Mantry Subscription Box Review & Coupon – March 2015
Mantry is a subscription box that describes itself as “the modern man’s pantry.”
Each month they ship gourmet food items in their signature wooden crate.
Mantry sent us this box for review purposes. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
The Subscription Box: Mantry
The Cost: $75
COUPON: Use this link to save $30 off your first box!
The Products: Artisan foods for the modern man’s pantry.
Ships to: US only.
This month’s theme is “ Greetings from Tennessee.”
Each box comes with a fold out card detailing each of the producers behind the food included and where in the country they’re based.
This box also included a note from Mantry’s curator that describes an RV trip he took with his friends through Tennessee last spring and how it inspired the theme for this box.
Smoked Onion Jam by Blackberry Farm (7.75oz.)- value $13
This jam is made with sweet Georgia Vidalia onions. They’re smoked to release their natural sweetness and then cooked down with sherry. Mantry recommends serving a dollop of this alongside Father’s Country Ham.
Hot Chicken Rub by JM Thomason (8oz.)- value $8.99
Hot Chicken is a classic Nashville dish. This particular spice blend combines garlic, cayenne, and onion and adds potent flavor and a slow burn to poultry dishes. In addition to using this rub on fried chicken, JM Thomason suggests mixing it into ground chicken to make hot buffalo chicken burgers.
Country Ham by Father’s Country Hams (8oz.)- value $5.75
Father’s Country Ham is hickory smoked and aged at least 8 months. The pack included in this month’s box is “biscuit-sliced” so that each piece of ham fits perfectly on a biscuit. Buttermilk biscuits happen to be one of my specialties, so I’m excited to fry this up for ham biscuits!
Buffalovin’ Wing Brew Bread by Soberdough (20oz.)- value $8.95
Soberdough Brew Bread is a really fun take on beer bread, and I think the packaging is darling. To make a loaf, you just combine the bread mix with a bottle of beer. Soberdough comes in a variety of flavors (Rosemary, Green Chile Cheddar, Cinnful Raisin, etc.), and Mantry decided to include the Buffalovin’ Wing flavor in this month’s box. Here’s a picture of what comes inside the canvas pouch:
The orange packet is wing spice.
Lil’ Shot Genuine Tennessee Moonshine Cake by Chattanooga Cookie Co. (7.8oz.)- value $8
Lil’ Shot Cakes are baked in Chattanooga with genuine Tennessee moonshine. I think this is such a fun product! The cake was delicious, and I was happy to discover that you can really taste the moonshine. This is one boozy cake.
“Old Fashioned” Cocktail Caramels by Shotwell Candy Co. (4oz.)- value $9.75
These caramels are a play on the classic “Old Fashioned” cocktail. They’re made with aromatic bitters, Kentucky bourbon whiskey, and orange extract. Here’s a picture of them inside the box:
These were another delicious discovery, and I thought they definitely tasted a little like an old fashioned!
Each month, Mantry posts recipes on their website that incorporate some of the ingredients they include in the box. This month, they recommend using the JM Thomason Hot Chicken Rub to make Nashville Hot Fried Chicken. Here’s a screenshot of the recipe:
I thought the photo of the chicken looked great, so I decided to give it a try! The recipe suggested serving the chicken with pickles and white bread, but I thought the Soberdough would make an even better pairing.
The recipe for the Soberdough was very easy. I poured a 12oz beer into the provided mix (I opted for a hoppy Sam Adams Pilsner), added a cup of cheese (I picked sharp white cheddar), and stirred it all together. In another bowl, I mixed the provided packet of wing seasoning with melted butter. To assemble, I spread ½ of the batter along the bottom of a loaf pan, poured over the buttery wing sauce, and then spread over the remaining batter. I topped the loaf with a little bit of extra cheese, salt, and pepper. (Because extra cheese is always a good idea, right?)
The loaf baked at 375 for 45 minutes.
The bread smelled amazing when it came out of the oven, but I was careful to wait until it was cool to slice it.
While I waited, I got to work prepping the chicken. I opened up the Hot Chicken Rub, and was immediately hit by the strong, bright smell.
I massaged the rub into some chicken legs and thighs, then dredged them in flour, dipped them in eggy buttermilk, and dredged them in flour again. As per the recipe, I fried them on the stovetop until they were golden brown and cooked through.
It seemed appropriate to serve this dish family style, so I decided to serve everything on a big platter. I portioned some pickles and sliced the loaf of Soberdough. I thought the stripe of wing sauce in the middle of the loaf was beautiful!
I put the bread slices on the platter along with the chicken and pickles.
This recipe was excellent. I haven’t made fried chicken that many times before, and I was really pleased with how it turned out. The Hot Chicken Rub added a lot of flavor, and I liked that it was spicy but not overwhelmingly so. I also really enjoyed the suggestion to serve pickles alongside the chicken and was happy to have something acidic to cut through the richness of the dish. The Soberdough was delicious too. The bread itself was soft, spongy, and a bit sweet, and the stripe of buttery wing sauce was spicy and delicious.
Verdict: I really liked Mantry’s theme this month, and I enjoyed my taste of Tennessee. As usual, the curation was excellent, and the products included were all delicious and of very high quality. I think Mantry does a great job of picking tasty products from interesting companies and providing relative easy recipes that incorporate them. The items in this month’s box total approximately $55, which is a fairly typical value for Mantry. That’s pretty low considering the $75 cost, so, while I really enjoy this subscription, I think I can only recommend it for those who highly value curation, presentation, and packaging.
What do you think of the March 2015 Mantry box?