Marley Spoon: October 2015 & $30 Coupon Code

My subscription boxes often take my writing in new and exciting directions. The wonderful folks at Marley Spoon sent me a fresh meal box to review along with a fantabulous coupon code for $30 off (use COOKSMART), so today, I become not only a subscription box blogger, but a food blogger.

Marley Spoon creates “delicious, easy to follow recipes.” That they deliver with “fresh, pre-portioned ingredients.” Each week they feature a new menu where you can choose the meals you want. They are “dedicated to sourcing organic and sustainable whenever possible. Building relationships with environmentally aware farms and producers ensures that the highest quality ingredients arrive at your door each week.”

Their Culinary Director is Jennifer Aaronson the former Editorial Director of Food and Entertaining at Martha Stewart Living so you know we’ll be getting some awesome recipes. They also donate any leftover ingredients to City Harvest, an amazing charity that exists to end hunger in New York City communities. Marley Spoon delivers to the mid Atlantic and New England regions: most of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, and Washington D.C.

Every Monday you’ll receive an email with the upcoming weeks’ recipes and you’ll have 5 days to edit your order or skip that week, so this subscription has a ton of flexibility.

So bear with me as I take a stab at some fun new recipes. And forgive my 1960s kitchen, (no I didn’t use a filter, my stovetop really is that unfortunate shade of brown). For reference, I consider myself an intermediate cook. I’ve made plenty of complicated dishes, but with certain cuisines and techniques I am still quite unskilled.

I received a box with 2 recipes and servings for 2 people which cost $48.00.

There were lots of interesting recipes to choose from and I opted for Green Curry Shrimp, because curry has always intimidated me a little and I was interested in seeing the quality of the seafood included. The other recipe I chose was Sesame-Coated Chicken Paillards since I thought my boyfriend would like that one.

The box showed up on a Friday when I got home late from work and everything was still cool and fresh.
Box Box 2
Included with my recipes and ingredients was a free gift of finishing salts.

Green Curry Shrimp RecipeGreen Curry Shrimp with Eggplant Zucchini and Jasmine Rice
I opted to try the shrimp recipe first. Included with the shrimp is a bag of fresh ingredients specifically measured for this recipe.
Shrimp Ingredients
The shrimp looked super fresh and didn’t smell fishy at all.
Curry Bag Curry Bag Items

I grabbed the required tools and set to chopping.
Curry ToolsEggplant
This recipe has rice included. Typically I use a rice maker, so this was going to be a test to see if I could remember how to actually make rice on my own.
Rice cooking
This recipe is also heavy on cilantro which I have no problem with, and I was surprised that it called for me to chop up the cilantro stems. I’d only ever used the leaves so I found this intriguing.
Cilantro
Coconut Cooking
I followed the instructions and added vegetables…
Eggplant Cooking
and then shrimp…
Shrimp Curry
And suddenly a big pot of curry appeared!

Taste: Delicious!
I was super impressed with the flavors on this. It had a fresh taste with a perfect spice level. The shrimp was super fresh and not even remotely fishy. My anti-fish boyfriend tasted it and actually liked it as well.
Portion Size: Very Generous.
This claims to be for 2 people, but it can serve a lot more. I’d say this easily could serve 4 or more.
Good for Entertaining?: I think this would make a great meal for entertaining. I’d do a chicken satay as an appetizer, a fruity cocktail for a beverage and finish with a mango cheesecake for dessert.

Shrimp Curry Dish
The flavors of this recipe tasted just like Thai curries I’ve had out at restaurants. And I could easily see making this again myself. I’d probably replace the eggplant with extra zucchini or a different veggie just because I’m typically not a fan of dishes where eggplant is on the mushy side. I was really impressed with how fresh the ingredients were and this was a great start to the box.


Chicken Paillard Recipe
Sesame-Coated Chicken Paillards with Crispy Salad
I chose this as my second recipe because I thought my boyfriend would appreciate that it was lower carb, plus it did look yummy.
We get raw chicken and another bag of fresh ingredients.
Raw Chicken chicken Bag ingredients
I grab some more tools from my kitchen.
Chicken Tools
Sadly I didn’t read the directions first and I was going to have to pound the chicken flat with a mallet. Now that sounds like fun and a way to release tension but I hate it. I tend to make the chicken look like swiss cheese, so this was going to be a challenge.
More fun with knives and chopping.
Cucumber Cherry Tomatos Mint
Then we make some dressing with lemon and olive oil.
Dressing
We have a lovely salad.
Salad
Then it’s the moment of truth for pounding some chicken (am I the only one that thinks that sounds perverse?)
Pounding Chicken
So I manage one piece perfectly and the second is quite sad.

Then I have to stick sesame seeds on them. I can’t decide if there are more sesame seeds on my floor or on the chicken.

I cooked the chicken as directed and voila!:
Chicken Palliard Plate
Taste: Satisfactory
I liked the flavor of the chicken but the sesame seed coating gave an odd texture that my boyfriend wasn’t fond of. The salad wasn’t super interesting but it was fresh and paired well with the chicken.
Portion Size: 2 people
This recipe won’t have any leftovers (except maybe a little salad).
Good for Entertaining?: No. You can’t make the chicken ahead of time and the sesame coating is just too messy and fussy to prepare while your guests are waiting. The side salad would work well though.

I thought the flavors of this recipe were very fresh and I loved the addition of mint leaves in the salad itself. I’ve used mint in dressings, but I thought using the leaves themselves in a salad would be too overpowering but they weren’t. It’s definitely a technique I will use again.

OVERALL
Verdict:
Love!

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed cooking these recipes. It’s so much easier when someone has measured all the ingredients and found tasty fresh proteins. Marley’s Spoon also includes clear, colorful recipe cards so you can make these again on your own. I received this box for free, but I plan to try out a couple weeks myself very soon. So prepare yourself for some more occasional food blogs.

Have you ever tried a fresh meal subscription service? If so, what did you think?

THE BACKSTORY

Marley Spoon creates delicious, easy to follow recipes.
They deliver fresh, pre-portioned ingredients and you select your recipes from their changing weekly menu.

They are dedicated to sourcing organic and sustainable whenever possible. Building relationships with environmentally aware farms and producers ensures that the highest quality ingredients arrive at your door each week.

Using trusted delivery partners, your Marley Spoon boxes come insulated and chilled, staying cool for 30 hours! After delivery, all the ingredients are guaranteed to stay fresh for up to 4 days – allowing you to decide when to cook.

Marley’s Spoon donates any leftover ingredients to City Harvest. City Harvest exists to end hunger in communities throughout New York City through food rescue and distribution, education, and other practical, innovative solutions.

