Need helping figuring out what food is allowed to be sent through the mail from USA to Australia!
Hi! I'm an American who just moved to Adelaide, and I have been dying to have my parents send me some US food. It sounds like you have done it alot...how strict is it to send food to Australia? Do you what they do or do not allow to be sent? I am particularly missing canned chipotle peppers and corn tortillas, and I really want some Masa meal so I can make my own. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
I don't think they'll let raw masa into the country - ground grain could possibly have bugs in it, or be from diseased crops... you're safest with stuff that's made and packaged in a factory.
You should be able to buy the ingredients in Australia (in fact, a quick google search showed a company calleed Fireworks Foods that does the importing for you and sells authentic Mexican ingredients by mail order...) http://www.fireworksfoods.com.au/
In my experience, vacuum-packed smoked salmon, maple sugar candy and canned chipotle peppers all are ok. I would be very doubtful about the masa meal.
I live in Sydney and most of these products can be found here if you know where to look. Corn tortillas can be found in many large Supermarkets given the popularity of "gringo" Mexican food. There is a Latin American Market/Deli in Fairfield. I've seen masa and chipotle peppers in Milsons Point at Delicado foods (http://www.delicadofoods.com.au/). Although this is a Spanish food store/cafe they have a wide range of products from Latin America. Good luck.
I suggest checking the Australian Customs website. I'm sure they would be very helpful with guidance and information. As a former expat, one thing I learned quickly was what can be purchased locally, what were good substitutes, and which friends were coming for a visit. There was a regular "shopping" list for fellow expat travellers (we all understood the need and appreciated the effort of shlepping things back). Also made friends with embassy/consulate folks - they always had great connections. Interestingly, though a US citizen, I had more fun socially with the Canadian guys- they knew all the foodie places.
Remember that meats, cheeses, and fresh produce (unprocessed anything) that don't carry export stickers will most likely be on the no-no list.