Foodie Pen Pals – October 2012

This month was my first time participating as a Foodie Pen Pal, a fun program started by Lindsay over at as a way to meet and correspond with other bloggers and blog readers with personal notes and “fun foodie things” of your choosing (up to $15). You get paired with two other participants (out of about 1,300 in the U.S. & Canada): One who will send you a package, and one who you will be sending a package to.

Foodie Pen Pals October 2012

My package was sent by Savita, a student studying Chemistry at UNC Chapel Hill. Savita is such a sweetheart, and turns out she is actually a bay area girl from Fremont, CA, which is not far from where I live, in San Jose, CA. While we were writing back and forth, I was up to my earlobes with pretzels and dips I was testing for my recent article and recipes, How to Make Soft Pretzel Breadsticks. With all of that tasting and testing (rough job, I know :)), I had been too stuffed to eat much else. Savita said:

“When it comes to food, it’s just too good to be concerned about a healthy diet :)”

Definitely a sentiment I can relate to!

In addition to a thoughtful handwritten note, here’s what was in my box of goodies:

Well, it’s no secret that I am a hot sauce lover, so the Sugar & Spice praline (Tabasco spiked) and the Tar Heels Hot Sauce were my favorites. With that big UNC logo, I will definitely remember Savita every time I reach for the sauce. The lime & chilli chutney and the bacon peanut brittle were pretty unique. The chutney had a distinct preserved citrus flavor that reminded me of the sour and salty Chinese preserved lemon peel that my mom always kept on hand, and the brittle delivered a real wallop of smoky bacon flavor!

I also had a blast putting together a package for Zamora, who I sent a package to. Zamora is a fitness instructor, born and raised in Virginia, who loves to get to know different parts of the country through its food (the best way!).

Here’s what I sent to Zamora: 479° Popcorn Black Truffle & White Cheddar Popcorn, Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Butter (along with my recipe for Whipped Pumpkin Butter), Trader Joe’s Ghoulie Gummy Tummies, Jo’s Dark Salted Caramels, Alter Eco Dark Coconut Toffee Chocolate, and… Chocolate covered pop rocks.

What a great way to meet new friends and get to know each other through the language of good food.

The Lean Bean

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