Looking for a souvenir that won’t sit around collecting dust like the typical vacation chachkies? Here are the 5 best food gifts from Puerto Vallarta—or anywhere you travel in Mexico!
Skip Starbucks during your vacation and head to local coffee shops like Page in the Sun to enjoy freshly ground regional beans. Each growing region in Jalisco has a distinct flavor so set a goal to explore several different coffee shops. Keep an eye out as many restaurants sell their house coffee. Be sure to buy beans, not grounds, as the flavor will last longer.
Did you know that chocolate originated in Mexico? The cacao is a native bean and has been used to season food and beverages since ancient times. Spain introduced cacao to Europe where the decedent chocolate we know and love today was born. Chocolate is still used for savory dishes here in Mexico, like black and red mole, but is most often a sweet treat. Stop by our tour partner Vallarta Chocolate Factory to enjoy a variety of tasty chocolates—with prepackaged options you can take home.
Wondering what the salty but tangy spice that rims the glasses of your margaritas, micheladas, and Bloody Mary’s is? It’s often Tarjin spice. A delicious blend of salt, chili peppers, and dehydrated lime. It’s also used to season fruit, ice cream, and entrées. It’s the perfect gift for your foodie friends.
Tequila, Raicilla, and Mezcal
Tequila is the name that gets all the attention, but don’t forget to bring back some raicilla and mezcal too. These 3 spirits are close cousins but vastly different in flavor, alcohol content, and the distillation process. Skip the fruity flavors and go for aged reposados and Añejos.
Vanilla is another one of Mexico’s exported culinary gems, which is exported worldwide. Vanilla pods and pure vanilla extract are expensive in most parts of the world, but far more affordable here Mexico. Be careful as you want to buy an amber-colored or clear extract, the darker hues are fully or partially synthetic. A perfect gift for friends who bake. You can smell and taste the difference!
Just be sure to check all liquids over 3 ounces in your suitcase and remember that you can’t ship most food products without proper licensing and steep custom’s fees—so leave room in your luggage or check an extra bag to bring your foodie goodies home!