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  #21  
Old September 24th, 2012, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Mel&Ken View Post
Hello everyone,

We have just booked an Eastern Med cruise for Sept.2013 on the new Reflection. We'll be in Athens, Mykonos, Santorini, Istanbul, Ephesus and Naples.

In Europe last year I was excited to bring home items from each country that I could use for cooking - i loaded up with saffron and paprika in Spain, olive oil, meats, cheeses and chestnut honey in Italy, mustards and spices in France.

Thinking ahead to this trip I am wondering what local treasures I should be on the hunt for. Immediately I think of oregano and honey in Greece, pistashios and spices in Turkey...lemoncello and maybe preserved lemons in Naples.

What am I missing?

Thanks in advance....Melissa
At the Spice Bazaar in Istanbul I recommend both spices and Turkish delight. We got Iranian saffron, meat spices, Turkish coffee, sumac, and HONEY Turkish delight for ourselves and SUGAR Turkish delight for co-workers. Both were good. Pick it out and have them box it for you fresh. You can sample and pick out what you like, but the pistachio is my favorite. There were lots of nougat candies with nuts or other baklava type things to buy. I wish I'd bought twice as much Iranian saffron, though, because it was the best saffron I've ever seen and was pretty cheap for what it was. It's SOLID RED THREADS and is usually kept behind the counter INSIDE the store- don't confuse it with the Turkish saffron in the heaps outside. That's not real saffron at all. Have a shop owner explain all this and do a water test to show you how good it is if you're unsure.

We also bought limoncello in Sorrento. Yummy!
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  #22  
Old October 3rd, 2012, 07:32 PM
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We bought truffle oil and aged Balsamic vinegar in Italy. In Spain there were fantastic olives stuffed with tuna. And the manchego cheese is to die for. From Greece , I brought home a can of dolmades ( vine leaves stuffed with rice.) From France look for terrines with aramagnac.

From Bermuda, we have brought back some really good British marmalade, and hot sauces. Pure vanilla from either Mexico or Barbados is excellent. And from Grenada, nutmeg and allspice are musts.

When we stopped int he Azores last fall on a TA we brought back some cheddar cheese and a semisoft cheese covered in ash which was vey good.

In almost any European country the grocery stores carry tubes of tomato paste which I have used for years since discovering it. It is so convenient and now I am able to find it here in some specialty stores.

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  #23  
Old October 8th, 2012, 07:00 PM
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We are (G-d willing) going to be in Chile in December to do a sponsored wine trail/foodie trip- and we've never been there, so any cool stuff about Chile, and what to eat/drink/buy/see/do, will be DEEPLY appreciated!

I know the holiday season is busy, busy, busy; but, when you have the time, would you please my husband and myself with any foodie info. you think would help us. We cruise Rio to Valpariso and hope to spend a couple of extra days in Santiago. TIA

Dolores
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  #24  
Old October 9th, 2012, 04:25 AM
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Default Foodie-Wine Chile info

I am in the process of doing a truly stupid amount of research on Chile as I have to book our tours ASAP...

We are definitely going to book cooking/foodie-wine tours with www.cookingclasseschile.com in Valparaiso- they have one-day ones, as well as a "foodie week"; they've emailed with me and sound great- they've given me Lots of great info, too. They have great blog and other online reviews.

