Someone in Duluth Loves Me…

I’m headed out to Cape Breton in Nova Scotia in a couple weeks to visit some newly formed friends whose daughter attends school here at UMD.   Capers are lovely, hospitable, and will take you in as their very own.  Since they are planning the most authentic, local, Cape Breton experience for me (lobster fishing, sailing, music & pubs) I would like to bring some gifts from Duluth that really reflect the culture here. Something besides a shirt that says, “Someone in Duluth Loves Me” (though I’m not opposed to Ts.)  Keep in mind that things like maple syrup and blueberries are very much a part of their culture given the similar climates.  Wild Rice might be a unique option though.   Thoughts?  What would you bring from Duluth to far away lands?

29 Comments

Claire

about 10 years ago

I like Chris Monroe's "Duluth Does Dylan" t-shirt. Maybe some CDs of local musicians. There's also some Minnesota-made treats at that store next to Duluth Pack, I can't remember its name. That's the kind of stuff I usually bring friends and relatives elsewhere. Except one year, I gave my brother a Jesse Ventura action doll.

vicarious

about 10 years ago

Potholes and ennui?

Sorry, not helpful.

Rhubarb, wild rice, smoked lake trout.

wildgoose

about 10 years ago

You know, one of my favorite bands is from Newfoundland "Great Big Sea."  Not exactly sure how similar the cultures are there and Nova Scotia but if music is half as important there it's still gonna be huge.  I would grab some TBT music, maybe go out to Beaner's Central and pick up a stack of those "One Week Live" local CDs to give an idea of the breadth of local music.  I'm also very partial to the Boomchucks CD.  Maybe grab the Mayor's mix from the Fetus?  Luckily there is so much local music and so varied that you have rich proving grounds there.   

Other ideas.  If you do wild rice go out to Fond du Lac/Cloquet area and get some harvested "wild" by Native American people. Fisher people and others close to the land are going to appreciate such a thing as sustainably harvested, nutritious local food, and there is a difference between "wild" wild rice and the grocery store stuff.  Go to the FDL store and ask for someone who has some, otherwise they sell it there, too.  

Other idea but on the spendy side would be a Duluth Pack or Duluth Pack Gear if it is a family or you could give a group gift.  

+ 1 on the rhubarb, but make it a pie or some bars, maybe a jam whatever is easy enough to transport.

Dave P

about 10 years ago

Last year when we visited India and Bhutan, we brought Lake Superior agates for our host friends, and they were blown away. We got them at that funky little shop at the corner of Lake Ave and Superior St. (which is really worth a visit, just to peruse the eclectic inventory of stuff they carry). We spent between twenty and forty dollars each for a few choice agates, and were amazed by the quality stones you can get there for that price. And so were our Asian friends. Nothing says Duluth like our local gemstones.
P.S. We were stunned to see dead-ringers for Lake Superior agates worked into the ornate detail work on the facade of the Taj Mahal. Go figure.

zra

about 10 years ago

bring 'em some Alakef! roasted right here in town, a stone's throw from the Lake...

Heysme

about 10 years ago

Beer, wine, honey

Mike H

about 10 years ago

A growler from the Brewhouse or some agate jewelry.

laurie

about 10 years ago

Top The Tater!

zra

about 10 years ago

+1 for top the tater...newfies don't know nuthin about top the tater...

Lojasmo

about 10 years ago

Agree with lakers.  Terry's shop is tops.

mk

about 10 years ago

OMG AGATES!  Brilliant.  I'll even donate some from my personal collection complete with full natural history of the life of an agate. I love the idea of beer, but you know... the whole liquid thing and the TSA doesn't mesh.  Same with Top the Tater- could be viewed as terrorist in nature. 

Since I'm a native cheesehead, I will be bringing cheese.  How could I not?

Wildgoose- The music bit is going to be huge for me.  Yeah, Great Big Sea is a more well known band that hails from the islands of  Newfoundland and Labrador that tends to have a bit more sea shanty type music where the Cape Breton scene (different island and province people!) has a more celtic core to it.  The Maritimes are chock full of amazing music and I'm sort of afraid I won't be returning to Duluth as much as I love it here.  And really, who doesn't love Canada?  

