Cheese! Sausage! Tequila! Bacon! Maple Syrup! In Uganda, please! :)
February 26, 2017 12:18 PM   Subscribe

I've be travelling to (/moving to) northern Uganda shortly, and want to bring some treats for my team and myself. Some things (pre-cooked bacon! maple syrup! taco seasoning!) I'll be packing in my bag already in Montreal. But I was advised that picking some stuff up at the airport in Amsterdam might be better.

I'm flying from Montreal to Amsterdam, staying a couple days, and then flying (likely) straight from Amsterdam into Kampala. I'll be in Kampala for a few days, and might have access to a fridge there. Then, I'll be taking an 8-12 hour drive up north to my project. The vehicle may not have air conditioning, and it's likely to be very hot. Then, it might take a day or two before I have access to a "permanent" fridge in which to store the goods.

So, my questions:

1. If I want to bring, say, cheese and sausage, which kinds will withstand this kind of hot journey? They don't need to stay in perfect condition, I just don't want to give my team food poisoning. Also, these items obviously need to be available for purchase at the Schiphol duty free.

2. If I also want to buy a bottle of alcohol at duty free. This won't count against my luggage limit, will it? If my bag is the allowed 20kgs, and I buy a block of cheese, package of sausage, and a 1 litre bottle of tequila, I won't be charged for excess luggage?

3. If you see any other faults in my plan, please let me know!

Thanks in advance!
posted by hasna to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total)
Schiphol should have a good selection of vacuum-packed cheese and/or waxed wheels--designed to withstand long journeys. They should last several weeks unopened (or maybe months...but cheese never lasts that long around me!) There is a giant cheese shop in the middle of the international terminal. I might opt for an older cheese (oude kaas, e.g., Old Amsterdam) as it is likely to be less sweaty, but I think that should only be once you open it. I am not sure about the sausage, but I think any kind of dry-cured meat usually lasts a good while, unopened. I have brought such meats on hiking trips and let them bake in my rucksack for days and haven't been poisoned yet.

Anything you purchase in duty-free should not count against your baggage/weight limit. They will put it in a separate plastic carrier bag for you to bring on board.

Not a fault, but a couple of tips for your plan: a fun Dutch liquor that you can get in Schiphol is genever. It's kind of like gin but tastier (in my opinion). You can also get stroopwafels (a caramel waffle from the Netherlands) that people tend to love. Also, it will be much cheaper for you to buy the cheese and stroopwafels at an Albert Heijn (grocery store) in Amsterdam before you get to the airport...but if that is inconvenient, you will have plenty of options in Schiphol.

Happy and safe travels to you!
posted by stillmoving at 12:36 PM on February 26, 2017

You will most likely get good results if you get the kind of cheese that's completely sealed in red or yellow wax (or a wax-like skin). There are different sizes but you may have trouble finding smaller ones; they do exist though. Baby Edam or Baby Gouda sound like they would work.
For sausage, try to find the drier/harder variants that are often sold under the name 'droge worst'. They look like this and they travel well.
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:38 PM on February 26, 2017

Seconding the actual grocery store in Amsterdam as opposed to buying in the airport. If you don't want to carry too much through the city there is an actual grocery store in the train station part of Schipol. Small but full service!

Try looking for Ossenworst in the smoked variety. Should last a good long time. Or Groninger Metworst.

But they should have a big selection for you to choose from.

And as a plus you can buy prepared sandwiches and salad there before you go through security. Much cheaper than once you are a captive audience.
posted by csmithrim at 12:45 PM on February 26, 2017

Amsterdam? Pick up some stroopwaffel at the airport or anywhere really. Mmmm...stroopwaffel :9
posted by sexyrobot at 1:32 PM on February 26, 2017

I don't think you can bring meat or cheese from Canada to Amsterdam, so yes do buy it all there. It would be terrible to have your bacon confiscated. This page seems to strongly imply you can't bring them into the EU.
posted by jessamyn at 1:45 PM on February 26, 2017

The things you buy while in transit at the airport do not count toward your checked in luggage allowance.

Buy an icebox on arrival in Kampala. With the icebox filled with crushed ice that you get from the local fish market, whatever's in it is sure to stay fresh for at least 2 days.

Never been there, but if Uganda is anything like other African countries, you will experience crippling power cuts.
posted by Kwadeng at 3:09 PM on February 26, 2017

Velveeta was the go to for Peace Corps volunteers receiving care packages. You can also buy precooked, shrink wrapped bacon which only needs to be heated up when you want to eat it. Honestly, I would google some Peace Corps volunteer blogs from Uganda. Nearly everyone had some sort of "please send this in the mail!" Care package requests.

I was a hero for bringing back bagels and cream cheese to a fellow peace corps volunteer when come back from NY. I'm not sure if there's a similar long awaited item for your friends. It may be as simple as a candy that they can't get where they are.
posted by raccoon409 at 7:02 PM on February 26, 2017

Where are you heading in Uganda? I worked in Kitgum for a few years!

We used to fill an Eski (cooler) with ice to bring fresh things up north - worked fine for the trip. That was mostly stuff that we could find in Kampala that we couldn't get in Kitgum (herbs, veggies, etc). If you're bringing it on the plane, I'd stick to hard cheeses and small bottles of luxury stuff (maple syrup etc).

Depending on your situation there, I'd highly recommend a good kitchen knife and lots of interesting spices - I cooked for myself most of the time, and you can eat perfectly good food just shopping at the local market, especially if supplemented by some canned food (mushrooms! Chickpeas!) and spices from Kampala.

Feel free to PM me if you have more questions about Northern Ugandan life!
posted by twirlypen at 9:52 PM on February 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

stroopwaffels and speculoos. my world changed for the better when i discovered speculoos
posted by alchemist at 5:59 AM on February 27, 2017

« Older Photo mounted on foam core is now bowing/warping:...   |   Legal Zoom Takes You How Far? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.