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Jul 29, 2011 11:55 AM

What should a New Yorker make sure to bring when moving to London?

Sadly, a wonderful friend and fellow Chowhound, French Culinary Institute grad is leaving NYC to live in London. (Husband's job) What is something she won't be able to find in London that I can send her on her way with as a parting gift? If you've visited NYC, what did you bring back? What do people ask you to bring them when they hear of your travels to NYC?

Many thanks.

(Will also post similar on Manhattan board)

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  1. Dr Brown's Cel-Ray soda .....

    1 Reply
    1. re: Gordito

      That was the first thing that came to my mind while reading the OP and before seeing the responses

    2. There are substitutes for it here, but I still find myself missing Wondra flour - not quite sure why. If your friend uses something like Coffeemate powdered stuff that's flavoured (Hazlenut, French Vanilla etc.) that's not available here except by mail order. Let your friend know there are some excellent sites that sell American products, but at a hefty price.

      I just got a supply of Bumble Bee albacore tuna in spring water. The tuna here can't compare. Too bad she can't bring lots of NYC bagels!

      I think your friend is going to have a ball here in the UK - it's a foodie heaven.

      1. I didn't think I needed anything until a US friend brought me Mexican drinking chocolate. Ibarra in this case.

        1. I can name tons! The thing i miss the most is Vosges chocolate in Spring street, they sell the choco bar here but not the truffles, bacon, wasabi wont find these in Europe.
          Dean and deluca cookies, english cookies are not as crunchy.
          Nathan's hot dog are on my list too....

          1 Reply
          1. re: Penpen

            What cookies have you tried here? Lots of crunchy ones available and most people say, after they have been here for a while that they prefer the ones in this part of the world.

          2. Hard to find but easy to pack items include: grits, polenta, brownie mix, pancake mix, cornbread mix, stuffing mix, maple syrup, dried chiles like chipotle. And even if you bring no other kitchen equipment, bring an american measuring cup!

            7 Replies
            1. re: meb81

              Good call on the measuring cups. A good pyrex measuring cup has been invaluable. We also tend to bring back seasoned corn meal as my better half is from Atlanta. Otherwise, its the standard cereals, and candy which you can get here at a premium.

              Note I just discovered Casa Mexico in Bethnal Green which has a variety of dried and canned chilis. Otherwise its cool chili co/Taqueria for the chipotle and other mexican ingredients


              1. re: NYLONDave

                I totally agree with previous posters about USA measuring cups and Casa Mexico. Both have been life savers. Here are what I've imported from the USA:

                - cast iron skillet (the kind you pay $5 for at a local hardware store, not $75 for)
                - indian head cornmeal
                - if you have a favorite chili powder mix, that might be good. But you can get rather standard cumin, oregano, chili pepper mixes from the supermarket.
                - maple sugar

                I'm doing the reverse packing at the moment, and will try to bring molasses sugar back to the states. I'm now addicted and cannot live with out it. But, London's food is fabulous. And every ounce of volume and weight is annoying when moving. Consider a gift certificate to a restaurant here? Or an interesting food store?

                1. re: NYLONDave

                  American measuring cups are pretty easy to find these days - I have two sets.

                2. re: meb81

                  Grits yes. Real maple syrup very easy to find here. If you want the fake stuff, not so easy. US Brownie mixes are also easy to find at major supermarkets if you feel the need. Pancake mix? How is it difficult to make pancakes from scratch, ditto brownies? Easy to find cornmeal here in African and West Indian shops. You would only need leavening, some flour, egg, and milk or buttermilk to make a batch. Can get dried chiles online easily in this country now. Chilli Pepper Pete does many types.

                  I think it is easy to find US measuring cups here, Online, or in dept. stores. I suggest you buy a cooking scale when you get here if you don't bring one over, again, available through Amazon. Most ingredients here are weighed, esp. for baking.

                  1. re: cathodetube

                    "Can get dried chiles online easily in this country now."

                    True, but they're *much* cheaper in the States. I brought back some dried Anchos recently which were a sixth of the price Tesco charges.

                    1. re: FarleyFlavors

                      My source for dried chiles is the Turkish groceries on Green Lanes, Harringay. The one I visit most often is Yasar Halim. They do not always have them, but they are good ones when they do. Can't recall the price, but it was not so very much.

                  2. re: meb81

                    Measuring cups are very easy to find over here, Tesco & ebay do dried chipotles, & polenta is available here too.