I'm always thinking about food when I'm visitng somewhere new (or anywhere, come to think of it). I think it's curiosity - I want to try a bit of everything and the very best the region has to offer. One of the hard things about falling in love with foods from far away places is that the flavours can be hard to replicate at home, so I like bringing back "foodie treasures" as souvenirs. We came back from Spain with a bounty of foodie treasures - some that I'm already enjoying and some I'm eagerly anticipating.
First of all, we picked up a few containers of local artisan olive oil. I haven't cracked these open yet, but if they're anything like the oils we enjoyed when we were there, then I know I'll love them.
We bought these olive wood bowls and cutting board in Soller. They were from a little family-run shop where they've been carving bowls for generations. We were told the olive wood was 1000 years old! Amazing. The large bowl was pricey, but I'm sure we'll love it for years and years. I'll remember the hot sun and the ancient, twisted olive trees when I'm serving a salad, pasta or even popcorn to family and friends.
I picked up this canister of black olive flavoured Es Trenc sea salt in Ses Salines. Es Trenc was just beside the town we were staying in and we drove past the salt flats quite a few times. I tasted this one in the shop and I think it's going to be amazing sprinkled on fish, chicken, roasted veggies or salad. The wonderful olivey flavour will also remind me of all the cute little bowls of olives we ate as appetizers.
Last, but not least, we bought this beautiful olive oil jug at Gordiola Glassworks. We stopped in for a look at the factory and watched the artisans making jugs like these, goblets and bowls. The Gordiola family has in the glassblowing business since 1719 and the factory also contains a museum with old Gordiola family pieces as well as glassware from around the world. The shop had an astounding number of pieces to choose from, but something about this slightly off-center jug caught my eye. I haven't filled it with oil yet - I'm going to wait until we get back from the Netherlands in October.
What's your favourite souvenir that you've brought back from travels afar? (or someone brought back for you) What memories does it bring up when you use it or see it?