Memories and experiences are more important than things, though when you travel it can be fun to shop around and see what the local specialties are. If you’re looking for what food souvenirs to buy when visiting Italy for EURO 2020, here’s what you should get to bring back a taste of Italy for your family and friends.
Olive oil: Italy prides itself very much in this staple. While you can buy it in any American grocery store, you can’t match a bottle of herb-infused oil pressed from locally-pressed olives for true authenticity.
Pasta: Make sure to seal it adequately; a batch of freshly made, lesser-known pastas (pici, pappardelle) will say, “that’s Italian!”, like nothing else.
Wine: Remember that the best way to find a wine is to pick up a bottle of a local variety that you have sampled yourself. Often, a vintage depends on temperamental harvests, so if it’s good, don’t hesitate. While almost every region in Italy boasts at least one strain of unique grapes, Brunello di Montalcino is highly recommended.
Modena Balsamic vinegar: Here’s one item in which its stateside equivalent is no substitute. A delicious addition to everything from salad to pasta; it can be pricey, but worth it.
Limoncello: If you’re visiting in the South, be sure to pick up a bottle of this tasty after-dinner liqueur. A simple infusion of lemon zest and grain alcohol, limoncello is a symbol of la dolce vita.
Panforte: This traditional spicy fruitcake originates in Siena and people from this city claim it should contain up to 17 different ingredients – one for each of the 17 contrade within the city walls. It is sold as a souvenir in Tuscany all year round, but dried fruit and nuts combined with spices such as cinnamon and all spice might be a seasonal thing for some. In other parts of Italy, you could look for the Torrone (French Nougat) or some other easily packable, sweet treats.
Cooking accessories: Italians are as proud as their potteries and cookware as they are as the foods they go with, therefore, consider a permanent gift to go along with the eatables. For example, a cruet set to go along with the vinegar and oil you buy.