Each week you’ll automatically receive great dishes, but as a flexible subscription, you can skip a week or pause your subscription anytime. You can also change delivery frequency, recipes, and the number of portions you’d like to receive.

Marley’ Spoon delivers to the mid Atlantic and New England regions: most of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, and Washington D.C.

Monthly Cost:
Varies by number of servings and number of meals.
Check here for the configuration of your choice

COUPON CODE: COOKSMART for $30 off your First Order!

Coterie Sampler & Box Giveaway!: September 2015

My travel budget is sadly quite low, so I don’t get a chance to explore many new places. Cue my excitement when Coterie Sampler sent me a free box to review that offers an assortment of food and lifestyle items all from Austin, Texas. So now I get to try a bit of Texas without ever leaving New Jersey. Coterie Sampler in all their awesomeness, has also offered to giveaway a free box to one of you, my loyal readers. For entry info jump down to the Giveaway section, but now let’s get to the box.

Coterie Sampler is a subscription offered by Coterie Market. “Coterie Market delivers Austin’s finest food & goods to your home or office, making it convenient to shop and buy high quality, local products. From pastry and chocolate to jewelry and home cleaning, all of Coterie Market’s products are from business owned and operated in the Austin area and most are handmade with locally-sourced materials.”

Coterie Sampler offers two sizes of box, The Mark (6 – 8 items) for $59.95, or The Standard (4 – 6 items for $39.95 and every item in comes from a Maker in the Austin, TX area.
Box #1
Okay, it’s time to bust open some cardboard.

We start with a surprisingly heavy and fairly large box. (I guess it’s true that everything is bigger in Texas.)
Box 2Open Box 2

Tea Biscuits
Rosemary ‘Gin & Juice’ Shortbread Tea Biscuits
by Skull & Cakebones
(Estimated Retail: $9.95)
Product Description: “Rosemary shortbread infused with Revolution Spirits Austin Reserve Gin, topped with grapefruit glaze and a dusting of pink peppercorn. These rich, surprising treats meander between sweet and savory with a whisper of heat. Perfect for entertaining, gifting, or hoarding for yourself. Shh…they’re vegan!”
About the Makers: “Skull & Cakebones in Austin’s first locally-sourced craft bakery. They specialize in all-natural products that are vegan, non-GMO, never artificial and they incorporate local products from fellow artisans.”
Verdict: Like

Who knew Texas had vegans? Clearly the Food network has been lying to us for years. The shortbread on these was very rich and the glaze was to die for. My only issue is that rosemary is such a strong flavor and personally I thought it took away from the cookie. It was like a yummy cookie with a hint of Christmas tree. Don’t get me wrong the cookies were still tasty and I ate them all, but they would have been a “love” instead of a “like”.

Kale Chips
Sour Cream & Onion Kale Chips
by Sarah’s Kale Chips
(Estimated Retail: $7.00)
Product Description: “Sarah’s Kale Chips are organic, raw, vegan, and gluten Free! Delicious, seasoned, dehydrated kale made into a snack that you can feel great about.”
About the Makers: “Sarah is a massage therapist who makes each batch of dehydrated kale chips by hand, with love, in Austin, TX. While she waits the 12-15 hours for the chips to dehydrate, she makes music.”
Verdict: The saddest music in the world

I used to like Kale. Really I did. It was a great, slightly less bitter alternative to Spinach. But then, the PR rep for Kale started logging a lot of overtime hours. It even showed up in stuff like brownies. Yes, you got that right. Kale brownies. Imagine that for a moment. Now Kale chips are a perfectly acceptable use for Kale, however I could not stomach these. Whatever music Sarah is playing when she makes these must be the saddest music in the world. All bitter and lonely notes. I recommend some Harry Belafonte calypso. No food could ever be sad with that music playing.

Water
Organic Fruit-Infused Water
by Sway Water
(Estimated Retail: $4.00)
Product Description: “Sway is a simple solution to sugary, synthetic drinks. Real, organic fruit, is infused with purified water resulting in a completely natural and refreshing beverage.”
About the Makers: “Albert, Sarah, Paul, and Kate at Sway Water source the majority of their fruit from the same farmer’s markets at which Sway first began to sell their product, and the rest come from local grocers.”
Verdict: Rosemary Strikes Again!

I really liked the natural strawberry flavor in this water, but again the rosemary is a bit too overpowering. I could easily see how someone would find the drink refreshing but I personally would have loved one of the other flavors instead. I think it was a bit of a misstep to include two items with rosemary in the same box. It’s a strong herb and not everyone enjoys it in sweeter pairings.

Jam
Seasonal Preserves
by Confituras
(Estimated Retail: $10.00)
Product Description: “Enjoy an assortment of these award-winning preserves. You’re receiving Stephanie’s personal choice of the season’s best flavors.”
About the Makers: “Locally sourced fruits and herbs along with organic cane sugar make their way into Stephanie McClenny’s small-batch, Good Food Award winning james.”
Verdict: Love!

I adore jams, preserves, jellies – pretty much any colorful fruit mixed with sugar in a jar. I received the Bourbon Brown Sugar Peach Preserves and I think I’m going to save these to use in some cardamom jam cookies I plan to make.

Spray
Lavender Mosquito Repellent
from Lavande Farm
(Estimated Retail: $10.00)
Product Description: “Lavender naturally prevents mosquitos form landing and this spray provides roughly five hours of beautifully –scented protection. Shake well before use and apply to all exposed areas. Doubles wonderfully as an air freshener and linen spray.”
About the Makers: “After being inspired by the lavender fields of Provence, France, Craig Stewart came home to Texas and planted fields that have grown into the Lavande experience.”
Verdict: Love

WHY HAS NO ONE TOLD ME LAVENDER STOPS MOSQUITOS FROM LANDING! This is life changing information. One summer vacation in Maine, I stopped counting my bites after 26. That was after 1 days. ONE day. This box is worth the price just for this information. Most repellants are full of stuff you don’t want on your skin or smell horrifically (hello Citronella) so this is wonderful and I’ll be using it during my next trek into the Great Outdoors.

Vase
Petite Wall Vase in Box Style with Resin Inlay
by BDJ Craft Works
(Estimated Retail: $32.00)
Product Description: “This soulful wall or tabletop adornment comes to you in maplek, cherry, or walnut finish with hand-inlaid resin in beautiful natural patterns following the grain and feel of the wood. The glass insert is removable for cleaning and dishwasher-safe.”
About the Makers: “Aesthetically spare and minimal, Brian David Johnson’s pieces are rooted in his years of designing and building custom furniture.”
Verdict: Like

I really appreciate the inclusion of a home item in this box and I am a sucker for handmade items. This is a lovely little vase, although I wish it was a touch bigger since it would open it up to more uses than just being a vase (like for pencils or paint brushes). I’m going to need to find just the right place for it in my home since I am sadly low on wall space.