There is a LOT of chile wine info on the web if you Google "wine tours Chile" (Google "chile food", too - lots of stuff comes up about classic dishes) & check TripAdvisor; Santiago Adventures is one company I've been inn touch with that has great-sounding wine tours; www.winetravelchile.com (Karen Gilchrist) is one wine tour co. I've been emailing with; they have fab sounding day tours to the many different wine areas. www.uncorked.cl is another wine tour company I've been in contact with that sounds great. Also www.enaturchile.com. I also found
www.enotourchile.com which has a "Santiago Wine Bar Route" tour that sounds fun... Some of the wine trip companies (Liz Casky, Robertson) were Insanely expensive- like $1000/day- and attitudinal when I contacted them (the "if you have have to ask the price you can't afford us" attitude , which in this day and age is Nuts- we are in the hospitality business ourselves, so I don't say this lightly); but there are many others that are a lot less and VERY nice; I am still in the process of researching and contacting...
Some of the winery areas seem near enough south of Santiago (1.5 - 2 hours) that it seems lilke you can take the train to them (there is basically one train line, which runs south from Santiago all the way to Chilan (4.5 hours away); there used to be a fab sounding "Wine Train" but it went out with the earthquake and isn't running ), but the issue is getting reservations at the wineries... we are going to try to get reservations in advance and go by train on at least one day, but we are going to take several tours, too- but we have 13 days.

From everything I've read, you really MUST have reservations at the wineries, so my advice is: if you have only one day, book one of the good wine tours that includes a fab gourmet lunch at the winery...

I also bought the Frommers Chile guide book, which, even though it was published in 2011 seems quite good, & has lots of "DIY" winery tour info. I also got the "Culture Shock! Chile" book, so I can learn something before we go. LOL I have been informed that Chile is the 2nd most expensive country in SA, and the prices I'm getting for the most part seem pretty close to those here in the USA; interestingly, www.bedandbreakfast.com has a lot of B&Bs in Chile listed, and many were very reasonable! Rightnow our plan is to have a few days in Santiago & do the wine areas in that region, and then rent a car and drive up north to the Atacama desert, then to Valparaiso for the foodie/cooking/wine tours there, and then drive south, hoping to see the penguins! (Yes, we need a month, not 13 days. We also need to win Lotto. LOL)

I've also learned we must drink Pisco Sours & bring home Picso...

Have fun!



Quote:
Originally Posted by RDMOREU View Post
I know the holiday season is busy, busy, busy; but, when you have the time, would you please my husband and myself with any foodie info. you think would help us. We cruise Rio to Valpariso and hope to spend a couple of extra days in Santiago. TIA

Dolores
RDMOREU at AOL dot COM
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  #25  
Old October 9th, 2012, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Shebba View Post
Great thread!!

Any suggestions for So. Pacific, New Zealand, Australia?
Tim Tams.........every flavor made!!!!
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  #26  
Old October 9th, 2012, 07:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gold1959 View Post
I am in the process of doing a truly stupid amount of research on Chile as I have to book our tours ASAP...

We are definitely going to book cooking/foodie-wine tours with www.cookingclasseschile.com in Valparaiso- they have one-day ones, as well as a "foodie week"; they've emailed with me and sound great- they've given me Lots of great info, too. They have great blog and other online reviews.

There is a LOT of chile wine info on the web if you Google "wine tours Chile" (Google "chile food", too - lots of stuff comes up about classic dishes) & check TripAdvisor; Santiago Adventures is one company I've been inn touch with that has great-sounding wine tours; www.winetravelchile.com (Karen Gilchrist) is one wine tour co. I've been emailing with; they have fab sounding day tours to the many different wine areas. www.uncorked.cl is another wine tour company I've been in contact with that sounds great. Also www.enaturchile.com. I also found
www.enotourchile.com which has a "Santiago Wine Bar Route" tour that sounds fun... Some of the wine trip companies (Liz Casky, Robertson) were Insanely expensive- like $1000/day- and attitudinal when I contacted them (the "if you have have to ask the price you can't afford us" attitude , which in this day and age is Nuts- we are in the hospitality business ourselves, so I don't say this lightly); but there are many others that are a lot less and VERY nice; I am still in the process of researching and contacting...
Some of the winery areas seem near enough south of Santiago (1.5 - 2 hours) that it seems lilke you can take the train to them (there is basically one train line, which runs south from Santiago all the way to Chilan (4.5 hours away); there used to be a fab sounding "Wine Train" but it went out with the earthquake and isn't running ), but the issue is getting reservations at the wineries... we are going to try to get reservations in advance and go by train on at least one day, but we are going to take several tours, too- but we have 13 days.

