I have always been intrigued by those fad food crates you’ve probably heard all about. What’s more convenient than being able to try something new without having to get all dressed up, or even leave the squishy-ness of your own couch? I had never tried one of these services before, so I was elated to receive a box from Try The World, a curated selection of gourmet foods from a new country every month.
With a monthly subscription, you will receive a box of 7-8 gourmet items — including ingredients to cook with, drinks, and snacks — along with a Culture Guide to help you create an authentic culinary experience at home.. Checking out their website while I was waiting for my box, the anticipation swept over me as I wondered what I would get. With delicious boxes comprised of high quality items chosen by celebrity chefs, how can you go wrong?
My tasty box was comprised with items from Portugal. Upon opening the plain brown box, I instantly smiled… Inside, the items were packed in a beautifully labeled sea-green colored package with decorative straw-like material. From cookies to jam to tea, this box literally had all the things you already love to eat in fresh new flavors. I was under the impression these types of boxes had items that were ready-to-eat. Instead, most of the contents had to be prepared with other food items. No reason to be scared, thanks to the aforementioned unfold-able Culture Guide with ideas of how to serve and prepare each item within the box.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
I use olive oil every single day. Anything I cook on the stove is made with olive oil, and any meat I bake is slathered in the stuff to ensure that it never dries out while baking. I was SO excited to get Olivais Do Sul gourmet olive oil in this delivery! Since I received the box, I have used it on everything from fish to eggs to potatoes to mixed baked veggies, and everything in between. It was flavorful and to me, tasted better than the cheap store bought oil I usually get.
Sea Salt and Lemon
The next item from my box I tried was Hands On Earth brand sea salt with lemon. I instantly started thinking of all the things I could use this on! Baked potatoes, vegetables… you name it! I found that it smelled fresh and lemon-y, but just tasted like sea salt. It does have tiny yellow chunks of lemon, and was not loose enough to shake out a small amount, but the texture is like a course sea salt. I mistakenly slathered way too much of it on fish the first time I made it, but after that first fail, it was smooth sailing. I loved this stuff, and I’m still trying to find new and yummy things to pair it with. I look forward to using every granule!
Casa Lucena classic lemon cookies were oh-so-good… simply PERFECT as an after dinner sweet treat! Delicious lemon flavored palate cleanser cookies (think vanilla wafer texture with a fresh lemon crunch). These were about quarter-sized pieces of heaven, with a pleasant and fresh aftertaste. I could seriously have eaten all of these in one sitting!
Codfish in Olive Oil
I love fish… but packed in olive oil? Not so much. If I’m eating canned fish, I prefer water packed. There’s something I find personally stomach churning about oil-soaked fish. Briosa Gourmet Codfish in Olive Oil was beautifully packaged in colorful yellow paper, but the fish inside the tin looked not as appealing as the wrap job. It was glistening with oil, and had chunks of what looked like onion stuck to it. I paired the fish with crackers, and while the actual fish taste was delicious, I ultimately couldn’t get over the oily texture.
Piri Piri Hot Sauce
Hot sauce is wasted on me… I don’t enjoy the eye-watering kicks of physical pain searing through my taste buds. So alas, the Sacana Piri Piri hot sauce that was included in my box had no business with me! I gifted this to my brother-in-law, who agreed to let me know how it tasted. I was told it was delicious and gone too soon. It had a good heat to it, but not too much bite.
Carmelized Onions with Balsamic Reduction and Port Wine
One strange item I received was Prisca brand Carmelized Onions with balsamic reduction and Port wine. I checked my guide several times… What am I supposed to do with this, exactly? It’s labeled to use it with foie gras and cheese. While my household is (like many other households, I would think) short on foie gras, I am all over the cheese front. I specifically got three different types of cheeses to try with this spread: Irish Cheddar, Balsamic Bellavitano Sartori, and Barber’s Farmhouse Cheddar. I thought it might taste better with some crackers, so I paired it with some fancy Seattle-made crackers. While the balsamic vinegar-like smell of the spread was unappealing, it actually tasted pretty good! It was sweet (possibly TOO sweet with added sugar), and balanced out the sharpness of the cheese. While the carmelized onions looked stringy and unpleasant, the overall taste was top notch. While I can’t say I would purchase this specific spread again, it was definitely fun to try.
Pumpkin with Hazelnuts Jam
I love jams and jellies. The absolute best one I have ever tasted was straight from Germany, filled to the brim with blueberries. While my supply ran out long long ago and in a galaxy far far away, I am always on the lookout for a new jam. Pumpkin with hazelnuts? Suspicious… but I’ll give it a go. I tried this jam on my favorite bread, Dave’s Killer Bread. The flavor was bland and the texture reminded me of baby food. The hazelnuts were soft (not crunchy), and was overpowered by pumpkin flavor. While I REALLY wanted to love this jam, the reminder of processed baby food was making me gag. I will try it again, but in a thinner spread next time.
Apple and Cinnamon Black Tea
This delicious It brand tea was one of my favorite things from this box. It’s a black tea, described as apple and cinnamon flavored (although I can’t say I tasted cinnamon!). It was fruity and fresh, and extremely aromatic. It had a lovely smell, not too strong and definitely not bland. The flavor was perfect on its own without adding honey. I can’t talk about this tea without mentioning how pretty it is… so colorful! This was some of the best tea I have ever had!
Experiencing another country through their cuisine is a must. Travel anywhere in the world and people will tell you all the food you must try when you visit. Try The World was literally a box of interesting and fun cultural experiences. While I didn’t love every single item, I did find some very interesting and tasty things. I broadened my palate and found foods I never knew existed. The value of this box is incredibly long-lasting. Tea, various spreads and sauces, salt, oil… If their other subscription boxes are anything like this, you will be using several items for numerous meals. If you have the means to purchase a subscription, I would DEFINITELY recommend checking out Try The World!
This box was provided for review by Try The World.