Seasoning Salt
Finishing Salts
by Lenoir
(Estimated Retail: $14.00)
Product Description: “Large flake sea salt, pink Himalayan Salt, house made Herbes de Tejas (dried herbs with chilies, lavender and fenugreek) and dhana dal (roasted coriander seeds).”
About the Makers: “Husband and wife, Todd Duplechan and Jessica Maher opened Lenoir to help build a strong culinary community in Austin, and to redefine the food style of Austin.”
Verdict: Hit!

I love trying different seasonings and this one has a mix of unusual ingredients. I can’t wait to try this out on some steak or shish kabob.

OVERALL
Coterie Sampler
Verdict:
Hit!

This was a really lovely box to unwrap. I’ve never been to Austin, but I feel like I got an idea of the foodie and local artisanal scene there. I thought there was a nice balance of food versus lifestyle items and a lovely variety. I think the curation here was spot on. I received this box for free to review, but the cost is $59.95.  That’s a great price since the estimated value of this box comes out to $86.95. If you’re into trying new artisanal foods or have an interest in the local Austin, TX scene, this might be the right box for you.

Have you tried any regional food boxes? What did you think?

GIVEAWAY TIME!
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED!

Our winner is…drumroll…..Ake!
Thanks to everyone who participated and especially to Coterie Sampler for hosting the giveaway!
Please come back for more fun reviews and giveaways!

Coterie Sampler has graciously offered a giveaway of a FREE BOX to you, one of my oh so wonderful readers. As usual my giveaways are straightforward (life’s complicated enough already).

1. You need to have a mailing address in the US. (Sorry international peeps!)
2. You need to “like” the Coterie Market Facebook page.
3. You need to leave a comment on this blog post.

You’ve got until Sunday, October 4th to enter. (When the clock strikes 12 EST, your coach turns back into a pumpkin so get your entry in beforehand). Winners will be randomly selected. I’ll announce the winner once they’ve been contacted and a mailing address confirmed.

Good Luck and thanks for reading!

THE BACKSTORY
In your Coterie Sampler box, you’ll find beverages, ready-to-eat food items, pantry staples, sweet and savory flavors, and craft item(s) for the home and family.

Most of The Coterie Sampler products are full-size. Any sample-size products will be large enough to actually enjoy! Often, we collaborate with Makers and Chefs to bring you one-of-a-kind items, exclusive to The Coterie Sampler.

Our Pledge & Product Standards:
We research, test, and hand-select each product we bring into the Sampler program. Every item in The Coterie Sampler meets our standards for quality and comes from a Maker in the Austin, TX area. We look for products made with Slow, traditional methods, local and sustainable sourcing and production, and, above all, exceptional taste and quality.

Box Options & Cost:
The Mark (6 – 8 items): $59.95
The Standard (4 – 6 items): $39.95

Angels’ Cup Coffee Tasting: Black Box August 2015

So you think you’re a coffee addict? Care to test your skills? Look no further than the coffee tasting subscription from Angels’ Cup.  I reviewed their sample box back in May but they now offer some new pricing options including a larger size, called Black Box for $19.99. (Coffee addicts rejoice!)
Box
If you remember this sub, it’s like a coffee tasting game where you download the Angels’ Cup free app and you can make your flavor guesses about the coffee and see how your choices rank against the roastmaster or other users. If you fall in love with a coffee, you can buy a full bag from the Angels’ Cup online store.

You can select the type of grind you want and this time I opted for the “fine grind”.

Nestled inside the box are our four generously sized selections.
Open Box
Also included are some inserts including a “cheat sheet” with info on all the samples in case you don’t want to bother with the app (funsquasher!)
Inserts
I chose #185 to try with the app. You can login and save all your info or just continue on as a guest. It looked very similar to the last time I used it, but I didn’t remember them including a “brew method” section, so I think that might be an update since May. You can opt for a “beginner” or “expert” tasting. (I am most decidedly a beginner.)  You select options like color, add different flavors like flowers, nuts, and herbs along with your overall enjoyment of i,t and at the end they compare your scores to the roastmaster.
Brew Method Score
I gave it a 79.5 and the roastmaster gave it an 80.5, so it looks like I’m doing pretty well. Maybe next time I will take off my training wheels and attempt an “expert” tasting.

Some info on the samples, based on my cheat card.
#182
Coffee Tasting #0182

Roaster: Topeca Coffee Roasters
Origin: Ethiopia Ardi
Flavors: Blueberry, Strawberry, Cream Cheese
(Retail: $15.99)

183
Coffee Tasting #0183

Roaster: Topeca Coffee Roasters
Origin: Sumatra Lington
Flavors: Green Pepper, Cedar, Cashew
(Retail: $13.99)

#184
Coffee Tasting #0184

Roaster: Red Rooster Coffee Roaster
Origin: Natural Honduras Cosma Marcala
Flavors: Berries, Vanilla, Buttercream Frosting, Watermelon, Popcorn
(Retail: $12.99)

#185
Coffee Tasting #0185

Roaster: Mile Post Coffee Roaster
Origin: Panama Boquete
Flavors: Peach, Melon, Caramel
(Retail: $17.00)

OVERALL
Verdict:
Hit!
I’m not a coffee addict, but I’ve enjoyed all the coffees I’ve tasted from Angels’ Cup.  I really like the idea that you get to taste a bunch and then you can order a large size of what you like. The app is really easy to use and definitely makes coffee drinking a bit more interesting. I received this package for free, but I think you receive a good amount of coffee for the price. The larger, $19.99 Black Box size will be a great fit for a large household or small office. I’ve shared this coffee with some family members and everyone enjoyed it. If you’re a coffee aficionado you may want to give this one a try.

Have you ever tried a coffee sub? What did you think?

THE BACKSTORY

HOW IT WORKS:
Angels’ Cup is like a game you play with coffee, Every sample is a chance to test your coffee tasting skills against the pros. If you’re new at this, it will be tough at first. But in no time at all, you’ll start picking up on the subtle differences that make each coffee unique.

We take freshness very seriously. All our inbound shipments are timed to arrive once per week. When it comes in, we stay up as late as we have to, packing it all up so it can go back out in the mail the next morning. We never sit on any inventory, and we never ship coffee more than a few days old.

Like something you tried? Buy a whole bag straight from the roaster! Never again risk $17 on a bag of coffee if you don’t know how it tastes. Sample coffee before you buy and you’ll wonder how you ever bought coffee before discovering Angels’ Cup.