From everything I've read, you really MUST have reservations at the wineries, so my advice is: if you have only one day, book one of the good wine tours that includes a fab gourmet lunch at the winery...

I also bought the Frommers Chile guide book, which, even though it was published in 2011 seems quite good, & has lots of "DIY" winery tour info. I also got the "Culture Shock! Chile" book, so I can learn something before we go. LOL I have been informed that Chile is the 2nd most expensive country in SA, and the prices I'm getting for the most part seem pretty close to those here in the USA; interestingly, www.bedandbreakfast.com has a lot of B&Bs in Chile listed, and many were very reasonable! Rightnow our plan is to have a few days in Santiago & do the wine areas in that region, and then rent a car and drive up north to the Atacama desert, then to Valparaiso for the foodie/cooking/wine tours there, and then drive south, hoping to see the penguins! (Yes, we need a month, not 13 days. We also need to win Lotto. LOL)

I've also learned we must drink Pisco Sours & bring home Picso...

Have fun!


Thank you so much! Your reply was much more than I imagined that I might receive! I'm not sure that hubby and I are 'worthy' of some of your excursions ... lol ... !!!!!!!!
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  #27  
Old October 9th, 2012, 08:59 PM
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Tim Tams.........every flavor made!!!!
Ooo, yum! Can you not buy Tim Tams in Florida? An Australian friend of mine mailed me some 10 years ago, but now I can buy them in western Canada. Dee-lish!
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  #28  
Old October 18th, 2012, 07:53 PM
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LOVE this thread!! Genius!

Does anyone have a must buy in colombia (besides the peppers), aruba, caracao, st marteen and st thomas

Thanks in advance!!
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  #29  
Old October 19th, 2012, 04:39 PM
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I am learning more and more about Chile- and the driving distances are Immense! LOL We will only be going north as far as the Humboldt Penguin Reserve (Punta de Choros; you can apparently get local boatment to take you to the Humboldt Penguin Reserve island), probably staying in a cabin on the beach in Punta de Choros, and spending, hopefully, a night in Pisco ElQui, as well, so we can sample Pisco! (There are a number of Pisco distilleries in this area; Frommers.com has a list of them; Mistral, in the center of Pisco ElQui, apparently has a great restaurant as well).

As for Santiago: Have learned about what sounds like a "must eat" foodie restaurant in Santiago that I think we will Have to go to: BORAGO ( See TripAdvisor and then go to their website: sounds pretty foodie-amazing local Chile gourmet...) Was also recommended by a Chillean to go to Los Adobes De Argomedo for a fun dinner with lots of Chile music and dancing- and to Definitely book a table by the stage; it's apparently a "touristy" place (from TripAdvisor reviews; they also have a website which will come up if you Google them), but it's also the place Chileans take their tourist friends...
If we can find a place, I think the Bellavista neighborhood in Santiago sounds like a fun place to stay- arty "bohemian" with lots of restaurants and music and shops...

I did book three days/nights in Valparaiso with Cooking Chile and they made us a great package with a B&B stay & a wine tour, as well as cooking classes & markets, and he's been VERY helpful; thru him we found a good car rental, as well: Rosselot rosselot.cl (9 days car rental (manual Kia Morning) pickup/drop off at Santiago Airport, for $450 :-)

Also learned, from my post on TripAdvisor Chile forum, of what looks to be a fabulous place to stay for cooking & foodie/wine/olive oil tasting and other fun: Mapuyampay: http://www.mapuyampay.cl/xdondegrafico.html They just got back to me and we will probably try to stay there at least 2 nights.

I do not speak Spanish, but I do speak some Italian, and as I've been "reading" some of the Chile Tourism Websites that are only in Spanish (and emailing people in English and getting back responses in Chilean Spanish...) & discovering I can understand about 85%, I have to assume that Chilean Spanish is Very close to Italian...

