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Old Nov 16th 2017, 1:35 pm   #1
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Default Gift ideas for Italian friends

Every now and then an Italian friend or neighbour helps us out with something or does us a favour and we'd like to be able to give them a gift. Aside from the usual local products, we thought it might be nice to give them something "typically British" that an Italian might not otherwise come across.

The difficulty is trying to work out what that might be. It needs to be something that isn't widely available here, so therefore it must be non-perishable as we'll have to stock up on it whenever we're back home.

My wife suggested cider, which I think is her way of spreading the word of cider in a region which grows millions of tonnes of apples every year but seems to hardly ever ferment them!

Any other ideas? Doesn't need to necessarily be a foodstuff or drink, just trying to come up with little offerings in return for people looking after the dog/helping us out with the usual ex-pat issues/taking us on walks.
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Old Nov 16th 2017, 2:21 pm   #2
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Default Re: Gift ideas for Italian friends

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Originally Posted by philat98 View Post
A friend sends me some farmhouse cheeses and they seem to go down well. You could try haggis. Marks and Spencer used to do quite good ones.
Haggis? I think you are brave.
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Old Nov 16th 2017, 2:25 pm   #3
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Default Re: Gift ideas for Italian friends

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Haggis? I think you are brave.
I asked my partner what she liked to eat in the UK the most and she said haggis. Anyway I noticed it has to be a non perishable item.
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Old Nov 16th 2017, 2:42 pm   #4
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Default Re: Gift ideas for Italian friends

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Originally Posted by philat98 View Post
I asked my partner what she liked to eat in the UK the most and she said haggis. Anyway I noticed it has to be a non perishable item.
I suppose it is an acquired taste. I could never eat it.

How about a nice box of M&S /Cadburys chocs, Fortnum and Mason tea or a bottle of Scottish Rhubarb and Ginger Liqueur?

They will all last a long time.
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Old Nov 16th 2017, 3:30 pm   #5
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Default Re: Gift ideas for Italian friends

Haggis? Haggis? Just give them nice and traditional scones and Victoria Sponge. Don't go tooooooooo far out of their Italian bounderies but add a bit of spice like Gingerbread. One upon a time no ******* Italian knew what ginger was. They still don't, but they have seen Shrek and The Gingerbread-Man.
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Old Nov 16th 2017, 3:41 pm   #6
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Default Re: Gift ideas for Italian friends

For fun -

Spaghetti hoops in tomato sauce
Pack of Vesta curry
Pack of Yorkshire pudding mix
Bottle of English wine

- all wrapped in a copy of the Daily Mail!

That will finally convince them that you are a bona fide expat (refugee)!
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Old Nov 16th 2017, 3:55 pm   #7
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Default Re: Gift ideas for Italian friends

This time of year,a luxury xmas pud and the life of some are quite long.
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Old Nov 16th 2017, 5:37 pm   #8
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Default Re: Gift ideas for Italian friends

stilton ... in a pot. Italians love Stilton and are most surprised that somebody else (especially Brits) can make good cheese!
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Old Nov 16th 2017, 6:09 pm   #9
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Default Re: Gift ideas for Italian friends

Actually, this thread is quite fun but I think what-not-to-gift-your-Italian-friends might be more useful.

Christmas pudding was mentioned above. We tried that once and it was an "interesting" experience for us, if not somewhat challenging when trying to justify why we actually found it tasty. The sour taste - even with loads of sugar sprinkled on top, don't even think of suggesting a dollop of cream or brandy butter if you want to stay friends - is not compatible with the Italian palate.

Thinking of making jelly for your kids party? Forget it! I was so excited about being organised enough to have remembered to bring a couple of packs of Rowntree's raspberry and lime jelly back. My heart positively sank to see Italian mums standing round closely inspecting it like I'd put nuclear waste in small plastic glasses to serve to their kids.

Positive experiences include, tea, millionaires shortbread and, actually, haggis worked pretty well with a select group of friends, most probably because it was Burn's Night so we were knocking back the whisky.
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Old Nov 16th 2017, 10:02 pm   #10
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Default Re: Gift ideas for Italian friends

Those mums were thinking of the mucca pazza
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Old Nov 17th 2017, 8:01 am   #11
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Default Re: Gift ideas for Italian friends

There are some good fun ideas on here, I'm thinking shortbread/gingerbread might be a good option as they usually have a fairly long shelf life.

I think some good whisky might go over well, so might get some minatures in - I can't stretch to handing out whole bottles of single malt!

And as far as cheeses go, I reckon some blue cheese might do well too and again it lasts longer so we can stock up.
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Old Nov 17th 2017, 8:05 am   #12
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Default Re: Gift ideas for Italian friends

Quote:
Originally Posted by Expatrick View Post
For fun -

Spaghetti hoops in tomato sauce
Pack of Vesta curry
Pack of Yorkshire pudding mix
Bottle of English wine

- all wrapped in a copy of the Daily Mail!

That will finally convince them that you are a bona fide expat (refugee)!
They already have enough sympathy for our palates. Even well-travelled Italians that I've met refuse to believe that English cheese is any good (I actually think it's the best food we produce) so God knows what they'd make of an Aunt Bessie's tinned pie!
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Old Nov 17th 2017, 8:43 am   #13
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Default Re: Gift ideas for Italian friends

Whenever I’ve given gifts, Shortbread seems to have gone down the best (even if it is now available in local supermarkets!). Also going down a treat have been anything Harrods branded - specially if given to the 50-70 ‘Signora’.
Agree that Christmas Pudding just isn’t regarded as edible by most, and have tried mince pies but alas they were looked down upon and considered a poor imitation of their Italian cousins “Tortelli dolce”...!
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Old Nov 17th 2017, 8:59 am   #14
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Default Re: Gift ideas for Italian friends

Whenever I’ve given gifts, Shortbread seems to have gone down the best (even if it is now available in local supermarkets!). Also going down a treat have been anything Harrods branded - specially if given to the 50-70 ‘Signora’.
Agree that Christmas Pudding just isn’t regarded as edible by most, and have tried mince pies but alas they were looked down upon and considered a poor imitation of their Italian cousins “Tortelli dolce”...!
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Old Nov 17th 2017, 9:44 am   #15
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Default Re: Gift ideas for Italian friends

Considering they eat stinco,they will probably like haggis.The men love scotch around here.Our Brazilian neighbour and her Italian husband loved our xmas pud,but I suppose that varies a lot with all the recipes I've seen in the UK on supermarket shelves.
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