Our wonderful neighborhood is a micro-cosmos in itself, one can see diversity everywhere. This is, I believe, what makes it so special: we all come from different places
, we all have different customs and traditions and we decide to embrace all this together. Same applies when it comes to food: how many ethnic food joints do we have in St. Gilles? Lots! Inspired by this mind-blowing amount of ethnic food products I see everywhere and by my own list of “food-to-bring-back-from-home”, I asked other expats what foods do they bring back to Belgium. This is what I have on my (very short) list after visiting my family in Romania:
- Copule of jars of zacusca-a baked-veggie canned stew
- Two jars of honey from my grandma’s friend
- Pork fat- because winter is here and we need to keep warm
- Tomato preserves -real tomatoes, from the garden
- 3-4 types of cheese -stuff that we can’t find in Belgium
- Linden tea and other medicinal herbs-from the forest, home-dried
- BBQ: mici all the way
- Mushrooms with mayo and garlic: we do love our home-made mayo
That’s it; for Xmas, I’ll have half a pig in our suitcase. I would love to tell you I bring back all this stuff because it tastes like home, because it reminds me of my childhood, because I never forget the taste of my country, but I would be lying. The truth is, I simply love the food!
What do others bring and why do we even struggle with this extra-load? The reasons for breaking our backs carrying all this food in our luggage are mainly the quality of products, the fact that some are home-made, but also the price. Here they are, in random order; if you want to add something, please leave a comment and I’ll update🙂
From the UK
All UK people swear by Marmite. I am yet to taste the controversial paste, but there you have it.
Manchego cheese and jamon ibererico, also known as The Classics. Olive oil.
Ljutenica (paprika-tomato, veggie mix pasta), ljukanka (sausage from mixed meat), sirene (white cheese type thingy).
Deep-frieeze chestnut puree and sausages.
The (real) Dijon mustard in really big jars, saucisson de Morteau, different kinds of cheese. Wine- because it’s cheaper
Home-made olive and tomato paste, paprika paste, bulgur and lentils, home-dried oregano & red peppers
Home-made apricot jam and white wine
From the US
Grape Nuts breakfast cereal and Ranch dressing mix
Hope you enjoyed, let me know what you think. Any major food-items missing?!? If you’re hungry for more similar food-related articles, jump on my blog, The Pickled Spruit.