ideas for food gifts from Spain needed
Does anyone have any suggestions for yummy food gifts to bring back that are authentic to Spain? More specifically, I will be shopping in Madrid and Barcelona mostly, and I'm looking for things that do not go stale or bad within a couple days and that will breeze through (US) customs. I guess sweets are probably more likely, but savory suggestions are welcome too. Store and/or brand suggestions would also be really helpful. I'm trying to avoid the paralysis that comes from staring at aisles and aisles of products. Thanks!
I will enthusiastically third the recommendation of canned foods, especially canned seafood. Canned food in Spain is serious stuff. You can even find high-end canned foods in supermarkets. Colmado Quilez and La Fuente is where I shopped for mine, although I often just got them from Carrefour or the supermarket on the corner.
The best ones to bring back are:
Pimientos de Piquillo
Ventresca de atun (tuna belly
)Navajas (razor clams)
And don't forget to buy some salsa aperitivo to season those beauties. The most famous is the one from Ca L'Espinaler.
BTW, If you thought Vilassar de Mar was too far to go for aperitivo, Espinaler recently opened a location in Badalona. http://www.espinaler.es/noticias.aspx...
I would friggin' kill for a can of berbechos, right now.
Easy and entirely local treat is Tazo. It is a chocolate bar with sugar and rice flour that when heated with water or milk makes the Spanish hot chocolate that is as thick as mayonnaise. Zillions of brands, and for example found artisanal ones in Gallicia that were beautifully packaged and were each a bit different.
When I go to Barcelona, I like to buy saffron for friends. Saffron is good quality and inexpensive there. My two favorite stores are La Ribera and Casa Gispert, both in the Born.
La Ribera is very no-fuss old school. Ask for the saffron. It is not prominently displayed. I remember it being on the cashier counter. It also has a lot of good canned food. -- I know it sounds strange to offer canned food, but it really is an extraordinary specialty there, as Maximilien already pointed out.
Gispert is a beautiful store with more hip and inventive food products.
The following thread has a description and comparison of the two shops. Sorriest I misspelled it as Giespert.