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The best food souvenirs from Germany?

My husband is headed to Germany for work -- what foodie items should I have him check in his suitcase for me? If I ask for a Kinder Egg am I putting him at risk of getting interrogated and detained for attempting to bring illegal substances into the US?

Lindsay-Jean is a Contributing Writer & Editor at Food52.

asked 11 months ago
21 answers 1743 views
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added 11 months ago

Actual alcohol filled chocolate , the one that has 35% alcohol content on the inside (instead of sugared 5% one like US version)

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cv
added 11 months ago

Illegal items would be meat or dairy, although some successfully sneak these past customs if they aren't searched. It's really a roll of the dice. If found, they will confiscate and destroy. They have some interesting stuff, like gänseschmalz (goose lard) that definitely does not comply to US regulations (like pasteurization).

Safe items would be things like cookies and chocolates both of which the Germans excel at. Your Kinder Egg will make it.

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Nancy

Nancy is a trusted home cook.

added 11 months ago

For the alcohol allowance, if you like sweet dessert wines (for drinking and/or cooking), German sweet Riesling is great. I imagine there is a wider choice there and from some smaller vineyards or producers that don't export to the US.

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Nancy

Nancy is a trusted home cook.

added 11 months ago

PS If dessert wine not to taste, consider fruit brandy. The category is called schnapps or obstler; an example is the excellent kirschwasser.

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added 11 months ago

Not intended to be eaten but edible nonetheless are decorated Lebkuchen (gingerbread cookies) usually in heart shapes. They are traditionally inscribed with words of love and given to one's sweetheart as a token of affection. My niece just received one from her Austrian groom, inscribed with their names and the date of their wedding!
And as for US airport security, I was stopped and my suitcase re-scanned for a package of DRY pasta...which I bought at the duty-free in Rome...hunh? It seems the rules are random. If you are an honest person, walk with confidence and you won't be stopped.

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added 11 months ago

I love all things currant. What about Säure Johannisbeeren (sour currant) gummies by Kajte? Near the Haribo gummy bears in a green bag.

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added 11 months ago

The brand name is Katje. Just to make sure you find it.

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added 11 months ago

I am sorry I was too quick when replying - the name is actually Katjes.

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added 11 months ago

Nothing to do with Germany but I have to share this story about my sister and BinL getting searched after their suitcase was scanned.They were flying out of Newark NJ. The guards found the offending item, good NY pepperoni they were taking to their children livening in that pizza wasteland of Colorado. From the X-ray the guards had suspected they were transporting nunchucks.

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amysarah

amysarah is a trusted home cook.

added 11 months ago

Been there a couple of times, but far from an expert. But I worked for a German company years back and recall fantastic candy, especially chocolate covered marzipan. (Can't recall name, but it had a red wrapper and was a well known brand.) Also Curry Ketchup. Sounds odd, but very popular served on wursts/fries, and really tasty. When I went there for work (Rhine Valley,) I regretted not bringing home wine.

Also, you might ask Luisa Weiss at Wednesday Chef - she's based in Berlin and I'm sure would have lots of great suggestions.

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added 11 months ago

Maybe it could have been Mozart, the chocolate marzipan. Although, now that I thing about it they are more popular in Austria. I think there is also another well known brand called Mona Lisa, but Mozart are very famous. I don't like marzipan so they are not my favourites, but most people really like them :)

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added 11 months ago

It also depends a bit where your husband will be going. You will find the best marzipan around Luebeck in the north, for wine you are better off along the Rhine and its tributaries, from Bavaria, how about some local beer?
Is it allowed to bring (dry) sausages or cheese?
And I agree with others, chocolate in general (I was always asked to bring milka and Ritter Sport) or stuff from kinder for children. Sweets from haribo is also a good idea.

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cv
added 11 months ago

I can buy Milka and Ritter Sport at my grocery store. You are better off getting artisanal chocolate that isn't exported to the US.

Much of Europe still has independently owned patisseries, cafes and chocolate shops. Take advantage of that and skip buying a bunch of mass-market stuff you can get here (like the European equivalent to a Hershey's chocolate bar).

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Lindsay-Jean Hard

Lindsay-Jean is a Contributing Writer & Editor at Food52.

added 11 months ago

These are great, thanks all!! Regarding the location question, he'll be in Rüsselsheim am Main.

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added 11 months ago

Mustard!

And I second the curry ketchup, have him eat a proper curry wurst when he is there. I used to live in Stuttgart and I miss curry wursts the most (doners, second).

Also, if they do find Kinder Eggs, they will confiscate them, but I doubt he would be detained (unless he is trying to bring back a case worth). For good chocolate, I second Ritter Sport (although you can find those here) and also After Eight, which is dark chocolate and peppermint, like a York, but infinitely better. A box would be in any grocery store.

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Maedl

Margie is a trusted home cook immersed in German foodways.

added 11 months ago

Why are Kindereier confiscated when coming into the US? They are the last thing I would want to bring because they taste awful . . . but banned at the border?

A few ideas: Elisenlebkuchen from Nürnberg, hartshorn and anise oil, which you can use to bake Springerle, marzipan made with honey and no other additives (available in health food stores), Lebkuchengewürz (a spice blend that is an essential ingredient in Lebkuchen, a bottle of Orleans wine produced in Germany--most likely extremely hard to find, Bethmännchen (marzipan cookies, but they may be out of season now that Christmas is passed), and Apfelwein--apple wine--a favorite in that region. I believe aged cheeses (not raw milk or fresh cheeses) may be brought into the US. You might also bring a loaf of Bauernbrot, the sour dough rye.

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Lindsay-Jean Hard

Lindsay-Jean is a Contributing Writer & Editor at Food52.

added 11 months ago

The Kinder Egg request is for my four-year-old who has less of a discerning palate when it comes to chocolate! :)

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added 11 months ago

Well, sorry about suggesting Ritter Sport and milka... :-) but you know, mass-market does not necessarily equal bad... Anyways, Ruesselsheim is not the most beautiful place, but it is very close to Frankfurt, so if your husband has the opportunity to go there, there is a beautiful place to shop for chocolate called "Bitter & Zart", for Currywurst he should go to "Best Worscht in Town" (several all over Frankfurt) and although Bethmaennchen season is over, he will definitely find them in the more "touristy" shops, or if all else fails, at the airport.
Good luck!

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added 11 months ago

And another one for Frankfurt, there is a small brewery: Braustil (https://www.facebook.com...

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added 11 months ago

Kinder Eggs are banned because of the toy inside of them. They are deemed a chocking hazard. There is a general FDA rule that says you can't have non-edible items package within food.

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Maedl

Margie is a trusted home cook immersed in German foodways.

added 11 months ago

Oh, now I understand, FritschKitchen. I was thinking their taste was pretty awful but couldn't imagine how a terrorist might use them.