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Over-the-border shopping?


cakewench
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In a few days, my husband and I will be heading to Germany to visit his old University. I'm already making my shopping list:

-rapshonig

-plum wine

-an assortment of the latest seasonal Ritter Sport chocolates (wow, the Maple Walnut one is good, as well as the Italian flavor which I can't recall the name of...)

-beer, of course. He is especially fond of one of the beers local to the city we will be visiting. (I forget the name of the beer, sorry if anyone is keeping track!)

Anyhoo. I'm sure there must be other folks who have lists for when they find themselves across country borders. And there are just so many borders here, 'Elsewhere in Europe'. :laugh:

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Our suitcases back from Germany are always full:

- Nutella (the american stuff is not as good.)

- salty licorice

- Ritter Sport (you can get it here but its much cheaper there)

- Niederegger marzipan (you can get it here but fresher is much better!)

- We used to transport amaretto "vom fass" from a certain neighborhood place until the store closed.

- if I could transport meats to the US, I would, but since I can't, whenever I am in Hamburg I have to have krabbensalat, at least one smoked eel sandwich, and we usually share a Thuringer at some point during a shopping day.

- I have also transported rapshonig (home-made!), and apfelbrand. I've never transported beer though.

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When I go to France I always want to bring back Halal beef sausages (there made with just beef and salt), cheeses, Algerian dates (the best in the world), foie gras, nutella, chocolates, nougat, bread, just about everything. But the sausages and foie gras are definately a non non with US customs, so I don't even try. It's one of the first things they ask as I'm getting off the plane, "do you have any food? Sausages? Foie gras?"

My mother in law is usually asked if she has kimchi. But that's okay.

I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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From Austria we bring back...

different flavored mustards in tubes

pumpkinseed oil

Julius Meinl coffee

wines -- including a very regional wine from Styria-- Schilcher which is a very dry refreshing rose.

also--good schnapps (or 'eau de vie)-- pear, gentian, walnut

Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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hmm pumpkinseed oil. What do you use this in? It sounds intriguing. I'll have to keep a lookout in my wanderings...

Walnut schnapps also sounds excellent. :wub:

I've just done a bit of shopping for small hostess gifts. We are staying with a couple we don't know very well, in Germany. I've picked up for them:

-a jar of Chivers lemon marmalade

-stroopwaffels

-stroopkoeken!

-some nice gouda with caraway seeds (well, okay, I haven't bought this yet, but I will tomorrow, in the city.

Edited by cakewench (log)
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What Behemoth said, though I've found the best Thüringer come from, well, Thüringen (e.g., two most memorable things about Eisenach: Wartburg and wurst)

Appelwoi (a bit out of season), Handkäse if you can find it

Leberkäse

Spätzle (dried is OK)

Kinder Surprise eggs

Wacholder (frighteningly powerful degustiv)

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From France from August to late summer:

'Haricot demi-sec',, I buy large amounts on my last day, shuck them at the camp site and bag them. On a bike It's only possible to carry a couple of kilos, but frozen at home they provide a wonderful accompaniment to many of my hearty soups .

The pods are semi dried, cream coloured (English spelling) streaked with red, but the beans are like pearls and only take a short time to cook, with an incomparable texture and taste.

Edited by naguere (log)

Martial.2,500 Years ago:

If pale beans bubble for you in a red earthenware pot, you can often decline the dinners of sumptuous hosts.

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You know, re: Kinder Surprise eggs in Germany... I have always really enjoyed them. Our last batch of toys, however, weren't as cute as they used to be. (I picked up the Kinderegg Advent Calendar on one of our last trips. We go to Germany at least once a month.) It was disappointing.

Why yes, I am a grown woman. :rolleyes:

Anyhoo. Leberkaese?? I refuse! :laugh: My in-laws foisted that stuff on us for dinner once, buried in hunks in a pay-fry which consisted of nothing but it and carrots. Does it have any discernable taste? Because I just couldn't get past the spongey texture.

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You know, re: Kinder Surprise eggs in Germany... I have always really enjoyed them.  Our last batch of toys, however, weren't as cute as they used to be.  (I picked up the Kinderegg Advent Calendar on one of our last trips.  We go to Germany at least once a month.)  It was disappointing. 

Why yes, I am a grown woman.  :rolleyes:

Ha ha, so am I. Sort of. :rolleyes:

Here's a cultural difference for ya -- I always liked the ones where you had to build a toy with some sort of funny mechanism (eg car with spinning umbrella, spider with crazy leg action etc) but as it turns out I had bad kinder egg taste. My husband informs we you are supposed to pick up the heaviest ones, because they contain figurines which are the ones that become collectors items. Whatever, but he did have the "holy grail of Kinder" asterix and obelix figurines, which I readily admit to coveting.

I bring kinder eggs for friends, but not for myself. I don't know what to do with all those little things anymore, so I just buy the Duplo bars when I need a fix.

Oh, I forgot. I also always buy lion bars for my dad. :smile:

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Leberkaese??  I refuse!  :laugh:  My in-laws foisted that stuff on us for dinner once, buried in hunks in a pay-fry which consisted of nothing but it and carrots.  Does it have any discernable taste?  Because I just couldn't get past the spongey texture.

