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Cal/US snacks to bring to London

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I will be travelling to London from San Francisco for a convention and some of the attendees there will be throwing a small party. What kinds of things do y'all suggest bringing? I don't eat the usual American junkfoods like Oreos, Cheetoes, etc. but maybe someone at the party might, though I'd rather bring something local. Are things like Californian almonds, pistachios and dried apricots common over there?

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  1. You will find all the snack foods you need once you're in London... dried fruit, any sort of nuts, chips etc. We even have Penn State pretzels but I've never found any connection between them and the place in Pennsylvania. :-)

    The UK has the best chips (crisps here) ... all sorts of great flavors. If the people at your party aren't familiar with those, they will be a big hit.

    If you want to save money, bring things from the States... prices here could be double what they are in SF.

    4 Replies
    1. re: zuriga1

      Thanks for your input. The party folks will mostly likely be locals and a scattering of continental types. Thus, I'd rather bring something unique rather than stuff they can get at the local Quickie Mart.

      1. re: stilton

        This is a toughie for me. I haven't been to SF for many years, and I'm stumped for good ideas of what's CA and unique. I don't think Ghiardelli is the way to go. :-) Snack stuff over here is so good and my waistline tells the tale. I know you want something of quality. There is fudge sold here, but not as plentiful as chocolates.

        1. re: zuriga1

          I'll back up zuriga here - snack stuff over here is really good, so much better than the stuff in the US and it simply just tastes a lot better.

          I'd bring sourdough bread. Maybe pita chips and then pick up some hummus at Marks & Spencer. We have pita chips here, but they are a very new thing and not always easy to find.

          1. re: nanette

            I'm with nanette and zuriga. If there were any practical way to bring tortilla chips and salsa, I would suggest that. There is a serious salsa deficiency on this side of the pond, and I usually resort to Doritos for lack of better alternatives. Things Bay Area locals take for granted - fire roasted salsa, mango salsa, even just good pico de gallo - cannot be found. (Fortunately, they can be made...)

            But alas, I fear for your luggage.

            The only other thing I would add is that I always cart back loads of Scharffen Berger chocolate and Peet's coffee when I visit my parents in Berkeley. Not exactly party food, but I've never found anyone who doesn't like it.

    2. I have found See's Candy to be a pretty big hit. It's CA, they don't have it here, and it's easy to pack!

      1. Chocolate from Michael Rechiutti, especially the rose caramels.

        1. I'm an American abroad and although I don't normally eat junk food, I do have a few snack foods I miss that are not easy/are too expensive to find in London:

          1. Goldfish crackers
          2. Oreos
          3. Pop tarts
          4. Chee toos (can't find these)

          There are tons of nuts, dried fruit in the UK, so I wouldn't suggest bringing them.

          1. I second the salsa and tortilla chips. Bring Casa Sanchez chips or something like that and a couple of nice salsas. The salsas I've found in UK supermarkets just taste a bit wrong. It's almost as if they have vinegar in them...they have that slight air of chutney.

            I'd also consider the See's candy suggestion. Not high end, but solid quality and always a hit w/ everyone (I bring them to my in-laws in the UK every year).

            For things indigenous to the Bay Area, I'd try to find a way to show off our brilliant produce w/out running afoul of the law. Blue Chair preserves are being sold at the Temescal farmers market. The Aprium I bought recently is explosive. Fabulous flavor. Possibly serve w/ cream cheese and crackers.