28 July 2013

Food We Love - July 2013

Through an advert in one of my favourite food magazines (Delicious), I discovered the website of Food We Love and their concept of monthly (themed) food discovery boxes.

I was a bit bummed at first, as it is a Dutch website and I figured they wouldn't be mailing their boxes outside of the Netherlands.  Nevertheless, I decided to drop them a line on their Facebook Page and look and behold ... they do deliver to Belgium, even if their website didn't mention it explicitly :o)

Needless to say, I seized the opportunity without hesitation.
The monthly theme is announced on the first of each month, but as the number of available boxes was dwindling fast by the end of June, I decided not to wait until the theme was announced and order a box anyway.  After all we are talking food here, whatever the theme, it can't possibly be bad. :o)

On a practical note, for Dutch residents, the box costs 27.50 EUR for a single box or 24.95 EUR for those who opt for a monthly subscription.  For Belgian residents, the shipping costs are making it a few euros more expensive i.e. 30 EUR for a single box or 27.50 EUR for the monthly subscription.  As cancelling your subscription only requires one month's notice, I chose the second option.

Back to this month's box, which came with the theme "Let's go outside", the perfect theme for these summer months characterised by al fresco dining and family BBQs with all the usual goodies.

Let's take a look at the contents :

* VEG Crisps from Tyrrells (Price online : 3.20 EUR)

I know Tyrrells from the regular crisps (especially the sea salt and cider vinegar ones, which are yummy) but I never encountered the veggie crisps on the supermarket shelves.  The version in the box is "Beetroot, Parsnip and Potato" but I saw on their website that they have loads of other veg crisps and also what they call Swanky Veg, that I wouldn't mind trying out.

* Elderflower & Lemon Cordial from Belvoir Fruit Farms (Price online : 3.85 GBP = 4.45 EUR)

I love the taste of elderflower and up to now, I only found my fix at IKEA, of all places.  They sell a very nice elderflower syrup which is wonderful, but I feel this Elderflower & Lemon cordial can only be better.  Belvoir suggest dilutung it in a 1:10 ratio (compared to the 1:7 ratio most syrups recommend) in (sparkling) water, using it in combination with G&T or even adding a dash to a cool white wine.  I'd say the possibilities are endless. 

* Passionate Pepper  Organic Sauce by Biobandits (Price online : 3.95 EUR)

Any good BBQ needs a tasty sauce and this bottle promises just that.  According to the website "Like in a good relationship you need some pepper now and than to come to true passion".  Let's hope they're as passionate about their products :o)  Reading the ingredients list, I think this will be a hot and sweet tasting sauce as it has cane sugar, honey and almond paste besides the telltale Cayenne pepper.  I'll have to try this soon.

* Garlic Mayonnaise by De Smaak Van (Price online : 3.99 EUR)

Aioli is a staple in my pantry, but then again you'll have a hard time finding more passionate garlic aficionados than in our household :o)  So this garlic mayonnaise won't probably last very long.  The positive thing about De Smaak Van is that they don't use any sugars in their production process.  They therefore warn that for the unaccustomed palates, their mayonnaises and variations might taste slightly more acid than the store-bought industrial versions, which use glucose syrups to sweeten it up.  Being used to homemade mayonnaise, I doubt that this will be a problem for me though :o)

* Organic Potatoes by the Vos Family (Niek & Jozien Vos and son Michiel)

These potatoes were harvested early especially for FoodWeLove and are therefore fresh and small.  The particularity of this potato, called Nieks Witte (Niek's Whites) or Bionica, is that due to extensive research, it has become immune to blight, the potato disease responsible for the Great Famine in Ireland in the mid 19th Century, which in turn caused the massive migration waves to the States. The box also contains a leaflet with recipes among which one for a potato salad.  This seems to be a good destination for these potatoes.

* Saté (Meat Skewers) Spice mix by Vanilla Venture & 5 EUR discount coupon on their webshop

Unfortunately, the spice mix was not included in my box.  I dropped a line on the FWL facebook page this afternoon and they told me that a spice mix would be sent out tomorrow.  From the website, I discovered that it is a blend of chile peppers, peanuts, sesame, onion, garlic, colza oil, glutomate, sugar and salt. Sounds nice, doesn't it?  Hopefully it will find its way to my mailbox soon.

* Mango & Mint Nougat by Nougat en zo (Price online : 3.75 EUR)

Every meal is only complete with a sweet touch to finish it off and if you want to stray from the usual S'mores and icecream, this mango and mint nougat promises to be a refreshing finishing touch.  Because of the current heatwave, I put the nougat in the fridge but as this is a soft nougat, I guess it will be best consumed at room temperatures.  As the other products, this is a traditionally made treat produced with only natural ingredients.  I saw on their webshop that they also have Lemon/Chili and Strawberry/Basil nougats. I wouldn't mind sinking my teeth in those neither :o)

* 7.50 EUR discount coupon of Beef & Steak

From their website : "Beef & Steak was founded in November 2008 out of a passion for steaks. Founder Matthijs van der Pijl is a descendant of many generations of butchers and lover and connoisseur of fine meat. Together with his associate Jan Faber, he decided to offer premium meat via the Internet with home delivery in specially designed refrigerated containers. Beef & Steak has become a label that represents quality and carefull selection, with an emphasis on steaks. The company has grown quickly and therefore introduced it's new website in 2008. Through this online store the products are beautifully presented. Not only the selection and premium selection of Beef & Steak but also unsurpassed fair and sustainable products such as Dry Aged Aberdeen Angus beef, Grain-Fed USA Angus beef, among other top brands. Connaisseur Van der Pijl personally guarantees taste and tenderness of all the meat with a money back guarantee."  I saw they also ship to Belgium, so I'll have a look around and will probably place a joined order with my mom.  I already spotted they sell Iberico pork, so that will definitely end up in the cart.

* Extra gift : Metallic BBQ Skewers

Verdict for this first box?

I really liked discovering these new products and as these are mainly products from Dutch shops, I wouldn't easily come across them in Belgium.  I don't regret my purchase and look forward to the future boxes.  I was slightly disappointed that there was a product missing from my box, but these things can happen (more often than not when I am involved) but FWL answered really quickly to y query and I should receive the missing spices this week.  Meanwhile, I can only say "Food We Love : two thumbs up".


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