HAVE FUN!!!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by RDMOREU View Post
Thank you so much! Your reply was much more than I imagined that I might receive! I'm not sure that hubby and I are 'worthy' of some of your excursions ... lol ... !!!!!!!!
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  #30  
Old October 19th, 2012, 04:57 PM
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Default Columbia buys...

Aside from the peppers- the coffee is great, too, of course... and the one local liquor they had, which was great but Very strong! And hubs did buy me (or rather, let me talk him into us buying for me...) an emerald. You can buy good quality unset emeralds in Columbia very resasonably... with the set ones you're often paying for the gold, rather than the quality of the emerald... the downside to buying an unset stone, however, is that you then have to go have it set (I'm still trying to find someone to do that here in WV...) and can't wear it right away...
We were in Catagena for the day on a Celeb cruise last spring, and took the tour (thru Celeb- no one else had it available) to soak in the Mud Volcano (which was FABULOUS- and I HIGHLY recommend it! Don't go if you're expecting a fancy spa, however- this is a crude, fun, and very "native" mud volcano; you have to walk up a steep staircase to the top of the volcano to get in the mud- and they have guys who give you massages, and you float around in the mud, and then go down and let the gals help you wash off the mud in the sea- and then get a local beer! It's amazing fun!), and so we didn't have time to go into town- which looks lovely; we passed all sorts of beautiful restaurants and lovely buildings- and to the emerald store I wanted to go to... There was a duty free shop near the ship, which is where we bought the peppers, coffee, booze, our requisite "Panama" style hats, and yes, the emerald...

I've heard that Nutmeg from Grenada seems to be a "must buy" & "must taste", as well as eating at the Crabback Restaurant, whch we plan to do...

Have fun!


Quote:
Originally Posted by cruisee<3 View Post
LOVE this thread!! Genius!

Does anyone have a must buy in colombia (besides the peppers), aruba, caracao, st marteen and st thomas

Thanks in advance!!
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Elisse: 1976 - Venice, Italy to Haifa, Israel
10/1978-12/1978 - Visevica, Yugolinia (Freight Ship)
1993 - present: Official USCG Artist."Cruises" in NY, Maine, AK, & PR! Underway with Cutters inc. USCGC Penobscot Bay & USCGC Sturgeon Bay. Icebreaking Ops on the Hudson are THE best cruises!
2005 - Hurricane Katrina, FEMA Community Relations; bridges were down & I came into St.Bernard, LA on the Cajun Queen...
4/2008 - Honeymoon Cruises: Mekong Delta & Halong Bay, Vietnam
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1/2011 - RCCL Liberty of the Seas

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  #31  
Old October 19th, 2012, 08:06 PM
RDMOREU RDMOREU is offline
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Thumbs up Thank you gold1959

Quote:
Originally Posted by gold1959 View Post
I am learning more and more about Chile- and the driving distances are Immense! LOL We will only be going north as far as the Humboldt Penguin Reserve (Punta de Choros; you can apparently get local boatment to take you to the Humboldt Penguin Reserve island), probably staying in a cabin on the beach in Punta de Choros, and spending, hopefully, a night in Pisco ElQui, as well, so we can sample Pisco! (There are a number of Pisco distilleries in this area; Frommers.com has a list of them; Mistral, in the center of Pisco ElQui, apparently has a great restaurant as well).

As for Santiago: Have learned about what sounds like a "must eat" foodie restaurant in Santiago that I think we will Have to go to: BORAGO ( See TripAdvisor and then go to their website: sounds pretty foodie-amazing local Chile gourmet...) Was also recommended by a Chillean to go to Los Adobes De Argomedo for a fun dinner with lots of Chile music and dancing- and to Definitely book a table by the stage; it's apparently a "touristy" place (from TripAdvisor reviews; they also have a website which will come up if you Google them), but it's also the place Chileans take their tourist friends...
If we can find a place, I think the Bellavista neighborhood in Santiago sounds like a fun place to stay- arty "bohemian" with lots of restaurants and music and shops...

