Supermarket Gifts-Suggestions

Apr 22nd, 2002, 01:44 PM
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I found some beautiful tea towels in the supermarket in Edinburgh for a fraction of the cost that they would have cost me at a department store or tea shop.

My favorite pair of slippers came from a supermarket in Beijing.
Apr 22nd, 2002, 01:52 PM
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What a bunch of cheap b*stards you lot are. If you cannot purchase a proper gift, do not bother with a second rate cheap replacement.
Apr 22nd, 2002, 01:59 PM
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Just posted on another thread something probably more relevant here. Yesterday at Heathrow, I, a middle aged white guy, was in line to check a medium sized suitcase. I was pulled aside and EVERY item in it was inspected, including several bottles of perfume, boxes of candy, tea, and jars of English mustard and marmelade, all of which were opened, diminishing their attractiveness as gifts as far as I'm concerned.

So don't assume that just because you're planning to check your bag, that you won't have your bag opened and searched. Security is critical in this day and age, of course, but I'll re-think my "supermarket gifts" on future trips.
Apr 22nd, 2002, 02:07 PM
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Sorry we offend you "shocked"...all my friends are foodies and we all love to invade supermarkets and find things we can't get here in the US..
Museum shops are big on our lists too.

So you hit Aspreys or Versace or wherever .I'm sure your friends will be just as delighted as ours!
Apr 22nd, 2002, 02:22 PM
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In France: look for multi-color peppercorns, sea salt in its own grinder with various herbs mixed in, odd herbs like lime leaves, vinegars, oils (not just olive anymore), baking chocolate, cornichons, coffee, tisanes, good crackers for cheese, little pastry shells for canapes, foie gras, candied flowers, red rice from the Camargue.
Apr 22nd, 2002, 03:14 PM
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Who says that some of these "gifts" aren't for ourselves? As a frequent traveler, I enjoy bringing back inexpensive items to remind myself of a trip.
Apr 22nd, 2002, 03:33 PM
For Uncle Sam
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In Huatulco,Mexico, they sell jewelled beetles (Live). They are on a pin and chain. When you pin them on, they move. I kid you not!
Apr 22nd, 2002, 04:50 PM
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Please hurry , someone report Uncle sam to the SPCA!!!maybe that will get him off this board!
Apr 22nd, 2002, 08:17 PM
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Re Alsace, there is a supermarket in Obernai.

I brought back some olive oil soap from Athens for my coworkers. It was inexpensive and packaged pretty. Didn't keep a bar for myself. What is so special about olive oil soap?
Apr 23rd, 2002, 09:42 AM
Capt B
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Our olive oil soap is unscented, lasts a very long time, non irritating gentile to the skin, and excellent for sensitive skin.
Hope that helps.
Apr 23rd, 2002, 11:52 AM
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In Italy we look for cool kitchen gadgets, some sold in supermarkets or hypermarkets; it seems they never run out of clever ideas for grinding salt or dispensing olive oil, whatever. In France we make a beeline for all sorts of things in small metal containers - mints, cosmetics, etc; the contents are usually wonderful and the colorful tins are great collectables. (On that subject, pharmacies/chemists/drug stores are equally fertile cheap souvenir shops.)

I don't know of any specific supermarket items we've brought back from Alsace; the macaroons and onion tarts don't make it back to the hotel, never mind the airport, and the sauerkraut is too smelly. Oh, for some reason we adore French tea (go figure), especially a blend which comes in what I think are silk tea bags in a beautiful red box that just says "The" on the outside (also it has the name of the manufacturer which I can't remember.)
Apr 23rd, 2002, 12:11 PM
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We made a special trip to the supermarket in Italy to purchase the liquid hand soap/shower soap used in the villa we stayed in. The soap is called "Neutro Roberts" and it's in a pump container. We kind of felt silly going out of our way to purchase it before we left the country but it smells DIVINE and I am so glad we did! Every time I use it I am reminded of Italy ......
May 5th, 2002, 12:34 PM
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Thanks to everyone for the great suggestions!

Are you allowed to bring back to US fresh herbs and spices purchased from open markets? Are there any restrictions on what foods can be brought into the US?

We are tea drinkers and enjoy strong tea. We are fond of Lipton's "Yellow Label" which we can find only outside the US - can anyone suggest any others?Thanks!
May 5th, 2002, 08:41 PM
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Tonined--I love the Lipton's Yellow label tea, also. I first drank it in Malaysia. I have bought it here in Atlanta in the large international food markets that cater to the Asian population; you might try some of the Asian stores in your area.

One of my favorite supermarket purchases is chocolate bars. Monoprix in France has a private label chocolate bar that is very good. They are great to give to co-workers, especially when you have a large number of people you work with.
May 5th, 2002, 09:55 PM
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Can it shocked. You're probably the kind of person who gets a gift and the first thought is how much it cost. I'm shocked you're so shallow. Do you have over 35 people in your family? Plus a bunch of friends you want to buy gifts for? I do. Big gifts for 50 people would not only break most people's bank and cost more than the trip itself, it would also take up the whole trip shopping for them. I buy my share of big personalized gifts, then a load of little stuff particularly for making sure no one gets hurt when I don't have enough gifts to go around. (because you invariably are going to leave someone out when there are so many to buy for)

Barb - my mom is a huge tea person and most brands she can get in the US - Twinings, Pompadour, even the Chinese "Sunflower" brand Jasmine at Chinese groceries, etc. I think the only kind she brought back was a German brand with a variety called Gutenmorgen. That and she is always on the look out for the regular tea (not herbal) mango flavor from Twinings that doesn't seem to show up many places here.

My mom introduced me to taking your last bit of local currency and expending it in at the supermarket instead at those overpriced shops at airports. Candy of any kind is always good, that seems to be most popular. Second is kinds of local cookies, and besides tea, I've often done coffee for my coffee addicted brother. Particularly in Vienna and a nice dark roast in Italy. I'm a great fan of spicy things, so I also do mustards like someone else suggestion - some enourmously horseradish laden Duesseldorfer senf made a big hit back home. I managed to find some hot pepper liquor in Italy as well. In Norway I found some packets of Lofoton fish soup and other regional dishes in the equivalent of Lipton Noodles and Sauce. My next door neighbor is of Norwegian origin and these were huge - not only for the traditional flavors but she got a kick out of Norwegian directions so she had fun asking her mom about the Norwegian words.
May 6th, 2002, 07:36 AM
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I looked at the tea box, and sadly it didn't come from a supermarket, it's from Hediard in Paris, which will pass for a supermarket only if you happen to be rather well-off. I don't know how I feel about 7 Euros for a tin of tea, but it's a very beautiful tin, anyway.
Jun 21st, 2002, 11:25 AM
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Up for Sarah. Great souvenir ideas at inexpensive prices.
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