Duty-Free Food Souvenirs: Kinder Bueno Chocolates (and Why Not to Buy Kinder Eggs)

Next time you're in the duty-free shop at the airport, look for Kinder chocolate products. These German confections are aimed at kids and are available in several chocolate-covered varieties. Kinder Bueno are my Kinder chocolates of choice: hazelnut cream in a crunchy and creamy chocolate bar. But beware of bringing home Kinder Eggs!

A strange thing happened to me as I was coming through customs after a recent trip. The customs agent saw my clear plastic duty-free bag filled with chocolates and told me to step aside. She took me to a desk at the side of the room and handed me off to several more agents.

"Miss, do you know the U.S. regulations surrounding Kinder Eggs?" the agent asked. I practically laughed in his face. He could see the economy-size box of Kinder Bueno peaking out of my duty-free bag. I said I didn't know and he explained to me that the U.S. had determined that the small toy prizes in Kinder Eggs were a choking hazard to children and thus needed to be confiscated. Realizing he was actually serious, I showed him that Kinder Bueno bars were just chocolate bars and didn't contain any small toys. We had a laugh and he allowed me to bring my precious Bueno bars onto U.S. soil.

I swear I've seen Kinder Eggs for sale here recently, but, according to customs at JFK, they are on the watch list. Be forewarned!

Do you like Kinder chocolates?

(Images: Flickr user pinguino licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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