If only the baggage weight wasn’t 30kg (about 60 lbs) when traveling back from Italia. It really is sad, because an additional bag might cost you around $100, but in many ways it could be well worth it! You see, there are SO many wonderful things about Italia, but there are 5 things that are on my mind that I have yet to really find in the U.S. (unless you want to spend over $30 shipping for over-priced goods).
Besides taking back a bottle of wine (which is also necessary) I make sure to always have an abundance of Estathé, Crodino, Pavesini, Kinder Cereali, and (angels singing) Borotalco. These are the things that I wish I could just walk down the streets of New York and purchase, but there is also something wonderful about knowing that the only place I can grab these goods are (pretty much) only in Italia.
- Estathé is the iced tea of all iced teas. I’m sorry but I have yet to find one that compares. This was one of the first drinks that I had the chance to try in Italy and I can’t stop raving about it. It comes in many forms, from a bottle, to a can, and then my favorite, a brick. A brick is a little plastic juice box with a small straw, much like a Hi-C box or Caprisun in America (but still, no comparison to flavor).
Because I have had to bring back only limited quantities of these bricks, they usually sit in the fridge until there is a special occasion to drink one. Nothing too fancy, but I want to make sure that when I sit down to drink my Estathé, I can enjoy every sip. The lemon flavor is (clearly) my favorite, but I have also enjoyed the pesca (peach) – which I luckily found at the Chelsea Market in NYC.
2. To follow one of my favorite drinks, comes my second which is Crodino. Crodino is a non-alcoholic bitter aperitif made out of herbal extracts and sugar. It is perfect to drink before a meal as it prepares the stomach for what is to come (you know all of the other wonderful Italian foods). I really could drink more than one of these little small bottles at any given time (they are very addicting). The taste is something that is hard to describe, but if you enjoy something that is not usual and is more particular, you might just love this! Before leaving Italia in May, Roberto had to ask me twice if I wanted to stop at al supermercato (the supermarket) for a 10 pack of Crodino before there closed, of course it was an instant yes. In fact, Crodino was the drink that we had as we both said goodbye to Los Angeles and ‘Hello’ to New York City on our cross country move last year. We still keep the bottle caps on the fridge to remind us of when we crossed the border.
3. Pavesini comes in at number 3 on the list as being one of the best snacks and Tiramisù ingredients that has ever existed. These biscotti (cookies) are light and fragile and have the ability to soak up all of the espresso and marsala that is used to create the base for this famous “nonna” dessert. Grab a pack when you’re heading out the door to pair with a tea or espresso. They are cheap in Italia and we have been lucky enough to find them for a decent price in the Little Italy neighborhood in the Bronx. I enjoy making tiramisu as it is one of the recipes that I have mastered (yet also have failed a few times).
4. Now I hope that you didn’t think I was going to forget chocolate, and not just any chocolate, but Kinder. Kinder has SO many products and during Pasqua (Easter) they even make giant chocolate eggs that you crack open with toys inside (Kinder Gransopresa). However, my real love of Kinder comes from a product called, Kinder Cereali. One might compare this to a Crunch bar in America, but it is more than that. It is a type of cereal placed inside heavenly milk chocolate with the perfect balance and crunch. You can buy these in boxes and they are the perfect snack size. Sadly, I am down to my last two, so that means back to Italia ASAP, right?
5. Last but not least, we have this trio of Borotalco products. Borotalco is typically known for it’s baby powder, which has been around since 1843 and with good reason. The smell is amazing and after applying to some problem areas (during summer months) you are sweat free and smelling great! Now, the powder is actually one of the last things I tried, because I was in love with the deodorant spray. The cool sensation that comes with application feels great and the scent is fresh and pleasant. I think it’s safe to say that as a couple we probably go through about 12 cans a year, which means we need a LOT more room in the luggage. I have to say that the body wash is also amazing, but is completely rare to find in the United States unless you pay around $16 (normally around €2-3 in Italia).
For me it is some of the smallest purchased in Italia that I will always cherish. Like a kid in a candy store, I am excited at the discoveries I do make in New York when I find something that brings me back to Italy and I hope that you get to try some of these too!
*If you find any of these products in NYC, please leave me a comment below and I will update this post!
Con una buona profumo e un Estathé freddo (with a good perfume and a cold Estathé),