What to Bring Back from Travels?

Traveling is not only a great opportunity to explore new cultures but also to taste local specialties and discover new flavors. And what better way to remember and share these experiences with loved ones than by bringing home some of the local gastronomic souvenirs?

Dried jamón ham and local salamis are among my favorite Spanish souvenirs.
Dried jamón ham and local salamis are among my favorite Spanish souvenirs.

Tips for Gastronomic Souvenirs

  • Chocolate. Belgium, Switzerland, or Ecuador are renowned for their excellent chocolate. Bring home a bar or a box of chocolates from local producers and enjoy the unique taste and quality.
  • Cheese. France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, or Switzerland offer an abundance of great cheeses. Whether it’s French Camembert, Italian Parmesan, Spanish Manchego, or Swiss Gruyère, local cheeses are always an excellent choice.
  • Local sweets. Each country has its own traditional sweets that are worth tasting. Whether it’s Turkish delight, Spanish turrón, Italian cantuccini, French calissons, or British fudge, each is unique.
  • Wine. France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, California, or Australia are just a few of the many regions renowned for their excellent wines. Bringing home a bottle or two of local wine is a great way to remember the taste of the area.
  • Olive oil. If you’re traveling to the Mediterranean, especially to Italy, Greece, or Spain, be sure to bring back local extra virgin olive oil. Its taste and quality are incomparable to what you usually buy at the supermarket.
  • Coffee. If you’re a coffee lover like me, countries like Colombia, Ethiopia, Costa Rica, or Jamaica are definitely on your list. Bring back a package of local coffee and enjoy its unique taste and aroma. However, I bring coffee from practically anywhere, even if it’s not grown in that country. For me, the local roastery is what matters.
  • Tea. If you’re traveling to Asia, especially to China, Japan, India, or Sri Lanka, local teas are definitely worth bringing back. Whether it’s Chinese green tea, Japanese matcha, Indian black tea, or Ceylon tea from Sri Lanka, each has its own unique taste and character.
  • Spices and herbs. Each country has its typical spices and herbs that give local dishes their unique flavor. Bring home a bag of saffron from Spain, lavender from Provence, curry from India, or wasabi from Japan. I admit that I’m not a fan of buying spices sold by weight at markets; for this type of product, I prefer the feeling of cleanliness that hygienically packaged goods from the supermarket give me.
  • Local specialties. Each country or region has its own specialties that you won’t find anywhere else. Whether it’s Sicilian pistachio spread, French pâté, Spanish chorizo sausage, or Japanese miso, bringing home some of these specialties is a great way to remember the taste of that country.
Tasting set of Mauritian rum. Also suitable for carry-on luggage.
Tasting set of Mauritian rum. Also suitable for carry-on luggage.

When buying gastronomic souvenirs, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. Make sure that the products comply with the customs regulations of your country and that they can be legally imported (this applies especially to flights outside of Europe). Also pay attention to the shelf life and storage method to ensure that you can enjoy your gastronomic souvenirs fresh and in the best quality.

Have a beautiful memories!