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Blog > December Writing Prompt: A famous food from your region

Another month starts and it’s time for a new suggestion for the messages on your postcards! But first, let us ask: did last month’s writing prompt help you unlock some creativity and write a bit more on your postcards? We really hope so!

(For those that are new to them, the writing prompts are an ongoing experiment that invites postcrossers to write about a different topic on their postcard’s messages every month. These are just suggestions though — if you already know what you want to write about, or the recipient gives you some pointers, that’s great too!)

December’s writing prompt was suggested by Heepy on the forum. Here it goes:

In December, describe a famous food from your region.

This should be an easy one, right? Around here in the south of Portugal, the “holy trinity of crops” consists of almonds, carob and figs. Most of the local sweets will include one or more of these, giving them a very characteristic taste and texture. After extensive research, we can confirm it’s absolutely delicious! I could definitely write about it at length on my postcards… 😋

What about you, what is typical from your region? We invite you to pick a favourite local dish or sweet and tell your recipients all about it on your December postcards — you might even inspire someone across the world to try it out someday!

PS – Got some cool ideas for more prompts? Feel free to share them on this forum thread!

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38 comments so far

Debashish31, India
This is such a cool idea.. I would surely do this all December for interesting, quirky foods from India
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PasoDoble, Germany
December is an ideal month for this topic as there are not only the normal regional specialties we can write about, but also the winter specialties for the year-end festive days (whatever you call them around the world).
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ydnic, United States of America
Good idea! Thanks!
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Nannamascot, Finland
In Finland is food at Christmas Karelian roast with potatoes, ham , rutabaga casserole, rice porridge with fruit soup. And lot of chocolates ♥ ♥ ♥
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Adinichka, Russia
Theme of food is a universal and cool topic. Recently I wrote a recipe for my favorite potato pancakes. Generally December is a month with holidays. You can ask what are the plans for the last year, what are the results of the year. What you give to my mother or son. What would you like, wherever Santa helped. In addition, it was recently a black Friday. I would ask what you bought or wanted to buy :)
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RenataSpu, Lithuania
Great idea!
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samyuktha, India
India is filled with savouries and sweets!! I'll need a whole book to write about em:)
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samyuktha, India
@meiadeleite Next month u could start how new year is spent in their country!! Different cultures and traditions will fascinate us all, don't u think?
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miriginger, Russia
That's an interesting idea! December is good time to invite postcrossers to the Pelmen Festival that will be in February. The only problem is that all pelmen postcards (with lovely pelmen cancellation mark) from this year's Pelmen Fest were sent long ago.
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kallini2042, Canada
I agree that monthly prompts are a great idea, but to answer the question "does it works for me or how does it work" I'd have to say that it doesn't. Especially, the last month's - write about what made you smile.

Some people write "I do this and that, I live here and there and love to travel and I love such and such food". When I receive such cards, they feel a bit disconnected. What I try to do and I don't know whether it makes a difference to a recipient - I try to think of any "Just like you" statements. I try to address any line in the profile I can relate to or I know anything about. If a person mentions photography or scuba diving, even as little as reading, then I try to write about that. I admit it makes it more difficult to come up with the text, but I do it hoping that it's more rewarding.

So, I was wondering - what messages people like the most? What are the favourites from all that the cards one receives? I have only 85 so far and my favourte is when a girl described her adventure with a wonderful sense of humour.
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betslets, United States of America
Hmmmm. I thought a "foodie" like Meiadeleite would have suggested this particular "monthly prompt". Just as kallini2042 I try to find something special in a person's profile/avatar and start from there. It's quite a challenge when one does not include a photo or short description of themselves, and even more challenging when there is a lengthy list of cards not to send.
Some of the best cards I receive have those special messages, even if only few in words, that can only come from one's heart.
By the way, in South Texas, a favorite holiday food is homemade tamales.
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have_fun, Germany
what a nice idea, I love to try new recipes ....
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jakewilhelm, United States of America
A recent postcard from Belgium got me thinking about food. The postage stamp shows the Belgian Fry, which in America is called the French Fry (and prepared slightly differently) although we know it was invented in Belgium. What other foods do you know that have crossed borders to be favorites everywhere?
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meiadeleite, Portugal
@betslets Yup - I am pretty much on board with any food-theme suggestions! 😋

Like you and @kallini2042, I also find it easier to focus my message on something that the recipient and I have in common... But since that's not always possible (depending on the profile), sometimes a prompt might help.

