Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Spain/Portugal >
May 25, 2008 08:51 AM

What to bring back from Spain?

Any suggestions of foods to bring back from Spain to NYC? I read something on this site about cans of piquillo peppers. Anything else? Biscuits/cookies, chocolates, perishables that I may not find in NYC? Food gifts? I will be visiting Madrid, Sevilla, and San Sabastian.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I usually bring back canned seafood such as anchovy, clams, tuna, etc. Also giant Asturian beans, saffron, cheeses. It is not because I can't get them in the States, but the selection is greater and it is much cheaper. Since you live in NYC and with on-line shopping, one can get just about everything that is available in Spain (except meat). Too bad that liquid is no longer allowed in check-in baggage.

    1. It may be different for Americans but, these days, there's really nothing I bring back to the UK. Pretty much everything I need, I can get quite easily in either supermarkets or local specialist food shops in the neighbourhood. My one exception is very good quality saffron which is not inconvenient to carry and saves me a few pounds. Of course, we can buy it here but I treat it as a souvenir.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Harters

        If you head into El Corte Inglese in each town,you will see a section called Club Gourmet. There is always a small section there whch features local specialities.

        Why not take back some Turron? That always seems to go down well when I bring it back


        1. re: Simon Majumdar

          Good Idea.....I had to google what Turron is but it sounds delicious. Will have to look for it! Thanks.

          1. re: Simon Majumdar

            Saffron, turron, marzipan, membrillo, cryovac-ed jamon Serrano or jamon iberico (not a whole leg!!), chocolate from a hip chocolate store like Xocoa (Barcelona), canned berberechos. It's now pretty easy to find Manchego and other artesanal Spanish cheeses in the US, so you don't need to drag those back unless you don't live near any place that sells them.

            1. re: Simon Majumdar

              Turron is what we sometimes bring back, as a Three Kings present, for the Mallorcan brother in law (as we tend to visit Spain more often than he does these days). And sobrasada, if we've visited the island.

          2. I usually bring back chocolate from Cacao Sampaka. I know the hams are still restricted to be brought back in your luggage.

            2 Replies
            1. Which neighbourhood is Cacoa Sampaka in? Is it near Sol or Cava Baja? I saw it is on Calle Orellano, not sure where that is.

              What do you recommend from here? The sauces sounded yummy.

              3 Replies
              1. re: gtrekker2003

                It's just north of the Gran Via by Plaza de Alonso Martinez, off the Plaza Santa Barbara west of Paseo de Castellana. Just go towards metro stop 'Alonso Martinez'.

                1. re: gtrekker2003

                  It's right next to the Alonso Martinez stop. If I only had a day or two in Madrid, I wouldn't make a special trip up there... though there is a great olive oil store, Patrimonio Comunal Olivarero very nearby (closed during lunchtime).

                  1. re: gtrekker2003

                    The displays in the Cocoa Sampaka shop is very eye catching. It also has a small sitdown place to eat. I agree with the above post that with only two days in Madrid, it is not worth the effort. Good chocolate is not difficult to find.

                  2. I sometimes get a good bottle of Orujo from Lavinia on Ortega y Gasset in Madrid (Barrio Salamanca). Even if you're not buying it's worth a visit just to gawp at their selection.


                    In a similar vein I sometimes buy Anis from Southern Spain. The triple distilled extra seco from Machaquito is particularly fine.


                    More prosaically, the other thing I always stock up on is Valor chocolate bars specifically the nut varieties which I'm addicted to.

                    I would second getting some Turron. Bear in mind there's many different varieties and there are some that are more artisanal than others. I was told that the best are sold by weight so it might be worth tracking down a specialist store.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Hermano Primero

                      Possibly the best widely available turron is the "1880" brand. I'm rather addicated to their chocolate version (and stocked by one of my local specialist food shops). Not necessarily the highest quality turron or chocolate but very very tasty.

                      1. re: Hermano Primero

                        Turrón is a Christmas thing, but there's one place in Madrid that makes and sells it year round: Casa Mira, c/San Jerónimo 30 (near Sol--closed for siesta). During the Christmas season there are lots of other places that make it from scratch--much higher quality than the boxed stuff in the supermarket.