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For those who love to cook... what did you buy?

For those who love to cook... what did you buy?

Jan 21st, 2008, 01:08 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 933
How do you guys manage to carry so much stuff home with the airline luggage restrictions!!! I only ever manage 1 bottle of olive oil.
carylspall is offline  
Jan 21st, 2008, 01:18 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Well, living in Europe, most of the things listed I can get in my local supermarket, deli or cookshop. What I do bring home from Spain (or actually the Canary Islands) is roasted paprika powder and Mojo. I love Mojo!
I also brought home some Laguiole en Aubrac knives from the Auvergne in France a few years back as they were considerably cheaper there than here.
From the US I bring back maple syrup if I'm in the right area for it, so I wouldn't bring it back from Ca for instance.
What I get asked to take to people I am visiting includes stroopwafels, drop (licorice) and borrelnootjes (coated nuts). I also tend to take cheese from our local cheese farm - things like stinging nettle cheese are always popular, and, in the season, asparagus from our local asparagus farm.
hetismij is offline  
Jan 21st, 2008, 01:26 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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On the non cookery front I bring Levis back for my sons, embroidery stuff for me, and if I can photography stuff too - like a nice new lens. All are much cheaper in the US. But don't tell the customs in Holland that I do this - officially I am only allowed to bring back €125 worth of goodies withour having to pay taxes on them.
hetismij is offline  
Jan 21st, 2008, 02:26 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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From London, a year's worth of loose-leaf tea & Stilton, Maldon sea salt & don't get me started on Divertimenti. Love that shop but luckily the weak dollar is keeping me in check.
Carrybean is offline  
Jan 21st, 2008, 03:05 AM
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When Scarlett visits the US for a wedding party I suspect it will be Skippy (the Creamy variety of course). Me? Paprika and Fleur de Sel. I used to bring back wine, cheese etc. but found that I could buy those here more cheaply. I still drool over the Truffled Salsa in Montelchino that got left in the motel fridge!
johnthedorf is offline  
Jan 21st, 2008, 07:34 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Did the same thing. Went to the market in Florence and got Dried Porcinis, Sun dried tomatoes and Cheese. The lady who sold us the Tomatoes and mushrooms also vacuum packed the cheese for us. We also brought back tons of wine and Fleur de sel and of course olive oil.
jay is offline  
Jan 21st, 2008, 07:38 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hi G,

I buy saffron, dried cepes or porcini, olive oil.

I got a very nice corkscrew and a Japanese Mandolin on our last visit.

ira is offline  
Jan 21st, 2008, 07:53 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2007
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Is there a specific and breakproof way to pack your olive oils in your luggage? Because once when the bottle breaks, it will leak all over your luggage.

Hello DeepaSingapore, truffle olive oil seemed to be a great idea especially when a few drops will do the trick.
GoPlanB is offline  
Jan 21st, 2008, 08:00 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 877
I brought back two tubes of paprika paste from Budapest and now wish I had brought a case of the stuff. I also brought back a nice salami sealed in plastic, but customs took that for themselves. I hope the little bag-sniffing beagles enjoyed it.
Zeus is offline  
Jan 21st, 2008, 08:05 AM
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Hi, GoPlanB:

I bring back the bottled stuff inside socks in my suitcase.

I've brought back truffles from the Perigord on occasion, but mostly my neighbor there gives me a couple and we eat them while there. The ones I bring back are in small jars with "juice" and I pack them in socks, too.

I also always buy saffron and dried mushrooms.
StCirq is online now  
Jan 21st, 2008, 08:06 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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From Paris, I brought back mustards, tapenade, truffle oil, and an oil cruet in Provencal pottery that I use daily...love it!

From Italy, I bring back double concentrated tomato paste in tubes, Fiesta orange/chocolate cakes, tuna in olive oil (yes, the tuna IS different!), olive oil with basil, spices from the guy in Campo de' Fiori (the selection is amazing), Parmigiano Regianno cheese (not even from the same planet as Kraft...), Pecorino cheese (love both the Tuscan and Romano varieties, not to mention Pecorino dei Basilischi, very expensive and worth every penny), and of course, Limoncello. I got a really cool set of salad fork & spoon that hangs on the side of your bowl instead of sliding down into the salad at a D Cube, a little shop near Piazza Fico in Rome.

To pack the bottles, wrap in bubble wrap, put in large zip-loc bag, wrap clothes around it. I've never had any break.
SusanP is offline  
Jan 21st, 2008, 08:08 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hi G,

>Some of you mentioned bringing home parmesean, is there any big difference when compared to our Kraft parmesean?

