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September 27, 2009 3:39 PM   Subscribe

Help me send my friend in Ireland some very American things.

Bobby's birthday is coming up, and I would like to send my dear Irishman some mail-resistant stuff that he wouldn't be able to find in Ireland in a store. An example is Lucky Charms, which he informs me, is NOT available in Ireland.

Any ideas?
posted by cobain_angel to Shopping (31 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Do you mind if the things are repulsive? I happen to know that Kool-aid is not available in Ireland. I recently sent some to a woman there who wanted to try dying yarn with Kool-aid.
posted by craichead at 3:42 PM on September 27, 2009

Response by poster: Kool-aid would be great, and I didn't know that! That's exactly the sort of thing I'm looking for.
posted by cobain_angel at 3:44 PM on September 27, 2009

kraft mac and chz? american football jersey? baseball?
posted by wuzandfuzz at 3:54 PM on September 27, 2009

Unpopped blue popcorn.
posted by amtho at 4:04 PM on September 27, 2009

I remember on the Real World London, that one American guy had to have his family mail him ranch dressing. That was the UK, not Ireland, and it was like 15 years ago, so it may not be hard to get there today.
posted by ishotjr at 4:07 PM on September 27, 2009

Best answer: Given the time of year, canned pumpkin, since you can't buy that here either.

Nor: root beer, matzo ball soup mix, Tab, cheese doodles, Triskets, Bisquik, more or less any candy that's not made by Mars.
posted by genghis at 4:14 PM on September 27, 2009

You might want to check this similar post for sending stuff from America to Australia for inspiration. Granted Ireland != Australia, but there's stuff their I wouldn't have thought of, like Mexican food.
posted by fings at 4:19 PM on September 27, 2009

Oreo cookies
Ruffles potato chips
Heinz ketchup
posted by sickinthehead at 4:23 PM on September 27, 2009

Irish Spring soap?
posted by chazlarson at 4:39 PM on September 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

Peanut butter! No one has tried it when I was there 2 years ago. That made me sad.
posted by KateHasQuestions at 4:46 PM on September 27, 2009

Maple products.
posted by jgirl at 4:57 PM on September 27, 2009

Best answer: Food/drink products, off the top of my head:

Root beer

Cookie Dough (okay, it's impossible to send, but seriously, you can't find that stuff to save your life)

Our chocolate tastes much worse than theirs, so you could send that.

The laws behind sending alcohol are complex and you might have to pay VAT, but seriously, some really weird local craft beers. There's not a whole lot of variety in Ireland when it comes to beer. Very good tequila is also utterly impossible to find, for obvious reasons.

McCann's Irish Oats. It's an American product, I guarantee he hasn't seen it before. (Ditto with Killian's Irish Red, but if you're going to send beer don't send that crap.)

Again, not sure how you'd send this, but what we call "bacon" is completely different than what they call bacon, and virtually impossible to find.

Anything with high-fructose corn syrup. Quintessentially American, and simply not used there.

If you're doing an exchange, ask for the following: digestives, Club Orange, a barrel of real Guinness, several pounds of Irish cheddar and butter, and then mail it all to me :)
posted by Ndwright at 5:00 PM on September 27, 2009

English muffins? :)
posted by patheral at 5:18 PM on September 27, 2009

My brother's in Scotland and I'm planning on sending him Reese's Peanut Butter Cups -- there's pretty much nothing more American than peanut butter except road trips and pancakes. Maybe some maple syrup?
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 5:55 PM on September 27, 2009

These have already been mentioned, but a friend of mine in Dublin goes crazy for Oreo cookies and Reese's.
posted by OolooKitty at 6:01 PM on September 27, 2009

Response by poster: Oh my goodness, the poor folks! All of the things they're missing! Haha.

All of these are very good ideas! Bobby says he doesn't like peanut butter, but I do wonder if this isn't because he hasn't had GOOD peanut butter. But these are all great ideas.

Irish Spring is already on the list.

Thank you all for all the great ideas, and hopefully you'll keep them coming!
posted by cobain_angel at 6:16 PM on September 27, 2009

rye whisky
posted by Large Marge at 7:11 PM on September 27, 2009

My Irish friends absolutely crave good Mexican products like tortilla chips, salsa, spices, etc. The other thing they love is American yellow mustard.
posted by HeyAllie at 7:27 PM on September 27, 2009

Seconding Kraft Mac and Cheese, and Doritos. something about the Fake Powdered Cheese didn't translate.

