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Taking Food From Italy into the US (Customs?)

Hey, everyone! I'm currently studying abroad for a semester in Italy (I'm a sophomore in high school) with the American Field Service (AFS) and I'm going back to the US in a few weeks. Anyway, I was wondering if anyone knew what kind of foods you're allowed to bring through customs, and if it was better to but food in carryons or in checked luggage?

For the most part, I was thinking packaged/snack foods, like taralli and cornetti and cheese and . . . well, everything like that. But then I was also curious about other types of food. My host grandparents have a few farms in the country around my city (I'm living in Gravina in Puglia) and they make the best olives, olive oil, wine, and marinated artichokes. I figure the wine could be a bit difficult, considering I'm under 21, but as for the other things, I can jar them and seal the jars, but there would be liquid.

Anyway, I was just wondering what types of foods that you've all been able to bring back to the States from Italy and what types of foods you haven't! Also, do I need to declare everything that I bring back with me?

Thanks!

May 22, 2012
leahrs in Italy