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Apr 24, 2008 09:41 AM

will the US customs at Dulles airport allow me to bring in bottarga?(dried fish roe made from mullet)

will the US customs at Dulles airport allow me to bring in bottarga?
(dried fish roe made from mullet)

or is this stuff available in this area?

thanks! :)

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  1. Ask them before purchasing. Information about how to direct inquiries can be found at:

    I'd bring a copy of the written response (assuming it is "yes") with me to avoid an unfortunate on-the-spot ruling.

    1. My guess would be "no". They're pretty strict about perishible items. It's best to check as the other posts advised.

      1. I have to admit that you have one-upped me on bringing in Italian food products. I have successfully brought (i.e., declared) aged cheeses, dried porcini, grains, flour, and a whole slew of homemade preserves and even a fresh crostata (like a pie). Meats are typically a no-no, so I have never tried--even though prociutto is imported. My guess is that bottarga would be ify and likely be at the whim of the individual officer.

        As for finding it in the area, I suggest calling Cornucopia in Bethesda. If he doesn't carry it, he may be willing to get it if he can. He has offered to me to bring in fresh sheep milk ricotta on request--which I have never seen anywhere else. He also may be able to answer your question.

        And by the way, the rationale behind what may be imported isn't just whether it is perishable. It has to do with the possibility of bringing in organisms that would have an adverse effect--particularly agriculturally--in the U.S.

        1. I have brought in fresh and smoked fish from South America, the Caribbean and Europe. Through Miami, New York, Dulles and BWI. I've never had even a question but I also used to travel with a list of stuff that was permissible through different ports of entry - just in case I got a troublesome ag officer.
          I know people who have had fish confiscated however.
          I'd doodle around on the US customs site and find it in writing. Sorry I can't be more helpful on where. Print it out and carry it with you.
          I don't carry much back with me anymore because so much stuff is available in the US now, it isn't worth the hassle.

          1. The guy from the cheese videos brought in 6 pounds of it: