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Omiyage – Japanese and more gift-giving tradition

We posted about Japanese gift giving traditions (omiyage) recently, so my ears perked up when I heard a call into the Splendid Table radio show about what gifts to take to Japan, for those visiting from the United States.

The host, Lynne Rossetto Kasper responded with what I thought was a a perfect suggestion…maple syrup!

Maple syrup is something that is uniquely North American, fairly easy to transport, delicious and considered by most as a special treat.   Plus, it is probably hard to find maple syrup in other parts of the world.

Here in California, we have terrific options for omiyage and gift giving.

With the Mediterranean climate, there is an abundance of top wines, award-winning olive oils, nuts (almonds are the most popular) and a wide array of fresh fruits — or dried fruit if you are going overseas — as well as artisan crafted foods to present to your hosts.

Mini Gift Bag cacao brown rd

The photo featured above  is our unique, earth friendly mini gift bag filled with citrus. Hand-woven romblon leaf baskets in cacao brown colors make a nice contrast to oranges and these clementines.  

What gifts do you like to give from the area you call home, when visiting friends and relatives out-of-state or overseas?  Please comment and tell us about gift items that were huge hits…or also of times when the gift was a “miss” or misunderstood.  Note: If you do not see the comment box at the bottom of the blog post, click on the blog post title, which should refresh the page to allow comments. 

By the way, if you have an abundance of fruit from the summertime farmers market, there is a great article on the Splendid Table’s website on how to transform fruits, vegetables and herbs into homemade liqueurs, including some recipes that are quite simple.

And for earth friendly and unique gift packaging for your own gift giving traditions, visit our Market Page (Home Page), here.

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