Best mail-order food?
February 6, 2007 9:34 PM   Subscribe

What are the finest mail-order food goods available at reasonable prices? I'm talking best bread, brownies, cakes, fruits, frozen pizzas, cookies -- any recommendations for extraordinary food at not-exhorbitant rates.
posted by shivohum to Food & Drink (32 answers total) 52 users marked this as a favorite
You can get a pretty good chocolate sampler from chocosphere for about $25 or $30. They are one of the most respected retailers of gourmet chocolates. I got a sampler a month ago just on a whim and still haven't finished it all. My wife went absolutely nuts over the Michel Cluizel bars.
posted by rolypolyman at 9:44 PM on February 6, 2007 [2 favorites]

Ultimate Lasagna, as famously prepared by Chef Massimiliano Bartoli at the now-closed Miss Williamsburg restaurant in Brooklyn. This mail-order version of Chef Bartoli's lasagna was featured on the Food Network last year; and although the restaurant has since closed, I spoke with an employee last month who said that shipping would resume for the "ultimate lasagna" later this spring.

Disclaimer: I've never tried it.
posted by cribcage at 9:59 PM on February 6, 2007 [1 favorite]

Mmmm, Michel Cluizel...

To get back to the question, you're probably going to find that a lot of good mail order food is expensive, for several reasons:

- Good food in general tends to be expensive.

- Making a perishable item, like food, to meet an erratic demand (like mail order) is time-consuming. Sourcing ingredients to meet an irregular schedule is time-consuming.

- Shipping food so it gets to you before it's past its prime is expensive.

That said, here are a few recommendations.

Harry and David is a reliable source. Some of their stuff is pretty pricey, but they do have an under $20 category.

Amai Tea and Bake House isn't extravagantly expensive, but the per piece (or per cookie) price ends up being relatively high. Great baked goods and beautiful packaging, though. Would make a great gift.

Slashfood had some recommendations on mail order cheesecake.

And keep in mind the shipping charges... they can really add up.
posted by Samantha at 10:02 PM on February 6, 2007

Any wine of the month club is sure to please. You will discover vintners that you can't resist.
posted by peeedro at 10:15 PM on February 6, 2007

Little Creek salad dressing is amazing. I have no relationship with the owners, although they live nearby. Try the original--you'll be hooked. Donna's dad received the Order of Canada for building the ice roads.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:20 PM on February 6, 2007

Zingerman's has some really nice stuff.
posted by Addlepated at 10:38 PM on February 6, 2007

Peets coffee sells tasty coffee and some reasonably okay tea by mail. Their tea belnds are much better than their single-variety teas.
posted by janell at 10:42 PM on February 6, 2007

Penzey's Spices is not really food, per se, but it's definitely the gourmand's friend.
posted by frogan at 10:51 PM on February 6, 2007

Tuna Guys canned fish. Truly superior albacore, and much cheaper bought by the case than singly. It will forever spoil you for the overcooked, broth-and-gum-added mainstream brands.
posted by goetter at 10:58 PM on February 6, 2007

Wolferman's are reportedly THE best English muffin.
posted by GaelFC at 11:03 PM on February 6, 2007

(Total agreement on Wolferman's)

Zabars has the best bagels, knishes, rugelach, and other New York delicacies.
posted by toxic at 11:11 PM on February 6, 2007

Pete's Caramels are supposed to be amazing. The dude who sells them (Pete) is a high schooler. You can get a sample for a dollar, and he'll refund your dollar if you write a testimonial about it.
posted by rossination at 11:47 PM on February 6, 2007

Forgot the price. $20 for a batch (which is "at least a pound"), including shipping.
posted by rossination at 11:48 PM on February 6, 2007

Enstrom's Almond Toffee.
Oh sweet baby jeezus. It should be illegal, but I am very very glad it's not.
Don't judge the awful 1940's box graphics. It's what's inside that will blow your mind.
posted by artdrectr at 12:13 AM on February 7, 2007

Ippodo Tea Company in Kyoto has been selling some of the best tea in the world for hundreds of years.
posted by spasm at 2:15 AM on February 7, 2007

If you are in the US, try CanAm peameal bacon. It is truly excellent, as good or better than real Canadian stuff.

Keep in mind that many (US and Canada-based) internet shops have only domestic delivery on food due to FDA regulations. Coffee and tea cross the border without issue, though.
posted by crazycanuck at 2:23 AM on February 7, 2007

I agree, Enstrom's toffee is extraordinary. We gave it out to guests at our wedding.
posted by LadyBonita at 3:19 AM on February 7, 2007

Burger's Smokehouse if you're into meats. Their website doesn't do their print catalog (which is amazing food porn) justice.
posted by sourwookie at 5:19 AM on February 7, 2007

Cookies from ruby et violette are so good.
posted by nevers at 6:08 AM on February 7, 2007

Best. Mustahds. Evah.
posted by spinturtle at 7:57 AM on February 7, 2007 [1 favorite]

Modjeskas from Dundee Candy in Louisville. (Their Bourbon Balls are also some of the best around.)
posted by j-dawg at 8:08 AM on February 7, 2007

Gambino's Bakery for Mardi Gras King Cakes.
posted by ColdChef at 8:55 AM on February 7, 2007

Not to threadjack, but does anyone know anywhere to mail-order sushi supplies (especially flash frozen fish) I live far inland, and not near a large city, so no fishmonger.
I know Alton Brown just mentioned this as a method on the recent episode of Good Eats (Wake up little sushi).

I'll second Wolfermans, their muffins blow my mind.. My grandfather orders me a sampler box every year for my birfday.

I also mail-order tea from Rishi, and 'enjoying tea'.
posted by JonnyRotten at 9:06 AM on February 7, 2007

I can vouch for the salty goodness that comes from the Bacon-of-the-month club which has other gifts but it is all about the hog. You can also buy from the artisan bacon people directly as well.
posted by jadepearl at 9:14 AM on February 7, 2007

Vosges Chocolate is a real favorite around here.. yes they are a bit pricey, but seriously worth it - the juxtaposition of different flavors that Katrina makes sounds weird on paper, and is absolutely fantastic in taste.
posted by niteHawk at 9:24 AM on February 7, 2007

I love Fat Witch brownies. Everyone that I've sent them to loves them.
posted by spec80 at 9:27 AM on February 7, 2007

Dale and Thomas Popcorn ... YUM!
posted by jerryg99 at 9:40 AM on February 7, 2007

Rowena's cakes are what I send when I need to do something a little different. I've sent her Almond Rose Cake several times when I can not attend a funeral. They've always been well received.
posted by onhazier at 9:46 AM on February 7, 2007

Holy shit, Collins St. Bakery in Corsicana, TX, home of world-famous fruit cake, but the Apricot Pecan Cake is to die for. Forget the price, you MUST have some. Trust me on this.....
posted by Pressed Rat at 11:01 AM on February 7, 2007

I second Wolferman's. The BEST.
posted by Monkey0nCrack at 1:55 PM on February 7, 2007

posted by klangklangston at 3:03 PM on February 7, 2007

Graeter's famous French pot ice cream. If I were limited to one flavor of ice cream for the rest of my life, I'd strongly consider their chocolate chip; and I'm nearly certain my fiancée would pick their caramel.
posted by cribcage at 3:53 PM on February 7, 2007

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