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Aug 30, 2009 09:55 AM

what food/cooking related gift to give a european (who has everything?!)

Hi chowhounders! My friend who is living in the US from Germany is going home to visit her parents next week. Her mother loves to cook and bake and she wants to bring her something we have in the US that maybe Europe wouldn't have (haha hard task I know) We wandered around Sur La Table yesterday and nothing jumped out at me.

What do you think is a good gift idea to bring to a European? Either cookware, food items, or whatever else related you can think of. I hope I posted this in the right board.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. You might have an easier time finding serious teas in the US than Germany. In the SF Bay Area, Red Blossom and Teance are good places to start. (Do check that the receipients have the rioght tea-brewing paraphenalia, if not you could also gift that too if you're generous.)

    The other possibility is of course American wines.

    1. Off the top of my head I'd say perhaps some jams/butters featuring American ingredients, such as Wild Blueberry Jam or Pumpkin Butter. Or maybe a small collection of American hot sauces--these things would likely get through customs (but always check first). If the friend's mother can speak English, then a regional American cookbook and a set of American measuring cups. If not, scratch that suggestion. Perhaps a pretty ceramic pie plate with a recipe for apple pie (translated into German, if necessary!) and any measuring cups/spoons in American measurements. My German relatives have enjoyed pie when they visit, because it is so quintessentially American. The plate will, of course, have to be wrapped well to avoid breakage, but it shouldn't be too heavy (another consideration, given weight limits on baggage).

      ETA: I just looked at a couple of website (e.g. Sur La Table, Willaims-Sonoma) and the pie plates seem to be more "french", such as Emile Henry, which sort of negates the American-ness of the gift. But I know I've seen such plates with Apple Pie designs/motifs. Perhaps this is something more likely to be found in a Target or Wal-Mart. A pie shield and/or pie vent would be a nice addition.
      Also, for some reason, Halloween is becoming more popular in Germany (according to the rellies). Maybe some cookie cutters in Halloween designs?

      1. Good question and, I think, probably already answered.

        The gift we bring back for ourselves from America is always a cookbook from the state (s) we've visited but its dependent on the rellie reading good English.

        Other than that, as limster's suggestion, we'd appreciate an American wine from a specialist vineyard (not the mass produced Californian export stuff). At least Mrs H would appreciate it - I don't drink.

        1. I saw a set of 3 Microplane graters yesterday in Homesense for 25$Can. Now Microplanes are available in Germany but SFAIA they are not common there and cost two to three times as much.
 does not have amco citrus squeezers - just a thought.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Paulustrious

            It's possible that Microplane are not common in Germany - but probably are (and certainly readily available in the UK and the Netherlands). I woul,d not be without my "Good Grips" one.

          2. Germans love cabbage...but not many have tried Kim Chee. Maybe some Kim Chee and a recipe to make it? Translated, of course.

            My husband lived in Germany for years and he said that they love anything with a cowboy/western theme. Having lived in Wyoming, I can attest to that! German tourists were crazy for cowboy hats, cowboy sheets, cowboy plates, cowboy dutch ovens. No kidding! Cowboy tablecloth? Tea towels?

            I found this site that may help...

            1 Reply