One of the things I love about being a food writer in Seattle is that people are constantly bringing me gifts. Seattleites practice an active and open exchange of preserves, bitters, cordials, baked goods, smoked meats, and condiments that I've never encountered in other cities. (I return the favor with jams, liqueurs, cookies, and spice blends.)
One of the -- well, it's not really a downside -- challenges of being a food writer who has a reputation for eating anything is that returning travelers love bringing me back gifts that no one else they know would ever stick in their mouth. Take today's present from my friend Kelli, just back from Brisbane. Since taking this photo I have tasted kangeroo jerky for the first time, and I can say that a) the Aussies have an odd concept of "spicy" and b) I will be bringing the rest into the office tomorrow to "share." (Kel more than made up for it with a packet of Tim Tams that's almost empty.) It's karmic retribution -- on my last trip to New York I brought one host Spam Singles, which I'd just discovered. And kangaroo jerky is nowhere near as disgusting as this product, which a friend discovered in a London specialty shop and decided I had to try. The BBQ variety was better.