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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, 03:38 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,337
Regional cookbooks. Even if they are not always easy to understand! Love to learn more about regional/ethnic cooking.

Interesting menus.

Wooden butter molds - I've actually used them!

As much food and spices as possible but we are limited (no perishables such as foie gras or cheeses). Some unique jellies. Always Tradizionale aceto di modena and the best olive oils. Saffron and tons of other spices. Plump vanilla beans. Heather honey. Fleur de sel and Malson sea salt. Mustards. Dried mushrooms we cannot get here.

Would love to bring back truffles - jarred ones just are not the same. Truffle oil isn't really that great, either, unfortunately.
travel2live2 is offline  
Jan 21st, 2008, 09:10 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 971
Cathie isn't it a pain not being able to bring back what we want and then reading about all the wonderful things others bring back.

Last time in Italy I was with English people who were buying up big in the markets in Bologna, able to take all sorts of wonderful fresh and processed foods. We watched in envy as they bough huge chunks of Parmegianno Reggianno and all we could do is watch and be satisfied with the tastings we had there.
aussiefive is offline  
Jan 21st, 2008, 11:01 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,156
oh, yes, second last time I brought a foie gras, a Mont d'Or cheese, a string of espelettes and a string of garlic. I've also been known to carry Dijon mustard, not because we can't get it here, but because it's cheaper there.

We have a wide shelf thing beside the bath in our bedroom, (yes, that's right) and I leave the stuff for going home there. It is regularly suggested that I'm meaning to make soup in the bath!
sheila is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2008, 03:22 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 20,655
A kilo of grey sea salt from the local supermarket, a beurrier conservateur, fancy balsamic vinegar, fleur de sel although I was disappointed by the quality of the last one we picked up in the Camargue (too heavy).

There was mention of no fresh cheeses. Has the rule changed? I thought that any cheese for personal consumption was allowed although my wife and I had given up arguing with customs/agriculture inspectors and have decided to enjoy raw milk cheeses only in the country of origin. We just dream about them at other times.
Michael is online now  
Jan 22nd, 2008, 05:10 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 336
In France this past Fall, it seemed that every restaurant was doing small dishes in shot glasses or tiny white porcelain dishes of varying shapes. We'd often receive an assortment of hors d'oeuvres or a trio of desserts, each in its own little container. So, even though you can find such things here, my friend and I bought little white dishes in charming shapes at A. Simon.

The previous trip, I brought home a giant can of duck confit. And a box of flageolets. So, when the temps here in FL dipped, I made an outrageous cassoulet. We just couldn't stop eating it! I am really regretting not having brought confit back with me this past trip. It is expensive to buy here or a huge pain to make from scratch.
Amy40 is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2008, 08:53 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 84
A number of posts talk about buying Fleur de sel, Malson sea salt and grey sea salt other than cheese, oils and vinegar. What is it about salt that attract us to buy it from such a long distance?
GoPlanB is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2008, 11:13 AM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 27
vacuum-packed parmaggiano-reggiano cheese, olive oil, and aged balsamic vinegar.
Thomarob is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2008, 12:48 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 89

Spain - Paella pans, saffron, and a wonderful chefs knife that I bought in Toledo.

France - creme brulee dishes and wooden gadget to spread the batter around the crepe pan.

Italy - dried porcini mushrooms and more saffron

England - lots and lots of tea!
tammylouky is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2008, 01:02 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 25
Spain- sherry vinegar
Italy- olive oil and wine
France- fleur de sel,wine, calvados
Belgium- chocolate
England- tea
Scotland- whisky

If I can find any regional cookbooks in English I'll buy those, too. I picked up a great one for my mom in Normandy.
jcoz23 is offline  
Jan 24th, 2008, 10:16 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 92
Range-top espresso makers, espresso, specialty pasta cutters & rolling pins(ravioli), limoncello, hand-painted pottery from Italy (shipped home), hand-painted aprons & chefs hats...and everything else that was listed in the above posts!

As far as bringing these items back home, I always bring two suitcases, one with clothes and one without...however, I am always careful about weight restrictions upon my return to avoid hefty fines.

Happy shopping!
ciaolaura is offline  
Jan 24th, 2008, 10:30 AM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,040
A too-small jar of caramel au beurre sale sauce, many Cote d'Or chocolate bars, sausage, canned pate and tuna, homemade Calvados, mustard, and, with an eye to the long term, vegetable seeds.
Coquelicot is online now  
Jan 24th, 2008, 10:45 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 92
Oops, I almost forget to mention my favorite item that I like to bring back - cooking magazines from local tabacaria for about one euro each! They are filled with beautiful pictures and recipes and even if you cannot read Italian, the photos provide excellent ideas for creating similar creations at home.

ciaolaura is offline  
Jan 24th, 2008, 07:26 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 84
Hello Ciaolaura,
It is a fabulous idea, buying regional cookbooks. I will do that.
GoPlanB is offline  
Jan 26th, 2008, 06:00 AM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,040
Forgot to mention the brown sugar cubes in little heart, club, spade, and diamond shapes.
Coquelicot is online now  

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