Favorite local item
Favorite local item and utensils worldwide
These locals will never leave the country without these local items and utensils.
Every country has its own characteristics and customs based on its cuisine, climate, or culture, and this is reflected in everyday life. This can mean preferring specific kitchen utensils for creating special dishes, or in clothing or other local items that are important to them. So, we asked 10 locals the question: What local ‘item’ do you always bring with you, or really miss when you are on holiday?
Their answers actually tell us a lot about their culture! If you’re interested, read on ...
1. Russian teapot and cups
Our Russian contact said that there is no special local items that Russians take with them when they are on holiday. However, they told us: “All that we need is a teapot and cups. Tatars and Russians can not live without tea”.
Believe it or not, tea is actually considered one of the national beverages of Russia. It was introduced in 1638, and has become closely associated with their culture! Did you know that?
2. A favorite local item in Morocco: the tajine
For our Moroccan contact the tajine was the most important. It’s used a lot for many meals and you can use it to cook a large variety of dishes. The word ‘tajine’ can actually be traced back to the Arabic tājun meaning "shallow earthen pot", but also to the Ancient Greek tagēnon, meaning frying-pan. Furthermore natives eat their meals (also known as ‘tajine’) straight from the pot. So we completely get it: a tajine is all you would need.
3. Brazil: flipflops Havaianas
For Brazil we see a recurring theme. This is what our contact told us: “There is something typical that Brazilians go nowhere without: “Havaianas”. This is a brand of flip flops that is conquering the world. They have different colors, and styles, and some even have Disney characters printed on them. You can find stores in places like London and New York. The prices are around 20 USD for a pair of original Havaianas”.
Just like the Australians, the Brazilians see the necessity of a good pair of flip flops. Maybe not everyone knows Havaianas. Do you? We already have a pair!
4. Serbia: the grill their favorite local item
For Serbians, any vacation, whether long or short, almost always involves the preparation of a barbecue. Naturally the barbecue wire is an object you can’t do without. The grill can be made easily from a pair of bricks or the like. So, all a Serbian needs to make a barbecue is the wick and, even when you have not planned one, you can enjoy a great grill. If you weren’t aware: grilled meats are a Serbian specialty.
5. South Australia: never forget my pair of thongs
“I don’t bring too many things from home, specifically not culinary. One thing - however - that is always in my bag is a pair of thongs (that’s what Australians call flip flops! haha!) It’s definitely the Australian footwear of choice and aside from them being the perfect, comfy choice of shoes for when you are on holiday (especially at the beach), they have many other uses too! For example, a trusted flip flop can be a great tool for killing spiders!”
Lesson learned: if you don’t like spiders, don’t visit Australia unless you take your flip flops to take them down!
6. The Italian Moka pot
When you think of Italy, you might think of pasta, pizza, and gelato. But another big part of the Italian culture is coffee! As our Italian contact tells us: “I used to bring a moka to prepare espresso! But I decided to quit drinking coffee recently, so I will have something less to take in my suitcase now!”
The Moka pot was actually invented by an Italian engineer and are still popular in large areas of Europe and Latin America. When we think of Italian coffee, we can imagine why you want to take it with you. Delicious!
7. Nepali karai
In the Nepali kitchen a curved frying pan called a karai is used a lot for frying vegetables. In addition to this, a clay pot called a Haadi is a typical handmade kitchen utensil to make popcorn, gram, etc.
The Nepalese kitchen actually has a blend of Indian and Tibetan influences, and they eat more meat in Nepal than in India. Travel tip: take a cooking class on your journey and learn from the locals! Because when you try it at home it somehow never turns out quite as delicious...
8. Romanians take an image of a saint
Most Romanians are religious. Hence, they will always bring a small religious figure, a sacred image of a saint, with them on their holidays. This custom is not necessarily representative of the younger generations though, but it’s seen as traditional. This is also often seen in homes or in traditional buildings and, as such, is still a part of the culture.
9. Peruvians take their instrument, the cajon
On 31st of October, Peruvians celebrate the “The National Day of Musica Criolla”. In many different parts of Peru, people celebrate by listening to many hits of this national genre. While this celebration take place, people play a unique instrument created in Peru: the “Peruvian cajon”. This instrument has become famous in other genres across the country, and is therefore an item that means a lot to the people of Peru. Do you know what a cajon sounds like?
10. The Dutch bring a cheese slicer
The Netherlands is partially known for its cheese. It’s eaten a lot, nearly every day in fact, on bread, which is a tradition that not everyone seems so fond of. However, they do have their own cheese-related utensil. “We Dutchies can’t go without our cheese, and we specifically prefer slicing our own cheese from the block.’ rather than buying pre-cut slices. In order to do this we have a kaasschaaf, or in English, a cheese slicer. It can be pretty annoying not to have it abroad, and more specifically sometimes we bring our own cheese to go with the kaasschaaf.”
It’s funny how this tool can actually be pretty useful if you like cheese, but it’s not well-known outside of the Netherlands!
Were you familiar with all of these items? At least knowing what a local would miss definitely helps us strikes up a good conversation when meeting someone abroad, and maybe you can learn from each other’s habits too!
What would you bring on a trip abroad? Let us know via firstname.lastname@example.org and we could add it to the blog!