What a tourist to bring from Tunisia
Tunisia boasts a huge range of interesting, colorful and useful things that tourists can bring home from here. This is an olive oil of high quality, unique pottery, olive soap and much more. In this Arab country there are even alcoholic drinks. Let's go on the list of the most popular Tunisian gifts and souvenirs.
First of all, we recommend that you read our article " What can and can not be exported from Tunisia " so as not to get into unpleasant situations at the Tunisian customs. We also recommend the article " How and where to buy gifts in Tunisia ".
Olive oil is the most popular Tunisian gift, it is purchased by 70-75% of tourists in Tunisia. The secret of the success of Tunisian olive oil in high quality and low price. In Tunisia oil costs 10 Tunisian dinars per liter, in Russia prices are twice as expensive.
The quality of Tunisian olive oil surpasses almost all varieties that are sold in Russian supermarkets. It's no secret that oil is brought to our stores from Greece, Italy and Spain, and it's not the best for us.
Few tourists know how to choose olive oil, we will conduct a small educational program on this topic. The main indicator of the quality of the oil is the "acidity" indicator. It can be indicated as: "<3%", "<0.8%" or "<0.3%". Oil with a "<3%" is considered almost technical, it is not used by Tunisians for food, they are rarely sold in stores. The most common oil is "<0.8%" - this is already good quality. And oil "<0.3%" is the most qualitative and expensive.
The average price of oil "<0.8%": about 10 dinars per liter.
The average price for oil "<0.3%": about 20-25 dinars per liter.
For butter, we recommend first of all to go to the nearest supermarket Carrefour .
Acidity does not always indicate on the packaging, sometimes it can be difficult to find and you have to carefully examine the jar from all sides. Acidity is indicated by the word "Acidity", the word is the same in English and French. How it looks right, look at this photo . Our advice: did not find on the package an inscription about acidity, do not take such oil.
On many sites and guides you can meet such advice: "Buy only Extra Virgin oil." In fact, you can not buy another oil in Tunisian stores.
Think for yourself if you squeeze a wet rag, then how much water will flow during the first squeezing of this rag and how much during the second pressing? With oil, the situation is similar, with the second oil squeezing out very little. It is cheap, and it is completely bought up for the needs of industry, it does not go on sale to stores.
Shelf life of olive oil is 2 years. Dates of production and expiration date are written on the end of the cans. The photo on the left shows how it should look, click on the photo to enlarge.
The season for picking olives is October and November. That is, resting in Tunis in June, you will see on the shelves of the oil from the olives of the harvest of the previous year, do not be surprised. Be sure to look at the expiration date, so that it does not exceed one year.
We strongly recommend buying oil only in tin cans, no glass. First, metal packaging is more reliable, less likely to break. Secondly, the Tunisians themselves say that olive oil should not fall under the sun's rays, it loses its useful properties.
Another important nuance. For example, a friend asks: "Bring me butter from the island of Djerba, they say it's the best." Of course, she means oil from olives grown on the island of Djerba . The laws of Tunisia are such that the manufacturer is not obliged to indicate the origin of the olives on the packaging. The oil can be squeezed out on Djerba, but the olives can be from Sfax or from Soussa . Another lottery.
And the last moment - the oil is refined (odorless) and unrefined (with odor). Sharp olive smell like not everyone, remember this.
Tunisian ceramics is considered one of the best in the world. Styles and technologies of pottery in Tunisia have absorbed the best from Berbers, Phoenicians, Romans, Greeks, Byzantines, Arabs, Andalusians, Turks and Frenchmen. We can say that Tunisian ceramics largely reflects the long history of the country .
On this page we will not talk in detail, read our interesting review " Tunisian ceramics ".
The most popular products for tourists are the Tajin (price: 10-15 dinars), painted plates (price: 6-10 dinars), star-sausage or "Fatima's hands" (price: 15-30 dinars). The last two types of dishes can be seen in the photo on the right, click on the photo to enlarge.
Ceramics can be bought at any souvenir shop or when you go to pottery workshops during excursions.
Another basis of the Tunisian economy is dates. Price per kilogram: 8-12 dinars, depends on the size and appearance of dates. The profit here is not high, the prices for Tunisian dates in Russian supermarkets are comparable.
Our advice: buy dates on a branch, it's a guarantee that the fruits have not been on the ground.
Harissa (or arissa)
This is the national Tunisian hot sauce. In Tunisia it is used in a huge number of local dishes, for example, in couscous and marigolds . This sauce consists of tomato paste, olive oil and hot chili pepper.
Earlier, chili peppers were not used, it was not yet in Tunisia, this plant was brought from America. In those days, for acuity in Harissa black cumin was added. The Tunisians of the "old temper" call such a charis "real", and the charis with chili pepper "fake". Now in shops sell Harissa with caraway seeds, but it is very expensive and is rare.
Sauce Harissa is sold in dry form or in tin cans. We recommend banks. By tradition, 135 grams of sauce are put in a jar. Why exactly 135, we did not find out. If you know the reason for this, please write in the comments after the article.
The price of the jar is 135 grams: 0.7 - 1.5 dinars.
For more details, see our article " Harissa ".
It is believed that the name of the country Tunisia comes from the name of fish tuna. And although this version is not exactly proven, it clearly shows what fish Tunisians catch, prepare and export more than others. In Tunisia, the stores sell gorgeous tuna in cans.
The maintenance of a tuna bank from Tunisia surpasses everything that is sold in Russia. The fish is placed in a jar in high-quality olive oil. Filling the can to the string. Pieces large, fillets pitted.
