Whenever I tell my family and friends that I’ll be flying over to spend the holidays with them, I’m invariably inundated with a singular request: “Bring jamón!”
At this point, my eyelids close, my head lolls back, and my lungs empty themselves with a slight whistle. Why doesn’t anybody want any caganets, personalized torero posters or polyester Sevillana dresses, dammit?
“I cannot bring any meat. You know this. It will be confiscated and destroyed at customs and I will be fined. You know this.”
“Only if they find it! I once brought [insert prohibited item here] and nobody caught me. You just have to look like you’re not carrying anything. The trick is…”
Inhale, while I mentally cancel my ticket, and exhale, while I conjure up another lovely Spanish product that I know they’ve never had or heard of and can later boast about to their other friends.
So here is my list of thoughtful non-meat items you can take back to your loved ones that will give them a taste of Spain and win you points for culture:
If you want more inspiration that doesn’t involve walls of keychains, head over to España en la Mesa. All the products there are made in Spain and are gift-worthy.
Remember to check with your country’s customs guidelines before buying though. Some countries like Australia, for example, won’t allow you to take products with milk in it (even dehydrated) so that churros mix would be out. It’s ok to bring liquor into the US but it has to be put in your checked in luggage. Don’t try to trick the customs or you could face fines and humiliation like our friend Lauren over here.
I've been living in Madrid since 2007, married to a madrileño since 2008, and mom to our son since 2011. Tech is my thing. I love salmorejo, matrimonios and cazón adobado. I don't watch football.
Image Credits: Andrew Enright