I did book three days/nights in Valparaiso with Cooking Chile and they made us a great package with a B&B stay & a wine tour, as well as cooking classes & markets, and he's been VERY helpful; thru him we found a good car rental, as well: Rosselot rosselot.cl (9 days car rental (manual Kia Morning) pickup/drop off at Santiago Airport, for $450 :-)

Also learned, from my post on TripAdvisor Chile forum, of what looks to be a fabulous place to stay for cooking & foodie/wine/olive oil tasting and other fun: Mapuyampay: http://www.mapuyampay.cl/xdondegrafico.html They just got back to me and we will probably try to stay there at least 2 nights.

I do not speak Spanish, but I do speak some Italian, and as I've been "reading" some of the Chile Tourism Websites that are only in Spanish (and emailing people in English and getting back responses in Chilean Spanish...) & discovering I can understand about 85%, I have to assume that Chilean Spanish is Very close to Italian...

HAVE FUN!!!!
Great info. in this posting and the one following! Thanks!!
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  #32  
Old October 21st, 2012, 12:18 PM
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Default Congrats OP!

This thread started a CC article! Great idea for a thread!!

http://www.cruisecritic.com/blog/ind...odies/?isalt=0
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  #33  
Old October 24th, 2012, 10:24 PM
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I'm so glad everyone is enjoying this thread.....I'm not the only who thinks about food to bring home when they're in port!

Melissa
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  #34  
Old December 11th, 2012, 08:08 AM
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Love this thread but I need suggestions for Northern Europe and the Baltics. Any suggestions?
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  #35  
Old December 28th, 2012, 06:02 PM
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Default Chile: Foodie-Winey ideas!

