I bumped into Foodie Exchange during those times when I was blog hopping for entries to vote for in Project Food Blog 2010. The idea is pretty simple. It’s a community of foodies from all around the globe with a common objective: to exchange their local food specialties with other foodies. I got hooked to the idea and was very excited to experience my first foodie exchange.
Just a background on how it goes…
You can actually do food exchanges anytime, anywhere, but joining Foodie Exchange is more convenient. Instead of striking anywhere to advertise your openness to do an exchange, at Foodie Exchange, all you need to do is basically just leave a post in the forums about your willingness and foodies will come back at you with their exchange proposals. And based on my experience, there had been so many exchange proposals that I myself wouldn’t be able to accommodate and commit to all of them due to time and budget limitations.
Apart from the ease and convenience of organizing an exchange, Foodie Exchange also offers you a certain level of security that the foodies you are to exchange with are people that you can trust. It’s a community where foodies introduce each other and commit to follow certain rules on exchange, and because it’s a community, if there’s anything unfortunate that happens in your exchange, you can report it and a community support system is at hand.
So, you leave your post in the forums, someone contacts you with a proposal, if you are amenable to it, then you can go plan and set your exchange rules. There is a limit of US$10 on the amount of stuff you can exchange (this excludes shipping) but it depends on you and your exchange partner if you want to increase it. For my first two exchanges, we increased the value to US$20. As for shipping, you can also agree on the mode of shipping but mostly this is done via your postal service (I have a different experience with shipping though because the local postal service in the Philippines sucks but I’d deal with that in a separate post). You can also agree on what to send or you can inform each other if any of you has allergies to certain kinds of food so may be aware of what not to send 🙂
Evelyn of Foodie Exchange made a very informative video on how to prepare a perfect package and you can view that here.
Once you’ve prepared your package and shipped it, all you need to do is just wait for your own package to come. Of course, it would be best if you keep in touch with your exchange partner as you wait. This will keep you informed about the status of your own package, and you also get to inform your exchange partner about the status of his/her package. In my case, I gave my partners their tracking numbers so they can track their packages online via my courier’s website.
Receiving a foodie package is always exciting. Let me show you what I got from my very first foodie exchange 🙂
I got an assortment of chocolates, candies, caramels, and bars. I had Ferrero Garden (coconut), Ferrero Rondnoir (rich dark chocolate), Ferrero Rocher, Reese (hubby loves them!), Tradition Ste-Julie fudge, original Tim Tam, cereal bars, and Sun-Rype Fruit to Go strips. Mindy also sent me Hershey’s Chocolate Chips which I have been wanting to add to my Christmas choco-chip cookies but unfortunately, it was damaged at the storage in our local post office 🙁 Anyhow, the sweets are really great I’m enjoying them one at a time! I super like Ferrero Garden 🙂
Mindy also sent me Clubhouse Poutine Gravy Mix. I have always been excited to try Poutine at home because it’s a dish I associate with Canada, next to waffles or pancakes with their rich maple syrup 🙂 I also got St. Hubert Sandwich Chaud Hot Chicken Sauce Mix and Chef Jason McClure’s Homemade Spice Rub. I don’t know if Mindy read my mind (we actually didn’t agree on what to send with our only criteria being “Surprise me!”) but she actually sent me something that I have always wanted to have! I finally got Old Bay Seasoning!
It was one thing I failed to get during my trip to the United States last April and I really regret it until now. Finally, I have Old Bay Seasoning and I can now create this spectacular shrimp dish I’m dying to make for hubby 🙂
Now, you may be wondering what I exchanged for all these wonderful goodies. Here’s a photo of the contents of the package I sent:
I sent assorted mixes for traditional Filipino dishes like Adobo and Sinigang, instant chocolate rice porridge, caramelized pili nuts, locally made peanut butter, our local chocolates Choc-nut and Ricoa Flat Tops, all-rind pork chicharrones, instant 7-in-1 coffee that has ginseng, mushroom, spirulina, and reishi, Batangas coffee made from locally-grown Liberica beans, ginger tea, and bitter gourd tea. I have so many other things in mind like dried mangoes and stuff but I’m a little unsure whether the Canadian customs office will allow such goods.
I’m open to exchanges so if you’d like one, we can plan it out. I don’t send the same stuff because I have a lot of Filipino food items to choose from but if you’d like me to send you some of the stuff you saw here or there’s a particular item from the Philippines you want to try out, you can always let me know 🙂
So there 🙂 I hope this post has inspired you to try a foodie exchange. It’s a great way to try food products from a different place.
Have a great weekend! 🙂