Budapest and Prague - what to bring back
My friend is headed to the above two cities and wondered what she can bring as necessary items and special gifts (legal). Paprika, and any other ideas?
Unless you live in an area where Hungarian paprika is unavailable there's not a huge point in bringing it back. The majority of the paprika they sell is exactly the same that you can find in stores in the US.
Budapest has fun condiments in tubes that they can bring back. garlic cream, gulyasch cream. It's like Vienna and mustard: We love bringing back stuff in tubes! I don't think we saw as many tubes in Prague.
The Hungarian botrytis sweet wines from the overripe late harvest furmint grape are not to be missed. They are known as Tokáji. Look for small 50 cl bottles. They are rated with a star code - look for bottles labelled Aszu with 4 or 5 stars (puttunyos) upwards. In some vintages a superior version is produced - essencia. These wines beat Sauternes at value for money any time.
Vintages 03, 05 and 06 are widely available and top class.
The tax free bay at the airport has a decent and reasonably priced selection.
Things not to missed to bring from Prague are typically not discussed on Chowhound, unless you count their Kohinoor pencils, and their delicate cedar perfumed outer ends as almost edible, as I tend to.