The Jakarta Post
FINLAND - Drink: I always bring chaga mushrooms… a fungus found primarily on birch trees in colder climates across the Northern Hemisphere. They can be boiled and used as a cold or hot drink. I like it because its health benefits are plentiful, many of which can be attributed to its immune-boosting ingredients and antioxidants. I think the only place to find it is Finland, so one needs to travel there to have it–but it is worth the trip. I have offered this drink to many of my Indonesian friends who absolutely loved it and said that it made them feel healthier. <br> <br> Eat: I usually bring some chocolate made by Karl Fazer (fazer.com), which is a confectionary established in Helsinki in the late 19th century. The taste of Fazer's iconic Blue Wrapper milk chocolate is sensational! One can find Fazer products at all in international airports, including Soekarno-Hatta airport. (Pirjo-Liisa Heikkilä, Political Counsellor, Embassy of Finland)
HUNGARY - Eat: A real secret tip would be the very special Hungarian sweet snack Turó Rudi (pottyos.hu), the name of a curd snack popular in Hungary since 1968. The bar is composed of a thin chocolate-flavored outer coating and an inner filling of túró, or curds. <br> <br> Buy: The delicate hand-painted porcelains of Herendi (herend.com) or Zsolnay (zsolnay.hu), or some pieces with the beautiful Hungarian kalocsai embroidery. If you are up for some modern Hungarian handicrafts and designer pieces, check out Design Terminal (designterminal.org) or the Wamp design fair (wamp.hu/en), where you’ll find one-of-a-kind designer pieces with a special Hungarian touch. (Judit Németh-Pach, Ambassador of Hungary)
IRELAND - Drink: There are lots of new small Irish producers coming onto the market now. I always try to pick up a new one when I am flying out of Dublin Airport. I bought some excellent Teeling Small Batch whiskey (teelingwhiskey.com) last time. It’s still a very smooth drink, like most Irish whiskeys, but with a bit more going on that in the more traditional Irish whiskeys. <br> <br> Buy: Silver. There’s a long tradition of silver-smithing in Ireland, but many Irish contemporary jewellery designers are now producing in silver. Pieces with Celtic designs make great gifts. (Kyle O'Sullivan, Ambassador of Ireland)
ITALY - Drink: Limoncello, a lemon liqueur mainly produced in southern Italy and best served chilled as an after-dinner digestive. It is a perfect drink after a meal, especially when paired with the typical Italian almond biscuits called cantucci. <br> <br> Eat: Baci perugina–fine, small and dark chocolates filled with chocolate-hazelnut cream and a whole hazelnut. Created in 1922, they represent a long history of Italian excellence by Perugina (baciperugina.com), a master in chocolate making. Apart from a taste that will indulge your palate, each piece is wrapped in a collectable message of love and friendship. (Michela Magri, Director of the Italian Cultural Institute)
NEW ZEALAND - Eat: The one product I never fail to bring back is New Zealand Manuka Honey. Derived from the Manuka plant, the honey contains wonderful natural health and antibacterial properties. It’s a real favourite in my household. Manuka honey can be enjoyed from the spoon, in a smoothie, with cereal, on toast or in your favorite beverage. <br> <br> Buy: I would recommend picking up a Māori artefact from New Zealand such as jewellery made from New Zealand greenstone or jade (pounamu), abalone (paua) or whale bone; or a small Māori carving or gift box made from one of New Zealand’s indigenous trees such as rimu, kahikatea, totara or kauri. (Dr. Trevor Matheson, Ambassador of New Zealand)
PERU - Eat: Aji amarillo, or yellow peppers, only found in Peru. They are used as a key ingredient in our flagship dishes, such as causa limeña (mashed yellow potatoes layered with tuna or shredded chicken, avocado and olives), as well as our comfort food aji de gallina (shredded chicken stew in creamy yellow pepper sauce). <br> <br> Buy: Alpaca shawls or scarves or Andean woven textiles, also made of alpaca wool from the Cusco weaving communities. These heirloom products are handed down from the Inca civilization, where people until to now use natural materials to color the yarn woven into textiles for […] household accessories like table runners, place mats, throws and cushion covers, as well as accents in bags or shoes. (Julio Cardenas, Ambassador of Peru)
RUSSIA - Eat: I really miss Russian rye bread. Every time I travel from Moscow, I try to bring it. In Indonesia there is also a broad variety of bakeries. However, I have never seen such delicious rye bread as in Moscow abroad. You can find it in every grocery store in Moscow–or any other city. <br> <br> Buy: Russia is very famous for its Pavlo-Posad shawls. They are decorated with traditional Russian patterns and look very beautiful. Our women like to wear them either on shoulders in summer or to cover their heads in winter. Or you can bring an Orenburg shawl, made of a combination of a knitted lace textile and goat wool. (Mikhail Y.Galuzin, Ambassador of Russia)
UNITED KINGDOM- Buy: The two things I most love about my country are its people’s sense of humor and of our somehow managing to produce the world’s greatest writer in Will Shakespeare. My Shakespeare rubber duck combines these two as the perfect gift. You may have to go to Stratford to find the Shakespeare version but rubber ducks more generally have taken over the UK and can be found lurking in most bathrooms. <br> <br> If you’re looking for a touch of luxury, where do I start? How about some Fortnum and Mason chocolate truffles or an Emma Bridgewater teapot for the British afternoon staple? (Paul Smith, Country Director, British Council)
While the Japanese call it omiyage; in Indonesia, the tradition of giving gifts after a trip goes by the name oleh-oleh in Indonesia.
Looking for some souvenir inspiration, J+ by The Jakarta Post caught up with some locally based ambassadors and world travelers about what treats from home are in their carry-on when coming to Jakarta, whether its gifts for those here in Indonesia, a bottle of duty-free spirits unavailable in country or a snack from home that they just can’t live without.
Here’s what we found out. Make sure that you leave some space in your luggage for the trip home.