More power to you if snow globes, light-up shot glasses, tiny spoons, or license plate keychains are your thing. Me, I like to bring back food souvenirs from trips, even if it necessitates checking a bag I could have otherwise carried on. Few senses are so tied to memory as smell and taste, which is why opening up a jar of spices or taking a sip of beer often feels more transportive than a photo would.
I was pleased with Past Kate this weekend when my husband and I were able to make molé chicken enchiladas for our friends using the dark, cocoa-laden molé powder we’d brought back from our trip to Mexico last year. It reminded me of one specific meal we had in Mexico City, and prompted a long discussion of all the culinary treasures we’ve gone to great lengths to bring home. A close runner-up to the molé powder: a bottle of Armagnac I’ve been meting out in practically thimble-sized glasses since I bought it in Paris years ago. I guess when it runs out, it’ll justify another overseas trip.