face it. As we prowl shops around the world for unique gifts
many of the objects we choose have one thing in common --
a label that proclaims ... Made in China. Now, what fun is
that? I don't want to buy candlesticks in Paris that are made
in China. I'd like the lovely item I choose in Paris to be
made in France and I will definitely appreciate items made
in China when I shop in China. In other words ... I want a
true 'locally made' souvenir from the destination I'm visiting.
It was Jse-Che,
a Journeywoman in Toronto, Canada who suggested that we canvas
JW readers worldwide to tell us about gifts that are really
produced in the area where they are 'for sale.' Here's some
of the very interesting feedback we received. We hope this
article is a help to everybody when they go shopping somewhere
in this great big world.
If you have
a suggestion of your own to add, please put it into an email
addressed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
and include the words, 'shopping for local gifts' in the subject
line. We'll post all suggestions that are appropriate. Thank
lovely gift from Adelaide, South Australia would be chocolate
from Haigh’s Chocolates.
These handmade chocolates are the best chocolate I have
ever had. They make chocolate frogs for an inexpensive gift,
sparkling shiraz truffles and my personal favourite ‘aprichocs’
(an apricot mixture coated in chocolate in small balls).
For something uniquely Australian and a little more expensive
there is the ‘Australian collection.’ These
are hard and soft centres made of Australian ingredients
coated in chocolate. You can get a boxed collection for
approximately $25 (AUD) or buy them individually for about
a $1.50 each, as few as three can be put in a small box
for a gift. Also, if you are travelling they will give you
a thick foil coated bag to protect the chocolates.
are outlets for Haigh’s in the main city shopping
mall and some suburban malls (there are also shops in Melbourne
and one in the Strand Arcade in Sydney). If you go to the
factory in Parkside, Adelaide
(quite near the city centre) you can do a tour to see the
chocolates made (and taste some treats). Website: http://haighschocolates.com.au/our_chocolates/presentation_boxes/aus_collection.html
a friend who moved to London said he could not get some
of the Australian lollies overseas - these include ‘Fruit
Tingles’ and ‘Minties’.
You can get these for $1.50-$3 at any supermarket.
great gift that I can recommend is our classic Australian
Vegemite, which comes in a tube! I know
many non-aussies find Vegemite to be…er…. an
acquired taste, but it is a great way to transport vegemite
- particularly if you are taking a care package back to
an Aussie living abroad! If you are a first-timer to the
joys of Vegemite - all I can say is "spread lightly".
would like to alert everybody to the wicked pleasures of
a most irresistible made-in-Australia chocolate biscuit
treat. If you buy only a few packages of these you will
probably berate yourself when you get back home. Instead,
make sure to purchase enough for all the chocoholics on
your list. They'll love these tasty cookies and adore you
for thinking of them (under$A3.00). Expect to find these
treats on most grocery shelves in Sydney.
market held every weekend in Sydney by the Harbour
Bridge has a whole range of things, including
jewellery (ranging from $20 to $150 depending on the stall
you go to), framed photographs, and bright hand painted
pictures of Sydney Harbour which range in size from about
2 inches square as fridge magnets for $5 to large wall pictures
for $100s. However, most of the tourist and designer stores
in the Rocks, open all week are quite expensive (still well
worth looking through). I do enjoy looking in the old Argyle
Department Store at the Rocks which has vintage clothing
among other things. The Rocks is a central tourist location
in Sydney, easy to get to, but sometimes over priced. While
you are there try Sailor’s
Thai Restaurant (106 George Street) for
great Thai food, or walk up the hill on Argyle Street to
The Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel,
an old pub which brews its own beer (corner of Kent Street
and Argyle Street). Website: http://www.therocks.com/
The Guild Shop
on Cumberland Street in Yorkville has a collection of Canadian
artisan works that include very modern jewelry like that
of Elaine Wigle (silver with pearls and fossils and wonderful
and other one-of-a-kinds like Inuit prints, Inuit soapstone
carvings, silk scarves, pots, clothing. The
staff is friendly and up to date on the latest goodies in.
Really worth a visit. The Guild Shop, 118 Cumberland St.,
(Yorkville) Toronto, Ontario, Canada Tel: 416-921-1721 Website:
Margaret, Toronto, Canada
live in St. Albert (on outskirts of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada).
We have a wonderful street market here during July-September,
with lots of fresh foods, flowers, and artisans of every
sort. It is on St. Anne Street in front of our city hall.
The Canvas shopping bag with local artist Alan Nutall's
rendition of the market screened on to it for $10 Canadian,
I think is a great buy. He can be reached at: email@example.com.
Lynda, St. Albert, Canada
of the neatest gifts I have given and gotten have been local
(the smaller, more locally based the better). In Puerto
Rico I got my hands on one in a grocery store that was made
up by and sold as a fund raiser for a local school. Great
fun! In Burma/Myanmar many years ago, I was able to find
an old cookbook in one of the flea markets. My aunt, who
collects cookbooks was thrilled when I gave it to her. When
they were in Newfoundland a couple of years ago, my parents
found an amazing little cookbook that was put out by a local
ladies group. I must admit I am not big on cod cheeks but
what a fun insight into the local people and way of life
that book was. Cookbooks are small, easy to carry and don't
cause problems going through security checks!
