Many of us like to search for kitchen-related souvenirs on our travels. But what about edible souvenirs, those perishable tastes of elsewhere that we tuck into our carry-ons to prolong the journey back at home?
For my money, it's spices that make the best edible souvenirs. They're light, portable and non-liquid for those facing airline security. And in an age when everything is available on the internet or imported to your hometown store, a bag of spices from the local farmers market feels authentic. A big bunch of 3-euro Tuscan oregano from the Monday market in San Casciano in Val di Pesa lasted for months in my Paris kitchen, blending in easily with the multiethnic community that is my spice closet. I have brought back Maldon salt from trips to London. Dried mint from Istanbul. Ground Chipotle from Los Angeles. Paprika from Hungary. Wild rosemary picked from the roadside in Crete. And when I visit friends in the U.S., I bring them little bags of Brittany sea salt from the salt guy at the Bastille Farmers Market, who hasn't started exporting his hand-mixed sea salt and spice blends farther than Paris. Yet.
What are your favorite edible souvenirs?
- Kristin Hohenadel blogging from rue Vieille du Temple, Paris, France. She can be reached at kristinh @ apartmenttherapy . com