Gifts From Abroad: What To Bring Your Family When You Come Home

gifts from abroad
My wife and I travel a lot, sometimes together, sometimes separately. We both have careers that require us to travel and while it can be tough to be apart, at least we have the regular ritual of seeing what gifts from abroad are popping out of each other’s suitcases!

My wife just came back from an astronomy meeting in Tokyo and brought back this haul of loot. The Japanese are masters of packaging, whether they’re being stylish and traditional or garish and modern. I wonder what a supermarket full of this stuff must look like. The panda head cookies are especially good. I’ve always wanted a bag of decapitated pandas. The T-shirt is for her, because she knows I’m fond of her “especially cuteness.”

What I forgot to include in this photo were the three bottles of sake she brought back. While I’ve always had my sake warm, she tells me it’s often served cold in Tokyo and that regulars have their own monogrammed bottle reserved for them behind the bar!

When I came back from writing my travel series about Greece, I brought her and my son lots of olives since they both love them. I also brought back some honey from Sparta. My wife adores honey and it’s a good gift to bring from abroad because it tastes different in every region. Of all the honey I’ve brought her from far-flung places, she’s liked the Spartan honey the most.

You’ll notice that we mostly bring back consumables. A great way to share the experience of your trip is to share some of the tastes. Also, we live in a European apartment (read: small) and we have too much stuff anyway.

What gifts from abroad do you like to give or receive? Tell us in the comments section!

gifts from abroad

Photo of the Day: Olives, olives, and more olives

Honestly, have you ever seen olives look so appetizing? This epicurean Photo of the Day was snapped at the Mercado San Miguel in Madrid, a traditional Beaux-Arts food market recently restored and reopened in 2009. Flickr user LadyExpat used a Nikon D90 to capture the details in the delicacies: the vibrant colors, the fillings contained in the olives, the reflection of light in the juice. We’re sure they were delicious.

Does your photo belong here? Upload your favorite travel shots to the Gadling Group Pool and your image could be selected as our Photo of the Day.

Flags of the world, made out of food

The topic of national identity comes up frequently when we travel, particularly when it comes to displaying our home country’s flag. As it turns out, the debate surrounding flags is even more “consuming” than we first thought, especially when the flags happen to be made out of food.

In honor of this October’s upcoming Sydney International Food Festival, the event’s organizers have arranged to have the flag of each participating country re-created using that nation’s unique local food products and recipes. See the flag to the right (from Australia)? It’s been remade as a meat pie, a food favorite from Down Under. Greece on the other hand, was composed entirely of olives and feta cheese. And how about Japan? It’s been constructed as a circular piece of pinkish-red sushi on a bed of rice.

Even as the boundaries of our home countries are blurred by travel, foods remain one of the few reliable reminders of what it is that makes the places we visit so undeniably unique. Flags, in similar fashion, offer the visual equivalent of a unique food, declaring the unique characteristics of each country. Yet increasingly we find the foods of just about any cuisine available anywhere we happen to be in the world. As it turns out, “deliciousness” knows no political or geographical boundaries – food is one topic we all seem agree upon.

[Via Metafilter]