Spruce up your kitchen or decorate your dining table with worldly treasures that remind you of your travels. You can’t go wrong with packing these culinary souvenirs on your next trip abroad.



Where to find

Herrmann Geschenke or Hofbräuhaus, Munich

As home to the annual Oktoberfest and many of the world’s best breweries, Munich is a beer lover’s paradise – and the beer stein (called “Steinkrug” in German) is its iconic symbol. Don’t leave the capital of Bavaria without picking up one of these unique drinking vessels bearing a strong handle and hinged tin lid, whose origins date from the 16th century. Usually made from clay, glass, or porcelain, steins vary from the everyday tavern cup to more elaborate tankards, decorated with relief scenes featuring famous German images or landmarks. The Herrmann Geschenke store in Munich’s  city centre has over 400 kinds to choose from (including one with a capacity of over  8 gallons!), or you can pick up a stein from Hofbräuhaus after throwing back a glass or two in their historic beer garden.



Where to find  

T. Nagar or Spencer Plaza, Chennai

Spend enough time in India and you’ll have seen the “dabbawallahs” – men and women who deliver hot,  home-cooked meals to offices every day in multi-tiered tiffin carriers. This humble lunchbox, made of stackable bowls often in steel or aluminum, was even the subject of  an award-winning film starring Irrfan Khan. Its practicality and versatility make it a great souvenir from your trip to Chennai (even if it’s not filled with delicious dal or sambar). The standard stainless steel tiffin boxes can be found at any home supplies store, but you can also brave the T. Nagar market or explore the smaller boutiques in Spencer Plaza to seek out  a unique handpainted carrier in striking colours and designs.



Where to find  

Les Halles or Porte de Vanves, Paris

Move over, macarons – the humble madeleine has won the hearts of bakers and cake-lovers the world over for its elegance, simplicity, and irresistible taste. Made famous by Marcel Proust in his literary masterpiece Remembrance of Things Past, the little French butter cakes bear a distinctive scalloped shape, which requires a special mould to create.  What better way to trigger memories of  your French  sojourn than with homemade madeleines, baked in your own Parisian pan? While many bakeshops now sell silicone mould, the classic metal trays will give your cakes a more crisp and  authentic bite. Find an antique madeleine pan from the weekend flea markets – even if you don’t cook with it, the pretty shell mould will still look charming in any baker’s kitchen.



Where to find

Grand Bazaar, Istanbul

Turkish coffee is such an integral part of the Turkish culture that it’s on the UNESCO Intangible Heritage list. Clearly, no trip to Turkey is complete without tasting a cup of this intense, thick brew. (The superstitious can even get their fortune told from the leftover coffee grounds.) The best part? You can take this tasty cultural experience home with you by buying a “cezve”.  Often made out of copper and lined with tin, these traditional Turkish coffee pots are simple to use and beautiful to look at. Cezve in various shapes and sizes can easily be found at the sprawling Grand Bazaar and from local street vendors.



Where to find

Nishiki Market, Kyoto

There’s little wonder why professional chefs and serious home cooks have an arsenal of Japanese  knives – they’re considered the best in the world  for their impeccable quality (often made from carbon steel) and durability. One of the oldest knifemakers in Japan, Aritsugu, was founded in 1560 and comes from a heritage of making swords for the imperial palace. Their impressive flagship store in Kyoto’s Nishiki Market makes hundreds of knives in every size and budget, so you’ll be sure to find the right tool to up your game in the kitchen.