Just got back from a 2 week "wine-foodie" trip with chef hubs and managed to bring back 39 bottles of wine, pisco, and olive oil in my suitcases- not to mention the spices, palm honey, seafood, and quince paste! (Everyone has a talent, and mine is apparently wrapping glass bottles in my chothing... LOL) If you are going to Chile I can make these recommendations:
The wine tours/tastings are expensive, but unless you speak Spanish and can make all your own arrangements, if you have limited time, they are the way to go. We took two private tours (we wanted to join other people, but that wasn't an option :-( ) with Uncorked Wine Tours Chille (you can Google and TripAdvisor them) and they were great- especially the first one to the Aconcagua area with Patricia, where we actually got to blend and bottle our own wine at one of the vineyards! We learned SO much during that tasting/blending experience that I Highly recommend a tour like that at the beginning of a wine trip to Chile to "start you off on the right foot", as it were. The tours also included grand lunches at the wineries, which we loved. We also did an evening "wine bar-tapas tour" with Enotour Chile, which was also a private tour and expensive, but great- and they were the only company offering such a tour. It would have taken us a week (and knowing hip Santiagans who could tell us which wine bars to go to and what to order...) to do it ourselves- and we only had 13 nights in Chile total! We drank wine up on the hill overlooking Santiago at sunset, and then went to 2 excellent wine bars for wine tastings and tapas- including great hams (llama ham among them), and THE best oysters I've ever had in my life. Seriously. We enjoyed staying in the Barrio Bellavista neighborhood in Santiago- fun neighborhood with lots of music, clubs, art, cafes- it's the "hip" neighborhood and has great wall murals and the "Patio Bellavista" with outdoor cafes and boutique kiosks... We stayed at the Hotel Loreto (got a great deal on Expedia...) and we recommend it. Not fancy, but perfect location, lovely room with a little balcony overlooking a courtyard garden, and VERY nice staff!
Merken is THE spice to bring back- it's a spicy pepper blend made by the Mapuche people, and available all over Chile. We bought a large can of it at one of the wineries. Olive Oil and Palm honey are other special Chilean "foodie" thing to bring back... and there are specialty herb liquers, as well as Pisco, too... and wine, of course!
HIGHLY recommend Mapuyampay (2 1/2 hours south of Santiago) for a romantic, foodie/wine stay- you can Google and TripAdvisor it. We had an Excellent cooking/wine-pairing class and dinner with Chef Ruth, and loved our 3 days there so much that we stayed an extra night! The food is extraordinary (housemade gravlax, ice creams, etc.), great wines, beautiful, romantic room... and they arranged wine tours for us in the Curico region, horseback riding around the vineyards, and a fabulous olive oil tasting at a boutique olive oil grower that was an incredible learning experience! A Beautiful place created by beautiful people!
We also recommend, in Valparaiso, "Cooking Classes Chile" and the Yellow House Bed-and-Breakfast right across from it. (A sweet B&B owned by an Australian-Chilean couple, we had a Totally Amazing view of the port from the wall of windows in our guest room!) We had a great, fun day with our group of 8 shopping the fish/seafood and veggie markets in Valparaiso, taking the trams and metro and seeing different neighborhoods, a lunch with live Valpo music, and then learning to cook (and then eating) a yummy dinner of Chilean dishes, accomapnied by Chilean wine and learning to make Pisco Sours! We also did a great day tour with "The German Pirate of Valparaiso" (found him thru the Yellow House B&B; you can Google him, too & he's on Facebook) to 2 wineries in the Casablanca area and lunch at a fishing village: totally amazing razor clams baked in cream and cheese!!!!
If you are any kind of a "foodie" interested in Chilean culture, you Have to eat at Borago in Santiago- Google and Trip Advisor it. Their "discovery menu" (approx $100pp) is literally a trip through Chile food, culture, art, wine, and water thru 8 small plates with accompanying wines- everything is Chilean, from the ingredients to the wines to the serving plates; the water is bottled Patagonian rainwater! A truly fab foodie experience, each course has a "story" and they explained it all to us in English! :-) We actually learned a lot of things that we are thinking we may be able to adopt at our inn in WV! (Note: if you are looking for an all-you-can-eat bargain cafeteria, you will not be happy here!)
Best thing about Chilean cuisine: the amazing seafood! Urchin! Razor Clams! Octopus! Abalone! Crab! THE best oysters I've ever had in my life! Ceviche! Fish you will not find elsewhere, too. The country is basically 1000s of miles of coast lilne, and seafood and fish is THE thing to order!!! I brought back cans of exotic seafood so I can periodically indulge myself... The best place to buy most of these "foodie" things (at prices WAY cheaper than at the airport...) is in a Chilean grocery store- there are lots of "Walmart SuperCenter"-type malls with great supermarkets; Jumbo, Paris - there are many.
And you must go see the penguins at the Humbolt Penguin Reserve! The really nice fishermen at Punta de Choros take you out to the island, and it really is cool! We stayed at a lovely little cabin (Cabanas Amarilis) in Punta de Choros for 2 nights, and the lady who owns them was SO nice and helpful! Nice, simple fish/seafood restaurants there, too!
We rented a car at the Santiago airport- from the Chilean rental car firm Rosselot- and they were GREAT! WAY better than Avis, Hertz, etc. Our small Kia manual cost us only $450 for 9 days! Note that it cost us $50 to fill the tank, and there are lots of tolls if you drive the main highways.

Believe it or not, I won this "dream trip" on Facebook in a Hilton Garden Inn contest- and it really was a dream trip! We feel incredibly lucky we got to do it, and HIGHLY recommed Chile to anyone into wine and food on any level! And the people are SOOOOOOOOOOO nice!!!!! Go! Enjoy!
Elisse
__________________
Dan: LOTS of "cruises" with the US Army, since 1965, to & in Vietnam & elsewhere...
Elisse: 1976 - Venice, Italy to Haifa, Israel
10/1978-12/1978 - Visevica, Yugolinia (Freight Ship)
1993 - present: Official USCG Artist."Cruises" in NY, Maine, AK, & PR! Underway with Cutters inc. USCGC Penobscot Bay & USCGC Sturgeon Bay. Icebreaking Ops on the Hudson are THE best cruises!
2005 - Hurricane Katrina, FEMA Community Relations; bridges were down & I came into St.Bernard, LA on the Cajun Queen...
4/2008 - Honeymoon Cruises: Mekong Delta & Halong Bay, Vietnam
2/2010 - RCCL Freedom of the Seas
1/2011 - RCCL Liberty of the Seas

