Have you ever wondered how a candy bar came to be? Who invented it, what its history is? What role it played in the childhood of a generation? Why does packaging design play such a big role in one country and hardly any in another? Why is food so bland in some places and spicy hot in others?
These are just a few of the questions that I think of when I wander the aisle of a foreign grocery store. And I know I’m not alone in this: there a more people who think this way, shop this way and smuggle the occasional edible souvenir in their luggage.
The words above are from a post I wrote a few weeks ago. I’m happy to report that I’ve found several people who feel the same way about edible souvenirs as I do. First up: Katrin Huth. Aside from pretty packaging design she looks for a souvenir that’s not only edible, but has a story to tell as well.
Why do you bring home edible souvenirs?
When travelling, trying different local foods is one of my favourite things to do. I love to explore markets and supermarkets in foreign countries and to see how the produce and the packaging are different from the one in Germany or Switzerland. Also, I believe that edible souvenirs are the best thing to bring home from a trip abroad. Preparing and eating them will instantly bring back many memories.
Do you look for anything specific during a trip?
Any edible souvenir has to be something special. I rarely buy those souvenirs last minute at the airport, but at a nice store or market somewhere along the trip. I want the souvenir to have a story I can remember and tell back home. Also, it’s convenient if the souvenir is something that will last you for a while and not go bad a few days after you get home. Last but not least, it’s a plus if the packaging is pretty.
How does it make you feel using those products at home?
I am instantly back at the place where I bought them. As I said before, it’s really the best way to remember any trip or vacation.
Do you have a trip planned in the near future or a travel destination in mind that you’ve always wanted to visit, and if so, what would you like to bring home from it?
We will be going to a small village in Provence at the end of April. It looks really picturesque from the pictures I have seen and we will be staying in a beautiful chateau that also houses a great restaurant. I love French food and eating good food and drinking good wine is one of the main reasons for this trip. I am also hoping that there will be a market and some small shops in the village where I can buy local produce to bring home.
Can you name a few of the edible souvenirs that you brought home over the years?
From Japan, we brought different packs of Dashi that are a great base for Ramen. We also brought home some tea, ramen noodles, pickles and sake. I also picked up some wasabi powder because of its beautiful packaging. From Australia, I brought back some coffee from the best roasters around Sydney. I had stayed in Sydney for a month and spent a lot of time in cafés, so bringing some beans home was the best way to remember the trip after I came back to Europe. Not really edible, but drinkable none the less. We sometimes go and visit a small house at the Côte d’Azur, that belongs to friends of us. If the lemon tree is carrying any ripe fruit, I will always bring home one or two to use for drinks and cooking.
What is or has been your most precious edible souvenirs and why?
In Tokyo, we discovered a beautiful store that specialises in rice and other traditional Japanese staples. It’s called Akomeya Tokyo and I was really tempted to buy the whole store.They had a huge selection of rice, all with special characteristics. I remember how hard it was to decide, but there was a very polite and helpful gentleman working at the store who helped us out. In the end, we decided on a small pack of rice, that I am still saving for a special occasion.
After living in Berlin for several years, Katrin now resides in Zurich with her boyfriend and cat. She works in digital media by day, and blogs by night at ktinka.blog. She loves to travel and wander and to share recipes, thoughts & pictures of her everyday life on her blog since 2007. You can also find Katrin on Instagram & Twitter.