samster's adventures

An adventurous girl cooks, eats and explores in Europe.

Travel Tips: Buying Souvenirs for the Hostess

We all know these people, you may even be this person. They are the one who loves having people over, is always trying new recipes in the kitchen and gets disproportionately excited about any new kitchen products they find. They probably have an event lined up shortly after your trip- it is a safe bet to say so, since they ALWAYS have an event lined up. And so you want to pick something up to bring home to them, but what to get? There are plenty of souvenirs for the chef slash hostess. And many of them are relatively small, inexpensive and easy to transport- all the right qualities for a souvenir!

Food, spice, or tea

Pick up a famous food or ingredient the area is known for, whether it is chocolate, nuts, or coffee beans. Hungary is known for paprika and they sold the spice everywhere in Budapest- on its own or packaged with something like cooking utensils and spice shakers. Marrakech is known for their huge spice markets and also Berber tea which is served everywhere. I was so excited when a friend brought me back a pack of spices from Morocco. You could buy some packaged spices and tea, or buy a large amount and break it up at home. Ziploc bags filled with tea look very cute when topped with a decorative card giving some history and directions on how to brew and serve it.

Cookbook of Traditional Foods

It is easy to find thin, paperback or mini cookbooks. I’ve even seen quite a few tea towels sold with traditional recipes printed on them, serving two functions while requiring very little suitcase space.

Serving items.

This can get big and heavy fast, but see what is available. Small tea glasses, a lighter wood cheese board, or lace table linens if known for quality lace, like Bruges.

If you do have more room (or plan to ship things home), there are many larger gifts you could find. Morocco had gorgeous hand painted and carved bowls. They also had tea sets available everywhere- tea pots, trays and glasses. You could pick up wine or beer the area is known for, or maybe special oil and vinegars.

Remember- souvenirs are gifts and great gifts are usually useful gifts. And who knows- maybe they’ll invite you over to try something they made with that spice or a new dish from the cookbook you brought home. Then it can be a gift for you too!

Anything to add to this list? Anything you’ve received as a souvenir that you loved, or a gift you gave that you are most proud of?

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This entry was posted on March 28, 2013 by in Travel, Travel Tips and tagged , , , , , .

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