Must have culinary items to buy in each port

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#1
Windsor, ON Canada
422 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
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
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#2
Canada
18,754 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
I know what you should not buy is any pre-packaged Turkish Delight candy. Oh my goodness, it was awful. I've heard the fresh stuff at bazaars is OK but anything sole pre-packaged in a box is a waste of money and tastes absolutely awful. Very disappointed to have bought boxes for co-workers... so glad to have opened one ahead of time because I would not have wanted them to touch it. Ugh.

In one of the countries we visited (Greece?) I bought some local pasta for mere pennies.. (mere Euros!). Very inexpensive and a nice reminder.
.
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#3
MN
430 Posts
Joined Nov 2009
Great thread!

Suggestions for the Carribean, anyone?
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#4
United States
105 Posts
Joined Jun 2012
I have no suggestions, since I haven't gone yet, but I love the idea! We're doing a very similar itinerary, so am interested to hear what responses you get.

Chestnut honey sounds very intriguing - is that something commonly found in Italy, or did you have to search it out? Did you get it at any specific place?
#5
Windsor, ON Canada
422 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Saffy12......

We had an anti pasta tray in a restaurant called Cavour 313 (Rome) and it had the most amazing honey on it. With us speaking very little Italian and our server very little English, he was able to explain it was chestnut honey or miele di castagno.

It's created by bees who live and eat the nectar of nothing but chestnut trees and it was the most flavourful honey I have ever had.

We first saw it for sale at a quaint little shop in Orvietto and bought 20 tiny jars as souviniers for co-workers. We also found a honey store not far from the Trevi Fountain and again found it in a grocery store. Had we not eaten it I would never have known it existed....thus this thread!

Hopefully people share what local treasures they have found.

On a side note, this also reminds me of our lunch in Madrid - we had a cheese tray and one cheese in particular was delicious. I was attempting to ask our server what it was and he was trying to explain it to me when he gave me the "just a minute" finger motion. He returned to the table a few minutes later with the actual label from the cheese wheel itself and gave it to me to take home.

It was my first taste of manchego cheese and its now one of my favs. I drove my husband crazy the rest of the trip smelling this label every now and then as it smelled delicious.

Don't be afraid to ask if you like something...people are excited to share their local goodies.
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#7
Central PA
657 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
Originally posted by pinkmaija
Great thread!

Suggestions for the Carribean, anyone?
--Rum cakes from the Caymans.
--Jamaica: real jerk spice(s), Blue Mtn coffee, Appleton Rum
--Cozumel/Costa Maya--pure vanilla extract (make sure the label states "contains no coumarin" which is an artificial additive that can cause liver and kidney damage.) The stuff at Los Cinco Soles is par for the course and was not expensive last I'd heard--their website store offers a 500ml "pint" for around $26 USD, but I think the onsite price will be much lower. Get a lot, give it to friends as gifts.
--Belize: Belikan beer, although this may be available in some states.
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#8
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
431 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
I second the Blue Mountain Coffee in Jamaica and add white-over proof rum


Haven't been yet, but I heard Cashew Wine in Belize too.

Good idea for a thread! BF loves to cook so I will keep checking back for suggestions!
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#9
726 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
In Greece, try to get olive wood spoons or olive wood salad set. These are really workhorses in the kitchen. I have a whole drawer with them that I pick up each visit and save and savor for cooking with - they last forever. Love the Greek honey and you can get it in small cans that make transporting easier. Also, look for different salts. I got some in France that was fabulous and some in Barcelona too.
#10
North Carolina
164 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
Barbados - Delish Bajan sauce -- red or yellow. If we don't bring a new bottle back to each of the kids, we're in trouble. The red sauce is hotter than the yellow.
#11
Milwaukee, WI
81 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Will you be on a private tour on Santorini or one of the ship's? If you are in control I can dig up the name of a small market that our guide took us to where we purchased sun-dried tomato sauce and some other local foodie treasures. I believe it was Anna's. It was off the beaten path and one that a large bus probably would not include in their itinerary. I did bring back some Oregano from Santorini but it wasn't as easy to find as I expected.
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#12
USA
2,836 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Haven't been to any of these ports, but I had to comment that this is a Great Thread!!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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#13
Landgraff, WV
162 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
Belize Cashew wine is EXCELLENT! Delcious & Powerful! We always come home with as much as possible! (Also their coffee, and lovely things from inlaid woods, such as rolling pins...)


Originally posted by teeny25
I second the Blue Mountain Coffee in Jamaica and add white-over proof rum


Haven't been yet, but I heard Cashew Wine in Belize too.

