariel, of course, says that classic American comfort food stands out. The number of Perbaked pizzas and frozen pizzas, which are the most beloved pizza makers in the United States, is increasing rapidly, and various styles such as New York style (Jaws pizza), Chicago deep dish (Low Marnatis), Detroit style (Buddy’s pizza) are expressed. I have.

Fried chicken such as Hatty B’s hot chicken in Nashville, Tennessee, and Harlem’s Marcus Samuelson’s hot honey chicken and cornbread waffle kit are also popular.

Another popular mail-order sale that incorporates local and regional flavors is the sourdough bread bowl with San Francisco clam chowder. Key lime pie in Key West, Florida. (Of course) Philly cheesesteak from Philadelphia. And biscuits from all over the world.

Is this a supplement to a large family meal with everyone at the same table? of course not. But as we survive this socially distant holiday season, a little comfortable food that evokes a sense of place can be of great help. And we are happy to support the struggling food business by sharing our love for food with family and friends.


Katie Workman writes regularly about Associated Press foods. She has written two cookbooks, “Dinner Solved!”, Focusing on family-friendly cooking. And “The Mom 100 Cookbook”. She blogs at She can be contacted at

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Mail order of popular local dishes fosters a sense of place

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