Judy, Saskatchewan, Canada
we are a tourist destination we have tons of souvenirs,
but my recommendation is to look at the food items. We season
our food with Bajan seasoning
bought in seal packable packs. This seasoning can be used
in so many ways. Our pepper sauce is not so hot and extremely
tasty. Sweet delights... sugar cakes, rum cakes and tamarind
balls, small different delights special to us. I hope this
is helpful for other Journeywoman readers.
are my gift suggestions from this wonderful part of the
world. Go natural! With your new digital camera take some
extreme close-ups of the resort's exotic flora and fauna.
Photos of the lush tropical gardens in fabulous colors are
guaranteed to make anybody's heart sing. Frame a few for
grandma's powder room. She'll love you for it.
some taste testing and advice from a bartender in St. Lucia,
here are three gift suggestions for dad or any other lovable
guys in your life.
Double Distilled Rum chosen for its smooth
Crystal Lime Rum
which is citrus flavored and can be served with gingerale
or straight-up on ice.
Nutz 'N Rum
which is a liquor best served on the rocks or over ice cream.
Mom will always welcome some new spicy additions to her
pantry. We chose local West Indian ginger powder, nutmeg,
cinnamon and all spice produced by Baron in St. Lucia. Combine
these goodies with a West
Indian cookbook and you have a perfect Island
combo. P.S. These bottles of spice are under $US1.00 each
at Julien's Grocery Store
in Rodney Bay (located on the way to the airport).
sister and best gal pals will love the island-inspired pareos
(beach sarongs) on sale everywhere. From funky rayons to
elegant silks, a complete rainbow of colors are available
in a myriad of styles and price ranges. I bought extras
for my 'gift drawer' because these wrap-arounds are so easy
to pack and they make absolutely excellent Christmas and
Bon Voyage gifts.
for the teenagers in my family I couldn't resist a bottle
of Baron's Banana Ketchup.
This is a sweet sauce made in St. Lucia using bananas and
spices, especially great on burgers, and perfect for anything
you might use tomato ketchup on. If nothing else, a bottle
of this will be a conversation starter for the bigger kids
at your next Bar BQ. Also available under $US5.00 at Julien's
Evelyn, Toronto, Canada
cheap, cheap, cheap shopping you must visit the Xiang
Yang Market located between Xiang Yang Rd.
and the Shan Xi North Rd. Expect to find clothes, purses,
tablerunners and mats, sweaters, jackets, watches, pashminas,
and lots of small items. While the items might say Rolex,
North Face and Nike, you are generally not getting the real
thing but seconds, knock-offs or imitations. This is the
place to bargain. Always offer half of what you have been
quoted. If you're a good bargainer you can get it for a
third. Always check merchandise( even if it's wrapped in
plastic) for sizing and quality before you leave the stall.
Never buy anything from touts outside the market. Prices
are too high.
you know about MUJI
for buying gifts?
wanted to share with readers my new favourite shop in London.
When I was there in June, I got a chance to visit MUJI and
fell in love. MUJI has something for everyone - office/school
supplies, home wares, clothes, toileteries and best of all
travel products. I bought their stackable pots (a steal
at 5 for £1.95), their P.E.T. travel bottles, the
multi-tool, some beautiful sleeveless sweaters and my new
favourite bag. Next time, I'll be sure to pick up their
portable cardboard speakers.
There are 8 stores in London, including a branch in Selfridges
& Co. on Oxford Street. Apparently, there are also stores
in Nottingham, Reading, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester.
Their website is www.mujionline.co.uk.
Nicole, Ottawa, Canada
suggest you pop into any French grocery store and pick up
tubes of Dijion mustard.
They're light, easy to pack and it is the real deal -- definitely
made and packaged in France. One word of caution -- put
them in a plastic bag before you put them into your suitcase.
This has never happened to me but just in case you want
to prevent mustard spilling on to your clothes.
(Bombay) is a shoppers paradise and the number of places
you can get gifts at is mind boggling. But if you are coming
to the city and want to take gifts home, you would like
them to be of a certain quality. I am listing below three
stores that offer the gamut of Indian handicrafts in a variety
of price ranges.
Linking Road, Santa Cruz West, Mumbai; Infinity Mall, New
Link Road, Andheri West, Mumbai -53.: offers handicrafts
of all sorts; also stuff made of handmade and recycled paper,
furnishings and little gifts...like the well loved Ganesh--our
round bellied GOD--statues, lamps, frames, et al
(also known as the Center for Arts and Crafts), Juhu shopping
complex, Gulmohar Road, Mumbai: little knicks and knacks,
Rajasthani mirror work, liltle statues, paper weights, pashminas,
ladies tops, furnishings, carvings, et al
Pali Hill, Bandra West, Khar West, R-Mall Mulund: Offers
the gamut of Indian handloom fabrics. They also offer dresses,
skirts, jackets, scarves and the like in Indian fabrics,
I have travelled abroad, I have picked up gifts from these
three stores and the reactions of the recipients has always
brought a warm glow to my heart.
are many more but I have taken foreign colleagues, friends
and family to these stores and we have never returned empty
handed. Warm regards to all.
Kirti. Mombai (Bombay), India