100% guarantee
You risk nothing by trying Angels’ Cup. If you’re dissatisfied for any reason, we’ll refund 100% of your money. No questions asked, no problems. Even if you want your money back because a single bean looked funny, that’s totally fine. We said no questions, we mean it.

COSTS:
Cupping Flight – 4 smaller samples for $8.99
The Black Box – 4 larger samples for $19.99

Select your grind: Whole Bean, Coarse Grind (French press), or Fine Grind (Drip)

Select How Often: Weekly, Bi-weekly, or Monthly

Treat Chest Candy Club: August 2015 & Coupon Code!

Today I’ve got a subscription for the kid in you. The folks at Treat Chest Candy Club box graciously sent me a box to review. Yes you heard that right, CANDY club. Seriously people, you have no idea how much I needed this.

Treat Chest Candy club will send you a monthly assortment of 5 different candies for $26.99. You can pre-pay for 3 or 6 month for a discount and there’s currently a great coupon code.  (If you use code 1for3, you’ll get one month free when you purchase the three-month subscription. If you use code 2for6, you’ll get two months free when they purchase the six-month subscription.).

Now let’s get to the sugar people.

A surprisingly large box showed up at my doorstep.
Box
Unfortunately, there was no little info card inside so I’ll need to get a little creative with my descriptions.
Open Box

Rock Candy
Rock Candy (8 pieces)

(Estimated Retail: 75 cents each; 8 for $6.00)
Description: “Rocks you can eat, that will make your kids bounce off the walls.”
Verdict: Like!
I don’t really like to eat rock candy that much, but I do think they are awesome for cake decorating. I’m sure I’ll eat at least one when I need a sugar fix. I’ll just have to hide them when my niece and nephew come to visit.

Jelly Beans
Jelly Belly Beans 30 Flavors (7 oz)

(Estimated Retail: $6.52)
Description: “So much yumminess until you hit a licorice or cinnamon flavored one. And the cinnamon ones are tricky little bitches because they look like cherry. Bastards.”
Verdict: LOVE
Have I had jelly belly beans before? Of course. But I never bother to buy them for myself and these are frick’n delicious (except for the rogue licorice and cinnamon ones). I cannot adequately describe the appeal of eating a jelly bean flavored like popcorn. Somehow it transcends both popcorn and jelly beans. It’s magic, I tell you. Magic. My boyfriend and I finished the bag and I actually went out and bought a couple more.

Licorice
Kookaburra Strawberry & Cream Liquorice Bites 6 oz

(Estimated Retail: 2.59)
Description: “When you like licorice so much you need to add “cream” to it so you don’t eat too many.”
Verdict: On the Fence
I adore strawberry liquorice (as evidenced by my obsession with Twizzlers), but I wasn’t crazy about the “cream” part of this. Don’t get me wrong, I still ate them because strawberry and liquorice, but they would have been so much better without the cream. I’m not sure about the price on this one because it’s sold out on the Kookaburra site and priced much much higher on Amazon, so my estimate on this one is probably on the low side.

Taffy
Frosted Cupcake Flavored Taffy Town Salt Water
– 15 pieces
(Estimated Retail: 1 lb bag: $8.95; 15 pieces: $2.07)
Description: “Candy for people who like to chew for a really long time”.
Verdict: Mysterious
Because we had no info card and these are individually labeled, I needed to do some detective work in order to figure out what they were. I’m not a taffy fan. I’ll eat a piece once in a while but it’s not my favorite. These are definitely good for taffy, but I tried them before I knew the flavor and I really couldn’t recognize it. They tasted like vanilla to me, but I’m not sure the “Frosted Cupcake” came through enough.

Smarties
Giant Smarties 1 oz.

Description: “For the folks that look at chalk and think “I wish I could eat this”.”
(Estimated Retail – 36 pack box oz box: $29.95;/1 piece: .83)
Verdict: Nope.
Smarties are to candy what grape nuts are too cereal. Gritty, gross, and unnecessary.
I remember being a little kid and eating the small size smarties and pretending they were pills. Like that’s the best thing I can say about this candy. It was great for playing make believe hospital. Seriously. These are not good candy. No Bueno. They are dragging down the box.

Gummy Bears
Albanese 12 Flavor Gummy Bears 7.5 oz

Description: “Happiness in a bag. Absolute happiness.”
(Estimated Retail: $2.19)
Verdict: Let the angels sing!
So I saw the “world’s best” on the bag and I admit it, I scoffed. I love gummies and I’ve tried a lot, believe you me. I was so sure these would not live up to cliam. Now I’ve never tried gummies from say Madagascar or Zimbabwe, but THESE ARE THE WORLD’S BEST GUMMIES. They are not lying. These are so damn delicious, I can’t even tell you. They are perfectly soft and each flavor tastes exactly like what it’s supposed to. The watermelon gummies (yes I said watermelon) are frick’n amazing. I had to buy more of these so I went to the Albanese site and not only are there “bears” but there are “cubs” and “papa bears” and worms and Rain forest frogs and even memorial day gummy soldiers. It’s like Willy Wonka for gummies! I may or may not have a 5 lb bag of gummy bears heading to my house. I should be sorry, but I’m not. If you love gummies, you have to try these. Find a way, I’m telling you it’s a goddamn gummy revelation.

OVERALL
Treat Chest August 2015
Verdict:
Hit!

At first glance the value on this box looks a little low. If you add up all the candy you get $20.20, and this box costs $26.99. But after having attempted to order some of the candy, a lot of the specialty places have high shipping prices and the Kookaburra is sold out on the main site and Amazon charges a ton to ship it. So while this sub seems a touch pricey for the 1 month subscription, the value is still there. Once you opt for the 3 month or 6 month options you are definitely fine with what you’ve paid versus the value of the items.

This box was so much fun to open and introduced me to some candy brands I hadn’t tried before. I will forever owe Treat Chest a debt for introducing me to the Albanese brand. (Although I may gain 5 lbs of solid gummy weight).

What are your favorite candies?

COUPON CODE!!:
If you use code 1for3, you’ll get one month free when you purchase the three-month subscription.
If you use code 2for6, you’ll get two months free when you purchase the six-month subscription.

THE BACKSTORY
At Treat Chest, our sole purpose is to deliver a unique and mouthwatering mix of the world’s finest candy to your door. The variety changes each month, so every box is a sweet surprise!

“Just pick the plan you want, and mark your calendar in anticipation. You can choose to receive just one box, or you can select one of the other multi-month options. Each order renews itself at the end of the subscription time period.

