World’s Most Expensive Tortilla Chips (or “ridiculous Italian customs”)

Ciao Readers!

Today I am sharing with you (only figuratively, as it’s all for me & Steve!) the wonderfully thoughtful care package my sis-in-law sent (thanks again!!!).  As you may recall, back when, I had a post entitled “Groceries of My Dreams.”  Well, my sis-in-law decided to send some of those things, as well as some other goodies.  Very thoughtful of her, yes?  And I bet she paid alot more to ship it here than the cost of the actual contents of the box….

So, you would think sending it DHL and paying a large fee would get our box here easily.  Ha!  (Have you not been paying attention this past year?)  NOTHING in Italy is that easy.  First came the forms (there are ALWAYS forms).  Since this was “food” (I’m not sure 4 out of 5 nutritionist would agree), it required a Ministry of Health form.  With that, we had to send Steve’s passport and permesso (why on earth would a jar of Fluff require all this?!?!).  And then for the final insult to injury….wait for it….

For receiving a wonderful gift, we had the privilege of having to pay customs 81 euros to hand over the box (about $105.00)!!!   So, I am pretty sure at this point we are now in the possession (though not for long) of the world’s most expensive tortilla chips.  (As I opened the bag and began to eat them I would count with each one, “one dollar, two dollars….”).  But man, are they good!

Some of the goodies we got:

car pack

The moral of today’s post is:  Be careful what you wish for!

Leave a comment


  1. peter

     /  March 28, 2013

    Ooohh…I see a golden opportunity here to claim some “thoughtfulness” points! Ummm…I was going to send you guys a care package as well….yeah, that’s right…full of really good stuff…but given today’s instructionary post, I will thoughtfully refrain from putting you through that expensive ordeal again! Hey, I have a better idea: will you pay me $50 NOT to send you a package?

  2. Ako

     /  March 28, 2013

    Did the pecans make it? I hope you enjoy every bite!

  3. richdad

     /  March 28, 2013

    Mamma Mia Hope! I’ve heard of the customs fees for packages coming from the U.S. to Italy but never realized they were that steep! What are the fees based on? Seems as if it would be cheaper to fly to Amsterdam and fill your suitcase at that American food store. BTW, have you been to Castroni’s in Rome. I’m very familiar with the one near the Vatican and I think they have a fairly good selection of American food products. I never checked the prices because I was always there to stock on Italian food items to bring home as presents but given the tariff that you paid for the privilege of receiving your package, I can’t believe it could be more expensive. That being said, what a wonderful sister-in-law you have! And everything she sent you must taste even better knowing that she hand picked all the items for you! Buona serata – Ric

  4. Just a tip since I often get packages from home. Have them send the package via regular mail and on the description write “used personal belonging’ (have them throw in some socks etc.) and have them claim 0 as the value. Even if it gets stuck in customs, all you have to do is write ‘used personal belonging from home, socks, etc.” and they will send you the box and you won’t pay a dime. DHL and mailboxes are crazy expensive!

    on a positive note – that package does look pretty awesome! 😉

    • Yep, this is how I’ve been doing it with my mom. My s-i-l was being sweet and it was a surprise when she sent it so I didn’t know till it was too late to tell her all that. It’s making us appreciate everything even more 🙂

    • We actually moved our stuff here all by mailing it – we almost got away without paying customs, but were charged for about 5 boxes (but never more than 16 euros) – I wrote a post about how 2 boxes arrived on the same day – standard size priority boxes, same listed contents and weight (books) – we were charged for one and not the other – when I asked the post man he just shrugged and told me to pay…

      • You never really know here, that’s the problem. Honestly for the past 3 years, I have never paid a dime but I am super strict when people ask to send something, I tell them what to write word for word lol because otherwise it is just too expensive to receive any treats!

      • Ah, but now you are opening up another can of worms…the discussion about how it is almost required/expected/encouraged to be less than honest here….I can name several times we have been put in this situation by folks helping us or in charge – telling us what to say to make things work – which, if not truthful goes against my core – how much does one acculturate….

  5. D

     /  March 29, 2013

    Simple. No never means no here. ever. Which is why I get strange looks when I do mean no with students and their parents. lol. I used to get upset, now just go with the flow. lol


Leave a Reply to newmexicotoitaly Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: