29 October 2013

Food We Love - September 2013 - Enjoy Delicious Food

With my holidays and subsequent jetlag, posting about the September Food We Love box was put on the backburner but now that the new box has already arrived, it is high time for me to let you catch a glimpse at this already one month old box. 

First a little recap on the practicalities of the Food We Love Box.  The monthly theme is announced on the first of each month, so if you want to play it safe, you can wait until it has been made public before ordering your box. But in the end, we are talking food here, so whatever the theme, it can't possibly be bad. :o)

About the pricetag, 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.  It's also good to know that should you change your mind, cancelling your subscription only requires one month's notice.

Back to this month's box, which came with the theme "Enjoy Delicious Food", as it was put together by the team of Delicious Magazine.  I was really looking forward to discovering the items they selected, because I have had a subription to Delicious for over 3 years now and I am completely in hooked on it.  They always present great looking and fabulous tasting food and recipes, that you can easily make at home without having to spend half your paycheck on elusive ingredients.  I was certain that I would discover new things in this box and it didn't disappoint.

Let's take a look at the contents :

* Two limited edition chocolate bars from Tony's Chocoloney's (Price online : 5.45 EUR)

To be honest, I never heard about this brand of chocolate and their story, before I found these bars in my box. Shocked by the fact that the cacao trade exploited workers, who are really slaves in all but name, Teun van de Keuken, decided to try and market a "slave free" chocolate. Eating chocolate always gives me a warm feeling inside, but knowing that this chocolate was made without the usual exploitation, just made savouring this chocolate an extra "feel good" moment. You can learn more about this chocolate and how it all began in the video above.

The box held two limited editions, one from 2012 - Milk chocolate, cookie, caramel and sea salt - and one of the newly released editions from 2013 - Milk chocolate, cookie and chile.  Due to a rather bad experience with another chile chocolate, I haven't dared giving the latter one a try yet, but I can however assure you that the sea salt caramel is fingerlicking good (although I guess that the picture already gave that away :o) )

* Caserecce Pasta from Pasta Pura (Price online : 3.95 EUR)

The Dutchman Ruud Souren learned how to make pasta in Italy and once back home, decided to put his knowledge into practice.  The result was a range of pasta products all made from the locally grown Kollenberger spelt.  As for the name, caserecce is the shape of the pasta.  I never encountered the name caserecce before but a quick glimpse at the pasta dictionary on this website learned me all the less known pasta shapes and according names.  Check it out :-)  Apparently it is best served with a thick chunky sauce, so I am still considering my options with this package.

* Beluga lentils from Gekruid (Price online : 2.50 EUR)

In general, I am not really a fan of lentils, but I find these ones fascinating.  They're round and black and shiny, and unsurprisingly, bear a resemblance to the caviar they get their name from.  I would love to give these a try, but I always find it difficult to create a visually pleasing dish while using black food. Not only because, well let's face it, black isn't exactly the most appetizing colour to begin with, but also because cooking always turns it into a dull grey.  And I am a picky eater ... if it looks off, I'll have a hard time eating it, even if it tastes like heaven on earth.  So right now, I keep this one on the shelf and open up the jar for a look every now and then :o) 

* Green tea with lemon from Clipper (Price online : 2.39 EUR)

For once, an item/brand that I am already familiar with, but then again, I am an avid tea drinker and have had the opportunity to taste all kinds of teas and brands, through swapping and overseas shopping. And although this one isn't really a discovery, it is nevertheless a welcome addition to my tea collection. Speaking of teas, I just ordered a "tea box" from La Boîte d'Hortense, which will be delivered next month. Right now I just ordered it as a one shot thing, but if it lives up to expectations I might subscribe to it later one.

* Chorizo from De Spaanse Schuur

This soft chorizo comes straight from the Iberian pigs from the mountainous Guijelo region. Unlike the chorizos which are commonly found outside of Spain, this is not the type you use for tapas but rather the type of meat you cook up with an omelet or add to a pasta dish (delicious with pistachio pesto) or even a paella.  Like all Spanish products, this one was very welcome in my kitchen.

* Squid ink from Jan Van As

This is probably the only item I have yet received in a box, that I am fairly sure I will never use.  Although the usual guinea pig for my culinary adventures is a huge fan of "Calamares en su tinta" and is adamant that squid in its own ink is a truly delicious dish, I have a hard time bringing a bite of it near my mouth.  If you read my comment on the Beluga lentils, you will understand my predicament. Ever since I mentioned that the FWL box contained some ink bags however, I have been pestered into trying them out. Until now I have been been successfully resisting the demands, but how much longer? 

* Almond oil from Pariani (Estimated price : 12.00 EUR)

Cold pressed almond oil made from from the best almonds of the Noto Valley in Italy, doesn't that sounds heavenly?  I haven't used it yet, but I can confirm that it smells divine and would be a great complement to grilled fish or meat or  a dressing over a salad.  The box also contains a recipe for a smoothie that includes almond oil. Maybe that's worth trying out too ...

* Delicious Magazine for October 2013 (Price : 5.50 EUR)

As I have a subscription to Delicious, I already received the October number but I gave this extra item to my mom, who was very happy with it.

* Extra gift : Postcards with drawings by Larissa Bartonasco.

I forgot to take pictures of the cards when they came in and I can't seem to find them in the mess organised chaos, that is my desk at the moment. So you'll just have to take my word for it (or have a look at the picture of it posted on another blog)

Verdict for this box?

After three boxes, I can really recommend this food box to all foodies out there.  The themes are always fun and interesting as are the matching products.  If you are still in doubt about this one, don't be ... you'll love it. I'll be posting the contents of the October box soon, so stay tuned.


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