December 5, 2011

That Perfect Gift: and the Food Gift-Package

There is no better gift than indulging an expat's nostalgia. So one very nice gift for those Spanish expats living in the States, or for those American friends or family recently back from study abroad in Spain, is a food gift basket from

When my wife and I were living in the U.S. for many years, was a real treat. Many of the ingredients needed to make basic Spanish Valencian dishes, like "Bomba" rice for paella, are not easy to find in U.S. supermarkets. was a means by which we could secure them. Also, once my wife's Spanish parents discovered the website, a surprise package of Spanish foods arriving by mail became a regular fixture around birthdays or during tough periods when nothing but food from home could comfort us. (Janet Mendel's blog, My Spanish Kitchen, has a nice entry describing the history of La Tienda as a family business started in the 1990s that soon went online.)

A romantic tapas birthday dinner we had one year thanks to
a pleasant surprise in the mail from my wife's parents.

So why not make Spanish food products a great gift this Christmas, and there are many foods to choose from… Queso Manchego, Jamón Serrano, Chocolate Valor, Piquillo Peppers, Arroz "Bomba", those large pickled Caperberries… or that Christmas classic sweet, Turrón! Those are just some of my personal suggestions. If you don't trust me, you can peruse American foodie blogs. You'll find plenty of posts about Spanish dishes, ingredients, and how wonderful it is that LaTienda brings the Spanish pantry to you.

These Spanish basics helped me get through a rough period.
Nothing cures low spirits quite like a taste from home.

This "Paella Kit" has everything
you need to make paella at home
in the States... just add water.

And you'll want to dress it up with some Spanish wine. You can find Spanish wines at LaTienda, especially useful if you are having it delivered to that loved one you can't see over the holidays. If this is for someone in the same town as you, I suspect you can just duck into your local wine shop or supermarket and find a decent Spanish label wine for cheaper. I recommend a Penedés white, though I suppose the Rioja red is the famous one.

Apparently now has a European branch, so now you can also send these Spanish goodies to all those expats and Hispanophiles in Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy…

¡Buen provecho!

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