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  #36  
Old March 15th, 2013, 09:00 PM
paumarier paumarier is offline
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What a great thread. I hope we can keep it going. We are going to Greece, Egypt, Israel and Turkey in November. Any suggestions on any other great food related souvenirs (besides spices) to be found in these countries?
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  #37  
Old March 17th, 2013, 06:18 PM
RDMOREU RDMOREU is offline
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Thumbs up gold1959

Thank you!!!!!
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  #38  
Old March 22nd, 2013, 01:52 PM
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gold1959 gold1959 is offline
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Smile Foodie Israel!

Israel I can help with (I'm Israeli-American)!
If you have the time, do "foodie tours" with Ben Brewer of Israel Food Tours- they are EXCELLENT!! (They are full day tours & include fabulous food, markets, etc., and are WELL worth it!) If you are on a cruise and have a full day in a port, contact him (he's American-born so his English is peerfect): he may be able to do a tour for you. My husband and I took his tours in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv/Yaffo and we got to cook Yemenite food with a wonderful cook in the Keren HaTemanim (Yemenite Quarter of Tel Aviv), see things I never would have seen or known about otherwise (and I'm Israeli!!!), shop the markets, taste Everything, eat Great hummus & Arab pastries in Old Yaffo... plus he gave us tips for things to do elsewhere, such as wineries. I want to do his other tours, espec. the one to the Indian Jewish community where they make Amba, a mango sauce Israelis love to use, especiallly on Meurav Yerushalmi (see below)!

I can also give you some restaurant tips for Really fine, upscale dining in Israel if you are going to be there for some time- tell me where you'll be & I will tell you what I know is good!

Bring back: WINE! Israel has over 300 wineries from the Negev desert to the Golan Heights and they are truly world class! Golan Heights Winery / Yarden is probably the most famous; many of their wines are available in the USA, but there are 100s of other wineries that are Excellent, every one one we went to did tastings, and some of the wineries have lovely lodging where you can stay, such as Carmey Avdat. One of my fave wineries is Rota, a winery in the Negev desert; Rota is also a sculptor. We bought wine at Rota and drank it in the 2000 year old wine cellar at the archaological site Ovdat! (You can "Google" all these things and lots of info is on the internet Ovdat and Tel Aviv are both UNESCO World Heritage sites).
Bring back Olive Oil and Honey from Israel! Both are EXCELLENT!
The Cracked Sura Olives from Israel are my total fave- they have a wonderful mild bitterness, and do not taste like those over-salted pimento stuffed things!
If you get to Nazareth, you may want to go to their "Living Museum" of what life was 2000 years ago; they make wine and olive oil and textiles the "old fashioned way", too, and it's quite interesting; if you're a Christian, as my husband is, you will enjoy it even more. There is also a great gourmet restaurant in Nazareth with local specialties...

