10 Great souvenirs to pick up in St Helena.
10.St Helena recipe book.
The culinary offering is at the soul of St Helena culture. It is no secret that Saints love food, and we love to host. Large, hearty servings of home cooking is very much custom. All the signature sweets and savouries are found in this humble little paperback and is the all-you-need-to-know guide to cooking the unique flavours of this far flung land.
Art needn’t break the bank and original pieces here can be bought at very reasonable rates. The local paintings draw from typical local and iconic St Helena themes, like the arum lily, distinct landscape and our seasonal whale shark aggregations. There are stunning photographic prints, jewellery and creative recycled and up cycled goods up for grabs too.
8.Exotic jams and preserves
Jams and preserves made from local exotic fruits are a traditional delight that not only tastes exquisite, but holds a generational bond – having been passed from former grandmothers (typically). Locally sourced, the fruits are picked when ripened and included in the jam and preserve favourites are the fig, physalis peruviana (Peruvian ground cherry), the loquat and the cherry guava locally known as medlems. If St Helena nostalgia was a bottled taste – this would be it.
7.St Helena lace
Early records dating back to the late 1800’s documents a lady by the name of Emily Jackson: a headmistress who is thought to be one of the founder lace makers of St Helena. She was taught the skill in the UK and is said to have returned to St Helena with its tuition. Today lace making is a rare, dying craft on the island, making this an even more appealing memento.
6.Wooden crafts and Ebony wood jewellery
In the Arts and Crafts Centre located next to the Tourist Office, there is an array of wooden creations, from crafted and polished local ebony (endemic) pendants, to rustic wooden vases and flawlessly finished wooden boxes dressed with inlay. Local wood is something of a scarce commodity, so a beautiful embellishment in its bare natural grain is worth its place on any mantel piece.
5.St Helena Alcohol
The St Helena Distillery, possibly the most remote distillery in the world produces a modest but striking range. The signature Tungi is made from the wild prickly pear, seen growing in most barren areas and crevices on the Island. In their range is also a coffee liqueur sourced from the local prestigious bean and the Gin, from the detoxifying Juniper berry. There is something for every alcoholic preference.
4.Everlasting flower seeds
One of the best souvenir shops on Island is located at Napoleons House in Longwood. It is here that you will also find the seeds of the everlasting flower wrapped in small packaging , much like the packaged everlasting seeds posted to Napoleon by Lady Holland, a prominent London politician’s wife, who disapproved of the English treatment of the late French Emperor. Everlasting daisies flower today throughout the island.
St Helena stamps have long been a treasured collectors’ item because of the destination remoteness and the limited circulation, but also because of the aesthetic appeal which showcases collections of beautiful St Helena birds, wildlife, ships and land marks. Being the patriotic nation that we are, occasions for Royal wedding St Helena edition stamps are never overlooked. It is no surprise then that most visitors head directly to the only post office located on Main Street.
St Helena honey production is small but immaculate. It is not readily available for sale year round, but with imported honey forbidden, our bee populations are generally protected, healthy and free of major bee diseases like AFB. Honey colour and flavour is influenced by the most abundant flower sources like the Eucalyptus. This honey may be strained but is not processed so the live enzymes work their best healing powers, and is a go to source for when the flus and colds make their rounds.
The green tipped bourbon Arabica varietal coffee was introduced to St Helena in 1733 by the East India Company. Sheltered on St Helena from major influences this strand has remained virtually unchanged. St Helena coffee is subtlety characterized by ‘floral bouquet and a pronounced acidic fruitiness’ and has developed a good reputation amongst it world contenders – a savoured souvenir for any occasion.