We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

travelling from Italy to LAX with food and alchool?

Rome, Italy
posts: 643
reviews: 95
travelling from Italy to LAX with food and alchool?

hello everyone. I'm italian and will be heading to california to visit my friends next month. Since they have already been here and have tasted the italian cuisine, i want to take as a present for the hosting, this food they love:

- 0.5 kg of pasta

-0.5 kg of coffee (vacuum sealed)

-1 kg of Parmigiano (vacuum sealed)

- a tiny glass bottle (250 ml) of balsamic vinagre

-a tiny glass jar (180 gr) of pesto (mix of basil, garlic, olive oil and parmigiano)

is this gonna create me any problems?

i am mostly concerned about the glass jar and bottle....is there a special wrap or packaging that I must have for them or that you recommend? is it risky to take them with me or they don't risk to break?

last question: i'm on my way to 21 but won't be 21 still during my drip, is just a few days difference. Can i take some limoncello and wine with me as well or since I don't have the required drinking age I'm not allowed to do that?

thank you.

Calgary, Canada
posts: 2,927
reviews: 44
1. Re: travelling from Italy to LAX with food and alchool?

Assuming this is all going in your checked luggage you should be good...wrap the bottles well in clothing items (tee shirts work best) after putting them in a plastic bag (ziploc) first. That way if they do break you wont have balsamic vinegar all over your bag. I have transported wine, olive oil and vinegar this way - no problems.

We can get genuine Parmigiano-Reggiano in the States and Canada so you might want to rethink that (although its very kind of you) Its also technically a dairy item which is excluded apparently.

cbp.gov/xp/…FoodProductsPrepared

The Limoncello and wine - I have no idea. A drinking age of 21 is so silly.

Good luck.

Rome, Italy
posts: 643
reviews: 95
2. Re: travelling from Italy to LAX with food and alchool?

thank africandaisy for yor reply. i live in the VERY SAME PLACE where parmigiano has been created for the first time nearly 1000 years ago so the one I'm gonna take is not exactly the one you're gonna have in the usa. it's made in a very little farm over here that doesn't do any exportations in the usa.

drinkin age----don't tell me. i won't be able to refresh myself drinking a good beer for a 8 days difference -.-". I usually drink a beer everyday in summer here in italy so i don't really know how am i supposed to stand the hot weather.

Edited: 10:27 am, June 16, 2013
San Diego
Destination Expert
for San Diego
posts: 44,127
reviews: 60
3. Re: travelling from Italy to LAX with food and alchool?

I don't think you can bring the alcohol into the USA if you are under age but not completely sure about that.

The jars MUST be packed in your checked luggage as you cannot take it onto the plane in your carry on.

The customs officials may take longer with you to see the food you are bringing into the USA so if you have a connecting flight I would make sure you have extra time to make it!

Ayr, Scotland
posts: 1,786
reviews: 6
4. Re: travelling from Italy to LAX with food and alchool?

Maybe some cello tape around wherever they seal for extra protection - I always do that with my toiletries! Hope they all travel well - sounds like lovely gifts ;-)

Sorry - just to add think that the dairy items would be a no go.

Edited: 11:11 am, June 16, 2013
London, England
Destination Expert
for Solo Travel
posts: 7,188
reviews: 23
5. Re: travelling from Italy to LAX with food and alchool?

No, you can't buy a drink of alcohol until you are 21 years old. Not 21 minus 8 (or 1) day.

Riff M has a point about bringing in alcohol if you are under 21. There is an allowance for each person to bring in a certain amount of booze with you, but if you are not of an age to buy it in the States, the allowance may not apply to you.

Check before you pack as the alcohol could be confiscated and telling US customs that their rules should not apply because you are almost 21 could result in a lengthy interview.

IME, each country tends to believe its own systems and laws are best. Challenging that, if you became too passionate about it, could result in a refusal of entry.

The ESTA only sets up a presumption. The immigration and customs dudes have the last word.

Getting arrested for under age drinking, while unlikely, could also mess up you holiday.

Rome, Italy
posts: 643
reviews: 95
6. Re: travelling from Italy to LAX with food and alchool?

ok. thanks to everyone

Chiang Khong...
posts: 3,660
reviews: 1
7. Re: travelling from Italy to LAX with food and alchool?

Hi

bringing in any kind of food stuff into USA always use the word processed never ever say fresh or raw or any similar words I always put any type of food stuff or liquids in a zip lock bag for extra protection in my checked bags.

Detroit, MI
Destination Expert
for Detroit, Travel Gadgets and Gear
posts: 5,176
8. Re: travelling from Italy to LAX with food and alchool?

The alcohol is not worth the hassle. Customs may or may not be concerned about it. There is actually no federal law concerning drinking age - each state has their own. I don't know if a federal customs officer would really be worried about enforcing state law, if they even noticed your age at the time. Worst that would happen is they would confiscate it, but it would still be a headache.

If your friends/hosts allow you have a beer in their home, I don't see a problem with it. While technically illegal, it is not going to be a problem unless it is an out of control party that results in police getting involved. It would also be a liability for them if you got drunk and then went and did something stupid (like drunk driving). You will not be able to buy in a store or have a drink in a bar/restaurant.

San Diego
Destination Expert
for San Diego
posts: 44,127
reviews: 60
9. Re: travelling from Italy to LAX with food and alchool?

Copied from the USA border patrol/customs web site:

It is not legal for travelers under the age of 21 to import alcohol - even as a gift.

Don't bring the wine/or limoncello!

nyc
posts: 21
reviews: 2
10. Re: travelling from Italy to LAX with food and alchool?

I wouldn't worry about it and just bring in whatever I wanted. My mom, for example, whenever she goes to Europe, always brings back meats and cheeses, even though it's technically forbidden, so I'd go ahead and risk bringing in the wine. Obviously don't declare anything and odds are that you won't be found out. Just be sure to pack the bottles properly, i.e. I always transport bottles by wrapping them in newspapers and putting them all into a shoebox which I tape up after making sure they're not shaking around inside.