Once we receive your order, we’ll fill your box with that month’s unique assortment of confections to send your way. At the beginning of the month, we’ll ship the box to your home so you can savor the flavorful artistry of the world’s best candy.”

Monthly Cost:
1 Month: $26.99
3 Months: $23.99
6 Months: $21.99

Something Snacks & Coupon Code: June 2015

Another day and another new box to share. Something Snacks graciously sent me their June “Manly Themed” snack box to review for you all. The US subscription costs $10 per month plus $3.00 shipping. (To save $3 OFF subscriptions, use code TRY3NOW).

“When you subscribe, you will receive a snack box with 7 hand-selected snacks delivered right to your door step every month until you cancel. Every snack is personally tasted. With Something Snacks you’ll always find at least one sweet, one salty, one international, and one healthy snack surprise that will get you chatting about What’s Familiar and What’s Adventurous!”

Each month this snack box offers a different theme and I’m guessing June was “manly” in time for Father’s Day.

Inside, we have an insert with info on the contents and of course, the snacks!
Open Box

FEATURED SNACK:
Popcorn
Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce Popcorn
(Estimated Retail: $1.36)
Description: “This month our featured snack by POP! Gourmet Popcorn in partnership with Huy Fong Foods is familiar to some but adventurous to most. This snack consists of hot international flavors on crispy popcorn has a kick to it and will arouse your taste buds. Respect the Rooster!”.
Verdict: Like!
I’m not sure if this “aroused my taste buds” but it was a tasty, spicy popcorn and it definitely fit within the snack theme.

Beer Nuts
Beer Nuts

(Estimated Retail: $3.00)
Description: “Original Peanuts. Sweet & salty. Munch away!”
Verdict: Okay
Do you have to eat beer nuts with beer? Is it a rule? I don’t really understand how they are different from regular nuts, but maybe it’s just that I’m not manly enough to get it.

Brownie
Lenny & Larry’s Cookies & Cream Muscle Brownie

(Estimated Retail: $2.18)
Description: “Want muscles? Eat brownies! All natural with 20 grams of protein.”
Verdict: Like
I passed this along to my boyfriend so I didn’t get a chance to try it myself, but he didn’t have any complaints so I’m calling it good.

Chocolate
Chuao Chocolatier Baconluxious Chocolate Mini Bars

(Estimated Retail: 99¢ each)
Description: “Enjoy this honey cultivated on the south side Hawai’i Island (The Big Island), from bees which pollenated flourishing macadamia nut trees. This is a great sweetener for your tea, or a yummy snack by itself for a sweet pick –me-up”.
Verdict: Okay
I know everyone wants to bacon all the things, and this may be blasphemy but I like my chocolate free from pig. I think something like smoky almonds would give the same sort of vibe but without the unnecessary pork. These weren’t terrible, and don’t get me wrong I love me some bacon, but I prefer it on a cheeseburger.

Rib Chips
Herr’s Baby Back Ribs Potato Chips

(Estimated Retail 69¢)
Description: “Unique snack for when you’ve got the munchies.”
Verdict: Slightly Disappointing
Ribs are one of my favorite foods and I’ve never met a chip that’s ever come remotely close to tasting like a rib and these are no different. They taste like any garden variety BBQ chip to me. They aren’t bad, but they set me up with the whole rib thing and just didn’t deliver.

Meat Stick
Jack Link’s Original Beef Stick

Description: “Something familiar for your taste buds.”
(Estimated Retail: $1.14)
Verdict: Not for me
These are not familiar to my taste buds. I’m not a jerky or dried meat person so this got handed off to my boyfriend. He did comment that this was like the cheapest type of jerky.

Terra
Terra Blues

Description: “Naturally blue potato chips w/ sea salt. Non GMO, gluen free, and addictive.”
(Estimated Retail: $1.09)
Verdict: Love!
I love Terra chips and I snatched these up right away. They are tasty and the blue color makes them super great for fancifying your chips and dip at a party without actually doing any work.

OVERALL
Something Snacks 6.2015
Verdict:
Mixed

I really like the idea of a snack “theme” each month and even though I wasn’t thrilled with the idea that some foods are “manly” I thought the contents fit the concept that Something Snacks wanted to get across. What I appreciate most is the variety of snacks. This box had an excellent balance of sweet, salty and spicy items so the curation was definitely on point.

My problem with this box is that the value only came out to $11.44 and the monthly cost to purchase this would be $13.00. Most of these snacks aren’t super unique or had to find so I think the value needs to be equal or slightly above what you’ve paid. That being said, that could easily be fixed by throwing in an extra pack of some items. Since this is the only box I’ve tried it’s possible that other months did a better job of value versus purchase price. There are discounts available for prepaying longer subscriptions and a coupon code. If you choose those options then the subscription becomes much more cost effective.

What snacks do you consider “manly” and conversely are there “womanly” snacks?

Cheers!

THE BACKSTORY

“When you subscribe, you will receive a snack box with 7 hand-selected snacks delivered right to your door step every month until you cancel. Every snack is personally tasted. With Something Snacks you’ll always find at least one sweet, one salty, one international, and one healthy snack surprise that will get you chatting about What’s Familiar and What’s Adventurous!”

Monthly Cost:
US Subscription:
Monthly: $10.00 per month plus $3.00 Shipping
Discounts available for prepaying 6 months or 1 year subscriptions.
Canadian Subscription:
Monthly: $10.00 per month plus $8.00 Shipping
Discounts available for prepaying 6 months or 1 year subscriptions.

COUPON: Use code TRY3NOW for $3 OFF subscriptions!

Higher Tea: Sneak Peek & Free Samples!

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Today I’ve got a sneak peek at another sub I’ll be reviewing soon called Higher Tea. Their subscription service sends you a month’s supply (3oz) of your favorite organic loose leaf tea, along with two smaller samples from their premium selection and a tea related gift.

My tea box is en route, but Higher Tea had a great promotion going on that I wanted to share. You can get two free samples of tea by just paying $1.95 for the shipping. You don’t have to commit to a subscription or any other purchase.  Just follow this link, place your order, pay the $1.95, then wait for your tea to arrive!

Higher Tea costs $29.95 per month, with an available discount for purchasing an annual subscription. Be sure to come back for my review and updates on any new coupons or offers!

UPDATE: There appears to be a glitch that is listing the shipping costs as higher.  I’ve got an email out to Higher Tea for more info.  I had confirmed the shipping cost with them previously, so it should be $1.95 as written on the link with no special coupon code required.  I’ll update when I get a response or the issue is fixed, so hang on a bit for that free cuppa!

