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Video: Go postal! Mail-order gifts

TODAY contributor
updated 12/13/2007 4:27:35 PM ET 2007-12-13T21:27:35

Whether you are shopping for gifts for the gourmand in your life or for your holiday dinner — you can find all the food you need online. Hand-picked from purveyors across the country, here's my list of the best of the best from jerky to chocolate, from mac & cheese to lobster pot pie.

Gingerbread houses
Personalize either a traditional gingerbread house, $65, or a modern gingerbread house, $88, for your own family or for friends. You will have to order no later than December 17th to get one before Christmas (and you will have to pay extra for shipping). From www.redenvelope.com

Parisian Macarons
Almond Macarons come in an assortment of vanilla, chocolate, coffee and raspberry. They have a crunchy shell, but a soft inside — and they taste just at they do in Paris. $26 for 16 pieces from www.payard.com

Ice Cream
This 137-year-old ice cream company in Cincinnati, Ohio, uses a French pot process to make their extra-creamy ice cream. They are most famous for their black raspberry chip, but for the holiday season they also sell old-fashioned peppermint stick, $70 for six pints from www.graeters.com

Lady M Mille Crepes cake has over 20 paper-thin hand-made crepes layered with a light, creamy custard. It tastes like eating a cloud! Expect the cake to serve 12-14 people. $90 from www.ladymconfections.com

Sucre chocolate
New Orleans based Sucre is known for its handmade chocolates. Their New Orleans Collection includes flavors we associate with the famous food town — pecan ganache, rich caramel and dark chocolate ganache with brown butter and almonds. $33 for an 18-piece box, $48 for a 27-piece box; www.shopsucre.com

Recchiuti chocolate
If you are willing to splurge on the chocoholic in your life, then order the Obsession Gift Box from San Francisco based Recchiuti Chocolate. The box comes with assortments of their incredible chocolates, fleur de sel caramels, chocolate covered key lime apples, and pates de fruits, $195. If this is out of your price range, you must try their Fleur de Sel Caramels, $22 for a box of 16. www.recchiuti.com

Manhattan Fruitier is known not only for its delicious fresh seasonal fruit, but also for its beautiful presentation. The willow hamper filled with fruit is pretty enough to be centerpiece. Their Cortland Hamper is $85 and includes 16 pieces of fruit plus either sweet or savory accompaniments. www.manhattanfruitier.com

Truffle Salt
Italian black truffles are air-dried, crushed and then combined with sea salt to form this delicious earthy seasoning. Try on eggs, potatoes, pasta, or just sprinkle some over buttered bread. $28 for a 3.5-ounce jar. www.deandeluca.com

Rosemary, garlic and lavender salt
This Northern California based company grows and dries all of their organic herbs then combines them with fresh sea salt to make the freshest and best tasting seasonings you will ever have. $36 for set of three from www.allstarorganics.com

Smoked turkey and ham
For four generations the Burger family has been curing hams and smoking turkeys and one of each is all you will need to feed a crowd for the holidays. Both come fully cooked and only need heating in the oven. $94 for the Holiday Feast Combo, one 10-12 pound turkey and one 6.5-8 pound spiral cut ham. www.smokehouse.com

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Lobster pot pie
This Maine-based lobster company makes delicious award-winning lobster pot pies. They come in packs of four frozen individual servings, each in a reusable ceramic ramekin so you can practically claim you made them yourself. You can order through December 20th for Christmas delivery. $68.50 for 4; www.hancockgourmetlobster.com

Handmade cheese
In the dead of winter, when you are craving comfort food, pull from the freezer a tray of mac & cheese from Beecher’s. They make it with a combination of their handmade award-winning Flagship and Just Jack cheeses. One tray would make a great side-dish for 14-16 or a main course for 8-12, $37 for one 9” x 13” tray. www.beechershandmadecheese.com

Order from The Texas Tamale Company for the best husk-wrapped tamales — they come straight from Houston, Texas, to your door. Chose from beef, chicken, pork, bean or spinach.  The tamales come frozen; to serve, just steam and eat $63 for 4 dozen. ww.texastamale.com

For the food gift that keeps on giving, subscribe to Artisanal’s Cheese of the Month Club. Each month you receive three artisanal cheeses (about 1 ½ pounds) each at peak ripeness. You  also receive notes explaining each cheese as well as serving and food paring suggestions. The program comes in 3, 6, or 12-month installments, $210 for 3 months. www.artisanalcheese.com

Meadow Farms Smokehouse has been in business in the High Sierras since 1922. Many would argue it's the best jerky anywhere. If you have never tried it then try their Jerky Combo which comes with a sampling of their most popular beef and turkey flavors, $36 for 16 ounces; www.smokedmeats.com.

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