Have you ever had food souvenirs taken away from you at the airport by customs or the TSA?
After having customs officers confiscate several items over the years (including meat-flavored instant noodles from Singapore which contained no meat whatsoever), I'm really careful about what I bring back from vacation because I honestly can't bear the thought of someone taking away my food.
Kris and I just got back from our annual visit to Vancouver (and an Alaskan cruise... more on that later) and the one thing I always bring home is a jar of Kraft Smooth Light Peanut Butter. Kraft peanut butter just tastes way better than anything I can get stateside (and who can resist those cute little bears on the label?) so my parents always remember to buy me a jar before I leave.
During the voyage home, this precious jar of peanut butter always stays with me in my carry-on bag and in the past, I've never had a problem with getting it on the flight. But this was before security was significantly beefed up at the Vancouver airport (courtesy of a recent bomb scare). The recently implemented TSA screening process includes a full body scan and a complete search of carry-on baggage, during which every item is removed from your bag and examined closely. Everything was fine until the TSA agent pulled out my jar of peanut butter and said I couldn't take it on the plane because it exceeded 100 ml! Since when is peanut butter considered a liquid?! Normally, I try to maintain my composure when in public (and especially when dealing with airport security) but when someone tries to come between me and my food, all bets are off! I uttered a string of profanities before I could stop myself. Kris said I was lucky I didn't get tasered.
But this story has a happy ending. Rather than watch his wife get locked up and detained over a jar of peanut butter, Kris suggested we go back to the check-in counter and pay an extra $30 for an additional checked bag (containing my Kraft peanut butter, lovingly wrapped in layers of newspaper). $30 for a jar of peanut butter - money well spent in my opinion!
What would you have done?
p.s. Now that I'm thinking rationally again, I guess I could have easily purchased another jar of Kraft peanut butter at one of the many online Canadian grocers (ie. Canada Only, Canada Grocer, Canadian Favourites, Canadian Delicacies ) where you can also find Coffee Crisp, Old Dutch potato chips, Shreddies, and St. Hubert poutine sauce.