‘Like penpals, but with snacks!’ Unable to travel, strangers mail each other tastes of home | Snacks

OThe best bit of travel ne It was always food.. Or, more specifically, junk food-Japanese Seven-Eleven’s brightly colored Pocky boxes, rows of unknown chip flavors in foreign supermarkets.

We are pleased that Australians are unlikely to experience it in 2021. But in the corner of the Internet, hungry citizens continue to take advantage of the joy of international snacks. Border closures will be severe.

on r / SnackExchange, Reddit users get together to exchange sweet and salty food from their home country by email. The premise is simple: First, you find someone on the board to replace. Then you post a box full of the best processed foods in your country to each other and finally upload a photo of your transport to the board for others to see. As one user told Guardian Australia, “It’s like a pen pal, but it comes with a treat!”

First created in 2010, r / SnackExchange has existed before the pandemic. Currently, its membership totals 102,000. Most people experience snacks that can’t be found at home, such as Hong Kong matcha oreo and Canadian maple leaf cookies, but others desperately seek snacks that they ate once on their holidays.

For Redditors participating in the snack exchange, it’s a way to learn more about the world.

Snacks mailed from Melbourne, Australia to US resident Meghan Quallick

“We didn’t realize what we didn’t have until we started exchanging snacks,” says Meghan Quallick, four-time snack wapper in Sacramento, California. In December 2018, in addition to interacting with Wales college students, Scottish men, and fellow Americans in Hawaii, she exchanged snacks with a woman named Alice in Melbourne.

Part of Quallick’s motivation for exchanging with Australians was to get a specific item, the Cadbury Black Forest bar. Her colleague fell in love with chocolate blocks on a trip to Australia a few years ago, but couldn’t procure them at home. Quallick’s snack partner put 10 chocolates in the package. She was excited to pass it on. “It was very exciting to get some and bring them to her,” Quallick said. “My colleague had tears in her eyes.”

Black Forest Bar is not the only Australian snack that is popular on r / snack exchange. Some of our biggest hits are Shape, Caramelo Koala, Milo, Violet Crumble, Cheese and Twisty. Some swappers send Lamington packages, chicken salt tubes, or weird things like emu jerky or eucalyptus drops purchased from supermarkets. Vegemite sachets are regularly featured. The top dog, however, is Tim Tam.

They were also one of Megan’s favorites. “I don’t know what it is about them, they’re just-well, they’re really perfect,” she says.

“Everyone wants Tim Tam,” asserts Heather Clark, a Melbourne snack wapper. “Most Australian exchanges tend to be chocolate-based. You’ll see a block of Cadbury and a cherry lip.”

By observing the posts on the board, Heather says, you can see the flavors that aren’t available abroad. “Looking at other American exchanges, they didn’t seem to have my favorite sweet peppers and sour cream chips. So you can make a kind of guess. [what to put in]But at the same time, the polite thing is to ask, “OK, do you like what I send?”

Flamin'Hot Cheetos, sweet cereals, American hostess cake.
Flamin’Hot Cheetos, sweet cereals, American hostess cake. Photo: Heather Clark

Clark’s latest exchange was with a Texas woman. In addition to the classics, she included licorice at the request of her partner, who had heard that Australian varieties were softer than US equivalents. Due to the shock factor, she also threw a musk stick packet. “My swapper went” This is the strangest thing I’ve ever eaten. They taste like grandma. ”

Snack exchange has obvious financial drawbacks. Part of the process is to agree on a budget before exchanging. According to Quallick, it averages around US $ 40-50. However, Reddit moderators advise that “you need to be prepared to spend twice as much shipping as a real snack.” Occasionally, swappers are scammed by partners who do not deliver at the end of the transaction, and measures have been taken to prevent this.

“It can be very expensive,” admits Clark. “But it’s like a hobby, and you really don’t care about spending money on your hobby.”

In many cases, exchanging snacks is more than just food.

“I like receiving physical emails. I’m one of those who have penpals,” Clark says. “Packaging is an interesting way to do it on a larger scale. It’s not just a food exchange, so it’s often a cultural exchange. You move people,’What is this? What is this? Can you tell me what it is? “

Often, Redditors include instructions on how to consume your snacks best, such as what you should and shouldn’t eat vegemite, or step-by-step guides to complete Tim Tam’s slums. I will. Being one step ahead is based on the spirit of the community.

“I really like the community being so healthy and wonderful,” says Quallick. “If you’re a stranger across the internet, but someone is looking for a particular item but doesn’t want a complete exchange, people will contact you and post a link to where you can buy online. Seems to be very kind. “

For now, snack exchanges are the closest thing many of us go abroad – including Quallick. “I got my passport so I could drive to Canada someday for a light meal,” she says with a laugh. “But I probably can’t do that in the last few years.”

‘Like penpals, but with snacks!’ Unable to travel, strangers mail each other tastes of home | Snacks Source link ‘Like penpals, but with snacks!’ Unable to travel, strangers mail each other tastes of home | Snacks

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