Wish I could send her a California Burrito
July 20, 2006 3:56 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to send a birthday care package to a friend who recently moved from California (San Diego) to Massachusetts (Burlington). Suggestions on sending a little Cali love?

So far I have:
- Tea from specialty store in San Diego (Pannikin)
- In N Out Tshirt (she became a fan right before she moved)
- Asian snacks from Ranch99

Anything else? The stuff doesn't have to be food-related, I must be hungry or something.
posted by like_neon to Grab Bag (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Can you do a little bottle or vial of sand, for the beach? Burlington's not very ocean-y. Maybe some California wine?
posted by occhiblu at 4:01 PM on July 20, 2006

Best answer: Avocados, if you can package them right? I know those always go well with sd expatriots.

Or some really good salsa. Not that grocery store crap that's available everywhere, but something authentic.

...when I was a kid, I had a little plastic globe filled partway with water. It had a few little black pebbles, a top hat, and a carrot in it, and the tagline on the front was "San Diego Snowman"... This would be better sent this winter, maybe...
posted by toomanyplugs at 4:04 PM on July 20, 2006

Response by poster: I would love to send her some local brew but from what I can on the internet I can't send her alcohol by mail.

Avocados are an excellent idea, thanks!
posted by like_neon at 4:13 PM on July 20, 2006

Surf Wax. If for no other reason than the smell.

Hot sauce. Specifically, the stuff that comes in those little plastic containers you get from Mexican take-out places in San Diego. Red and green. I have yet to find a source for this stuff outside San Diego.
posted by Brian James at 4:17 PM on July 20, 2006

There is no good Mexican food in the Boston area. I was appalled when I moved there: no one there knows what it's supposed to taste like. (The only decent Mexican restaurant I ever found was a hole-in-the-wall in Watertown, and it eventually closed.)

I don't recall ever finding a good barbecue place there, either. A good barbecue sauce might also be appreciated.

I don't know how this would be translated into a gift, but another thing I could not find in Boston in any restaurant was hash-brown potatoes. Every place serves you something called "home fries", which really suck.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 5:06 PM on July 20, 2006

second avocados. Where I am now, they are $2.50 - $3.00 a piece in the supermarket. Plus when they get slightly ripe they are often full of black regions in the flesh and are at most half usable.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 5:18 PM on July 20, 2006

I don't know how you'd ship one, but it seems our signature food is the fish taco. At the very least you could supply some ingredients--the white sauce and decent tortiallas would seem to be the hardest things to procure in Massachusetts. White fish and cabbage should be pretty easy. I'm not a big fan of avocados myself, but I'll have to second their inclusion in any SD-related care package.

You could also make her place cloudy all May and June. In September or early October, get a giant fan and a heater, set them up in her house or apartment to blow in the opposite direction of the normal airflow, and then light her place on fire. If she has kids, buy some stuffed seals and place them someplace where her kids normally play, and then tell the kids that they can't play there any more because the seals have contaminated the area. Tell her that she's going to have to pay you for you to be her friend, but first she'll have to be audited to make sure she can afford it...then have the company that performs the audit refuse to release their findings, meaning that you can't be her friend any more. In August, have all your friends from Arizona knock on her door and ask if they can stay for a bit. Once they're inside, they should frequently forget where the kitchen is or make sudden changes of direction if they realize they're not in the right place.
posted by LionIndex at 5:27 PM on July 20, 2006

Make a mix tape of Cali songs. And Boca Grande and Anna's are perfectly fine Mexican.
posted by sweetkid at 7:26 PM on July 20, 2006

Trader Joe's cracked wheat sourdough--the east coast branches don't carry it.
posted by brujita at 9:27 PM on July 20, 2006

That's another thing: it's impossible to get decent sourdough bread in Boston. They don't know what that's supposed to taste like, either.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 10:03 PM on July 20, 2006

As for the avocados, I was very surpised when I moved from Southern California to Toronto and found that avocados were much cheaper here. They were $1- 1.50 in California and .79 here in Canada and you can get them all year at any supermarket. So just make sure they are not just as easy to get in Mass. before you go to the expense of sending them.
posted by Melsky at 4:56 AM on July 21, 2006

One thing I really miss from Southern Calif. (outside the sourdough) is the oranges. I told my mother that people eat Valencias here and she was appalled. As am I.
posted by dame at 7:06 AM on July 21, 2006

Best answer: Having myself just moved from southern CA to sticky NY, I can say I would cry with joy if my friends sent me any of the following:

Rubios fish tacos. I know you can't send these, but my god, why are they so delicious?

Avocados, oranges, strawberries... any of the really fragrant fruits.

Tortilla chips and salsa (whatever kind your friend likes.. the hot sauce packets were a good idea too). Get the Guacamole flavored chips for bonus points.

A potted cactus or small palm. I'm shocked after a few months here how green and bushy everything is here. I miss the semi desert atmosphere.

If they have a favorite "ethnic" food / food shop, pick up some basic supplies. I've had a hard time trying to find certain sauces here in the local supermarkets.

Your friend will be very lucky and happy.
posted by Lizc at 7:28 AM on July 21, 2006

I vote for the Rubio's fish taco. You could pack it in an insulated package (like they do with Omaha Steaks?) and send it to your friend by next-day Express. Sounds ostentatious for a taco, but they're worth it! It's the one thing that I miss about SD the most.
posted by Robert Angelo at 9:31 AM on July 21, 2006

el indio or la salsa chilena tortilla chips, and good tortillas. fresh salsa won't ship very well, but hopefully she can make her own. she might also like a framed photo or two of friends from back home, or the beach to put up in her new place.

if she's a nerd like me, she might be happy to get some stuff from comic con too :D
posted by booknerd at 10:49 AM on July 21, 2006

Oh man, LionIndex I just spit my drink all over my monitor... thats f-ing funny!
posted by slim at 3:27 PM on July 24, 2006

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