If you're going to stay with people who love Spanish food , you'll be as delighted as I was to find the perfect hostess gift .... a selection of fuet ( a special sort of dried sausage ) by Campofrio , beautifully presented and packed on a wooden board .
Until , that is , you're going through the airport security check at the airport , when your carry-on case will raise eyebrows and you'll be discreetly called aside by a large security guard and a wiry woman in rubber gloves .
Had I packed the bag myself? Could I explain the presence of a knife in my luggage ?
"A WHAT? In my bag??"
So he turned the screen round and showed me a long , very thin , very pointy knife . Yes , it nestled , ready for instant use , between the sausages all still hermetically sealed in their presentation pack , the whole looking rather high on cholesterol , but otherwise harmless . Luckily I wasn't the first that week to have this in their luggage and he just removed the knife and gave the whole lot back to me to pack .
As I ran , red faced and mortified , down the corridor to gate H4 , I decided that any future foodie gifts would be limited to salty liquorice and a box of Merci chocs .