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Taste of a Nation

We might be living in a culinary capital, but that doesn’t mean the provinces have nothing to offer. We’ve surfed the Web to find edible gifts delicious enough to impress the most jaded New Yorker: Tennessee’s answer to Caspian caviar. A proper English pudding from L.A. Port-steeped proof that fabulous fruitcake isn’t an oxymoron. As for Chicago deep-dish—don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

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Cowgirl Creamery Cheeses
A trio of prizewinning triple-cream and herb-crusted artisanal cheeses crafted from Marin County milk ($55, cowgirlcreamery.com).

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Christmas Cake (a.k.a. fruitcake)
One delicious bite and sinister thoughts of regifting this fruitcake will turn to ones of selfish hoarding ($32, junetaylorjams.com).

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Lou Malnati’s Pizza
Call it sacrilege, but there’s something to be said for the thinner-than-expected Chicago crust and the sauce-over-cheese subversion ($35.95, deepdishpizza.com).

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Blenheim Ginger Ale-Hot
This stuff comes from a century-old South Carolina recipe that walks the line—gingerly—between pleasure and pain ($28.99 for two dozen, beveragesdirect.com).

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Spoonbill Caviar
Who needs Iranian sturgeon when we’ve got these prehistoric Tennessee fish and their creamy, briny, sevruga-like roe ($40 for two ounces, browne-trading.com)?

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Graffeo Coffee
A minimum of choice (dark roast, light roast, decaf) and a maximum of spectacularly rich, full-bodied flavor ($11.50 per pound, graffeo.com).

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Sticky Toffee Pudding
This heat-and-eat date-flavored cake comes with a jar of toffee sauce that lives up to its finger-lickingly sticky name ($15, stickytoffeepudding.com).

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Sourcream Coffeecake
There is no better incentive to wake up than this ultrarich, cinnamon-swirled cake, riddled with walnuts and packed in a nifty wooden crate ($45, zingermans.com).

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Vermont Maple Syrup
What passes for “syrup” on supermarket shelves is a travesty. Your pancakes and French toast deserve better ($9.50 for sixteen ounces, deepmountainmaple.com).

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Photographs by Kenneth Chen; Lou Malnati's pizza photograph courtesy of Lou Malnati's.


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