We have heretofore received most welcome advice from contributors to this site as to excellent dining destinations for our trip to Rome in May. Now we seek advice on foodstuffs to bring back from Rome. What we have in mind are items that are unavailable in the U.S. or available only in lower quality or significantly higher price. Here are our current principal "targets"; we will welcome advice on where best to purchase them:
1) Canned or jarred tuna; Tre Torri or similar quality (if there are other canned or jarred seafood specialties we should have in mind; by all means mention them).
2) Dried funghi porcini.
3) Moderate amounts of Pecorino Romano and Parmagiano-Reggiano cheeses; preferably from a purveyor able to vacuum pack them for travel.
4) "Unusual" (at least in the U.S.) spice mixes. About five years ago we purchased a moderate quantity of "erbe miste per pesce" at Drogheria Mascari in Venice. So many home-made seafood risotti have since been memorably enhanced by that seasoning, and, incredibly, it seems to have lost little of its potency. Nary a clue as to what the mixture contains, though we do sense the presence of fennel. If there is a spice or mix we should not leave Rome without, please tell us what it is and from whom to purchase it.
5) Similar to 4) above, if there is a marvelous seafood stock "base" or enhancer that we should have in mind, please send us in the right direction (we find it a lot more challenging to prepare palatable seafood stock from "scratch than chicken, beef or vegetable stock).
I haven't mentioned obvious items like olive oil or wine because we are squeamish about packing them amongst our clothing. Also, I have omitted pasta because we have access to a variety of artisanal Italian dry pasta at home at what we regard as reasonable prices. No doubt the above list excludes some "must buys" so don't hesitate to bring any such items to our attention.
Thanks in advance for your attention.