EBBP#7 – a Swiss bounty has arrived for me!


20070601_ebbp_parcelDon’t you love it when you are having a bad day at work and you are sure the world has it in for you… and just then a nice man plops down a wrapped parcel on your desk with a Swiss postmark?  What do you mean that’s neve happened to you??  Then clearly you aren’t a food blogger who takes part in Euro Blogging by Post!

I, on the other hand, am a regular participant in EBBP, hosted this round by the lovely Johanna – hence the arrival on my desk last week of a parcel of edible treats!  I restrained myself and waited till I got home to open the box.  Who would it be from…?  The mystery was soon solved, as the first thing that emerged from the box was a lovely long letter from Eva of The Golden Shrimp – hurrah!  Eva explained that she had a very international upbringing, encompassing France, the Netherlands, Scotland and Japan, before moving to her current home in Basel. And unsurprisingly, her parcel (with the theme of childhood sweets) reflected this.  So… lets have a peek and see what I got:

*  in the front, dead centre, is a Minor Swiss chocolate bar – a reminder of snack breaks on childhood hikes in the countryside.  Eva describes creaminess and crunchy nuts which sounds like my kind of energy bar 😉

*  the small red block to the right of the Minor is a what Eva describes as a packet of "vulgar" Malabar French bubble gum – which sounds exactly like what my mother would have said!  It was with Malabar that Eva learned to blow gum bubbles and maybe I’ll have a go at reliving my youth and doing the same!

*  The plastic packet behind the Malabar contains Dutch drop (liquorice) – which is allegedly in the same league as Marmite inasmuch as it inspires intense love or intense hate!  Eva was wondering whether, because of the Dutch influence, we also had drop in South Africa and we did indeed have a lot of liquorice – mainly in rope form, black and red, or as Liquorice Allsorts.  But we certainly never developed into an artform as the Dutch have!  Some research has revealed that they have drop coins, rope, witches, smileys – and the ones Eva sent me.  It did not strike me at first, but closer inspection revealed that each piece is shaped like a sailor’s knot!  In fact, I’m pretty sure these are Oldtimers Scheepsknopen – maybe Eva can confirm?  These are apparently milder than the double-salted liquorice that Eva loves but even these pack a flavour punch – at once sweet, savoury and medicinal.  Not sure if I’m a convert yet, but I have a few more knots to work through to make up my mind 😉

*  Behind the drop is a packet of Baser Sunnereedli – savoury snacks that Eva says20070601_ebbp_meringues are based on the breads eaten during Lent in Switzerland.  They look rather like diamond-shaped pretzels and are sprinkled with coarse salt and (I think) cumin seeds.  Mmmmm!  Perfect for my savoury tooth!

*  to the left of that we have probably my favourite thing in the parcel – a packet of home-made mini meringues.  Just look at them – their delicate pastel colour and their gently peaked shapes – too adorable.  I could not help myself – I confess that I popped one in my mouth before I had even finished reading Eva’s letter!  She recalls how she and her brother used to make and "sell" these in their garden playhouse. 

20070601_ebbp_limoncelloTo the left of that is a rather intriguing pack of dehydrated soya sheets.  These formed part of a dish called Buddha’s Delight that a friend’s mom used to make for Eva when she was younger and Eva has kindly shared the recipe with me.  Thanks! :)

  • *  The two small jars in front of the soya sheets are homemade preserves – one of elderflower jelly (yummm!) and one of pear jam – both of which look amazing.  Eva shares a happy childhood memory of summer jam-making sessions outdoors in her mom’s copper fruit pan on the camping stove – how marvellous!
  • *  And last but not least, Eva includes a little bottle of limoncello, purely because she feels "it is a crucial part of summer".  SOmething tells me Eva and I would get on realllly well if we every meet up 😉

Aren’t I completely spoiled to receive such a wonderful parcel?  Thank you so much Eva for sharing with my not only the tastes but also the memories of childhood.

And don’t forget to check Johanna’s site to read about the other parcels that people have received!

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  1. says

    The only item there that I would not try is the liquorice. My dad used to eat the heavily salted ones and I was turned off them at an early age (more for him, or so he said).
    The rest sounds delicious, especially the elderflower jelly (if there is a recipe, please share).

  2. Ronell says

    Hi, This is my first visit to your blog. I have an art blog and now a very, very new food blog. I was browsing, looking and learning at how it works here in the food world, stumbled upon yours and just as I was about to leave, I saw familiar colors in your link column to the left. So I came back to leave a comment and say hi. I’m a south African living in France and this was a lovely surprise for me! I haven’t seen other SA blogs and seeing your great blog makes me feel welcome and almost more at ease!
    The WTSIM sounds like fun.
    Great blog, great photographs, great posts.

  3. says

    I’m glad you liked it all :-) Not sure about the scheepsknopen, I know this liqurish mostly in the shape/name of salted herings (http://www.dutchsweets.com/product_info.php?products_id=39) but as I hadn’t been in holland for a while, I bought them from a speciallity shop in Basel. The owner told me these products come from Denmark but they still tast the same to me. The scheepsknopen you found on the web seem to be sweet in stead of salty so I’m not sure if they are the same.