There are souvenirs from trips and then there are food souvenirs from trips. There is a bias here—I work for a food website after all—but I firmly believe that while knickknacks have their place, there's nothing better than being able to sensorially travel back to the vacation from whence you came. Sure, it might be cute to bring back a little miniature Eiffel Tower to put on dresser, or a real pair of Dutch clogs, but that doesn't do a whole lot of good when you're starving, missing being on vacation, and just want to get back to stuffing your face with biscotti in a plaza in Florence.
Obviously, every single country offers a dazzling array of items that you will want—no, need—to bring back with you in massive quantities. But here, we've narrowed it down to the things that will travel best, and will be most likely to elicit oohs and ahhs from the people you're nice enough to give them, too.
Fortunately, though, you don't have to have any big trips planned to bring back food souvenirs. Thanks to the internet, all of these items can be yours in just a few clicks. Way cheaper than a plane ticket, and everything will be just as delicious.
Bring back a box of PG Tips, England's best selling tea, and maybe turn your coffee habit into a tea one. Cuppa, anyone?
Other ideas: Put together a full cream tea and add some clotted cream to your table.
Fleur de sel is the flaky, light, crystalized sea salt of your dreams. Sprinkle it on your eggs and never, ever go back to the stuff in the shaker.
Other ideas: Pick up a Le Creuset crepe pan and impress your brunch guests.
Come for the tin, stay for the smoky, spicy paprika to look cute on your spice rack and make everything you eat more interesting.
Other ideas: Spanish chorizo to get out of your sausage rut.
Made in Belgium from Speculoos cookies, this kind of spicy, sweet wonder spread is best on...well, everything. But I'd recommend starting with it on waffles. Or, you know, just a spoon, straight out of a jar.
Other ideas: To make Belgium's famous liege waffles, you'll need beautiful pearl sugar.
There are few things more pleasing than placing your stroopwafel—a thin, crunchy waffle filled with caramel—on top of your coffee mug, letting the caramel inside melt, and then dunking the whole thing into your coffee.
The Italians own the espresso game. You know it; they know it; the founder of Starbucks definitely knows it. So they were nice enough to make a sleek stovetop espresso maker with a funny little cartoon guy on it to remind you to not take the whole thing so seriously.
Other ideas: You need genuine Italian biscotti to dunk in your coffee, right?
American ketchup is great and all, but sometimes it's just time for a change. One of the best ways to do that? Germany's curry ketchup. It'll give your eggs and hash browns the perfect kick.
Other ideas: Lean in to the whole condiment thing and get super spicy mustard for your wurst needs.