Eat.Feed.Love. Taste Club Review - October 2015 - Canadian Gourmet Food Subscription Box + PROMO CODE

This box was provided complimentary for review and this post contains referral links.
** EFL no longer ships to Canada.** 
What is it? Eat.Feed.Love Taste Club 
How Much? $34.95 per month, plus tax, with free shipping. Save on longer terms. Prices in US dollars. 
What’s in it? A box filled with new items and delicious recipes, themed together to make the perfect feast or dinner party.

Eat.Feed.Love is an online gourmet food store based in Victoria, BC. With every purchase, EFL donates to organizations that feed those in need. Along with the online storefront, EFL also offers a monthly subscription called Taste Club.
Every month, we send a box filled with new items and delicious recipes, themed together to make the perfect feast or dinner party.
Each delivery will include a variety of items from spreads, condiments, jams, honeys, syrups, cooking sauces, oils, vinegars, salts, spices, seasonings, chocolate and cocktail mixers, along with an assortment of recipes to make use of your new products.

Each month EFL teams up with a new charity or organization and donate a share of the proceeds. The charity for November is the Canadian Food Grains Bank.

The theme for November is "Night in Syria". The goodies in the box are inspired by the culture and tastes of cuisine from the Syrian region. The enclosed letter explained "Why Syria?" and describes how the Canadian Food Grains Bank is supplying food and supplies to tens of thousands of Syrian refugees and displaced families all over the Middle East.   

The recipes are developed by the EFL team of professional chefs. They are printed on full colour cards with beautiful photos. There are so many recipes included too! A lot of these dishes are things I enjoyed in Turkey as well (or variations thereof) so I was pretty excited to get into this box!

Epices de Cru Zaatar Blend (40g, $7.25)
A classic everyday blend to Middle Eastern cuisine, Zaatar is both a single herb and a blend. The herb is closely related to thyme and savory. The blend consists of toasted sesame seeds, zaatar, thyme, salt and sumac, which adds a pleasant sour hint to the blend. Use Zaatar as a final touch on grilled meats and fish, in dips, on top of hummus or baba ganouj, or mixed with olive oil and served on pita bread. It’s also great when sprinkled on sliced tomatoes and cucumbers for a very simple salad.
This blend is used in the Shish Taouk and Za'atar Flatbread recipes.

These little samples are very tasty. I received one sample of 70% from Ecuador and one 72% from Tanzania. It's all ethically sources from small farmer groups. I think this was a bonus as it's not part of the Syrian theme.

Olive the Senses Sicilian Lemon White Balsamic Vinegar (100ml, $5)
This versatile white balsamic unites the fresh and citrus taste of ripe Sicilian lemon with the tang of vinegar, producing a zesty and flexible balsamic which complements any dish. A delicious addition to sauces and a cheeky accent to cocktails, Sicilian Lemon white balsamic will quickly become a counter staple.
This flavoured balsamic is used in the shish taouk, tabbouleh, Moroccan chicken tagine, and lemon polo recipes. Have I ever told you how much I love olive oil and vinegar? There is a local oil & vinegar shop where you can go and sample and taste every single item they stock. I can spend hours in stores like that.

Mrs Jones Jams Red Hot Pepper Jelly (190ml, $7)
The classic blend of sweet and spicy!   Open-kettle simmered to release all the delicious flavor and spicy sweetness of the peppers, this jelly is a natural with cheeses and a fabulous spread for sandwiches and panini.  Add a little warm water and it makes an incredible glaze or finish for roasted meats, or add a spoon or two to reductions to make them sing!
I love pepper jelly and the idea to mix with water for a meat glaze is fantastic. None of the recipes call for this product, so I'm not totally sure why it was included, but no complaints here because it will be used!

Olive the Senses Manzanillo Extra Virgin Olive Oil (100ml, $6)
Thick and rich this extra fruity manzanillo is full ripe fruit notes. Apple, meets green almond and artichoke, with the sent of fresh lettuce. Enjoy over fresh tomatoes, creamy cheeses and fruit filled salads.
The recipes for shish taouk, Moroccan chicken tagine, and Za'atar flat bread all call for "robust EVOO".

Olive the Senses Persian Lime Infused Olive Oil (100ml,  $5)
A marriage made in heaven! Sweet and fragrant Persian limes are united with late harvest Tunisian Chemlali EVOO to produce this incredibly fragrant and fresh oil. Citrusy yet smooth, this oil is great with Mexican food and superb in salsas.
This one doesn't correspond with any of the included recipes, but I like the idea to use it with Mexican food. It would be a great addition to homemade pico de gallo. 

Epices de Cru Lemongrass Green Tea (40g, $8.50)
Blended with Keffir lime leaves and lemongrass, this Chinese green tea has a brisk citrus flavor without bitterness.
This is another product that doesn't match up with the included recipes, and it doesn't really match up with the theme either since lemongrass is Asian, not Middle Eastern. 

The October Eat.Feed.Love Taste Club box included  six full size products with a retail value just under $55 US$ at $39 US (see note below). All the products (aside from the chocolate samples) are from Canadian companies. I absolutely love the products included and I will use all of them in my own way. The three Olive the Senses products are my favourite, and I also learned they are local, based in Victoria (and incidentally owned by the folks that run Eat.Feed.Love.). While the products in this box are fantastic, the part I'm confused about is the theme. Only three of the products correspond with the "Night in Syria" theme and some of the recipes call for products that weren't included in the box. I still love this box and the products included, I just feel they fell short on curating products to go with the theme. Despite this one complaint, I already signed up for my own subscription and I can't wait to see what else comes from this box!

One last endorsement: Over the weekend I hosted some friends for dinner and cooked a few Turkish and Middle Eastern dishes. I used the Shish Taouk recipe (chicken kebabs), which used the Za'atar spices and some of the Sicilian Lemon Balsamic vinegar. The results were absolutely fantastic. One of my guests took a bite of his chicken and gasped "Oh my god! This chicken is so good" and he was not exaggerating. That recipe is a keeper for sure.

If you are a foodie and love experiencing new and interesting tastes, this box may be for you. It would also make a fantastic gift. As an added bonus, readers can save 50% off their first box by using promo code cdnboxaddict at checkout. This code is valid on the purchase of a month-to-month subscription only. It will bring your first box down to $17, plus tax, and shipping is free. That's an amazing deal.

Click here to check out the Eat.Feed.Love Taste Club.

*Regarding the valuation, originally I valued the oils and vinegar based on the listed values for 200ml bottles. These bottles are actually 100ml, so the original estimated value has been reduced by $16. This makes it a low value box this time out, coming just above the $35 asking price.

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