We're trying to choose these themes very carefully, so that the prompts spark interesting postcard messages. It's not easy, as they need to be as universal as possible (so that everyone can relate to them)... yet personal and specific enough that the postcards are unique. We'll keep working on it!
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CJKUHL94, United States of America
Here's a thought: I always have a hard time coming up with a solid message to write to recipients that would qualify as connected. What about an easy/favorite food recipe on the card?
This December prompt would be the good opener to introduce simple recipes to your recipients. That's the first idea that popped in my head. What an interesting way to connect. "Share the feast".
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Kinucci, Italy
Well, i loved the november prompt :)
I just sent 4 postcards, but it was very interesting to think about what made me smile, and i hope the message will make the recipients smile also :)

So thank you for doing this for december as well! :D
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Wolferatus, Germany
I`m from italy and there we use lamm on christmas, in germany where i live in schwabenland they use potatosalat and wiena
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djcid, United States of America
A Great Idea, especially when folks learn that some classic food and drink actually originated in a different area. For example, I live in San Francisco, where Irish Coffee, Fortune Cookies, and The Martini were created.
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beesknees, United States of America
YUM YUM
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pucky, Netherlands
Like Kallini2042 I try to find connection in the profile. Some people are interested in countries, some in food, others ask quotes or recipes. I think it is quite hard to write something like a recipe; only short and easy ones fit on a postcard! Especially when special stamps are asked and I put a nice row on the card, no space is left.
I hope though that people that normally write name, age country ( which I all can read at their profile) and happy postcrossing, will use this tips! More then cards or stamps for me it is the personal message that has the magic of postcrossing!
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Flippie, Canada
I love the idea, writing about food, specially in December. Here in Canada most people ate Turkey with Christmas, I love to eat wild rabbit.
That was the dish what my mother make back home in my "old" country; The Netherlands. I can still smell it...when I close my eyes mmmm.....
Merry Christmas everyone.
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Alexander9179, Russia
Перед Новым Годом к салатам оливье, селедь Ш.У.Б.А. и мимоза, можно насобирать как готовяться заппечённые гуси, утки, кролики, поросята и барашки в других семьях...
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APol, Poland
Bigos, pierogi, faworki i kompot :-)
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Heepy, United States of America
Here is my contribution to the food crossing borders subject:

I currently live in the Chicago area. Chicago is known for pizza, even though it originated in Italy, I think? The reason why is because Chicagoans invented deep dish pizza. I believe a pizza placed called UNO gets the credit. I've never had it because it looks weird, but it's a big thing here.

There's also a Chicago hot dog, made a certain way. And you're not allowed to have ketchup on a hot dog here! (that's humor, of course you can, but people look at you strange when you do it, and many hot dog places don't have ketchup). I don't use ketchup on anything, so I am good!
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jean-mimi, France
I'm going to do this challenge 😉 and put a french recipe on my PC...
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NIDUSKA, Finland
Good idea
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adobe, United States of America
The prompt is to write a famous food from your region. No need to write the whole recipe. Here in the southwest US it is green or red chile. I love it!
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RainWang, China
yeah, I bet that non Chinese have this tanghulu snack in their region. If you come to Beijing, you must try it!
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alison41, South Africa
I'm enjoying the monthly prompts. Let's have some more. How about 'Your New Year Resolution' for January?
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AgnesM, Netherlands
I have ready made stories about food and a lot of other typical things about my country or about the postcard itself (the building, artist, painter, illustrator, etc.). So I always have a small "story" to write and just pick one of them.
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ErikLarson, United States of America
Nice idea.
I’ll have fun with this.
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kallini2042, Canada
Just to clarify - I did not mean to criticize monthly prompts, I only meant to share my experience.

@Flippie - you might find a plenty of rabbits in the city of Langley, Washington! :)

I don't know how anyone could possibly fit a recipe on a card unless it's printed. I'd be happy if I'll be directed to either a web-page and youtube tutorial - such and such chef cooks this and that.

I will probably stick to my weird style of

1) Did you know - that it takes approximately 19 times of trying unfamiliar food before liking it? (It's a fact).

2) What do you think about blue and purple ketchup?

Or maybe I'll share my challenges with cooking or the funniest episode of mentioned above. For example, the last time I used the wrong type of cheese... :)))))
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Alba1004, Germany
Well ... it is a great idea. Thanks!
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muhmachtdiekuh, Germany
My point of view:
Some profiles are very appealing to me, then it´s easy to find a personal basis.
If I find points of connection I´ll pick them up in my card´s text and that makes me feel satisfied.

With other profiles it´s more complicated; then I think a prompt is a nice idea to fill the blank side; so thanks a lot for the suggetions.

Postcrossing is a great thing! Kind regards, Elena
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cmdanne, United States of America
I choose a leafy vegetable from the carribean island --Jamaica West Indies, spinach or zucchini for sandy beach aroma. Sorrel for flavor.
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miuka, China
What a great idea and thanks.
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jmh67, Germany
I believe it is possible to fit a recipe on a postcard if it is not too elaborate, and if you adopt a certain telegram style of writing. By the way, I have also seen picture postcards with recipes on the image side. But the writing prompt did not specifically ask for recipes, a description should be all right.
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Heepy, United States of America
Good grief, I posted a few days ago here in reply to this topic, but didn't realize you chose my prompt! Thank you so much. Boy, do I feel stupid now! I am thrilled you used my suggestion.
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