It is Parmigiano Reggiano.

It is not related in any way to Kraft parmesan.

DNA tests show that they it is of a different genus entirely.

>how do you use your porcinis?
Like any other dried mushrooms. They have a very strong flavor.

>truffles! can anyone write something about this fungi that Italy is so renowned for?

It is a fungUS. (two fungi).
Italy is known for its white truffles. France for the black.

Use very, very sparingly. Very strong

You can buy Parmigiano Reggiano by the kilo. Most stores will vacuum pack it for you.

Also look for real Tuscan olive oil. Don't settle for "product of Italy", it can come from anywhere. Make sure it says Tuscany.

In Paris, look for spicy olive oil.

Everyone selling olive oil should let you taste.

ira is offline  
Jan 21st, 2008, 08:47 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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From someone who flys to Europe everyweek and does her grocery shopping there for the "goodies"-just be careful on some of the stuff you bring back in regards to agriculture in the US.
Clotted cream-is usually taken by the ag agents.All cheese must be HARD or it will be taken as sausages or hams that have been cured(see alot of those from Italy and Germany taken away).
Go to the US govt. website on customs and agriculture to check for particulars so you don't lose your treasures.
dutyfree is offline  
Jan 21st, 2008, 09:27 AM
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Ira, if you are still on, what is the difference between Italy's white and Frances black truffles?
I will be going to Rome and Paris and I can buy both but it is nice to know something beforehand.

I also wondered if they sell truffle powder? [I can buy more and easier to carry in this case!!]
GoPlanB is offline  
Jan 21st, 2008, 12:23 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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In France, I buy fleur de sel, olive oil, white wine vingar, dried buillon powder and dried porcini.

In Italy, parmesan, oil and vinegar. (the person who asked about Kraft, needs to go and was their mouth out- meptaphorically speaking).

In Greece dried herbs and olive oil. On one of his trips my husband asked what he should bring from Dubai (he was getting good by this stage) and the whole dinner table, to a man, shouted "Gold!! (and he did, too.)

I once got a fresh white truffle in a deli in London. Never before and never since. Preserved truffles are easy to find, but fresh? fuggedaboutit.

Gadgets? There's not much one can't get at home.

Once, on holiday in the Dordogne, my pals went off to Limoges and brought me back a late birthday pressie which was just the right shape for the Mandolin I'd been lusting after. And it was..... a truffle slicer.
sheila is offline  
Jan 21st, 2008, 12:48 PM
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Foie gras.
logandog is offline  
Jan 21st, 2008, 01:36 PM
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My plan for my upcoming trip? I'm seeking a cruet like SusanP found. I'm buying truffles. Cute bags for groceries from the little shop on the Rue de Rivoli.

And now that Air France flies non-stop, I'll go the bakery early, buy some pastries for my son, carry them on in one of my new cute grocery bags and he'll have them for his afterschool snack the same day.
rosetravels is offline  
Jan 21st, 2008, 02:24 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 350
On our last trip to France I bought back another beautiful tablecloth, a couple of everyday type dishtowels and some sponges.

I have bought back many beautiful things over the years but I really enjoy something that I see and touch everyday...it just brings back France to me.
loveyblue is offline  
Jan 21st, 2008, 03:19 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 115
Great topic!

Last time I went over was my first time in Paris (ahhh, Paris!). I discovered Dehillerin (sp?). Oh holy cow...one of the coolest shops ever, and it's all cooking utensils -- floor to ceiling. I was on a budget (as always), so I got one heavy copper saucepan for my cousin -- a budding gourmet chef. She loves it. I'd love to go back when I can buy more stuff!

As for food, I really need to read up on food rules in Customs. I desperately wanted to bring goodies back (something more adventuresome than the usual chocolates), but I had no idea what I could get away with coming back into the US. Darn...there's always next time, I guess!
Linds is offline  
Jan 21st, 2008, 03:33 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 28
I brought back a paella pan from Spain. I was originally there in high school and college, and it seemed like any women over about 25 looked at us like we were evil. So, when I went back in '94, I was thrilled to find myself in a hardware store sort of place, chatting with a woman around my age (40ish) about which was the best sort of paella pan to buy. It was a great experience, and I do make a mean paella in that pan. Oh, and I also got a churro maker which is pretty much like a cookie press but Spanish!
Kimeryl is offline  

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