We are going to Norway for a family reunion. Any ideas on appropriate gifts for host families? I'm wondering about coffee (think Seattle)...or other northwest gifts....thanks, deb
Deb - what a thoughful thing to be thinking about! I think you are exactly on the right track - coffee and other consumables that either are native to or a custom of your area would be excellent gifts as well as conversation pieces for starting a dialog with your host families. Washington apple preserves? Cans of smoked salmon from Pike Place? Be sure to check the airline/country restrictions for what you can and cannot take, and put canned/jar items into checked baggage!
I was just thinking about this question myself. I will be bringing some midwestern treats to London for my host family and bringing back some London treats for a couple who helped me plan this trip. Have a wonderful trip! :)
In general, you cannot bring meat - whether raw, cooked, canned, tinned or smoked - or any item containing it to or from the UK to any EU country. Other items that are often banned are honey and milk products and anything with raw eggs or seeds.
Also make sure than any jams or jellies are packed in checked luggage as they are likely to fall afoul of the no liquids/gels rule. I've found that some bubble wrap, plus a layer or two of zipper bags tend to keep jars safe and sound when they are tucked into a suitcase.
Not sure about coffee - raw beans are probably a no-no, but a bag from your local coffee shop is probably fine.
That's to/from the US to any EU country.
You might consider something other than food, too. What about crafts made in your area, jerseys or merchandise from local sports teams, or a book about your area with pictures? I recently took a book with beautiful pictures of Illinois to friends in Spain. They loved seeing pictures of the area where I live.
We have also taken shirts........with names of familiar teams, area's. Our swedish friends have Harley;s and they love Harley shirts form USA. I know that in some countries, nuts are VERY expensive and rare....so we took cans of nuts with us.