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Foodie Souvenirs

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Hello all. Unfortunately I will not be visiting the area any time soon, but the SO is (end of August - early September). He has kindly offered to bring me back an assortment of souvenirs. Any recommendations as to what he could fly back with him, i.e. any food items that are special/unique to the area that can't be acquired in Toronto, our hometown? He could also bring back fresh food items since the flight isn't that long (assuming of course that these can be carried over the border). Thanks in advance!

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  1. A stack of good tortillas.

    1. Avocados, citrus, fresh tortillas, maybe some good carne asada marinade from one of the Mexican markets?

      1. Can't bring fresh fruit or vegetables across the border. Can't carry cured meats, either (pity, because Knight Salumi makes some excellent sopressata). Tortillas are probably the only thing that you wouldn't be able to get in Toronto that you could actually take back with you. That, and the wine selection in stores here is quite a bit better than in Toronto.

        1. If he's checking luggage then he could bring back some of our local beers. AleSmith Decadence is on shelves now at Whole Foods in Hillcrest and is a very good beer.

          Chocolates from Chuao are good and should travel well.

          1. Yea chocolate. If you want something you can't buy online the giant milk and dark chocloate covered caramels at the Elegant Truffle are wonderful. Truffles not so special, but the caramels..... http://www.trufflemaker.com/

            Another local one that you can buy online Eclipse Chocolate. i haven't tried the truffles, and you can skip the salted caramels, but the candy bars very good. White choc mac ginger, dark choc chile hazelnut., dark choc peanut butter toffee, and others.. We typically get them at farmers markets around town, closer than the Cafe. If interested call and find out where and when. http://www.eclipsechocolat.com/

            1 Reply
            1. re: Island

              +1 for Eclispe. Sea salt nibs are awesome.

            2. Here's some items that I can come up with from my own experiences:
              Hot Pepper Jelly - Henry's carries the Julian brand, which I like ok
              Agave syrup - may be more ubiquitous in the T. but I never saw it before coming down here
              Cypress Grove Cheeses - from more NorCal, but their Humbolt Fog and Truffle Tremor goat cheeses are great
              Booze - the wine selections are indeed great down here, but I get more bang for my buck (and more happy partakers) from a nice topshelf bottle of tequila or mescal

              Also, I'd check with Customs Canada about what is on the "barred" list for the week. I have a good friend who is a hostess for AC and says that it often changes week to week - you might get lucky and get a "window of opportunity" :D

              (I'm a Canuck myself, and am always looking for items that I can bring back to Eastern Canada as gifts - especially since I make all my visitors stock me up on Ketchup chips, golden gingerale, maple syrup, cheese curds, etc...)

              1. Some really great suggestions so far - thanks! The chocolate tips are much appreciated as well as I have quite a sweet tooth. Too bad about the no fresh fruits and veggies or cured meats though; I've read a lot about Knight Salumi and would have loved to try some.

                5 Replies
                1. re: LTL

                  Keep in mind that nothing over 3-oz "travel-size" jars or bottles can be brought on board airlines, including jam, syrup and booze. I had some lovely, homemade, grapefruit jam confiscated by TSA last year. Is it legal to pack and check wine/tequila?

                  1. re: foodiechick

                    It is legal to put bottled beverages in your checked luggage. Can't tell you how much tequila and hooch (aka homebrew mezcal) I've imported on my Mexico trips over the years. In carry-on luggage before the ban and in checked luggage now. You can pack liquor in your suitcase and check it through to your destination at check-in. When you buy liquor in the duty free shops they pack it for you and deliver it to your plane where you pick it up as you board.

                    I've cleared U.S. customs at SAN, LAX, SFO, and IAH all with booze or other liquids in my luggage and they never batted an eye. Went though IAH one year with 8 jars of jam and honey in my checked luggage. All of it was delcared on U.S. customs forms.

                  2. re: LTL

                    I didn't know that about cured meat either. Why the ban? May not carry it on, but he can always mail/ship it home.

                    1. re: Island

                      If you declare it, you can't mail it either. Meat products that haven't been sterilized run the risk of spreading animal diseases. It's the same reason that fresh produce needs an import license. You can spread agriculturally relevant diseases. That's the rationale, anyway. How well that rationale holds is another story...

                      1. re: Indirect Heat

                        Bummer. Thanks for the clarification.