Hawaii Snack Box: June 2015

Today’s box review features specialty snacks. Hawaiian Snack Box graciously sent me a box to review for you all so we’re going to get a chance to dive in to the “best box for people who love Hawaii.”

“Hawaii Snack Box is your fly-free destination to paradise. Our subscription snack program allows you to sample local Hawaiian treats every month while receiving a taste of the culture, along with a fun word, phrase or recipe that teaches you about our beautiful island… Each monthly box contains a variety of 5-7 different snacks from Hawaii businesses.”

Paradise is a big promise, so this little box has a lot to deliver. I’ve never been to Hawaii and I’d love to go, so I’m hoping this box will give me a little taste of the islands.

A adorable box arrived on my doorstep.
Box
Inside, we have some inserts that give us info on the box contents.
Open Box Inserts

Now onto the snacks!

Hawai’i’s Local Buzz Natural Sea Salt Macadamia Nuts
Nuts
(Estimated Retail 3 oz: $3.00)
Description: “These are Hawai’is most popular nuts at their finest. Hawai’i’s Local Buzz dehydrates their macadamia nuts to keep the taste fresh, as if you just cracked the shell open. A slight hint of Hawaiian sea salt helps round out the flavor of the crunchy treats”.
Verdict: Like!
I don’t think you can have a Hawaiian snack box without Macadamia nuts. I know people adore Macadamia nuts and they are super expensive but I’m pretty ambivalent about them in general. I like nuts overall and these are an excellent addition to the box. I’m not a connoisseur of macadamias but these seem like they are high quality.

Hawai’i’s Local Buzz Mango Mac Tropical Shortbread Cookie
Cookie
(Estimated Retail: $1.00)
Description: “You’re in for a treat with this Mango Macadamia Shortbread Cookie! It’s made with two signature local ingredients; macadamia nuts give it a buttery, salty cruch and mango coordinates perfectly with its tangy sweet flavor. This is just one of many melt-in-your-mouth cookie flavors by Hawaii’s Local Buzz.”
Verdict: LOVE
Why have I never thought to put mango in a shortbread cookie before? This cookie was so very delicious and I wish there were more included. I’m definitely going to try out some recipes using macadamia nuts and mangos.

 Hawaiian Natural Tea Passion Fruit Orange Tea
Tea
(Estimated Retail: $5.95 for a 20 bag box)
Description: “These certified organic Hawaiian teas are infused with the tropical flavors and specifically formulated to be rich in antioxidants and low in caffeine. Passion fruit 9lilikoi) and orange flavors give this tea a playful and refreshing essence.”
I love both passion fruit and orange flavors so this was right up my alley. I haven’t had a chance to try it yet, but I’m looking forward to it.

Big Island Bees Macadamia Blossom Honey Sticks
Honey
(Estimated Retail 47 oz jar: 38.00)
Description: “Enjoy this honey cultivated on the south side Hawai’i Island (The Big Island), from bees which pollenated flourishing macadamia nut trees. This is a great sweetener for your tea, or a yummy snack by itself for a sweet pick –me-up”.
Verdict: Like
It’s always interesting to try out honeys from different regions so I think this another great item for the box. I couldn’t find the honey sticks on the Big Island Bees site but they have an amazing selection of honey products (including honey caramel). If you know a foodie, this might be a great site to grab them a gift.

The Jade Company Li Hing Mui Cotton Candy
Cotton Candy
(Estimated Retail $1.39)
Description: “Li Hing Mui is a popular treat in Hawai’i, which has roots in Asian culture. It is a dried salty plum rolled in a flavorful, sweet powder. For this snack, the Jade Company has creatively mixed a popular fairground staple with the sweet and salty flavors of li hing mui by adding the powder topping to cotton candy.
Verdict: Interesting
I’m not huge on cotton candy, but I thought it was a lot of fun to try something I wouldn’t otherwise. The taste itself wasn’t very strong and it just sort of tasted like plain old sugar to me. It was an interesting item to include and something you won’t find in your local grocery.

Hawaiian Host Dark Chocolate Mac Nuts
Chocolate
Description: “This simple yet tasty treat is one of my favorites! Dark chocolate covered Mac Nuts, simple and delicious.”
(Estimated Retail – 7 oz box/18 pieces: $8.99)
Verdict: Why didn’t you fill the whole box with these?
These were so so so tasty. The chocolate was excellent quality and it paired perfectly with the macadamia nuts. It’s probably a good thing that I can’t get these at my local store because I’d probably gain 5 pounds of solid chocolate and nut weight.


OVERALL
Full Box
Verdict:
Love for the Products, Miss for the Value

I loved the whimsy of this box and the idea of trying out foods from Hawaii. I have a sweet tooth so I enjoyed the plethora of sweet snacks, but the box probably could have used a bit more salty or spicy items. My big issue with this box is the value. You don’t need to pay for shipping which is a big consideration when you are getting a bunch of local products from Hawaii, but when I added up the estimated value of what I received it came out to only $8.12. With a monthly cost of $19.95, that’s just too low a value for me to justify the expense of this box or to recommend it others. If the items included were larger in size that would help a great deal. A four pack of cookies, a larger bag of nuts and a small box of tea would have gone a long way in making this box worth the expense.

That being said I thought all the snacks themselves were great, so the Hawaiian Snack Box company did an excellent job with curation. I’m guessing the low value is to offset the high shipping costs to the company, but it’s just way too low. If this was a $12 monthly box, then it would be a win.

What are the most unique snacks you’ve ever tried and where were they from?

THE BACKSTORY
Hawaii Snack Box is a subscription box company that sends you delicious local treats from Hawaii every month!…Things you can’t find everyday outside of Hawaii such as li hing mui, arare, macadamia nuts, lilikoi butter and jams, and so much more! We also send cultural information each month so you can learn a little more about Hawaii! Each monthly box contains a variety of 5-7 different snacks from Hawaii businesses. All of the snacks have been hand selected, and taste-test approved by our team of snackers!…”

Monthly Cost:
1 Month: $19.95
3 Months: $18.95
6 Months: $17.95
12 Months: $16.95

Shipping within the United States is Free, and only $5.99 to Canada and $13.99 to the rest of the world.

Angels’ Cup – Coffee Tasting Subscription: May 2015

Thanks to some unfortunate side effects of gum surgery, this review has been brewing for quite a while (sorry for the pun). The lovely folks at Angels’ Cup sent me one of their coffee tasting boxes to review for you all back in late April/early May. Sadly, my gum surgery left me sensitive to hot and cold, but now that I’ve spent some quality time with Sensodyne I am ready to talk coffee. And this isn’t just a coffee subscription but a coffee tasting box. You order your box, download the Angels’ cup app, receive your samples and then use the app to “review” your coffee against their “roastmaster”.  (I wonder is that like a beastmaster or a chess master? But I digress). The cost is only $7.99 per month, so this is an affordable treat and the app turns coffee tasting into a bit of a game.
Box
Inside the Angels’ Cup package are four sample envelopes. They are labeled with a number rather than a name in order to keep their contents a secret.
Sample Packs
Also included is a little menu cheat card in case your one of those folks who reads the end of the book first and can’t handle a little mystery. The card has detailed info on all the samples.

