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Foodie Penpals: Newbie Edition

I’ve been hearing about Foodie Penpals for a little while. My friend Anna has raved about her experience after participating a bunch of times and every now and then I come across another blogger who participates in the program.

Did you have a pen pal in elementary school? I did! She was from Russia (I think we called it the USSR then?) and our schools were “sister” schools with classrooms of kids paired up and sending letters and tokens back and forth across the Atlantic. I honestly can’t remember how many times we exchanged letters – I imagine it was only 3-4 times. But, I have vivid memories of her penmanship and the paper she wrote on (it looked like graphing paper). I can’t remember what we discussed, but I do recall the feeling of connection with someone in a far away place who had the slightest thing in common with me.

While not uniting people from distant lands (shipping food through customs would be a nightmare!), Foodie Penpals does bring together people who share a love for both introducing their favorite foods to new people and people who have tastebuds at the ready for discovering new favorites. Foodie Penpals is the brainchild of Lindsay from the Lean Green Bean. Each month she facilitates a signup and matching process to pair new pen pals and this month, I decided to get in on the action! (If you are interested in learning more about the program, check out Lindsay’s FPP page.)

I probably looked a little something like this opening my letters from my pen pal back in the day too!

My package came from Stephanie in Fort Collins, CO. Stephanie is not a blogger, but that isn’t a condition of the program, so anyone get join the fun. When you get matched, you share some details about your preferences with the sender – likes, dislikes, opinion on homemade goods, etc. This time around, I went with the “surprise me” approach, but I did share a few major dislikes (coffee, coconut). Aside from an unfortunate (and messy) shipping mishap (a Ball jar of peach butter didn’t survive the trip) it was so fun to explore the contents of the box and learn a little bit about Stephanie through food. She must like peaches because she sent me both peach butter (sad face) and peach honey (tasty!). She grew up in Kansas City and shared an excellent taco seasoning mix from Spanish Gardens and thyme is her favorite spice. Funny enough, I think my favorite item from the box was also one of the smallest. She included a few packets of Twangerz flavored salt and the Pickle flavor sprinkled on air popped popcorn is t-a-s-t-y. (only time will tell if this a pregnancy-induced obsession or a truly tasty snack!)

The goods from Stephanie including Moroccan soup, peach honey, dark cocoa, taco seasoning, thyme and flavored salts.

I sent my first Foodie Pen Pal package to Melissa at Bare Book Reviews and she’ll be posting a recap of the goods I sent her, so check it out!

Did you have a pen pal? Did you stay in touch for a long time or just a short while?

4 Responses to Foodie Penpals: Newbie Edition

  • Lynn says:

    That is such a cool idea! I have had pen pals over the years. When I was in middle school, I had one from Italy. Like you, we have have sent 3-5 letters. Recently, I participated with Soldier’s Angels where I adopted a soldier. It was a bit more one-way communication (since the soldiers are deployed and sometimes cannot communicate back), but it was an awesome experience. But how do you get involved with Foodies PenPals. I would love to do that.

  • Tammy Fuller says:

    that sounds like fun! I don’t have much imagination for something like this but I enjoyed reading your post.

    • KateRD says:

      Thanks for your comment, Tammy! I signed up for another round and I think I’ll be more specific this time. The person I sent to was more specific with me and I think it helped me be more confident that she’d like what I sent her!

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