Idly surfing the web recently, looking at various other food sites, I came across www.ismyblogburning.com - a site that tracks food events across the world and offers bloggers competitions and events to get involved with so you make personal connections from a digital start. There were calls for blogs about what's in your lunch box, secret ingredients of magic muffins, hard candy, waiter there's something in my... , a blog for every foodie occasion really.
The one that caught my eye was the 7th round of Euro Blogging By Post - shortened to EBBP#7 - hosted by the passionate cook and themed around childhood sweets. Basically what happens is you email the passionate cook with your address details and she creates a daisy chain of all those who are interested.
A week or so later I received the address of Jessica in Switzerland and her beautifully illustrated blog. I had to send a her a parcel which must contain something that conjures memories of sweet childhood. Having recently been back to Australia, returning as always with a swag of goodies, I posted off a food parcel that included such antipodean delicacies as Cherry Ripes and fresh macadamia nuts as well as some London bits. It was a fun exercise to make a package for a stranger - really hope she likes it.
And then, serious excitement, I got a weighty box from a man in Austria. I ripped off the brown paper wrapper in less than a moment and found a very interesting collection inside. Andreas is obviously a man who likes good food, the pictures on his site look fabulous. In my box there was a bag of Sportgummi - the sweet your (Austrian) grandmother will always give you - and worth having for the name alone. Then there was a multi pack of wafers called Manner Schnitten which I adore. Little wafers interspersed with hazlenut cream, perfect because not overly sweet. I've bought them often in London but I'm ashamed to say hadn't realised they were a speciality of Austria. I learn things every day. There was a jar of homemade rhubarb chutney because I like rhubarb, impressively bearing an illustrated label from his own kitchen - something I don't think to do.
A box of nougat - Ah, Don Alonso - Ildefonso - an 80's character who sounds remarkably like the milk tray man. According to the notes Andreas included with the presents Don Alonso was the man no woman could resist, they always swooned for his 7 layers of finest nougat!
Lastly were my two favourite things in the box - a bag of herbal tea called haustee from a farm in the Tyrolean mountains and a jar of herbal salt - Kräutersalz - that smells divine and is calling me to make a creamy potato salad generously spiced with some Kräutersalz for dinner one night this week. These are the two things I am sure I would want to bring back with me if I ever go to the Tyrolean mountains.
So thank you to Andreas for my wonderful box of goodies and thank you too to the passionate cook for putting the time in to organising the whole thing.