Christmas is right around the corner, and with that comes the end of first semester. For those of you studying abroad, it’ll mean the end of what was probably an amazing couple of months. Although we all know you’re excited to come home and eat hamburgers, fries, peanut butter, and other American staples—after a couple of weeks at home, trust us—you’re going to miss those meals from your study abroad experience that became a staple in your diet while away. Have no fear, though—for those of you in Europe right now, we have compiled a list of foods that you can (and must) bring home with you. In these last couple of weeks start stocking up, you definitely wont regret it later.
Candy and Deserts
Maltesers and Smarties
These brands hardly exist in the U.S, but they are really common in Europe. Pick up a couple of bags of these candies, because I can guarantee you won’t find these at your local store.
Everyone compares this to the normal Jello Chocolate Pudding, but I still consider these the best. You can’t go wrong with bringing a few of these rich, creamy chocolate pudding snacks back home.
Any European chocolate is delicious, but if you can get your hands on some Swiss or Belgian chocolate—you’ll be set. Brands such as Frey or Toblerone are hard to find in the U.S, so stock up for your new chocolate addiction.
This may not be a familiar product, but I would suggest that you go seek it out. Traditional to Italy, France and Germany, this is a ‘nut bread’ made from whipped egg whites, nuts, honey and candied fruit. Each region has their own version of nougat, but they’re all sweet and perfect for dessert.
Yes—Kinder can be found here and there in the U.S, but there only exists a few of the varieties. For those of you in Germany, you know by now that there is a whole Kinder world out there that the U.S is missing out on. Bring any or all Kinder candies with you back home.
France is particularly well known for these colorful pastries. If you happen to be in Paris this semester, make sure to stop by Ladurée to purchase an assortment of their famous macaroons. Each season they have themed packaging for the pastries, so not only do you get a delicious treat, but a beautiful souvenir.
Lulu Chocolate Bears
Lulu is a very well known brand in Europe, selling a wide range of cookies and cakes. One of the general favorites of the brand are the chocolate/strawberry flavored cakes in the shapes of little bears. They make for a fun (and really cute) treat and are super tasty.
Spezi is a famous German drink made with orange soda and cola. It’s a popular drink throughout Germany and Austria, so pick up a couple of bottles and give this unique soda a try.
This one is pretty obvious, but it still needs to be put on this list. I know it’s been said a million times, but the French seriously know how to make excellent wines. If you’re feeling courageous, carefully pack one or two bottles to bring home—show your family how cultured you’ve become in the wine department.
This one another obvious one, but c’mon, Germany is known for their beer. If you can get creative and pack a couple of bottles without them breaking, go for it. American beer won’t compare, and you will eventually crave a pitcher of that smooth, German beer.
Olive Oil or Truffle Oil
Italy is probably the most famous place for these products. No American product can compare, and they make great, impressive gifts for friends or family.
Can of Sardines
Spain is well known for their sardines. Buying a can of them is super easy to transport, and there’s no need to worry whether or not they will go bad.
I’m sure you’ve seen photos of Sott’olio, they are probably the go-to decoration in every tacky Italian restaurant—but while you’re in Italy, why not get a jar of the real thing? It’s basically different vegetables stored in oil. Other herbs are added to the oil to make it spicy or savory. Sounds delicious, so pick up at least a small jar.
Christine Ferber Jams
Most of you have probably never heard of this woman, but she is pretty famous in Europe. Christine Ferber is a pastry chef whose jams come in 200 varieties and are unique and delicious in flavor. Her jams can be mainly found at Bon Marché, Paris’s fanciest department store, but as of recently you can order them online here. Although you can order them in the U.S., it doesn’t hurt to purchase a couple of jars of the real deal to bring back home.
Found mainly in France, chestnut jam is very popular and is found in many traditional dishes. It comes in little tubes (as pictured above) or in a jar like the Christine Ferber jams. It makes for an interesting gift, and you definitely won’t find it anywhere else.
These are only a few of the amazing products that you can find in Europe. Unfortunately, some things you just can’t bring home—like the amazing gelato you had in Italy or the or the unreal Bretzel you had in Germany—so make the most of your last couple of weeks abroad while there’s still time.