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cheese importing - Italy

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cheese importing - Italy

MichaelB | Jun 16, 2004 09:18 AM

I'm on a brief vacation in Florence, and I've just spent a weirdly fascinating half-hour trying to read through the customs and agriculture import service websites about what items are and are not restricted for import into USA. I'm quite certain that the customs beagles will be all over me if I try to bring any sort of meat (even cured meat, the restrictions on which I don't really understand, but anyway...), but it is less clear whether I can bring some cheese back with me (some lovely Pecorino Toscana, I'm hoping). I gather that most of these cheeses are coagulated with some kind of rennet, which is meat-based (if I'm wrong here, I'd love to know -- my Italian is way too weak to have that conversation with the cheese guy).

My real question is: does anyone have actual personal experience doing this? Should I just eat my fill when I'm here and make my friends jealous? Or is it possible to bring some back with me? I'm not going to try to sneak anything back without declaring it; I just want to know if they're going to take my cheese away. ("Oh, please, don't take my cheese awaaaaayyyy!") Many thanks in advance for any houndish advice.

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