Flavrbox of goodies – review

Posted on September 11, 2012


A box full of goodies

I love trying new foods. I also love getting post (call me old-fashioned). So a box of yummy new goodies arriving on my doormat is my idea of heaven.

Flavrbox is a foodie website stocking farmers market-type produce, everything from bacon jam to nettle cheese. Once a month, they package a selection of tasty treats into boxes and send them out to subscribers (£16-20 per month including delivery). You don’t know what will be in it, but that’s part of the fun! I am often guilty of wandering around food festivals wanting everything and not knowing what to pick, so it’s a great idea for people like me.

The picture above shows the products I got in my box. I really liked that I didn’t recognise any of the brands, meaning I definitely hadn’t tried any of it before. After a few days of nibbling at everything, I’ve just about managed to sample it all, with varying levels of success.

  • Wasabi mustard by The Relish in Spice Company. Mustard is a very strong flavour. Wasabi is a very strong flavour. What happens when you smush them together? Both tastes actually stand up to each other well (and it’s a really groovy green colour). I’m not totally sure what I’ll use it for as it is pretty strong. The jar suggests pairing it with grilled meat, but I mainly like the idea of adding to a little mayonnaise as a dip for tempura.
  • Black chough dark roast coffee by Hands-On Coffee. I’m not the world’s greatest coffee connoisseur – I had to buy a cafetière to try this out – but even I can tell the difference between good coffee and bad coffee. And this was good coffee. It lived up to its promised description: rich, bittersweet, smooth west coast roast. It’s all hand-roasted in small batches, which makes it even better.
  • Marshmallow pop and dipper by Bonny Mallows. These were a million miles away from those squishy, powdery things you cook around the campfire. With a lighter, more natural texture and a delicate, sweet flavour, these were pretty yummy (if a little unconventional, with the pop flavoured coconut and mango). They’re probably not the first or the last to do it, but I do love the idea of dipping sweet things in a hot drink.

    Spanish garden paella and chorizo

  • Spanish garden paella by Gustosecco. Pitched as a posher ready-meal, this dried paella (pictured) needed just 500ml of water and 15 minutes cooking. Although the flavours were very strong, and it was definitely better than supermarket dried foods, its overwhelming flavour was something like minestrone soup and salt. This meant the suggested accompaniment of chorizo didn’t match at all and made it far too salty. Perhaps it’d go better with chicken, but I probably wouldn’t choose this again in a hurry. Also, there are minimal instructions – I didn’t know whether to stir or not, and it needed more water than recommended.
  • Elderflower rice pudding by Gustosecco. I probably did something wrong, but this just didn’t really work for me. It says to cook for two hours, but hours later I still had hot milk with rice floating in it. When it eventually cooked, the elderflower was overwhelming. Sometimes, a classic shouldn’t be messed with.
  • Crispbread by Peter’s Yard. Intensely crisp and super savoury, these had a satisfying malty plain-ness asking for something salty and sweet to be piled on top of it. I liked it best with a good strong cheddar and a sweet onion chutney.

So some good, some less good, but all really interesting products that I just wouldn’t have tried otherwise. I mean, really, how often can you justify buying yourself a marshmallow lolly to dip in your coffee?

Posted in: cuisine