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Gifts from the States for European Hosts

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Sep 2nd, 2014, 08:49 PM
  #1
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Gifts from the States for European Hosts

Hello, I'll be staying with some friendly acquaintances in Paris and Berlin in a week and was wondering what small/light weight gift I could give them as a token of my appreciation. My hosts are in their 20s, so something quirky would be totally fine.

For example, I read that Jelly Beans are a fun gift for the French and that peanut butter M&Ms don't exist in the UK. I'm not entirely sure if this is true but it's what I've read.

Thank you for your thoughts!
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Sep 2nd, 2014, 10:43 PM
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I have not seen peanut butter M&Ms in Germany.

I don't know your friends or their tastes so here are some random thoughts on what I would bring for my friends.

If your friends like to grill, some BBQ sauce might be nice. In Germany, the Jack Daniels branded sauces are easy to find.

If your friends are drinkers, a bottle of bourbon beyond the "normal" selection might go over well.

Beer. Yes Germany is a beer country but there are some styles they just don't make. If you have a favorite microbrew, consider bringing a bottle or six of that. IPAs are almost impossible to find. Since your hosts live in Berlin, they probably won't the "snobbery" that you find in Bavaria.

Preserves. You don't mention where you are coming from but if you live in the Pacific Northwest, Marionberry or salmonberry preserves make a hard to find treat that many folks in the U.S. have never heard of. Ditto for huckleberry jam.

Of course, you don't have to bring food. Something your region is known for would be a nice gesture as well.

And finally, perhaps you should just ask: "hey, is there anything from the U.S. you want us to bring?"
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Sep 2nd, 2014, 11:10 PM
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Thanks for your reply. My apologies for not mentioning this but I'm traveling from NYC. To be honest, these kind folks are more of acquaintances, so I don't know their personal tastes and was hoping to surprise them with something.

Beer would be great but I wouldn't be able to bring that on the flight, haha.
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Sep 2nd, 2014, 11:22 PM
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If you are checking bags, you can take beer. I always travel Germany-U.S. and U.S.-Germany with beer (I once traveled with 18 bottles in one bag with no casualties). Just wrap it up in clothing so it doesn't bang against anything that could break it.

If you can find saltwater taffy, bring that. I brought some back with me from my annual U.S. trip and it was a huge hit with my German coworkers.
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Sep 3rd, 2014, 07:56 AM
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Take them something from NYC, a tee shirt or ball cap. If you were checking a bag real maple syrup from the Adirondacks would be nice.
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Sep 3rd, 2014, 08:33 AM
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Some Niagrian ice wine would be good in Germany, but other than that, as the guys above say.
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Sep 3rd, 2014, 08:37 AM
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I wonder if you could ask in advance? I see how surprising them with a small gift is ideal, but if they've been to the US they may actually be craving something that's hard or impossible to find in Paris or Berlin. (This may sound ridiculous, but a friend of mine used to always ask her American friends to bring her a Stain Stick, which she discovered living in the US).
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Sep 3rd, 2014, 08:49 AM
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A fun gift for the next time (too late for this trip) is personalized M&Ms with their names or initials. They only do the milk chocolate M&Ms but it would be a unique gift.
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Sep 3rd, 2014, 09:03 AM
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We live in NYC and for our last visit when we stayed with someone in Europe, we went to Fish's Eddy and bought small things with a NY theme.
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Sep 3rd, 2014, 09:50 AM
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A cute bag or box filled with "American" candy is always fun. I often bring tootsie rolls/pops (the company is based in Chicago where I am from). Or once I brought a bag of those crazy halloween assortments of "junky" candies in a plasic pumpkin. I don't bring chocolate to Europe because European chocolate is so much better. In any event it's more the thought that counts.
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Sep 3rd, 2014, 09:57 AM
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Kaufkj44:

My suggestions:

1) baseball style cap
2) drink coasters
3) tote bag

http://www.grandslamnewyork.com/cate...Souvenirs/Bags for these and other ideas.

Not sure if these qualify as "quirky" but my young relatives would enjoy. None of these are very expensive and are light weight.

Sandy
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Sep 3rd, 2014, 09:57 AM
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I have seen enough people rearranging bags for weight limits going to Europe and number one thing they bring is deodorant, sonny's bbq sauce/hot sauce, cans of cranberry sauce for the holidays and jars of peanut butter.
Asian bags, bengay, toothpaste and hersey's chocolate. I have never asked why...
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Sep 3rd, 2014, 10:07 AM
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M&Ms do not exist in certain countries simply because Smarties has cornered the market. Both of them are sold in France. Personalized M&Ms are available in Europe (you can even get your photo on them), and we now even have personalized Coca-Cola cans and bottles (yuck!). Peanut butter is available in all countries. When the American brands are not for sale in main supermarkets, the Malaysian brands are always available in the Asian food stores.

In other words, do not try to imagine that you are bringing anything that is not available in Europe. It was easy to do so 20 or 30 years ago, but globalization has put an end to it.
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Sep 3rd, 2014, 10:20 AM
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If they haven't been to NYC some stuff from there would be fun.
We're from an odd named town in Wisconsin--Oconomowoc--and took key chains with that name on it and they went over big. I like the coaster idea with NYC sites on them also.

Most peoples photos are all on their phone BUT how about a 4x6 picture frame then take a photo of all of you together, have it printed over there and put it in the frame.
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Sep 3rd, 2014, 10:30 AM
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How many photos of yourself with casual acquaintances have you framed and displayed in your home, TPAYT?
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Sep 3rd, 2014, 11:52 AM
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NYC Starbucks cup.

Nice Calender with photos from your region or city.
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Sep 3rd, 2014, 12:49 PM
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Wild Rice, especially that which is hand-harvested by Indians. Here is one http://www.nettlakewildrice.com/our_story.html
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Sep 3rd, 2014, 12:53 PM
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Had 20 something visitors from London and Hamburg. They took back lots of candy as gifts, esp. Jelly Belly.
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Sep 3rd, 2014, 01:10 PM
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My own favourite item is cinnamon red hots, but they are getting harder and harder to find. Whenever I have allowed Parisian friends to taste them, they think they are an item from a joke shop because who could possibly like them? Except me.
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Sep 4th, 2014, 01:30 AM
  #20
 
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Since you live in NYC, two bottles of Brooklyn Brewery beer (the brown ale and lager would be safe selections) as well as a Brooklyn Brewery glass to enjoy them in.

As a whole, Germans over the age of 23 or so don't really "do" ball caps but a FDNYC cap or similar swag would be a nice gift.
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