I am not sure where I first came across the idea of Foodie Penpals, but as soon as I read about it I was immediately struck by the brilliant idea of sending and receiving parcels of food in the post from a fellow foodie.
I signed up with This is Rock Salt for the June penpal selection and was assigned the lovely Marie-Betty to send some goodies to. After a quick email exchange where we shared our excitement at both experiencing Foodie Penpals for the first time, I discovered that Marie-Betty loved the idea of experimenting with spices but hadn’t yet built up her spice cupboard, and enjoyed a cocktail or three, so I started thinking (slightly obsessing) over potential food related treats to send her.
In the meantime, I was contacted by the penpal who was assigned to send me a parcel. Unfortunately, despite this initial contact I haven’t heard from her, or received a parcel, so I can’t use this post as the opportunity to reveal what I received. It’s a real shame, but I am hopeful that she will be in touch to let me know what happened, and it will turn out that my package is on its way.
So, instead I have to tell you what I bought for Marie-Betty. Well, let me tell you, the pressure to buy foodie treats for another foodie who also happens to be a complete stranger is quite tough. I chose and then rejected various different ideas, and debated homemade compared to shop bought. I trawled through the Foodie Penpals website to discover tips about what people had exchanged in the past, and read through blogs and cookbooks for ideas.
Eventually, I decided that this time I would choose a Turkish theme for my box. I live in an area of North London which has large Turkish and Greek communities, and I thought the kind of delicacies I could buy might not be so ready available to Marie-Betty. I had a couple of ideas for things I definitely wanted to buy, but also knew my choices would have to be somewhat dictated by price as there is a limit of £10 budget to spend on the box.
I eventually chose:
- Honey and honeycomb – my favourite topping to Greek yoghurt
- Chilli stuffed olives
- Halva – a sesame paste Turkish sweet which I am rather addicted to
- Greek coffee
- Sumak spice – along with a recipe for sumak spiced roast chicken
- Rosewater – along with a recipe for a rosewater and champagne cocktail
I was delighted to hear that Marie-Betty had received her parcel and was looking forward to trying the ingredients. In fact, she is about to launch her blog, so I am hopeful that I will be able to read about her food experiences very soon.