Food souvenirs are one of my favorite things to bring home from a trip. Even a small bite of something delicious will help bring you right back to the spot where you bought it. Of course, if it was up to me, I'd bring home a plane full of food (I may or may not have asked Mr.RC if we could get a private plane to fly home 20 tons of Italian food). Naturally, on our Italian trip, the hubs shut down my pleas to stuff a wheel of parmesan in our suitcase, 10 jars of Nutella into his backpack and a carry-on of olive oil and wine (all generously sprinkled with truffles), I can't imagine why. But I did manage to get a few things by him and back home to the US. Here's most (we may or may not have eaten a few things already) of my Italian food haul:
Four Red Fruits Tea A deliciously smooth & sweet tea that's perfect on its own, no sugar or milk needed
Found In: any Italian town
Where We Bought It: A small local grocery store
Tip: You can find this tea in the US labeled as 'Mixed Berry Tea'.
Gianduia A chocolate hazelnut spread that's equally as addicting as Nutella, but a thousand times better
Found In: The Piedmont Region....this one, from Caffarel in Torino, is said to be the original
Where We Bought It: A chocolate and candy shop
Tip: You can eat this straight from the jar (obviously) but we also love it on graham crackers or stirred into a cappuccino.
Sun-dried Tomatoes Sweet Italian tomatoes sun-dried to perfection
Found In: The Tuscan Region
Where We Bought Them: San Lorenzo Mercato Centrale in Florence
Tip: These sun-dried tomatoes are much saltier than any I've ever had in America so most recipes that you use them for won't need additional salt. These also pair well on their own with a dry wine, some sharp parm and olive crackers.
Nescafé Coffee Drink Mixes Perfect mocaccino and cappuccino drinks that come together in a matter of minutes
Found In: any Italian town
Where We Bought Them: A local grocery store
Tip: These mixes are so good you'd think a barista was in each little packet. After having them in a few of the Airbnbs that we stayed in, I knew we couldn't go home without a box or two. And while they're delicious on their own, they also taste awesome with just a touch of Gianduia mixed in!
Marrons Glaces (candied chestnuts)Very sweet and chewy chestnuts
Found In: The Piedmont Region
Where We Bought Them: A sweets shop
Tip: At first I wasn't sure how I felt about these as they were incredible sweet. Then I realized the trick was to only have one at a time and always have it with either or cappuccino or a glass of dry wine/bubbly to cut some of the sweetness.
Truffle Honey + Truffle Salt Decadent seasonings bursting with rich truffle flavor
Found In: The Piedmont Region (Alba specifically is a truffle highlight as they have a truffle festival every October)
Where We Bought Them: A local grocery store (the honey) + the Eataly in Torino (the salt)
Tip: I think just about everything is enhanced with a little truffle but one of my favorites for the honey is drizzling it on goat cheese or parm and pairing it with a crusty bread, and the salt is perfect for elevating even the simplest of dishes, like a scrambled egg or a bowl of pasta tossed with salt, olive oil and parm.
What's your favorite souvenir + where did you bring it home from?