Thanks for the tips!!

Mildred

about 10 years ago

Lake Superior  agates are top notch.

I guess taking our cuisine with you isn't really an exciting option, unless your hosts love smoked fish and Top the Tater.

Zeito

about 10 years ago

if they have something they can't catch over there in Nova Scotia, smoked fish from that place in Knife River.

ruby2sd4y

about 10 years ago

I recently gave a niece and nephew some Lake Superior Agates a friend had found and polished from Flood Bay (free) - I also included a few unpolished (free) from my own visit right after a very windy day, along with the Agate the Moose book (priceless really, but $17? I think it was - Duluth/North Shore authors too!), to help illustrate the book's meaning.  Everyone loved the gift. (adults and kids alike)

Ethan

about 10 years ago

I brought wild rice along to Cameroon for my study-abroad experience, and they confiscated it at the airport!  Actually, they told me they could open it and sterilize it, but somehow I thought that would make it into a less impressive gift.

Henry Jenkins

about 10 years ago

I am currently studying abroad, and when I came down here I brought maple syrup (which they didn't understand, and didn't have anything to put it on, so being a true Minnesotan, I just drank it), some stuff from The Blue Heron (Blue Heron kitchen towel things, soap, etc etc).

Oh, and coolest of all, I got my host family all swagged out in ARMC gear (Moon is Down shirts, local music, ARMC beer koozies).

TopOfTheHillMan

about 10 years ago

"Duluth Is A Cool City" t's from Bullseye silkscreening.  I took 24 to family members one year in Australia and they went over big time.  Add a couple issues of Lake Superior Magazine in your gift basket, wild rice (good w/lobster) and of course the state hostess gift-maple syrup.  You will be well received.

bang

about 10 years ago

pasties & gravy

woodtick

about 10 years ago

Agates, gabbro and amygdaloidal basalt..

Bob

about 10 years ago

Lake Superior Stone earrings and necklaces made from Duluth Gabbro. The stones have been smoothed and rounded by wave action of Lake Superior. You can get them at Blue Lake Gallery in Canal Park.

ruby2sd4y

about 10 years ago

Ya really gotta watch the wild rice between countries, as it's considered a 'seed' which could prompt non-native species/weeds/disease, etc., yadda yadda.

When I sent wild rice to my mates in Australia many years ago, WA confiscated it and sent me a threatening letter to the effect of: You do this again and we'll deport you and you'll spend time in gaol... I laughed, bring it, deport me to Australia and set me up in an Aussie Cuntry Club. (note: I'm still here. *cries*)

QLD, and Vic, however, never said boo. My mates in those states got theirs, no dramas.

Go figure.

Then again, different 'things' are 'legal' in each state. heh heh heh

Megan

about 10 years ago

Thanks for the advice on the rice.  It's so odd though-- because the rice is processes (parched, etc.) it can never germinate.  So... what gives?

francenestarr

about 10 years ago

"fabulous granola" from the New Scenic Cafe

zra

about 10 years ago

New Scenic's granola = Third Street Granola.

Claire

about 10 years ago

Maybe some cool art cards from Lizzards? I wonder if they sell my friend John Steffl's cards there, he takes close up photos of flowers, they are AMAZING. There are so many artists in town, I am sure you can find something great and one-of-a-kind. Rick Allen's cards are at Sivertson's, I love his stuff.

Francene Starr

about 10 years ago

Is New Scenic's granola really 3rd Street's?  The guy at Scenic told me they "just made it" last time I was there...maybe he meant 3rd Street just made, it haha.  It is expensive but awesome -- need to check 3rd Street!

Claire

about 10 years ago

they sell some great local products at the New Scenic...

zra

about 10 years ago

@ Francine: I'm fairly certain that it's 3rd St.

They also serve the Alakef there, too...

butt mom

about 10 years ago

I think 3rd Street Bakery makes the best cookies in Minnesota/anywhere.  You can get a dozen in a bag with a cute little label on it.  Good gift from Duluth.

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