If desired, you can find tuna at a price of 8 dinars per can of 400 grams, which is about half as cheap as in Russia. We recommend taking packages of 3 or 5 cans, it will be cheaper. An example of such a package in the photo on the right, click on the photo to enlarge.
To distinguish a can of tuna from other canned foods on the shelf of the store is very simple - look for the words "THON" (with "Tuna") and "D`OLIVE".
The average price: 6 dinars per a can of 200 grams.
Products from olive tree
This is a very colorful gift. The olive tree has a unique texture, it can not be confused with anything. It looks beautiful and unusual.
You can buy some bauble - a statuette, stand or something like that. And there are also quite practical gifts - plates, cups, spoons. For example, the stupa and pestle, shown in the photo to the left, cost 8 dinars.
Amazes the difference in prices. Even the most simple spoon from an olive tree costs in Russia from 1000 rubles and above. In Tunisia, a spoon can be bought for 3-4 dinars. Tunisia is a country of olive plantations, there is a lot of olive wood, which is used by artisans.
The prices strongly "skip" depending on the resort and from the store to the store. Go, choose, ask the price.
Olive Soap and Cosmetics
Very popular with tourists is olive soap. Most often it is sold in small square pieces. Soap has the aromas of citron, orange, jasmine and others. It smells wonderful, it is inexpensive.
Average price: 1.8-2 dinars per piece.
Important advice: make sure that the plastic wrapper is intact. If the wrapper is damaged, the soap will very quickly "exhale" and give a smell to all the objects around.
In shops, olive soap usually takes up a whole stand, see the example in the photo on the right.
Cosmetics based on olive oil and argan oil are very diverse. Here it is even difficult to give any recommendations. Look and choose, prices are acceptable.
Russian tourists often take fruit from Tunisia, but very rarely buy them. Unfortunately, our tourists prefer to gain fruit by kilograms at the Swedish tables in hotels, depriving them of the opportunity to eat other tourists.
We encourage our readers not to do so - do not deprive others of the pleasure of trying the fruit of Tunisia. Especially delicious in Tunisia, peaches, oranges and tangerines, they are worth trying first.
About the prices on this page we will not talk, read our detailed article " Prices for food in Tunisia ."
Of the eastern sweets Tunisians are most successful in halva. It is sold in all stores - food and souvenir shops.
Three of the most famous Tunisian brands: Papillon (with a butterfly), La Gazelle (with a French "gazelle") and Shehrazad ("Scheherazade"). There is not much difference in taste, and the packaging is very similar. There is a feeling that they are made in the same factory on the same line, only pack in different packages. On the left is a photo of the counter in one of the shops in Yasmine Hammamet . In the photo there is a halva of all three of these brands.
Average prices: for a can of 185 grams - 4.25 dinars, for a can of 400 grams - 6.5 dinars.
We do not recommend buying Lukum in Tunisia. Tunisians have a habit of falling asleep with a huge amount of powdered sugar ( see photo ). It is very inconvenient to use such a lokum, the powder soothes clothes and hands. According to its taste, Tunisian lucum is not noticeable.
Another interesting acquisition is the chocolates of French and Tunisian brands ( see photo ). They are very many kinds, choose, try and decide what to buy as a gift to family and friends. We want to note the "X-plose" bars, very pleasant to the taste.
About sweets read our detailed and informative article " Eastern sweets in Tunisia ".
Buha, wine and other alcohol
Tunisia is an Islamic country, but for a long time the country was under the rule of the French. The French planted vineyards here and taught Tunisians to make wine. In addition to wine, Tunisia has its own liqueurs and famous vodka - buka.
For details, see our interesting article " Alcohol in Tunisia ".
All souvenir products in Tunisia are brought from China. Do not flatter yourself and do not believe the crafty Tunisian traders who guarantee "hand made".
Average prices: a magnet - 1 dinar, postcards - 1 dinar for 10 pieces, wallets and similar knick-knacks - 3-4 dinars, mosaic patterns - 10-15 dinars, multi-colored doors - 10 dinars, leather pictures of 8-15 dinars, drums there -ms - 10-20 dinars.
Below, see the photo gallery of Tunisian souvenirs.
And now let's talk about how not to be disappointed during the Tunisian shopping.
What not to buy in Tunisia
Let's give a short list of things that should not be bought in Tunisia, and we will explain why it should not be done.
Clothes . It is of poor quality, brought from China.
Spices . In them there is nothing special, such saffron, turmeric, paprika can be bought in Russia. Prices of Tunisian traders are often even higher.
Leather goods and clothing . These are expensive things. You can buy a thing with a defect, and find it already at home. Where will you go to change it? Fly back to Tunisia? Of course, if you are an expert in the skin, you can ask the price.
Chasing . The complexity of its purchase for tourists is that the Russians in the coinage do not understand anything, do not represent the real value of these products.
Carpets . Likewise, if you sell with a defect or a counterfeit, you can not change it back, there is nobody to make a claim.
Ornaments from precious metals . Similarly, if you sell a fake, you will not change.
Rose of the desert . In fact, it does not represent any value. The Tunisians prop up the doors with these stones. Think about it: if you buy a rose of the desert, what will you do with this stone in your homeland? If there is an answer to this question, then buy boldly, the price is 1 dinar.
Successful purchases in Tunisia, and read our informative and useful for tourists articles about this country ( list of links below ).
Read about Tunisia on our website