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Saffron is a must from Spain and olive oil from Italy. Spanish olive oil is too strong for my taste
 

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As far as Italian food goes, the different cuisines are very regional (as are most things in Italy) so I'd say it heavily depends on your destination.

Spain, maybe pata negra / serrano, turròn (nougat - many types available), pimentòn, xeres / sherry vinegar... Bacalao, but I doubt you could (or would want to) bring back salted cod in your luggage!
 

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Before deciding what to bring home check your country's rules, regulations, and laws. Some items cannot be imported even for personal use. For example, last time I traveled internationally meat products had to be declared upon entry to US and they were confiscated by the USDA inspector.
 

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Before deciding what to bring home check your country's rules, regulations, and laws. Some items cannot be imported even for personal use. For example, last time I traveled internationally meat products had to be declared upon entry to US and they were confiscated by the USDA inspector.
Sometimes they are found and confiscated and sometimes not. I take the chance and bring something and I don't declare it. I've brought in cheeses and cured meats from France and I always bring live snails from Greece. If you declare it they will take it from you.
 

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I always attempt to bring back cured meats and cheeses. My heart rate always goes up a little going through customs. If they make it through, I know there will be a pleasurable gathering with friends to enjoy them.

  I always look around, if I see a dog, I know they're history. 

One time I packed those sniff-proof bags to fill for the return flight. I figured they would eliminate the dog issue. DON'T DO THIS !!!!! This added an armed trip and a 4 hr. wait in a small confined room.

Customs are schooled on all those type bags. As soon as they see them, they whisk you away. They just assume the bags are filled with dope.

It was like a scene out of a movie. Not only were all our things dumped on the ground into a pile but the linings to our bags were cut. The next scene was the bag opening. They had to get someone to witness and a photographer to document everything. I can't even begin to tell you the look of disgust from them when the guy pulls out a saucisson.
 

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Not only does my heart rate go up when smuggling... but my face shows guilt. Unfortunately I have one of those faces that shows what my brain/consiounce is thinking.  So I refrain from smuggling, lying of most kinds, and poker playing.  I once declared a bod of powdered baby food that had chicken in it. It was confiscated and all of my bags were x-rayed by USDA. I asked the guy what he was looking for in the x-ray since I declared the contraband and they hand searched my bag already. He said they were looking for microbes. I've always wondered if microbes is really within the resolutionof htose x-ray machines.
 

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I did bring smoked. cured meats  twice vacuum sealed thru customs at the Atlanta Airport several times and the dogs did not catch it. I had the butcher vacuum seal the meats the usual way and  the sealed bags were disinfected with a bleach solution before getting vacuum sealed a second time. I made sure the hands were also cleaned and used surgical cloves at the second sealing to make sure there were no trace of any kind of odor left for the dogs to discover and it worked  or I just got lucky ?
 
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