I'm frequently in the position of travelling and staying with friends, typically former residents of the Bay Area, and I try to bring some tasty food they might miss from their time here. What suggestions do you all have? Please point me in the right direction if you happen to recall any previous threads on this subject--my searching only turned up discussions of packaged things (wine, oil, jam, etc.), which are fine but are not what I'm seeking here.
I'll begin with what I've done in the past:
--Baked goods: If leaving in the morning, I've brought a bag of pastries from La Farine, especially to former residents of North Oakland. (Other nice bakeries occasionally if it fits with my pre-flight itinerary).
--I used to bring the marzipan-like macaroons from the now-closed Phoenix Pastificio on Shattuck, which are pretty durable and are good for longer than pastries. I haven't been to their new restaurant-less location--do they make macaroons there?
--Produce: If it's during one of the periods when Berkeley Bowl is awash in some seasonal fruit, I've brought one of each (for instance, one fall I brought 22 kinds of pears to a friend in Cambridge).
--A query rather than a report: I've considered bringing a half-baked pie from the Cheese Board. Has anyone tried this? Did it survive ok? Since it's bulky, I've refrained from doing so, lest I carry it awkwardly three thousand miles to have it fall apart on me. Anyone know how long can you wait to bake before they go downhill? How are they the next day?