Supermarket Gifts-Suggestions

Apr 21st, 2002, 12:55 PM
  #1  
Captb93
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Supermarket Gifts-Suggestions

We will be travelling to Switzerland, Alsace, France and Italy next month and would love to hear from past travelers regarding any unique gifts, foods or items they brought home. We have always enjoyed visiting foreign supermarkets and finding items uniques to the region. i.e.: In Tahiti we discovered Tiare scented/Coconut bars of soap and in Italy-olive oil soap.
Let's hear those suggestions!
 
Apr 21st, 2002, 01:51 PM
  #2  
Shannon
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
We like to do the same thing. We usually head to the condiment section to buy the country's special mustards, flavored mayos, and assorted weird things they put in tubes that can't be bought here, but is relatively easy to transport. My favorite (and most unique) thing to buy in France is the bath mitts, which you can't buy here. Those are washcloths sewn up so you can stick your hand in them (or even a bar of soap), with a loop to hang it on the shower/bath handles. Very practical, and they come in a variety of colors. Although they have them everywhere, from the cheap "Monoprix" stores, I think Au Printemps (next to Galleries Lafayette) in Paris has the best selection. They fit easily into your luggage and don't weigh you down. They're even good to wash the dog!
I also bring back Elseve (French) shampoo & conditioner.
Finally, in any town where there's a Marks & Spencer, I head straight for the food halls, get "crisps" for the kids, raisin "biscuits" for my husband, and smoked trout pate for me.
 
Apr 21st, 2002, 02:00 PM
  #3  
mpprh
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Hi

I have sad news for all travellers and ex pats.
Marks and Spencer has restructured, and is in the process of closing all overseas outlets.

Peter
 
Apr 21st, 2002, 02:07 PM
  #4  
christina
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
ciao captb

switzerland: go to coop supermarket and bring any of the lind chocolat with you. particularly "lind kugeln" they are delicious and hot loved from my italian family. or when staying in bern some "berner lebkuchen" yummi and sweet.

italy: go to any esselunga or coop supermarket and search "torrone morbido" a sweet speciality what you can find all over the year in italy. or some honey? sometimes you find good honey for a very good price there. or pesto in glas containers (little) or nutella.

have fun shopping around. i love supermarkets as well. you find a lot of stuff for reasonable prices and you shop where the habitants of the country shop as well.

tanti saluti

christina
 
Apr 21st, 2002, 02:53 PM
  #5  
Shannon
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Peter -- WHAT?!? Even the one on Blvd. Haussmann?!?
 
Apr 21st, 2002, 04:15 PM
  #6  
Lynne
Guest
 
Posts: n/a

I love shopping for gifties in the
hypermarches in France.

Every kind of olive in brine sealed in
packs that travel perfectly.

Packages of sea salt that costs a fortune over here.

Savon de Marseille and other olive oil
soaps.

Tea towels (esp. in Italy) that are works of art and cost next to nothing
'cause they're sold in a supermarket!

Provencal napkins from street markets.

Latte bowls.

.......and on and on and on! A lot more
fun that going to Safeway here!
 
Apr 21st, 2002, 04:17 PM
  #7  
kelly
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Shannon,

Yes the M & S is closed on Haussman, but Galeries Lafayette opened a new gourmet English food store in its place (original GL food store still in original GL building).
 
Apr 21st, 2002, 04:52 PM
  #8  
JOdy
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I spend hours in the supermarkets! wonderful soaps, but then truffle oils, bouquet garni ready made, sun dried tomato paste in cans, fleur de sel, sel gris, all sorts of chutneys, snack foods, like cheese biscuits or tarelli, preserved ginger, different jams and preserves..all at LOW prices compared to in the US..Now if I could figure out a way to bring home Greek yogurt, blood oranges, creme fraiche, exotic soft cheeses, 46 differnet cuts of bacon, big baskets of figs for less than 1 fig costs here, 15 varieties of potatoes! Then I would be happy !
 
