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Jun 22, 2007 08:44 PM

Food items to bring back from Spain

I am currently living in Beijing, and a friend of mine from here who is leaving on a month-long trip to Spain shortly has offered to bring me back whatever I'd like from there. I have been to Spain a few times, and so have a few ideas of my own, but if you were offered this opportunity (and bearing in mind luggage issues, and the realities of international borders) what would you want brought back?

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  1. If custom allows it, cheese and cured pork product. Saffron, unsmoked pimenton, dried beans, aged sherry vinegar, bomba rice, oiled packed tuna, anchovies, turron, marcona almonds.

    4 Replies
    1. re: PBSF

      I'd add to that berberechos in brine and white asparagus.

      1. re: PBSF

        UN-smoked pimenton, a crime! That wouldn't be pimenton a la vera, merely paprika.

        Absolutely pimenton, absurdly flavorful on top of eggs, in Mexican/Spanish dishes, in red pasta sauce, on top of roast chicken, great for vegetarian dishes because it gives a smoky, almost meaty, depth. Amazing, amazing stuff. Pimenton are special peppers roasted over mesquite, then ground into powder. The best brand is La Dalia, in the blue and white tin with the big red flower. Storefront and factory is near Jarandilla, look it up. I prefer the Dulce to the hotter Picante.

        1. re: maria lorraine

          Spain, especially Murica, produces some of the most flavorful unsmoked pimenton and is widely used in Spanish cooking. The smoked la vera from Extremandura has it use but sometime their smokiness can overwhelm a dish.

        2. re: PBSF

          Be sure your friend visits the Museo del Jamon, the Museum of Ham, in Madrid. It's great,
          and some of those cured meats you might be perfect.

          Saffron, aged Jerez vinegar (though that might be easy to find).

        3. Taking into account luggage weight restrictions, saffron will be the most practical.

          1. What about angullas - tiny tin, lots of deliciousness.

            1 Reply
            1. re: MMRuth

              Angulas, por seguro! Sautee them (unborn eels) with a bit of olive oil and chili; serve on crackers or crusty bread. Sabroso! The caviar of Iberia.

              Edit: MMRuth, angulas have been on my profile since my day 1!

            2. Paella spice from the grocery store. I forget the name of the brand I like the best, but I think it comes in a green & white package. Instead of making paella with it, I would make an easy pasta dish with sausage & vegetables.

              1. some Jamon Iberico, particularly the Pata negra de bellota, if you can swing the 80-150 euro per kgs.

                but I'd throw out the shoes and the clothes and just "bring home the bacon" ; )