What would the French appreciate as a gift, one couple we will stay with have a vineyard in Burgandy, and the next is the host family for our 17 year old daughter's foreign exchange, they live in Valence.
We have brought native american items as gifts. A nice plaque or artwork by a local tribe. If they have children, rub on tatoos with native american symbols are fun.
We also have brought jams and jellies made in our area. A book of Washington is a nice gift, one that shows the region you live in. Artwork is always appreciated too, maybe some local artist's tulip painting or watercolor or a photographers image of the Skaget Valley. This makes the gift personal because it is from the area you live in.
we take small jars of huckleberry jam because the fruit is native to the Northwest. I wrap each jar in bubble wrap and then put it in a qt ziplock; "bury" the ziplocks in the spare pair of shoes or amog clothing.
Our last trip to France I had knitted scarves out of colorful yarn that is popular now. The ladies loved receiving them. The squish very nicely in a Ziplock bag and are very light. I have for my Italy trip small journals with the hosts initial on them as well as the scarves. An Oregon pen for the men with a refill and Oregon notepad. I make bookmarks out of leather so will make one for the two men associated with the B&B's. Handtowels with the state name also is a nice choice. Happy hunting.
We always try to bring NYState products. Maple syrup and maple candy is always a hit. I also bring a small, painted wooden bluebird, the state bird. duxdekes.com makes a variety of songbirds and miniature ducks that are found throughout the country. These are made in the US and are great representations of the birds. I did bring NYS wine one year, but it is a pain to pack, especially since we no longer lock our checked luggage.