When our foodie penpals came through for September, I was incredibly excited to see that mine was the lovely Carol-Anne from Rock Salt, yes, the “leader of the pack” over this side of the water!
My package arrived and it was wrapped up in some lovely paper, but I didn’t get a pic as I was too excited to open it, as I always am! My first response on opening the box was ‘ooooh’ (again, as always). She has taken all my likes into consideration and I was delighted with the contents.
So in there, I came across two packets of Biltong, which is dried & seasoned beef – I’ve seen this in the supermarket and heard good things about it, I have been tempted to try it before but just wasn’t sure, so I thought this was obviously the perfect opportunity. I’ve only tried the chilli beef one so far as I do like my chilli flavours, and it is delicious, perfect for a quick snack.
A closer look at the contents
Next up was some ‘Biscbits’, Rocky Road flavour (did good there, I love rocky road!), for me to snack on. They consisted of chocolate, marshmallow, and cherry flavoured chocolate coated biscuits. Always required more than one at a time…
There were 4 packs of ‘nakd’ raisins each a different flavour – cola, cherry, lemon & lime – I’d never seen these before so I was intrigued, especially by the cola ones (as was Carol-Anne!) so they were the first ones I tried. They tasted just like chewy cola! I then tried the cherry ones a few days later, on opening the packet there was just a delicious cherry smell, and they tasted wonderful. Though I just had a thought, I must buy the cherry & cola ones again and try them together for a cherry cola taste! I haven’t tried the other two flavours yet.
A couple of the other bits in there were some Greek sesame snacks, which tasted to me just like peanut butter! And some fruit stars, which I will either use for some toppings for some fun fairy cakes, or possibly snacks for the long drive for our holiday next week.
I found it lovely that Carol-Anne had gone to the effort to make some home-made things too. I had blueberry gin cordial, for which the recipe can be found on her blog. I still haven’t got around to trying this but I think it might be another thing I take on our holiday next week! Some home smoked garlic – I haven’t tried this yet but will be sure to this week! And, some chilli & tamarillo jam. I just HAD to try this as I love sweet chilli sauce so thought I would use it in a way I would usually use that (though I have to admit I took the lid off straight away and it smelled gorgeous, so I had to dip my finger in and have a taste – mmm!). On first taste it just tastes quite sweet, with a little bit of ‘tang’, and then after a few seconds, you get the kick of chilli with the sweetness afterwards. Much better than my usual brand of sweet chilli sauce! I can’t wait for the recipe so I can have a go myself!
The foodie penpal I was paired with this month was Sonja (who was also away getting wed in Germany!). At the first glance when I opened the box I saw cupcake-y things which made me über excited as anyone who knows me knows I’m a bit obsessed with anything cupcake! I had told her I love to bake, especially cupcakes. So I received a pack of cupcake cases, two types of decoration, a vanilla pod (I’ve always wanted to use a proper vanilla pod!), a pack of cake wrappers, and a cute little cupcake which is now amongst my other cupcake paraphernalia in my kitchen! I had also said for sweet things, I like tangy fruity things, cue the Tangfastics, which I’m currently munching on! I love the card too, another thing to add to my ever expanding cupcake collection!
I was rather excited to receive my first foodie penpals parcel! I opened the package and there were lots of goodies inside, so I couldn’t wait to get them all out and have a look.
There was a wide variety of items, each based on each of my preferences which I was happy about. Though I have to admit I have only tried a couple of them so far, but all will be used in due course!
The first item I had to try which got me rather excited and looked rather interesting, was the ‘Malt Salt’. It is a salt flavoured with vinegar so you don’t get soggy chips! My verdict, one of the best foodie seasoning inventions ever, I’ve used it 4 times so far and only received it last week! (Yes, we’ve eaten a lot of (oven) chips recently…) It obviously still tastes of salt but the vinegar flavour is prominent too.
I also tried the ‘BEAR’ raspberry fruit yo-yo’s. These were lovely & tangy and I would probably buy them again for a sweet treat!
Then I tried the ‘The Food Doctor’ roasted bean mix. I was a bit dubious at first, they do look nice, but some of the beans I haven’t tried before. They are an acquired taste, but the second time eating them was nicer than the first! They will be eaten, albeit by the handful, as I do need them for the energy nowadays to keep me going for longer.
Another couple of things my penpal included were Thai red & green curry pastes. These are to get my spice kick with having to stand grinding spices for hours when I don’t have the time lately.
I also received some cake decorations which I love, and will come in very handy next time I make cupcakes! Especially as I’ve been meaning to get some of the wafer daisies for ages…
And the chamomile tea, I will drink at some point this week when I get a few minutes to myself!
Thank you to my foodie penpal, Hannah, for a fab parcel.
Here is the parcel I sent to my other penpal, Christine. She is vegan so it was a difficult (but enjoyable) task for me, having never needed to buy food suitable for vegans before. I gave myself the brief of sending products that had been produced locally, in the Yorkshire & Lincolnshire region. Well, our local farm shop came up trumps, after wandering around checking labels for half an hour! But it was worth it as the parcel was very much appreciated.