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Insulated bag and freezer block for markets

Insulated bag and freezer block for markets

Jan 27th, 2010, 12:15 PM
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Insulated bag and freezer block for markets

We will be hitting markets in northern Spain and the Dordogne, and we want to have an insulated bag with us (we find we go to the market in the morning but may spend the rest of the day touring before returning to the rental house). It seems to make the most sense to use one of those "fake ice" freezer blocks for this purpose, but I'm a bit concerned about getting that through TSA screening (even if in checked luggage). If I want to buy one of those freezer blocks in Spain or France, will they be generally available?
dedlaw is offline  
Jan 27th, 2010, 12:22 PM
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People in Spain and France do not shop that way, it's not part of their culture, so I doubt that you will be able to find freezer blocks or an insulated bag, but you never know. If they are available, they'll be at El Corte Ingles.
Robert2533 is offline  
Jan 27th, 2010, 12:26 PM
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They are available at supermarkets near camp sites and marinas.

mpprh is offline  
Jan 27th, 2010, 12:32 PM
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I cannot imagine that in a checked bag the freezer block would be a problem. We have a second home in Portugal and twice a year travel with a suitcase filled with all sorts of "non traditional" items....never has been a problem. Maybe if they saw what could be a bomb with wires etc on x ray that might trigger a further inspection of your bag.
On a return from Italy recently I had a small insulated bag with a freezer block to keep cheese cold (in checked luggage) and it was not a problem...had a flight within the US on return.
lowcountrycarol is offline  
Jan 27th, 2010, 12:37 PM
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Hypermarkets in the south of France carry those sort of things during the summer months, and there are also quite a few inexpensive coolers for sale that you can plug into the socket in a car with an adaptor for normal sockets in a hotel. Blocks and bags of ice can also be found in hypermarkets, but not everywhere.
kerouac is online now  
Jan 28th, 2010, 04:03 AM
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Robert is so wrong about not being able to find Freezer blocks or cool bags in Spain.
They are available in supermarkets.
The Spanish words for these are:
Freezer block= acumuladores de hielo http://www.acatos.es/wp-content/uplo...lo-300x228.jpg
Cool bag= bolsa isotermica http://www.jlcastanares.com/images/Bolsaisotermo.jpg
Cool box (normally works off of 12 volts for the car) = nevera portátil
These are usually found either in the camping or picnic section but in smaller supermarkets you can find them alongside the frozen food section.

I have seen them in French supermarkets too, but as i do not live in France I would not have a clue as to the French words.
ribeirasacra is offline  
Jan 28th, 2010, 04:29 AM
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I have actually taken one in my checked bags without a problem, but they are readily available. People use them for picnics for instance.
I would be wary of using them for a long day in the heat for sensitive foods - they can only cool things down by so much and you bag/box could still get too hot in a warm car.
The boxes you plug into your car are fine while you are driving but once parked they have no power so don't cool without blocks/ice too.
hetismij is offline  
Jan 28th, 2010, 06:18 AM
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Can't speak to Spain, but they are widely available in the Dordogne at hypermarchés and even sometimes at fishing/tackle stores. We also find the fishmongers at markets are very happy to dispense with the ice from their stalls at no cost toward the end of the market.
StCirq is offline  
Jan 28th, 2010, 06:40 AM
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Having toured an archipelago (not in France) for 10 days by small boat equipped with a cold box, I can say that fishmongers ice doesn't last long.

This may sound strange, but it is not cold enough, and the crushed ice has too much surface area. I found that a 1 litre ice cream box at -25C from my home freezer lasted 4 days, but fishmongers ice only lasted 1 day.

Better to buy deep frozen products from a supermarket and use them as they thaw ?

mpprh is offline  
Jan 28th, 2010, 06:59 AM
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Absolutely no problem finding freezer bags, ice packs, coolers in supermarkets in the Dordogne in summer. We provide them for our guests, and they all came from the supermarkets
Carlux is offline  
Jan 28th, 2010, 01:18 PM
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We've never bought an ice pack but have a good collection of insulated bags from Trois Mousquetaires, Auchan, and other supermarkets. They're very useful here in the Sacramento Valley on the hot summer days, and invariably another shopper asks me where I got them.
Underhill is offline  
Jan 28th, 2010, 10:42 PM
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You’ll have to forgive my ignorance, but when someone says that they'll be "hitting markets in northern Spain and the Dordogne", I don't expect them to be shopping in hypermarkets or supermarkets. I've never come across insulated bags or freezer blocks at any of the fresh food markets in St. Jean-de-Luz, Tolosa, Gernika, San Sebastian-Donostia, Boquería food market or even the public market in Santiago, but then again I was looking for fresh food, not frozen. When we’re staying at a country home, or in the city, there is always a market, small or large, nearby so we don’t have to carry anything around with us when we’re out to enjoy the sights.
Robert2533 is offline  
Jan 28th, 2010, 11:08 PM
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Maybe re-read dedlaw's psot. They too want to purchase fresh food, but want to take it back to theri accomodation.
It is an excellent idea to purchase a bag or box for this sort of occasion.
PS you can also purchase fresh fruit and veg in supermarkets too.
ribeirasacra is offline  
Jan 29th, 2010, 03:07 PM
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Thanks, all. We will likely bring the insulated bag with us, look for the ice packs once we arrive. And we have no problem stopping at a "supermarket" for this, even though the shopping would be done at daily markets. Sure, we can get produce at the supermarket, but somehow it just isn't the same (also true for cheese, sausages, etc.).
dedlaw is offline  
Jan 30th, 2010, 08:00 AM
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I am also a fan of the insulated bag.
Even the cheap ones you can buy at Trader Joe's

I have a decreet grey one from K mart (sans the logos) that works just as well a general tote bag, but has the advantage of being insulated.

I also packed the flexible ice packs (in my luggage) not just for the use you mentioned, but in my case to ice my sore knees after walking alot. The big obstacle is getting them re-frozen, but sometimes a little charm helps.
If all else fails the tote alone without any ice packs is better than nothing.
amsdon is offline  
Jan 30th, 2010, 08:25 AM
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We travel with them all the time. What specifically is your concern about putting them in checked baggage?
J62 is offline  
Jan 30th, 2010, 10:03 AM
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Uncle! After reading the many responses, I guess my concerns about putting an ice pack in my checked luggage have, well, melted away. Thanks.
dedlaw is offline  
Jan 30th, 2010, 10:05 AM
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lol funny, yes you get alot of feedback here on Fodors that's for sure..
amsdon is offline  
Jan 30th, 2010, 11:57 AM
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amsdon - when I had a problem which required ice I took those chemical ice packs which I got in a medical supply store. They were light and fit in the corners of my bag. Then I could ice whereever I was and not worry.
AGM_Cape_Cod is online now  
Jan 31st, 2010, 09:04 AM
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maybe this is an obvious question, but the places you're staying all have a refrigerator with a freezer section? enough to refreeze the block?
suze is offline  

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