I once smuggled some old stamps from Soviet times out of Russia. They weren't very valueable, but it is forbidden to export pre-1991 stamps in any way. I somehow made it past customs to the check-in when the customs officers where taking a break and managed to check the bag before they had a chance to search it...
I got a packet of Jaffa Cakes into the US then had my bag searched, and it suddenly clicked that they counted as 'food stuffs'
"do you have any food stuffs"
"erm... a packet of jaffa cakes..."
"...what are those?"
well, every time I come back from south africa, i usually have 4-6 bottles of alchohol between my two bags. Once I had 8! I've never been caught. I also bring back biltong quite regularly (which is beef jerky to those that don't know). My husband had his confiscated once, but no big deal. I've brought back parmiggiano reggiano from Italy, at least 15 lbs. I took about 15 lbs of dried german sausage from Stuttgart to Johannesburg...no worries. I think the dumbest thing I did was brought back a sentimental bowl from amsterdam years ago, but all it had in it was resin...so what could they do? Don't worry about the HP sauce! I've brought back tons of sauces/spices/chutneys over the years. Oh, I've also brought back plants/shoots/cuttings of plants from south africa as well...nothing invasive! My sister-in-law brings over proteas as a carry on and no one has every notices either!
Well l intend smuggling HP sauce into the States on Thursday - lm not sure if "food stuffs" are a allowed to be carried into the States or not (??) but Gretchen has an addiction to HP sauce (if she tries to deny it thats only a sure fire sign of the severity of her addiction!!) so lm acting as her dealer!!!
It's not my fault I have an HP addiction!! Had people not talked about it in food-related threads in OT, I wouldn't have sought it out in Dublin just to try it. Now I'm hooked and my supply is dwindling. I do the same thing with jars of grape leaves (for dolma). We don't get them out here so I load up in the city or have people bring them to me when they visit.
I've brought the usual (liquor, clothes, souvenirs) and, several years ago, a little contraband from Jamaica. I hoped the "sniffer" dogs weren't about but no such luck. Thankfully, the dog was much more interested in an Indian family who had been on the plane too. Though, did breathe a sigh of relief driving out of the airport parking lot.