Cards
So before I looked at my cheat sheet I decided to pick one and test my tasting skills through the app. I grabbed my coffee grinder and sample #0115.

It offers the option for you to login and save your notes or to just skip ahead. Next, it asks you to list the coffees you’ll be tasting and whether you want a beginner tasting or an advanced. I opted for beginner.  You select the “color” using a sliding scale, then “the taste”, by number on a wheel with items like “complexity”.   Next is “aroma & flavor” which offers categories of flavors like “spices” which breaks down further into things like “black pepper”. Then finally you select your enjoyment level with selections like “okay”, “nice” and so on.  When I was done my score was 81.5 while the Roastmaster’s score was 80.5. Apparently, I am more knowledgeable about coffee than I ever imagined.

Once you finish tasting your coffees you can purchase your favorites from Angels’ Cup online store.

Some info on the samples, based on our menu cards.
Coffee Tasting #0115
Roaster: Sunergos Coffee
Origin: Colombia Hulia
Flavors: Carrot Cake, Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Brown Sugar
(Retail: $18.40)
Coffee Tasting #0116
Roaster: Sunergos Coffee
Origin: Bali Kintamani
Flavors: Raspberry, Starfruit, Strawberry, Soft Tannins
(Retail: $18.40)
Coffee Tasting #0117
Roaster: Square One Coffee
Origin: Ethiopia, Adado
Flavors: Ornage, Lime, Blueberry, Apricot, Coffee Blossom
(Retail: $18.55)
Coffee Tasting #0118

Roaster: Square One coffee
Origin: Kenya, Kiruga
Flavors: Clvoe, Honeydew, Peach, Passion Fruit, Black Tea, tomato
(Retail: $20.55)

OVERALL
Coffee
Verdict:
Like!
Honestly, I was a little intimidated by the idea of coffee tasting since I’m not a huge coffee aficionado but the app was fun and easy to use. For $7.99, this is a great way to try gourmet coffees without investing in the cost of a full bag, plus you can have fun learning about coffee tasting and even have some a little competition with your friends.

Do you know much about coffee or are you a coffee newbie like me?

THE BACKSTORY

How it works:
1. Join the hunt: Try 52 different single-origin coffees this year for only $7.99/month. Every coffee Angels’ Cup ship is excellent, one might be your new favorite!
2. Blind taste test: Sample each coffee without bias and decide for yourself what you like. A number on the bag can be used to identify the coffee after you’ve had a chance to try it.
3. Master your palate: Our app lets you record tasting notes and compare answers with the roastmaster to develop a superhuman sense of taste. Can you guess a coffee’s origin?

Costs:
$7.99 per delivery
Select your grind: Whole Bean, Coarse Grind (French press), or Fine Grind (Drip)
Select How Often: Weekly, Bi-weekly, or Monthly

SnackSack: May 2015 & Special Coupon Code!

Today we’ve got another fun snack box called SnackSack (and it literally comes in a Sack!) The wonderful folks at SnackSack sent me a box to review and a fabulous coupon code just for you (use THERAPY10 to save 10% on your first purchase). For details on pricing jump down to “The Backstory”.

“SnackSack delivers better tasting, originality, and higher nutritional value, once a month. We include a mixture of snacks that are organic or all-natural, non-GMO, vegan, fair-trade, or gluten-free. Don’t expect to receive any artificial junk, we just aren’t about that. We consistently deliver wholesome and original recipes, allowing you to discover natural snack foods that truly delight your tastebuds.”
Box

Tasty, natural snacks? Sounds fabulous to me. Let’s dive in.
Open Box
Sack! Inserts
This snack box has the best packaging of any of the ones that I’ve tried. It’s got a detailed card listing all the products, and an adorable sack that will be transformed into someone’s gift packaging. Opening it up really felt like someone took time and effort to put this together and that’s exactly what you should feel when you open up a sub box.

Whenever I get a snack box, I need to call in my Chief Snack Officer, CSO (otherwise known as my boyfriend). He loves snacks and we live together so there’s no way I could keep a giant box of assorted crunchy items from him.

Caveman Cookies
Alpine Hazelnut Carob Cookie
by Caveman Cookies
Description: “Swiss flavor combination of hazelnuts and chocolate, but made with carob, a healthy alternative”.
Tropical Coconut Macadamia Cookie by Caveman Cookies
Description: “The absolute perfect nutty and sweet tropical treat for your inner caveman.
Verdict: Like!
A little love for the Paleo folks. That tropical cookie never made it to my inner caveman since it was snatched by my outer one. My CSO ate these and his verdict was that they were “good”. If you knew his snack standards, you’d realize this was high praise.

Hard Candy
Fresh Fruit Hard Candies by Torie & Howard

Description: “Fresh flavors that taste of real, luscious fruit picked straight from the garden.”
Verdict: Like!
These hard candies are quite tasty and I’m still working my way through the little bag. They definitely have a fresh taste and if you enjoy hard candies, you’d definitely like these.

Luke's Organic
White Cheddar Cheese Puffs
by Luke’s Organic
Description: “Behold the power of cheddar and air, these tiny cheddar clouds will rock your socks off.”
Verdict: Hit!
If you like Pirate’s booty or those Trader Joe’s cheese puffs you’ll love these. They are tasty, crunchy cheesy goodness.

Barefoot
Hazelnut & Almond Coconut Spread
by Barefoot & Chocolate
Description: “Dreamy coconut & super nutty and sweet hazelnut chocolate spreads”.
Verdict: You had me at Chocolate
I haven’t tried these yet. Why? Because I’m saving them for something awesome. There is some baking project that is going to be topped with these. I just must find something worthy.

Raw Rev
Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Protein Bar
by Raw Revolution
Description: “Delicious creamy peanut butter with rich dark chocolate, packed with omega-rich superfoods”
Creamy Peanut Butter Protein Bar by Raw Revolution
Description: “Delicious creamy peanut butter with rich dark chocolate, packed with omega-rich superfoods”
Verdict: Like!
These Raw Revolution snacks were another set my Boyfriend—er CSO, sampled. Again, he liked them, which is hard for any snack, nevermind a healthy one.