Apr 21st, 2002, 05:30 PM
  #9  
Mmmm
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Go into a Swiss supermarket and find the Lindt candy bars that have liqueurs inside. Pear Williams, brandy, Irish whiskey, triple sec, etc. The recipients always love them. They cost about $1.50 there and about $4.00 in the US, if you can get them at all. They are delicate, though. Don't let them get too warm.
 
Apr 21st, 2002, 06:30 PM
  #10  
Dayle
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Ciao Christina!

What is "torrone morbido"?

Grazie!
 
Apr 21st, 2002, 08:50 PM
  #11  
Mmmm
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
...sounds like a really deadly confection to me!
 
Apr 21st, 2002, 08:53 PM
  #12  
Shannon
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Thanks, Kelly.
 
Apr 21st, 2002, 09:38 PM
  #13  
Uncle Sam
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
In France consider bringing home a bottle or two of Chateauneuf du Pape. What sells for $35 to$40 here in the US, can be bought in the grocery stores for $15.

Also, consider French olive oil and if in Provence consider the cicada jewelry and gift boxes.
 
Apr 22nd, 2002, 04:41 AM
  #14  
For UncleSam
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Please explain what cicada jewellery is.
Thank you.
 
Apr 22nd, 2002, 04:50 AM
  #15  
Therese
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Dayle:

Torrone morbida is soft almond nougat. White sticky candy, almond-scented, with almonds embedded in it. You can also get the nougat flavored with orange and other things. Really yummy.

You can get the hard version of this same treat (which is why they specify "morbida"). You can break a tooth on it.

Little bits of torrone are what give Toblerone chocolate bars (the ones that come in a triangular sort of tube) their texture and flavor.

You can buy this candy (plain blocks of torrone morbida) in the U.S., manufactured by Ferrara Pan (though their web site does not mention it). Not bad, and a real treat when you need a fix.
 
Apr 22nd, 2002, 05:05 AM
  #16  
cmt
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
To answer someone's question above: "Morbido" means soft. Torrone comes in extremely hard and relatively soft versions.

Other items: in Aeolian islands and Messina area of Sicily: bags of salted capers (NOT in liquid); in Ragusa and Palermo areas and other parts of Sicily: sweetened almond paste (possibly the best in the world--the good stuff sold in bakeries rather than grocery stores, but at grocery store prices); in Umbria and elsewhere in Italy: dried porcini mushrooms; in Provence: olive-oil based soaps (also in every street market); in Chania, Crete: all sorts of spices and herbs (at a big covered market--didn't buy any but should have), also cheap olive oil soap in grocery stores; in Basilicata: hot peppers in many forms and different varieties of dried pasta (I didn't buy any but others did); in Sicily and southern France; candied orange and other citrus peels (didn't have time to get some in sicily, but saw some in street market in France)
 
Apr 22nd, 2002, 06:37 AM
  #17  
richardab
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I was in Alsace last year and didn't find any supermarkets right in the heart of the region. You have to go to one of the bigger cities like Colmar or Strasbourg. Alsace has a lot of little private shops which sell wonderful little things like homemade jams and candies. Very nice.
 
Apr 22nd, 2002, 08:33 AM
  #18  
UncleSam
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
In Provence this insect, that we would call a cicada, invades. The folks in Provence have becomeso enamored with it, that they have developed an entire cottage industry around it.

They have small pieces of jewelry, usually ceramic and shaped like the bug and containing a photocell. The "bug" chirps when the photocell is active. They are sold in little boxes.

They are everywhere and if you are unfamilar with them, they sound like crickets.

Some pieces are jewelry, like ear rings, others are paper weghts, etc

Hope that helps.

Uncle Sam
 
Apr 22nd, 2002, 12:14 PM
  #19  
Capt B
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Lynne,

We are not familiar with "Tea towels" but they do sound interesting. Are they like hand towels?

Thanks to all for your suggestions!
 
Apr 22nd, 2002, 12:18 PM
  #20  
canuck
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Capt B...tea towels are approx. the same size as a handtowel but used to dry dishes!
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:02 AM.