By Nancy Todd
Traveling in Spain and want to take a gift back to Aunt Millie, your dog sitter, and envious friends? The Scoopometer gives the following gifts high marks in the bargain department. Here are suggestions that will keep you in budget bliss, no matter where you buy in Spain, plus they are easy to pack.
1. Galletas - delicious Spanish cookies. My favorites are the ones imprinted with what appears to be a newsboy. Covered in chocolate, 95 cents. Buy in grocery stores.
2. Alioli - a mayo looking sauce made by whipping olive oil and garlic together. Used on patatas bravas, vegetables, chicken, meat, fish. Absolutely delicious. I took seven containers to my friend, Linda, in New York City. She wants me to stay with her every time I am in NY as she knows I will come with alioli. Your Spain euro goes far here as aioli only costs one euro. Grocery stores. I am not disclosing the person who pulls the container out of the frig and eats it with a spoon.
3. Stockings - Oh, are stockings sexy in Spain. Many patterns and colors. Found in department stores and the many stocking stores around Spain like Calzedonia. You need to go home with some pairs for yourself. Twelve euros.
4. Great general gifts are in the museum stores and your purchase supports the arts at the same time. Bundle together a group of ten postcards from your favorite places and put a ribbon around them. Prints. Wonky pencils and finger puppets for kids. Jewelry. Dinnerware. Books often in English.
5. For kids, give them euros in small bills and coins. They may also like stamps from Spain.
6. Make a collage of your tickets from the bus, metro, museums, etc. into a greeting card.
7. Take a live pigeon home from the millions on the plazas in Spain. We who live here will be grateful to you for life. Write me and I will pay you to take a pigeon home.
8. Buy a CD from a street musician. Flamenco, classical guitar, Vivaldi. You will be supporting independent musicians who make their living on the street. Ten euros.
9. A bottle of Spanish wine is sure to please. Once you go through security at the airport, you can pick up a bottle. Eight euros and up. You can buy an extra bottle to drink yourself for the long flight home. Only buy beverages after you have cleared security at the airport or customs may nab it and have their own party.
10. Spanish pottery is unusual and mostly handmade. Some are intricate in design, some contemporary. Check in tourist shops. You can buy everything from sangria pitchers to little bowls. Two - fifty euros. One of my fav stores: Vic 5, Tienda Ceramica. Near Palau de la Musica, Barcelona.
11. Chocolate stores are scattered about the cities. Everyone loves chocolate. The Chocolate Museum in Barcelona is one good bet and you can have a cup of syrupy hot chocolate while you shop. Two euros and up. Some bakeries also carry chocolate.
12. Gin made on the island of Menorca can often be purchased in a brown pottery jug or beautiful green bottle. If you don’t make it to the island, check airport gift shops. Eleven euros.
13. Fans. You never saw so many fans in your life as you will see in Spain. Your friends may want them for flirting, dancing, or hot flashes. On the streets: five euros. You can pay up to 100 euros in the stores.
14. Some would call it procuitto. Some jamon. Whatever you call it, foodies will love this dark burgundy colored that is compression packed and about the size of a big envelope. Also consider some of the dozens of Spanish sausages. Easy to pack. Ten euros and up. Grocery stores, big food markets, and ham stores.
15. Pates. You can get many varieties: ham, olive, vegetable, duck, pork, etc. 1.50 euros and up. Grocery stores. Convenient as they come in little jars/tins. I am hoping someone invents pigeon pate.
16. Flea markets. Check out The Scoop on the four famous markets in Barcelona, Madrid, Granada, and Seville.
Write us in the Comments Box with your gift ideas!