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tomko2

Favourite food item to bring back from Italy

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We are going on a 12 night cruise this summer from Barcelona and will have several stops in Italy. I would love to bring some food item back, e.g. dried pasta, truffle oil, etc. Looking for ideas/suggestions/recommendations. If you were going to Italy what food item would you most want to buy and bring home?

Thanks

Kathy:)

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Thank you for the suggestions. Porcini secco = dried porcini mushrooms?

I will check our import regulations to see if I can bring back cheese.

Kathy:)

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Yes, you can bring back dried porcini mushrooms so long as the packageis sealed. I brought home a large package from Florence. What's nice about the dried ones (besides the fact they're lightweight) is that you can use them whole or grind them in a spice mill to use in sauces, soups, etc.

 

Cheese must be vacuum sealed. Sealed jars and cans should be okay, too. Just be sure they're not put in the suitcase near your best formal gown! :eek: I believe Magellan's or TravelSmith sell sleeves you can put wine or oil bottles in to prevent breakage.

 

Besides food, I have also brought home kitchen tools and cookware. I bought a set of cast aluminum saucepans with cast iron handles when I was in France many years ago. I chose not to ship them, so my suitcases weighed a ton! When we were in Italy in '02 I bought a mezzaluna. On our Alaska cruise I bought an ulu (Inuit version of a mezzaluna). In Switzerland I bought a turning fork for $12, which cost four times as much in the US. In France in '98 I bought a nice mandoline for half the price in the US.

 

All of those are among my favorite souvenirs of my travels. And, you don't have to worry about agricultural restrictions!

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I hope the OP doesn't mind me sneaking in here with my own related question. I read somewhere that cheese being brought back needs to be shrinkwrapped, however I saw nothing about that on the dept. or agriculture's website, nor the site for customs and border protection. Can someone with experience bringing it back enlighten me? Thanks!

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I hope the OP doesn't mind me sneaking in here with my own related question. I read somewhere that cheese being brought back needs to be shrinkwrapped, however I saw nothing about that on the dept. or agriculture's website, nor the site for customs and border protection. Can someone with experience bringing it back enlighten me? Thanks!

 

 

Glad you asked the question. I would love to bring back some cheese from Italy.

Kathy:)

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Aged cheeses are OK to bring back, but not fresh cheese, regardless of packaging... The cryovac packaging on aged cheeses prevents spoilage and eliminates odors in your suitcase. I always bring back a big piece of Parmigiano Reggiano and last year I also brought home a couple different types of pecorino Toscano... yummmmmm.....

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Does anyone know the regulations for dried porcini mushrooms and cheeses for Canada?

 

-thanks

 

According to Canadian Border Services website you can bring in up to 20 kg of cheese worth up to $20.00 and it cannot be packed in whey!

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We brought back tins of olive oil from a farm we visited, also had olive spread...mmmm...

Wish we would have taken bubble wrap and packaging to bring back wine:cool:

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We brought back tins of olive oil from a farm we visited, also had olive spread...mmmm...

Wish we would have taken bubble wrap and packaging to bring back wine:cool:

 

I have bubble wrap ready to go in my suitcase. Hoping to find some aged balsamic vinegar at a better price than here. :)

Kathy

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It's not food but one of the farms we visited had this homemade soap with olive oil that I LOVE, I originally bought a few extra bars for gifts but liked them so much I kept them :p

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I stuck to the Olive Oil and dried pastas just because I didn't want to deal with a hassle at customs.

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Be kind of careful when you buy packaged spice mixes. We bought a couple bags of Pasta Arribiati (sp) mixes and found creepy crawlers in them when we got back on the ship, this was in Rome.

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Be kind of careful when you buy packaged spice mixes. We bought a couple bags of Pasta Arribiati (sp) mixes and found creepy crawlers in them when we got back on the ship, this was in Rome.

 

Ugh! Thanks for the warning.

Kathy

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Parmagianna reggiano!!! And I second the advice to be careful about oil-packed bottles. I had a seeping jar of pesto once that I caught just in time. I actually gave up on the wine thing. Prices aren't a lot better over there than in my local wine shop and with the "liquids" rule in effect, it's such a pain to put it in your suitcase. The added weight, even if you have a hard case, just isn't worth it.

 

I got a gnocchi board last time I was in Italy. I know REAL cooks use a fork but I once saw the gnocchi board on the Food Channel and I simply had to have one.

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All the above food items are fabulous from Italy, but in addition very old (15 year and up) Balsamic vinegar is a must bring-back for us.

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All the above food items are fabulous from Italy, but in addition very old (15 year and up) Balsamic vinegar is a must bring-back for us.

 

I am definitely going to be checking on the prices of the aged Balsamic; I just paid $25.00 for 250 ml of Il Nosizio Condimento Balsamic.

Kathy:)

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Just to add a few: Sun dried tomatoes-yummy. Buy them in a bag, so no oil or water to leak and add water when you need them. We also brought back Limoncello and honey. Also, try a local grocery store (coop is one in Italy) and look to see what strikes you. Local cookies, candies, etc make great souveniers and gifts!

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Last time I brought back olive oil and balsamico and a big bag of shelled chestnuts that I picked up at Campo Fiore in Rome. In all of my travels, I try to grab a spice or two, and a interesting (funny looking or named) candy or other sweet to share with those back home. My son, who is 23 now and self professed foodie, is also a tea snob. So if I can find any loose leaf tea, I grab some.

 

I always pack several different sized (sandwich, quart, gallon, 2 gallon) ziploc bags in addition to the small bubble bubble-wrap and duct tape. You don't need the whole heavy roll. I was making my own small rolls. Now to save MY time, I go to the auto parts store and pick up a mini roll of duct tape for a buck and just keep it in the suitcase.

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truffle and porchini jarred sauces, dried porchini mushrooms, multi colored pasta strips and jarred truffles. Oil and vinegar I can buy here as well as Parmasan cheese.

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