Popcorn
Sea Salt Popcorn
by Boom Chicka Pop
Description: “Perfectly sea-salted and made with 100% Whole Grain”
Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn by Boom Chicka Pop
Description: “A little bit sweet and a little bit salty makes for the perfect combo.”
Verdict: Hit!
I’ve tried this brand before and it’s quite tasty. For me, Kettle Corn is always a win.

Frontier Bites
Almond Blueberry Lemon Bites
by Frontier Bites
Description: “Crunchy energizing bites of almonds, blueberries and tart lemon. Be warned these won’t last long.”
Verdict: Hit!
I love fruity snacks and these were quite tasty and perfect for work.

Gummy Bears
Sweet Chewy Gummy Bears
by Yum Earth
Description: “This classic gummy bear, a favorite of many. Made without any artificial junk.”
Verdict: Love!
You can just send me all the gummies. ALL.THE.GUMMIES. I didn’t think it was possible to make gummy candies with “artificial junk”. But these are tasty so I’m happy to eat the package or a gallon, you know, whichever.

Sea Salt & Nibs
Sea Salt & Nibs Chocolate Bar
by Madecasse
Description: “This chocolate bar best amplifies the flavors of pure, Madagascar cocoa. Heaven!”
Verdict: A little too nibby and salty
I think their definition of Heaven is a bit different than mine. This wasn’t terrible but it was just too biting for me. The overabundance of sea salt just made the flavors muddled.

Shefha
Sweet Flavored Snack Mix
by Sheffa
Description: “A delightful combination of coconut-covered roasted almonds and soy nuts mixed with fruit.”
Zesty Flavored Snack Mix by Sheffa
Description: “Crispy chickpea noodles, roasted corn, and toasted seeds seasoned to perfection.”
Verdict: Nope.
My resident CSO tried the Zesty snacks first and deemed them “gross”. I tried them and concurred and the bag was tossed. It’s hard to explain, but the flavor almost tastes like the soup packets where you just add water. I tried the “sweet snack mix” and the coconut covered almonds are delicious…the rest not so much. The soy nuts definitely get stuck in your throat. If Sheffa made a bag with just the nuts I’d buy it in a heartbeat.

Protein Chips
BBQ Protein Chips
by Quest Nutrition

Description: “Smokey, backyard-BBQ flavor on a baked, savory chip. Ooh doggy!”
Verdict: Punishment for the low carb folks
I’m not even sure a dog would eat these. My snack expert deemed them gross and couldn’t make a dent in this tiny bag. During my months on Keto, I tried a Quest bar. It was *supposed* to be apple. It was like taffy and tar had a baby and sprinkled cinnamon on it.  The only thing worse than being on a low carb diet are snacks like these.  Why not just give me a paper cut and poor lemon juice on it?  I appreciate the inclusion of a low carb brand, but these are no bueno.

OVERALL
Snacksak May 2015
Verdict:
Hit!

From the packaging to the wide variety in snacks, I felt like SnackSack was thoughtfully curated. I didn’t price out the snacks individually because many are difficult to find for individual purchase. What’s particularly great about this sub is that a lot of these snacks are low carb, paleo or gluten free and those snacks can be expensive and often not-so-tasty. SnackSack offers a way to try a whole bunch of items without purchasing a large expensive box of a single snack only to find out you hate the flavor or texture.

I received this box for free, but it retails for $23.   I feel like that’s a great price for what it includes and it’s definitely a box I will consider if I finally decide to jump back into a snack box subscription. My resident CSO thought this box had the most variety of any of the snack ones we’d tried and I concur with his assessment.

I’ve got some more great food boxes coming up for review including a Coffee Sub with a fun app and Hawaiian snacks, so be sure to come back and check it out.

Do you try to snack healthy? If so what is your favorite snack?

THE BACKSTORY
SnackSack delivers better tasting, originality, and higher nutritional value, once a month. We include a mixture of snacks that are organic or all-natural,non-GMO, vegan, fair-trade, or gluten-free.
Monthly Cost:
You can choose how many Snacksacks you get per month:
1 per month: $23 w/ Free Shipping
2 per month: $45.50 w/ Free Shipping
4 per month: $90 w/ Free Shipping
8 per month: $178 w/ Free Shipping
12 per month: $264 w/ Free Shipping

Prepayment offers a discount:
3 Month Prepay Discount: Save $1.50 on each SnackSack
6 Month Prepay Discount: Save $3.00 on each SnackSack

COUPON CODE: Use THERAPY10 to save 10% on your 1st purchase.

Exotic Noods: May 2015

Today, I’ve got another unusual new box for you. Exotic Noods is a subscription that sends you “the highest quality instant noodles” and they graciously sent me a box to review. They include “unique flavors and styles from around the world”. The cost is $20 per month including shipping, but discounts are available for prepaying multiple months.

I open the large cardboard box to reveal..
Open Box

Noodles! Lots of Noodles!

JJajangmen
JjaJang Men Chajan Noodle
Servings Per Package: 2
Calories per serving: 293
Sodium per serving: 30% of your daily intake

Oriental Noodles
Oriental Noodles
Servings Per Package: 1
Calories per serving: 460
Sodium per serving: 100% of your daily intake

Japanese Ramen
Japanese Ramen
Servings Per Package: 1
Calories per serving: 350
Sodium per serving: 85% of your daily intake

Ramen bak ki
Ramen bok ki
Servings Per Package: 2
Calories per serving: 240
Sodium per serving: 28% of your daily intake

OVERALL
Full Box
Verdict:
Interesting & Fun, but not for me

Notably absent from this box was a card with a description of the products or serving/recipe suggestions. As a subscriber I always prefer some type of info card or brochure giving me a bit of insight into the products.

For the food itself – I adore noodles, but I’m not a big ramen/instant noodle eater because of the high sodium content. One of these noodle bowls clocked in at 100% of your daily sodium intake!  That being said, I know there are lots of people who love instant noodles and would like to try new varieties beyond the 49 cent cups from Walmart. I’m in the NYC metro area so I have tons of options for imported foods, but many people don’t.  So if you have a noodle obsession and no outlet for finding the unique stuff, this might be the right sub for you.

THE BACKSTORY
Exotic Noods sends “a curated selection of the highest quality instant noodles delivered to you.”

   Cost: The base subscription is $20/month with free shipping. Save on each delivery by pre-paying for 3 or 6 months.

 Featured products are only found at specialty markets and retail between $2 and $5 plus tax.  Each monthly delivery contains 4 exotic ramen products with bowls, coupons for our upcoming store, and serving suggestions.  Varied styles: udon and buckwheat soba noodles, curry and shio soups, fried tofu toppings, and more.

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