I always bring back from Israel:
Yemenite Skhug (green and red), truly amazing hot sauces, and
Hilbeh, a mild sauce that Yemenite Jews put on almost every dish! (If you have a chance, try Yemenite Melauach, a fabulous layered pancake. You dip pieces of Meurav in shug hot sauce and/or honey, and it is SO good! *drool*)
Amba, a bright orange, tangy, Mango-based sauce that the Jews from India brought to Israel; it's great on grilled meats- it's very much like an Indian chutney.
Spices, such as Zatar and Sumac. Zatar is a delicious, mild green spice mix with sesame seeds in it that you put on pita (or other bread). Put good olive oil on the pita and dip in zatar- YUM!! Sumac is a spice used in making Meurav Yerushalmi ("Jerusalem Mixed Grill"), the food of my dreams! (I do have a recipe if you're interested- it took me, my chef hubs, and a lot of friends a long time to figure out the spice mix!) It's spicy grilled meat with onions served in a pita, and honestly there is Nothing else like it! The best Meurav can be had on Rehov Agrippas (Agrippas Street) in Jerusalem, near the truly great Machneh Yehuda market- a must-do if you're in Jerusalem for a day or two!
Pomegranate jam (called "confiture") and wine from Israel- both are totally delicious & I have never had anything like that jam anywhere else!!!
Liqueurs: there is an amazing assortment of fruit liquers made from fruit grown in Israel; my fave is an apple/chili liquer that I can't get in the USA...
Curcumall: This is a liquid food suppliment made in Israel from Tumeric with extensive medical test results on it helping arthritis, as well as other ailments; we first found it in Israel via Ben Brewer and it helped my husband's arthritis (especially in his hands) so much that he has continued to take it and we finally found a USA supplier; if you Google Curcumall, it will come up. If you have arthritis you may want to look into trying this.


If you don't or can't get to the farms or wineries, go to any SuperSol (big Israeli grocery chain) or other grocery to shop.
Most everything, including labels on foods, is in English, and 90% of Israelis speak English.


I always bring back bags of mud from the Dead Sea, as well as Dead Sea skin care products; many (Ahava) are readily available in the USA, but some are not, and the Dead Sea is my totally fave place in the world- I have Psoriasis, and the Dead Sea clears my skin 100% in 30 days and keeps me clear for a year at a time...


When we came back from Israel I had 36 bottles of wine, liquers, honey, and olives wrapped in plastic bags and my clothes in our suitcases, as well as spices & mud, and everything made it intact!!
HAVE FUN! I'm soooooo jealous- but in a really nice way! LOL
Elisse



Quote:
Originally Posted by paumarier View Post
What a great thread. I hope we can keep it going. We are going to Greece, Egypt, Israel and Turkey in November. Any suggestions on any other great food related souvenirs (besides spices) to be found in these countries?
__________________
Dan: LOTS of "cruises" with the US Army, since 1965, to & in Vietnam & elsewhere...
Elisse: 1976 - Venice, Italy to Haifa, Israel
10/1978-12/1978 - Visevica, Yugolinia (Freight Ship)
1993 - present: Official USCG Artist."Cruises" in NY, Maine, AK, & PR! Underway with Cutters inc. USCGC Penobscot Bay & USCGC Sturgeon Bay. Icebreaking Ops on the Hudson are THE best cruises!
2005 - Hurricane Katrina, FEMA Community Relations; bridges were down & I came into St.Bernard, LA on the Cajun Queen...
4/2008 - Honeymoon Cruises: Mekong Delta & Halong Bay, Vietnam
2/2010 - RCCL Freedom of the Seas
1/2011 - RCCL Liberty of the Seas

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  #39  
Old March 24th, 2013, 09:13 PM
paumarier paumarier is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2008
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Thank you everyone and especially Elisse for all the info on Israel. I can't wait to get there and eat everything we possibly can and then take home as much as we can too. One of the things I always bring home from our travels is honey, and I'm looking forward to getting some when we are there. We have a private tour already set up and Im going to make sure to mention everything you listed. I love to bring home specialties from the different places we travel to, and then when my husband and I have them with dinners at home, it's almost like we are there again.
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  #40  
Old March 28th, 2013, 05:54 PM
MarGG MarGG is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Langley Cruisers View Post

In one of the countries we visited (Greece?) I bought some local pasta for mere pennies.. (mere Euros!). Very inexpensive and a nice reminder.
.
Hmm... I have always associated pasta with Italy...
It is tomato jam you have to bring from Greece. It is delicious and fun. When I offered it to my friends no one could guess what it was made of!

We are going on a Baltic Cruise. Is it sufficient to ask about Baltic food specialties, or is this a purely Southern cuisine thread?
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