In honor of the second anniversary for this adulting blog, we threw an epic travel party. We were ready to mark off the destinations on our travel bucket list with our passports in hand. We had decorations on lock, played a game that transcended borders and learned key phrases in four languages. The next cultural delight left to experience was food.
We created a travel care package to “deliver” the food. Boxes filled with drinks, snacks and candy from countries on our bucket list. The twist being we’d each make a box filled with items for the other person.
Honey was responsible for including products from England, Japan and Italy, while Fox was responsible for Honey’s bucket list picks- Japan, South Korea and France.
Let’s unbox, shall we?
Fox’s Care Package – from Honey
While crafting the care package I aimed for a unifying design between three vastly different countries. Since we started shopping at Eastside Asian Market, Japan was the first country I hunted for. I discovered two matching Pokémon items. When we were at World Market, I found a pack of cookies from a company named “Fox.” it was fate.
The other items I discovered fit well with the package’s color scheme. The primary colors were yellow, black and red. At first, I was nervous about finding items for England and Italy, but eventually checked them off the shopping list.
Destination Care Package Grocery List:
- Fox’s Biscuits Chocolatey Premium Milk Rounds (England)
- Ahmad Tea London Telephone Box English Breakfast Tea (England)
- Karamucho (Japan)
- Pokémon Snack (Japan)
- Pokémon Ramune (Japan)
- Loacker chocolate (Italy)
Fox’s Biscuits Chocolatey Premium Milk Chocolate Rounds was the first treat we sampled. We were thrilled at how delicious it tasted. The milk chocolate rounds were soft and smooth to bite into. A perfect balance of chocolate and cookie.
So across the pond, a biscuit is a cookie. Only time they refer to “cookie” is when it’s a chocolate-chip biscuit.
What best represents England than English tea? Inside the care package was a beautiful tin box of black tea purchased from World Market. The metal tin’s design resembled a red telephone box, including images of a woman making a phone call, as well as a group of children and a British police officer. The tin was so alluring, we discussed possible uses for it after all the tea finished.
During our time in Japan we snacked on many Japanese treats. While perusing Eastside Asian Market a package of hot chili flavored Japanese chips called Karamucho, カラムーチョ, stood out. It was one of the type of chips we snacked on while in Japan. I selected it as a reminder of our trip. These types of chips differ in taste from American chips and are larger in size. If eaten one after the other the spicy flavor begins to kick in.
The Pokémon Snack, written as ポケモンスナック on the front, had a cute container. Though the flavor caught us off guard. We expected it to taste like a Meiji Hello Panda Cream Biscuit Cookie. The flavor tasted like cereal instead. The shape of the treat only vaguely resembled Pikachu.
Keeping with the Pokémon theme, I threw in a Pokémon branded Ramune drink. Ramune is a unique drink to open. This carbonated drink is opened by pushing the marble inside the neck of the bottle. The marble makes a rattle noise while you drink, which can be entertaining. Also the origin of the word Ramune is lemonade, transliterated.
Selecting wine for Italy would be too obvious. I used this opportunity to branch out and eventually discovered Loacker, an Italian chocolate “packaged in the heart of the Dolomites.” This wafer treat was delicious.
Honey’s Care Package – from Fox
Navigating Eastside Market and World Market was a struggle. Each store had a small supply of products for France and South Korea. There were plenty of items for Japan, but I really wanted to zero in on other countries since we visited Japan. Honey had a chance to try several Japanese goods. France and South Korean ones? Not so much.
Destination Care Package Grocery List:
- Lila Wines Rosé (France)
- St. Michel Mini Madeleines with chocolate chips (France)
- Furuta New Super Mario Bros. U chocolate coins (Japan)
- UCC Original Coffee with Milk (Japan)
- Nongshim Postick Snack (South Korea)
On top of that, I had to take in consideration her likes and dislikes rather than mine. Since this was more of a sampling experience, I chose items that were somewhat familiar to Honey yet pushed her out of her comfort zone, such as drinks. Honey is particular about her alcohol and coffee. After we both had a chance to taste my picks, however, I realized I should have looked for complementary items in terms of taste. An appropriate thematic title for the box would be Chocolates and Wine with a Hint of Coffee and Fish.
There were so many foreign goodies that I wanted to get for myself though. I had to have several pep talks about rules we set out. Stay on budget. Build a care package for Honey. Not you, selfish. Include at least a drink, snack and candy from each select countries. Yada yada. (sigh) I’m thankful we didn’t have a stricter time limit or else I would have really struggled.
Making a surprise destination care package was fun. It was a good opportunity to see how much I knew about my friend and uncover what products were available in the States from our select countries.
What’s on your travel bucket list? Challenge a friend to make a sample box of foreign products with you. Figure out which country’s drinks and snacks are to your liking. Don’t forget to record your expressions. You know, for research purposes, of course.