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Jul 1, 2014 01:16 PM

Gift for Friend? What does the US have that you don't?

Hello all! Hoping you can help me out. My buddy moved back to New Zealand a few years ago, but her mom is back visiting and has offered to bring back some things to surprise her from her friends. Anything we have here that you don't?

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  1. On another thread, people suggested things from TJs which I thought was quite good.

    3 Replies
    1. re: c oliver

      TJ's... not sure we have that in Michigan.

      1. re: gastronomics

        They're in Ann Arbor, Royal Oak and Northville (I checked their site) but if it's not someplace your friend shopped, then it wouldn't work.

        1. re: c oliver

          Hmm... yeah. I'm in GR and that's where she lived too. :/

    2. Rye whiskey and bourbon are both much better in the states , and can be brought in ok.

      For a lot of foodstuffs you'll struggle with quarantine restrictions, but US candy - reeces pieces, cinnamon candy etc, should be fine and are hard to get.

      The range of hot sauces and liquid smokes is much better in the states, and dried mexican chiles are much more available at much better prices. Customs was fine with my bringing in unopened labelled packets of gaujillos, etc.

      Sorghum syrup is, to my knowledge ,completely unavailable in Aus, and might have made it to Michigan via the Ky connection.

      3 Replies
      1. re: lacemaker

        What food stuffs aren't allowed please?

        1. re: c oliver

          You will want to check NZ quarantine regulations specifically, and it will also depend on the attitude of the particular customs offices you get - best to declare everything and not to invest too much in anything you're uncertain about.

          Short version: you' can't bring in any fresh food of any kind, and for dried foods it's much better if they look commercially packaged and sealed. No fresh fruit or vegetables, no dairy, no meat.

          1. re: lacemaker

            Oh, I totally agree. I always do and so many people don't.

      2. This thread reminds me of my Canadian-born daughter, living in MEL.
        She misses perogies, the frozen sort. Now just makes her own.
        Maple syrup and maple sugar can be very expensive in Aus., and I've never seen Birch Syrup there.
        Some baking spices and flours have been difficult to find, in her own neighborhood, but now she shops farther afield.
        Also, I find liquor to be much less costly in the US than in Aus. Not sure of the $$ comparison in NZ.

        2 Replies
        1. re: KarenDW

          There are great frozen pirogi around. Where does your daughter live?

          Best place for maple syrup is costco

          1. re: mr_gimlet

            Hello Mr. G. She is at Camberwell. I actually think she is pretty proud of making perogy by hand. Interestingly, none of her friends were even remotely familiar with the little potato dumplings.

        2. Sorry, not the US but when I moved back to New Zealand from Canada the foods I missed that are readily transportable were Skor bars and Meli Melo Snack mix.

          It depends on what foods your friend likes.

          I have friends who work as cabin crew for an international airline and whenever they go to the US or Canada they bring back huge bulk bags of nuts and dried fruit (they make their own muesli) as well as other bulk food items. Not because we don't have these in New Zealand but we don't have them available so cheaply in such giant amounts.