What to bring as gifts to Hong Kong
I would like to bring chowish presents from the US to friends in Hong Kong when we visit in late January. What are some of the foods we have in the US that citizens in HK might enjoy? I know Hong Kong usually can boast to having everything available...but surely there must be something!? Your input is greatly appreciated. Margret
Are your friends Americans or Chinese? That makes a whole lot of difference. If they are Americans (missing home cooking), then plenty of suggestions, such as good bagels, good coffee, cheese, and other favorites depending on where they were from.
If they are Chinese, then I would say no cheese or coffee, unless you know for sure they like these food items.
Pistachio nuts will probably be appreciated. You'll apparently be there in the midst of Chinese New Year festivities (which last for 15 days, beginning on January 22 this year). Not sure about HK, but in mainland China pistachio nuts are associated with the New Year, as they are symbolic of happiness (they're literally called "Happy nuts" in Chinese because the opening shells are reminiscent of smiles). They's much less expensive here (especially if you can get them at California prices) and don't weigh down your suitcase.
You don't say if they are expats or Chinese, so I'm not sure of food preferences. Yes you can get almost everything, especially "gourmet" foods and wines, in Hong Kong but most things are much more expensive there than they would be in the US.
Interesting, good wines (other than Australian/NZ), really wonderful olive oils and/or vinegars, special local cheeses (eg. Californian goat cheeeses etc), and fresh-roasted coffee beans from specialized producers are things that I always appreciated receiving from visitors when I lived there. One friend in particular used to bring me a dozen unripe Haas avocadoes and, in the summer, ears of sweet corn!