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Presents for Hungry Times : Your Cheese Is in the Mail

December 12, 1991|KATHIE JENKINS

Hate the thought of plunging into the holiday shopping melee? It's easy to avoid; simply get your gifts by mail. While the packaging on these products may not be fancy, these are wonderful products that anybody would be happy to find under his tree. A reminder: on most products shipping is extra, which can sometimes double the cost.

Aidells Sausage Co., 1575 Minnesota St., San Francisco, Calif. 94107; (415) 285-6660.

These rich and hearty sausages come to you from Bruce Aidells, a former medical researcher who renounced science for sausage. There are 15 preservative-free varieties to choose from including Burmese curry, chicken apple, duck and low-fat smoked turkey. Sausages start at $6 a pound; minimum mail order is five pounds. Visa, MasterCard; cutoff for Christmas orders is Dec. 18.

C&C Market, Church Street, Barton, Vt. 05822; (802) 525-3444.

There's no better place to order your holiday ham than C&C market. The Comstock family has been smoking meat over corn cobs since 1894 and they know how to do it right. A whole, skinless/shankless ham, arrives fully cooked in a plain cardboard box; the aroma is as overwhelming as a campfire. The price is reasonable at $3.69 a pound (for 14 pounds or more). Billed open account; cutoff for Christmas orders is Dec. 16.

Cafe Fanny, 1619 5th St., Berkeley, Calif. 94710; (800) 441-5413.

Alice Waters adapted her mother's recipe to make a delicious blend of oats, honey, canola oil, sunflower seeds, almonds, wheat germ, sesame seeds and raisins. What she ended up with is a granola so good you forget it's good for you. A minimum order of five pounds ($18.75) is required for mail order; Visa, MasterCard; cutoff for Christmas orders is Dec. 19.

Chateau D'Lanz, 18930 59th Ave. NE, Arlington, Wash. 98223; (800) 722-0068.

For that licorice lover in your life, this is the best you can buy. It's hand-mixed and hand-poured and made from real licorice root. Each drop is about the size of a quarter, contains only 10 calories and takes about three minutes to chew. Three two-ounce bags ($10) is the minimum order. Major credit cards; cutoff for Christmas orders is Dec. 18.

D'Artagnan, Inc., 399 St. Paul Ave., Jersey City, N.J. 07306; (800) DARTAGN.

Thanks to express mail, instant haute cuisine arrives at your door in impeccable condition. That's why restaurants and caterers throughout the country buy from this firm that is famous for its foie gras, fresh game birds and game meats. A one pound terrine of lightly seasoned foie gras is $49.95; saddle of wild boar (15-20 pounds) runs $12.50 per pound. Visa, MasterCard and American Express; cutoff for Christmas orders is Dec. 16.

Mani's Bakery, 519 S. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, Calif. 90036; (213) 938-8800 or (800) 435-5355.

Mani Niall's healthy desserts contain no refined sugars and minimum amounts of fats and oils. For the perennial dieter on your list, consider a dozen hand-rolled chocolate truffles made without sugar and dairy free ($25 per dozen). Visa, MasterCard and American Express; cutoff for Christmas orders is Dec. 18.

Pam Sherman's Bakery, 2914 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis, Minn. 55408; (612) 824-0604.

Pam Sherman's fat, crunchy pepper breadsticks look too much like Lincoln logs to make your table look chic. But pick up one of these innocent sticks, take a small bite . . . and wait. At first you get a fresh buttery flavor; 15 seconds later the pepper kicks in. An 11 3/4-ounce box of breadsticks (about a dozen) costs $5.50, including postage and handling; there is, however, a three-box minimum for mail orders. Visa, MasterCard; cutoff for Christmas orders is Dec. 16.

The Peanut Shop of Williamsburg,, P.O. Box GN, Williamsburg, Va. 23187; (800) 637-3268.

What do these goobers have going for them? They taste good. The jumbo, meaty nuts are cooked daily in peanut oil without additives or preservatives, and are shipped directly to you in a classy can. A 2 1/2 pound tin (salted or unsalted) costs $12.95. Visa, MasterCard; cutoff for Christmas order is Dec. 13.

Sunrise Bakery, 1813 3rd Ave. East, Hibbing, Minn. 55746; (800) 782-6736.

Potica (po-TEET-sah) is a traditional Slovenian holiday sweet bread, filled with fresh-ground walnuts, sweet butter and rich honey. This bakery has been baking potica for 78 years. A pound is $6.95. Visa, MasterCard; cutoff for Christmas orders is Dec. 16.

Vella Cheese Company, P.O. Box 191, Sonoma, Calif. 95476-0191; (800) 848-0505.

Made in California's Sonoma Valley since 1931, Dry Monterey Jack is an all-natural, Parmesan-style cheese. Aged seven to 10 months, the pale-yellow cheese has a sweet nuttiness and is more versatile than almost any other cheese. Eat it plain. Grate it on pasta or risotto. The cheese will keep indefinitely and only gets better. An 8-pound wheel is $44; a half-wheel is available for $25. Major credit cards; cutoff for Christmas orders is Dec. 16.

Yerba Santa Dairy, 6850 Scotts Valley Road, Lakeport, Calif. 95453; (707) 263-8131

The dairy's signature cheese, a hard, pungent wheel of aged chevre, arrives wrapped in white paper. It has a granular texture almost like asiago. It's a good accompaniment to fruit and it perks up pasta. A four-pound wheel is $24. Billed open account, net 10 days; cutoff for Christmas orders is Dec. 14.

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