One of the joys of a vacation is being able to try local and authentic cuisine in the places visited. Not only savouring delicacies on the spot, but also bringing back local food produce to relish those happy food moments or as souvenirs for family and friends back home.
Here are some food souvenirs (not limited to) we like to recommend to you. Do pack home some when you get to visit these destinations. If you can’t wait, you can get them at the few touches of your fingertips.
We were first introduced to this Lao Yang Salted Egg Cookies on our cycling trips in Taiwan and since then, it has been a mandatory snack we provide as part of the snack items during breaks on cycling trips. Its butter creamy taste coupled with tint of saltiness provides a burst of energetic oomph you need in between cycling.
These individually packed Kokita Sambal Terasi Chilli caught our eyes on a visit to a food product shop located on Batam island. Its easy-to-bring-around sachet packaging was what prompted us to buy it over some other similar sambal chilli on the shelf. And wow! No regrets. A small packet is all you need for above average spiciness to complement a simple meal. It is a lifesaving food companion to some of us on trips to remote destinations.
Add Ottogi Ramensari into your army stew, hotpot moments or simply to cook a bowl of kimchi ramen or noodle soup. I cannot remember how many packs of ramen we emptied during those lunches on the cycling trips. It has been my favourite ramen by far for its springy QQ texture. Do note that each package contains a block of ramen only without any soup base or seasoning.
Our Korean cycling lead highly recommended Ottogi Sesame Oil as a good food souvenir for your kitchen or your home chef. The fragrance from its 100% sesame seed gushes through the tin when the cap is opened. The non-drip pouring outlet is an impressive design in my opinion. So far I have not found any sesame oil that rival above this.
I highly recommend Kambly Bretzeli. The plain wafer like caramel biscuits is a great choice of “guilt-free” snack during hiking breaks in the Swiss mountains. They make an inexpensive food souvenir for family and friends back home even though you need luggage space to bring them home, without smashing them. Nevertheless, they are my must-buy, must-bring-home whenever I am in Switzerland. There is no compromise.
It was winter on my last trip to Switzerland. One of my trip mates suggested Caotina Hot Chocolate to try after we completed our 2-hour walk in the snow-covered forest. I fell in love with this hot chocolate instantly at one sip. It isn’t too sweet and the chocolate taste is rich. You can get the 3-in-1 sachet for convenience or go for those in bagful. Secret – they go very well with plain Greek yoghurt. Haa haa.
We visited Thai Tea Suriwun plantation as part of our Relaxed Cycling Adventure in Chiang Rai. The tea plantation grows 14 kinds of quality tea and the farmers nurture it with the best care using organic fertiliser and process with the aim of removing all toxic and chemical contamination during the tea growing period. As such, the plantation received an endorsement from the Department of Agriculture in Thailand certifying that the tea they produced is an organic product.
The province of Chiang Rai has been producing high quality cherries as part of an eradication project by the late Thai King, Rama IX to have the local farmers to grow coffee in substitution to opium crop, for better sales to support families and improve the lives of marginalised people in the villages. We work with a micro artisan roastery, Coff Nature Coffee in Chiang Rai to bring specialty coffee to Singapore at an affordable price.
No you can’t bring home the chendol but it is a must-eat when you are in Melaka or Penang. There is something you can surely bring home and it has become a main source of highlight ingredient in many bakes nowadays besides desserts. It is none other than Gula Melaka (coconut palm sugar)! By default, the consensus is the historic town of Melaka in Malaysia is the best place to get the gula melaka.
One of our hiking leads shoved a bottle of Chenor Sambal Garing Ikan Bilis into my hands while we made a stop along a Malaysia highway resting stop. She has been diligently stocking up on these ikan bilis whenever we have hiking trips into Malaysia. In her opinion, these are the best ikan bilis off the shelf besides those macik macik (malay aunties) homemade ones. I tried them and true to her words, they are really good. With these ikan bilis, a plain bowl of rice or porridge becomes one of the tastiest meals.
When in Ipoh, this is one of the food souvenirs to bring home. Before reaching the shop, you can already smell the peanut aroma from afar. Then a beeline of people queuing patiently outside the shop can be seen. The roasted peanuts are bonded together with malt candy and sesame seed and then chopped into small blocks in rectangular shapes. These Sin Weng Fai Peanut Candy are crunchy and leaves no residue stuck to your teeth while enjoying them. Because they are made with limited quantity on the spot, each person in the queue is limited to a purchase of 10 packs.
One of the biggest withdrawal symptoms we “suffered” in 2020 and 2021 is the inability to visit Tangkak for our annual cycle-for-durian fix! It’s the durian season now and we miss savouring so many different types of durians during the lunch break at the foothills of Mount Ophir. There are so many breeds of durians we savoured that are not exported into Singapore. Of course, there are Musang King Durians as part of the buffet. If you did not have enough durians during this season, you can continue your durian fix with the Dureeca Premium Musang King Durian Mooncake during the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival celebration.
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