Answers from Our Experts (2)
The best things to bring home from Albuquerque are handmade items from American Indian craftsmen. Silver and turquoise jewelry comes in both traditional and more modern styles, as do hand-woven rugs and pottery are easy to find as well. Cooks may especially like locally made heavy pots for stovetop cooking — great for beans. If you’ve gotten hooked on chile while you’re in town, you can bring some of that home, too. Dried red whole chile pods keep their flavor longest; as for green chile, it’s typically sold frozen in pint containers (including at the Frontier restaurant).
The best thing to bring home from Albuquerque is a lovely, handmade piece of turquoise jewelry. Earrings, rings, bracelets and necklaces fashioned with this semiprecious stone can be found practically everywhere in town — and half the fun of procuring your piece is looking through all of the different styles on display in jewelry stores and in Old Town Albuquerque's open-air market. Keep in mind that most prices are negotiable, especially if you fall in love with a piece of jewelry that's being sold by the artist who made it. However, it's also wise to educate yourself about the right questions to ask a seller (such as, "Is this natural turquoise?" or "Is it stabilized?") before you start the hunt. A low-quality turquoise charm can be hard to spot for the untrained eye. It can also be just as beautiful as a higher-quality bauble, but it certainly shouldn't cost as much.