“What a great idea!” “What’s a Foodie Penpal?” and “How can I get involved?”was the gist of the responses to my pic. A few of you were quite excited about the concept. Well, all is revealed here.
I have recently signed up to participate in a monthly foodie penpal exchange. The basic idea is simple: each month the organiser (founder Lindsay of The Lean Green Bean for the US and Canada, and Carol Anne at This Is Rock Salt for the UK/EU) assigns each person someone to send food goodies to and receive from in US and Canada, and in the UK/EU a person to send you foodie goodies and a different person for you to send to. Hope that makes sense.
To make life easy there is a list of stuff to ask your recipient, such as any food allergies, likes and dislikes, that kind of thing. But really it is up to you what you wish to send, including a handwritten note. There is a budget limit – for US/Canada it is $15 and UK/EU, €10/£10, plus posting – just to keep everyone on even footing.
This was my first month and I was lucky to get a terrific package from Chiara on the island of Capri. How exotic for me! My mail person was dead-impressed. :-). Not only had she sent me a lovely email in the first instance to sound out what I might want, but her food gifts were so thoughtful, including a handwritten chocolate cake recipe that is on my must-make-soon list. Thank you so much, Chiara!
My recipient wasn’t so lucky as I was just down the road from her (well, she’s near Leicester) when speaking in global terms – hi Elina! She said she liked raspberry flavoured things and liked to bake so I sent some freeze-dried raspberries, some pretty baking cup papers and matching gift boxes, as well as a couple of healthy things (including a Weck pot of my coconut bacon) and some Scottish thistle tea, just to give her something Scottish. I got a really lovely thank you email back from her. I think I did alright for a first-timer!
So, to the package from Chiara. Well she knew I was a bit of a healthy blogger but that I also wanted a wee treat too. She did great on both scores with some delectable, locally-made limoncello biscuits – very treat-ish – some oregano grown on ‘her’ mountain, the hand-written cake recipe (now pinned to my fridge to remind me to make it soon) and the biggest surprise – liquorice! Not just any liquorice but pure liquorice – liquirizia – no sugar, just concentrated taste in tiny ebony nuggets. Initially they are a surprise in the mouth and then you think, well I will just have another. And another! Both treats are on my rather shabby coffee table (I really need to sand that down…).
I really enjoyed my first month of Foodie Penpals. If this has you intrigued, either contact Lindsey or Carol-Anne, depending on where you live. As far as I understand it is only for Americans, Canadians and Europeans for now but some of you others might like to start something like this yourself. It is a fantastic way to meet new people and experience new foods too. The special touch of the hand-written note is also pretty awesome.
Oh! And you don’t have to be a food blogger, or even a blogger, to join in.