Good idea for a thread! BF loves to cook so I will keep checking back for suggestions!
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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




#14
Landgraff, WV
162 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
Caribbean:
Cashew Wine from Belize is Excellent!!! (So is their coffee).
Locally made Jerk sauces in Jamaica were a must-buy for us...
We always bring back the local coffee, hot pepper sauces, spices, condiments, and local alcohol- not just different rums- even if it comes in a plastic bottle (Costa Rica)! (I have become VERY good at packing glass in our suitcases: first I double-bagged each bottle in plastic bags, then wrap them in our clothing and/or towels- the trick is that the suitcase must be packed as tight as a drum and the bottles must not bang into each other. We came back from Israel & Italy with over 36 glass bottles of foods, oil, honey, spices and wine in our suitcase and nothing was broken! Everyone has a skill: hubby is a chef- my skill is apparently packing glass in our clothes. LOL )
Mexico has an "aphrodesiac" liquer with a nice, gentle licorice taste: Xtabentun
We LOVED the jars of colorful mixed wildly wonderfully hot peppers we got in Cartagena, Columbia- and also their coffee... Fun to get coffee in each port and then do a "tasting" when you get home to compare them... fun to do that with the hot peppers and booze, too. LOL

For our upcoming Carib trip I heard we Must get All Things Nutmeg in Grenada... and Must eat a "cutter" (flying fish sandwich) in Barbados and buy the "green seasoning" in the market!
Also heard we Must go to the Castries Food & Craft Market in St. Lucia as it's #3 in the world!
---------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by pinkmaija
Great thread!

Suggestions for the Carribean, anyone?
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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




#15
Landgraff, WV
162 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
Italy: Yes, definitely the chestnut honey- and there are other Amazing honeys, such as Milleflore (1000 flower) honey... wonderful with pecorino cheese and walnuts and a slice of ripe pear! Try to taste several and buy the ones you've never heard of! (You can get the things you already know about back in the USA!)
Italy: Balsamic vinegars, olive oils, & wines from small places that you Can't get back in the USA... Truffles, truffle oil, etc.; anything you can find with Italian truffles... Italy's truffles (white and black) are some of The best- if you have a chance to eat pasta with a truffle sauce DO IT! (I tell people who've never eaten truffles that it's lilke eating dirt- but in a Really Really Delicious Way. LOL) Also jars of small round peppers (pepperoncini) stuffed with local anchovies or tuna... I got jars of a wild boar pasta sauce that I wish I'd filled my suitcase with, too- I dream about this stuff! Local wines, spirits, and liquers you've never heard of before are always fun... And if you have the chance to do a cooking/market class in any port Do It! We try to do that whenever we travel and it's always been wonderful! Lose 10 lbs before you go & then Enjoy Yourself!

------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Mel&Ken
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
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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




#16
Kent, Wa. (Seattle area)
519 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Great thread!!

Any suggestions for So. Pacific, New Zealand, Australia?
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"The sea made music at her feet." -Louisa May Alcott
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#17
Landgraff, WV
162 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
Marmite? Nasty as I personally find it, I have been Repeatedly Informed that it is THE National Food of both Australia & NZ, & that no meal is complete without it...

I've yet to get to the Pacific... We did some Serious eating/drinking/cooking/shopping through Vietnam, Korea, & Japan in 2008, however; we left with 2 small roll-ons and came back w/2 additional jumbo suitcases packed like drums; we literally had them wrapped in plastic in the airport so they wouldn't burst at the seams. (I also came back 25 lbs heavier, with a whole new wardrobe of Fat Clothes, and have been trying to lose it ever since... LOL)
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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




#18
cruising.cockroach {at} gmail hotmail and yahoo
1,579 Posts
Joined May 2012
Originally posted by gold1959
Marmite? Nasty as I personally find it, I have been Repeatedly Informed that it is THE National Food of both Australia & NZ, & that no meal is complete without it...
Got the name wrong. Vegemite is the national food at least of Australia. Marmite is British. Both taste the same to me but I've never done a side-by-side tasting.
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#19
Longwood, FL, USA
755 Posts
Joined Sep 2000
Hopefully (Delta Frequent Flyer Miles 'willing' ... lol), we hope to do an SA trip that will embark/disembark in one of these ports in which we hope to stay an extra 2-3 days.

Thank you for your responses!!

M/M Moreu
Longwood, Fl
#20
Landgraff, WV
162 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
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!
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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