International Food Boxes to Bring Local Palates Perspective
Curated samplers to feature wide array of ethnic flavors
If you were trying to convey "a taste of Erie," you'd likely start with sponge candy, pepperoni balls, ox roast, and Smith's hot dogs. Although these are all bona fide classics, they are not fully reflective of the Gem City's much more cosmopolitan palate.
For decades, refugee- and New American-owned international markets have been offering literal worlds of flavor, their shelves stocked with tantalizing imports seldom found at traditional big box supermarkets. The problem is that outside these ethnic communities, many more established Erieites haven't tried them yet. If only someone were to present them with a thoughtfully-curated selection of these far-reaching flavors (sigh).
Kristen Santiago, owner of Gone Local, said to hold that thought. This summer (and fall), her business is teaming with Erie Arts & Culture and Erie Downtown Partnership to bring our pantries new perspective through a series of subscription boxes featuring goodies from Erie's local international markets. The boxes will be released biweekly and come with 4 to 6 items from a featured international market, including spices, sauces, and snacks. Packed in amongst the treats will be an informational insert about the market's location, owner, and story.
Each subscription box will cost $24.99 and must be picked up at the Erie Downtown Partnership table at the Erie Downtown Farmers Market on Sundays in Perry Square. Those who preorder all eight boxes will receive a 10 percent discount off their entire purchase.
"It's the perfect opportunity to try some products you may have never had or heard of," says Santiago.
More than that, "Providing these businesses with a platform to expand the market for their products is one step toward supporting the many refugee, New American, and BIPOC-owned businesses in our community," says Dave Tamulonis of Erie Downtown Partnership.
Pickup dates and preorder deadlines are as follows:
- July 11 (preorder by 6/27)
- July 25 (preorder by 7/11)
- Aug. 8 (preorder by 7/25)
- Aug. 22 (preorder by 8/8)
- Sept. 5 (preorder by 8/22)
- Sept. 19 (preorder by 9/5)
- Oct. 3 (preorder by 9/19)
- Oct. 17 (preorder by 10/3)
Payment links will be sent two weeks in advance of the pickup date (same days at the preorder deadlines). Buyers can cancel their orders at any time. Get a more representative taste of Erie at gonelocalerie.com/market
Matt Swanseger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org