RawSpiceBar Review - January 2015 - Meal Preparation Subscription Box + PROMO CODE

This box was provided complimentary for review.
 
  
What is it? Raw Spice Bar 
How Much? $6 per month (plus tax) with free shipping (US$) 
What’s in it? 3-4 hand-picked, small batch, freshly ground spice blends and kitchen-tested, detailed recipes and ideas.

Raw Spice Bar is a new subscription service offering a monthly box of spices. For only $6 per month, you will receive 3-4 premium spice blends from around the world direct to your door. Each spice box averages 2-3 ounces of spice blends and yields a complete 3 dish meal for 8-10 people.

In addition to the spices, Raw Spice Bar includes kitchen-tested, detailed recipes and ideas for each spice blend you receive as well as a background on the monthly chef and spice blends every month. RawSpiceBar also includes another 10-25 recipe ideas for each spice blend on their website, and they are sure to provide a great variety of options for vegans, vegetarians, carnivores, gluten free and healthy eaters alike. Each blend label includes a description, the ingredients, and RawSpiceBar's storing instructions.  

RawSpiceBar began shipping in January 2015. They sent me this package complimentary for review. Previously I was told RawSpiceBar was based in Toronto and LA, but the postage stamp says Atlanta, and the service bills in US dollars. Because of this, I've removed its "Canadian Subscription Box" designation. The parcel is flat, an envelope rather than a box, and fits into a condo sized mailbox.

Please ignore the large "bite" out of the paper. I was a little excited when my package arrived and I tore into it rather haphazardly. When your package arrives, use scissors or a letter opener!


The January box is themed around Native American spices, originating from Albuquerue, New Mexico. The recipes were created by Chef Freddie Bitsoie.
New Mexican cuisine incorporates Native American, Mexican & European influences- and holds the New Mexican chile as one of its most celebrated ingredients. Chef Freddie Bitsoie, a New Mexican based Navajo chef, is a master at weaving together cultural & local flavors with his own unique twist- with traditional New Mexican spices as the leading ingredients. 
First the spices:

Ground Chilies (0.80z) - Toasted and freshly ground red chiles including New Mexico, Ancho, Guajillo & Arbol create a medium hot powder that is complex, smoky and slightly fruity, with a touch of heat that mellows out while cooking.

Posole Spices (0.7oz) - Toasted cumin and coriander plus freshly ground Mexican oregano are key spices for creating a Navajo inspired posole rojo in New Mexico.

Juniper Berries Blend (0.3oz) - Incorporating the juniper berries used hundreds of years ago by Native Americans, our poached apples are infused with fruity red wine and star anise, cloves, allspice, cinnamon and orange zest.

Sumac & Herbs (0.3oz) - A New Mexican herb blend of rosemary, Mexican sage, Mexican oregano, thyme and fennel plus black peppercorns, garlic, cinnamon and sumac provide an herby, peppery, spicy tanginess for our Navajo flatbreads.

These spices match with a 3-dish meal created by Chef Bitsoie. The dishes yield enough to serve 8-10 people.

New Mexican Posole (uses Ground Chilies & Posole Spices)
The star of this month's spice box, this classic New Mexican posole is a lightly brothed, deeply flavorful & moderately spicy stew perfect for a chilly day. Made with hominy, which are large kernels of puffed white corn (posole just means "dried corn" and hominy means "cooked posole"), for body & traditionally made with pork shoulder for flavor. Our red chile blend of New Mexican, Ancho, Guajillo & Arbol chiles provide fruity, peppery depth with a bit of heat. The beauty of this dish is the ability to swap in vegetables, chicken or beef for pork and garbanzo beans for the hominy (if you can't find it locally). Top with peppery radishes, chopped cilantro or lime to brighten just before serving.

Navajo Flatbreads With Sumac Spice Blends (uses Sumac & Herbs)
Easy and versatile, these Navajo flatbreads are a hybrid of Mexican tortillas and Indian naan and are perfect for sopping up delicious broth and chunks of vegetable or beef from the posole. We add New Mexican inspired herbs like Mexican oregano, Mexican sage, rosemary, thyme and fennel plus a tangy, peppery twist of sumac, peppercorns and cinnamon. Apparently, in the old days, if a Navajo woman couldn't whip up a batch of fluffy flatbreads, her marriage chances were low. Luckily, these are super easy to make.

Poached Apples With Juniper Berries (uses Juniper Berries & Spices)
A healthy and warming apple dessert, these poached apples with juniper berries are a nod to a traditional Native American apple compote. We've amped up the flavor with star anise, cinnamon and allspice and included the slightly tart flavor of juniper berries. Valued by Native Americans, juniper berries were used medicinally for arthritis and rheumatism and for detoxification as a diuretic, with antiseptic properties. While we're not sure about the medicinal properties, we do know that poaching these apples with juniper berries and spices makes the room smell incredible.
Photos of all these dishes, plus the recipes, are available on the Raw Spice Bar. They also have some other recipe ideas on their blog.

I LOVE this service. It reminds me so much of now-defunct Chef Butler. My favourite part of Chef Butler was receiving a menu plan and recipes for a gourmet 3-course meal, and being able to learn about and experience new types of cuisine. This is what RawSpiceBar brings, at only a fraction of the price. The included recipes are easy to follow and the dishes appear simple enough that any home cook can create a fabulous Navajo inspired meal. I've never experienced Native American cuisine, so I'm very curious to give it a try. I will be sure to post an update once I've cooked the meal and used all the spices.

Raw Spice Bar makes a GREAT gift for the novice chef or foodie in your life. I'm already thinking of ordering a 6-month subscription for my Dad for Father's day. My mom would probably enjoy a service like this as well. I also signed up for my own 3-month subscription so I will be reviewing more RawSpiceBar packages as they arrive!

Raw Spice Bar has created an exclusive promo code for Canadian Box Addict readers. You can earn an extra month for free on a 3, 6, or 12 month subscription. Just enter promo code cdnspiceaddict at checkout. The promo won't show on your e-mail confirmation, but it does log on RawSpiceBar's end, so they will be sure to include the extra month at the end of your subscription term.

Click here to check out Raw Spice Bar.
Comments are now closed for this post. Please e-mail me if you have any questions or comments.

Comments

  1. I got this for my brother and they loved it. They already made flatbreads and posole. I'm considering getting it for myself as well! Thanks for letting us know about it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so happy that your gift was well received. I'm planning on gifting subscriptions to a few different people!

      Delete

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