Also, Easter-egg dying kits. I visited my own friend in Ireland sometime near Easter once and was on a shopping errand with her mother, and when I remarked that I saw lots of chocolate eggs and chocolate rabbits but no egg-dying kits, the woman looked at me like I had six heads.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:39 PM on September 27, 2009

Not sure if they have the same shortage in Ireland as in England, but I could not, for the life of me, find Iced Tea in all of England. When I suggested Iced Tea to my hosts, they also looked at me as if I had six heads! Also, I noticed the pepsi products tasted differently there.
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 9:02 PM on September 27, 2009

Best answer: FYI, as an American ex-pat living in Ireland, and with a keen eye for all things rarely-seen and American, I can tell you that Oreos and peanut butter are in plentiful supply here. Plain tortilla chips are easily found in any large Tesco; blue tortilla chips, not so much. Pedestrian salsa we've got, although I don't think I've seen anything more exciting than Old El Paso. Some Trader Joe's would be nice.

Reeses we have, real-deal Canadian maple syrup we have. I'm baffled by the Doritos suggestion, since those are all over (or is the suggestion that they taste different?)

You can send Easter egg dying kits if you like, but the reason we don't have them is that we have no white eggs. And trust me, the brown ones don't really dye. (I do not recommend sending eggs...)

I do think that Lucky Charms, Irish Spring, mac & cheese, blue popcorn, Kool Aid packets in the full rainbow, and English muffins are good suggestions, though. Other things I would add: 3 Alarm Chilli Mix, Bubble Yum pieces, Blow Pops, Mike & Ike, Good & Plenty, red hots. And before you ask, yes we have gummi bears!

If you're looking for non-food items, other things I cannot buy here:

- A bagel butler
- An un-locked iPhone
- Good craft stuff

Really though, we are not so deprived. And we have plenty of stuff here you can't get in the US, so an exchange is a good idea :)

PS: Stuff the digestives, ask for Viscounts. Yum yum.
posted by DarlingBri at 9:18 PM on September 27, 2009 [2 favorites]

Oreo cookies
Ruffles potato chips
Heinz ketchup

You've 'best answered' this one but with the exception of maybe ruffles, all of those things are available in the UK so I'd be very surprised if they weren't available in Ireland.
posted by missmagenta at 12:26 AM on September 28, 2009 [2 favorites]

Missmagenta's surprise muscle would indeed remain unused in those cases.
posted by genghis at 12:55 AM on September 28, 2009

I would be delighted to receive some good US craft brews, but the beer situation here isn't as bad as you might think.

There are some truly bizarre suggestions in this thread though, as noted above.

I've found that good hot sauce is hard to find here, so that might be an idea.
posted by knapah at 5:49 AM on September 28, 2009

Good mexican vanilla extract?
Bigelow 'Constant Comment' Tea.
posted by HFSH at 6:15 AM on September 28, 2009

I'm baffled by the Doritos suggestion, since those are all over (or is the suggestion that they taste different?)

Actually, it's based on old information; my first visit to Ireland, I first visited a college friend who was doing a year abroad at Trinity. When I called the weekend before to ask if there was anything I could bring with me for her, she gasped and said "MACARONI AND CHEESE! AND DORITOS! THEY DON'T HAVE THEM!" And when I showed up with my 3 boxes of Kraft Mac-and-cheese and two bags of nacho cheese Doritos, she grabbed them out of my hands and made all three boxes for lunch, devouring most of it herself and kowtowing to me out of gratitude with every fifth bite.

But, this was in 1991, and I forgot to take the change of time into account.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:23 AM on September 28, 2009

mac and cheese is always on my wish list, but yes, Heinz Tomato Ketchup, doritos, and Oreos are available everywhere!

I would also not send pop tarts as you can get them, just not as many flavours. Brown Sugar Cinnamon you can't get, so I'd go with that one. And Kool Aid if they have a sweet tooth. If they like Cinnamon in general, Cinnamon tictacs, and any flavour of Altoids other than peppermint are impossible to find.
posted by nunoidia at 10:02 AM on September 28, 2009

Response by poster: *I'm* Mexican, so most of the Mexican stuff is going whether he likes it or not :)

I've asked him about a few of the ones I noticed some of you said were actually there and indeed they are NOT Oreo (and some of the others) deprived over there, it's just a little more expensive.
posted by cobain_angel at 5:18 PM on September 28, 2009

Heh, I saw this question and talked about it with a scottish dude who just transferred to my site from Scotland. He sez, every time he goes home, he brings an extra suitcase just for "a couple liters" of peanut butter and hot sauce! He cautions, not tabasco, that's relatively easy to get in the UK, but taco sauce, salsa, etc.

My coworkers all said In-n-out. You would be the most incredible friend ever if you could pull that off. I have conspired many times to send some In-n-out back east, I could never figure it out. I did bring some pizza back from new york (to california) once, that might be worthy too.... (This is REAL PIZZA not the crap you can buy in Not New York/New Jersey, BTW)
posted by wuzandfuzz at 11:08 PM on September 28, 2009

One non-food thing that a friend of mine wanted to bring back was a t-shirt from a college baseball or football team. It seemed very American.
posted by Bunglegirl at 7:53 AM on September 29, 2009

posted by hipersons at 9:24 AM on October 4, 2009

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