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It’s tempting to seek out the most obscure foodstuffs to remember your travels by. But the best sources of edible and potable mementos are often the humble, everyday places — like supermarkets and convenience stores — which as a tourist, you might overlook. Behold, our favorite everyday foods to take home with you from your next overseas adventure, whether they’re sweet souvenirs for the ones you couldn’t take with you, or a nice way to bring home the flavors of your new favorite city.
1. When You’re in Budapest
Snag Some: Marzipan from Szamos Gourmet Ház
The old-school charm of marzipan is on display in many forms at Szamos Gourmet Ház, but the most appealing may be the csemege kocka, which, if you trust Google translate, means “gourmet cubes.” They’re chocolate-dunked, two-bite layer cakes, sort of like a high-quality Hungarian answer to Little Debbie.
2. When You’re in Buenos Aires
Snag Some: Alfajores from Havanna
Alfajores are as Argentinian as good red wine or grass-fed steak — but much easier to take in your carry-on. Not only that, these crumbly cookie sandwiches harbor a filling of smooth dulce de leche and are enrobed in a chocolate coating.
3. When You’re in Copenhagen
Snag Some: Rugbrødchips from Lagkagehuset
Good Danish rye bread is still hard to find in the States and bringing back a loaf isn’t so practical (they’re heavy). Enter rugbrødchips, kind of like bagel chips, but made from Danish rye bread (i.e., rugbrød) and sooo delicious.
4. When You’re in Dublin
Snag Some: Green Spot Irish Whiskey from Molloy’s
Irish whiskey isn’t as high profile as Scotch, but it really should be. This limited-supply, pot-distilled liquor is aged between 7 and 10 years in bourbon and sherry barrels, has a nice balance of sweetness and spice and a stellar rep among whiskey lovers.
5. When You’re in Lisbon
Snag Some: Minerva Sardines in Tomato Sauce from A Vida Portuguesa
Canned sardines might not sound like a glamorous memento, but these little fish are caught off the Portuguese coast, canned in a silky tomato sauce and are gorgeously packaged to boot. Eat them on crackers with a glass of vinho verde.
6. When You’re in London
Snag Some: The Gentleman’s Relish from Fortnum & Mason
We’d buy this for the name and packaging alone, but the pungent condiment will soon make itself a regular on your eggs, potatoes, buttered toast and anything else that benefits from a swipe of savory anchovy paste.
7. When You’re in Mexico City
Snag Some: Pulparindo from Sumesa
Your taste buds will get a full jolt of flavor with a single bite of Pulparindo — the spicy-tart fruit leather is made from super-sour tamarind and dusted in hot chile powder.
8. When You’re in Milan
Snag Some: Brooklyn Gum from Esselunga
This is Italy’s equivalent to Black Jack or Clove gum, a vintage product with cool packaging, available in weird but addictive flavors like licorice and yogurt.
9. When You’re in Paris
Snag Some: Bouquet Garni by Albert Menes from Monoprix
Who are we kidding, everything in France is just better. That includes these herb sachets, meant for infusing your fish dishes with flavor, and yes, class.
10. When You’re in Tel Aviv
Snag Some: Har Bracha Tahini from Carmel Market
The world has gone hummus crazy, so shouldn’t you have the best tahini in your cupboard to make your own? Creamy Har Bracha tahini is made from Ethiopian sesame seeds that are milled and packaged in a small family-owned factory in Nablus. Enjoy!
What are some of your favorite things to bring home as souvenirs? Tell us about them, below.
Featured image courtesy of Har Bracha Tahini’s Facebook page.
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