Sorry to hear that your one experience with Leberkäse was so awful. I actually prefer it either fresh right out of the oven or un-fried and room temp, served with other sliced cured wurst and potato salad. It has its own unique "taste" and texture. It's sorta the same with meatloaf, that comfort food feeling and all.

Oh, I forgot. I also always buy lion bars for my dad.  :smile:

Mmmmmmm, lion. And orange Fanta.

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I'm curious to know and always forget to check. Does the European Nutella come loaded with hydrogenated vegetable fat like the American made stuff.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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I'm curious to know and always forget to check. Does the European Nutella come loaded with hydrogenated vegetable fat like the American made stuff.

Same shit. We can start talking about childhood memories here...

Edited by chefzadi (log)

I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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I'm curious to know and always forget to check. Does the European Nutella come loaded with hydrogenated vegetable fat like the American made stuff.

Absolutely,

there seems to ne a taste difference though. If I remember correctly the American version is sweeter. There's more info on this previous Nutella thread.

What surprises me is that even "gourmet" chocolate-nut spreads seem to contain hydrogenated fats. If I remember correctly the delicious cream produced by Domori, one of Italy's best gouret chocolate maker , uses them too. Makes you wonder if they're necessary to obtain the spreadability Nutella and similar creams are known for.

Il Forno: eating, drinking, baking... mostly side effect free. Italian food from an Italian kitchen.
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Here are the ingredients for German Nutella: Plant oil, hazelnuts (13%), low fat cacoa, skim milk powder (7.5%), emulcified soy-lecithin (Emulgator Soyalecithin), vanilla.

It doesn't say that the oil is hydrogenated, though I have no idea if they mention such things on labels there.

What goes into the American one? We noticed a distinct difference in taste but got rid of our last American jar ages ago.

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I have noticed a strong taste difference between the two versions, myself.

I think I noticed that there was peanut oil in the American one. Can anyone confirm this? It might account for the difference...

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I'll get some today. My kids love the stuff. The American version probably has different kinds of junk in it. I've been saying along to my wife that there is a different taste. Of course I think the one in France is much better. Now I can show her this thread! A ha!

Although I can't imaging it's a difference in the "quality" of the ingredients.

I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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I have noticed a strong taste difference between the two versions, myself.

I think I noticed that there was peanut oil in the American one.  Can anyone confirm this?  It might account for the difference...

Here are the ingredients for American Nutella:

"sugar, peanut oil, hazelnuts, skim milk, cocoa, partially-hydrogenated peanut oil, soy lecithin; an emulsifier vanillin; an artificial flavor."

You're right, cakewench, there is peanut oil in the American version ("made in USA by Ferrero U.S.A., Inc. Somerset, NJ 08873").

Russell J. Wong aka "rjwong"

Food and I, we go way back ...

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hey, excellent detective work, rjwang! :smile:

I think it could account for the taste difference. Though, far be it from me to stop anyone who is wishing to do an on-the-spot taste test. I haven't tasted them side-by-side before. I just know I was struck by the taste when a friend in the US offered me some with my morning toast. I thought it was an old jar or something (but of course didn't say anything!), but she kind of chatted on about how much of it she goes through, etc... the jar was pretty new. hm.

ah, eG, solving life's mysteries..

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  • 9 months later...

Ah there are so many things I can't get in Istanbul... I go to Greece fairly regularly and even in the little town of Komotini, I can get lots of things now that Greece is EU. Top of the list is:

Good coffee

Parmesan cheese

Fresh ginger

Bacon

(all available here but horrendously expensive -- bacon is 70 dollars a kilo or more if you can find it.)

Not available here are:

Sweet potatoes

sweetened condensed milk (to put in my Vietnamese coffee!)

corn syrup

Non-anised raki (tsipouro, like grappa)

Limes

That said, there are things that my Greek friends always demand that are unavailable there:

Good pastirma

Marash and Urfa (Isot) Peppers

Pepper paste

Kaymak (clotted cream from buffalo milk)

Pomegranate molasses

Good lokum

From the States, when friends come, it's:

Brown sugar

Unsweetened chocolate

Good coffee (good coffee I'll take from any source!)

Grits

Pecans

And for Turkish friends when I go to the US it's:

Damn near everything!

"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

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Good thread to resurrect!!!

From Europe:

- Chocolate!!! Last trip we came home with an attache case filled with 100+ chocolate bars for personal use!

- Cheese. A large variety.

- Chestnut paste in jars and tubes. (Available only occasionally here.)

- Boxes of Ebly, a wheat pilaf that's not yet marketed to U.S. consumers.

- Jars of Ducros Moroccan spice blend.

From New York, LA, or San Francisco:

- Cheese.

- Bread, especially rye bread, and especially corn rye from LA or Acme NY-style rye from SF.

- Cheese danish.

I haven't been to Japan recently enough to review everything I want from there that's not available here (there are a lot of Japanese markets in Hawaii), but some things that come to mind immediately are:

- Yatsuhashi senbei, cinnamon cookies from Kyoto.

- Japanese pickles made without food coloring.

- Japanese candy, such as green tea-flavored Kit Kats.

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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