Mantry Subscription Box Review – June 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
The Products: Artisan foods for the modern man’s pantry.
Ships to: US only.
This month’s theme is “Campfire Cookout (Vol. 2).”
Each box comes with a fold out card detailing the producers behind the food included and where in the country they’re based.
This box also included a note from Mantry’s curator.
Wondermade S’mores Marshmallows (4 oz)- $7.95
I’ve sampled Wondermade Marshmallows before in subscription boxes, but this is my first time trying this flavor. The S’mores marshmallows are flavored with chocolate and vanilla then coated with graham cracker crumbs. Wondermade avoids using chemicals and corn syrup, which makes me feel a little better about eating an entire box in one sitting.
Broadbent’s Hams Smoked Pepper Bacon (14 oz)- $7.90
Broadbent’s uses a simple, 100-year old recipe for their bacon. It’s “rubbed full of cracked pepper, dry cured, and hickory smoked.” The shelf stable packaging makes this a great product for a camping box, but, for those who decide to eat it at home, Mantry suggests whipping up an “Elvis” sandwich: nut-buttered bread, sliced banana, and bacon pan-fried until gooey.
Mrs. Fearnow’s Brunswick Stew (20 oz)- $6.85
At first, I was a little surprised to see a canned item in the box because Mantry usually selects items with beautiful, high-end packaging. Considering the theme, though, it’s definitely appropriate. Mrs. Fearnow’s Stew was first made in North Carolina in the 1940’s, and, even though it’s now a large business, the recipe is the same. It’s a mix of “chicken, veggies and beans slow simmered to rich, creamy, rib-sticking potency.”
Reginald’s Homemade Cinnamon Molasses Cashew Butter (8.5 oz)- $8
We used to sell Reginald’s Homemade Nutbutters in my bakery, so I’m very familiar with their products! The cashew butters are some of my favorites, so I’m thrilled to see Cinnamon Molasses Cashew Butter featured in this month’s Mantry box. Reginald’s Homemade crafts their products without added sugar, salt, or preservatives, so this cashew butter is made with only cashews, molasses, cinnamon, and a touch of oil.
Treehouse Drinking Chocolate (Four-1.4 oz packets)- $12
Treehouse Drinking Chocolate contains 72% cacao, so it’s a far cry from the usual sugary cocoa mixes often brought along camping. Mantry has included a box of four packets, featuring three different flavors. “Original” is a 72% organic cacao sourced from Northern Peru, “Cherrywood” contains cherrywood smoked sea salt, and “Camp” is made with coffee.
Effie’s Homemade Oatcakes (7.2 oz)- $6
Oatcakes are a staple in my house, as my Scottish husband insists on having them on hand at all times. Typical Scottish oatcakes are rustic and hearty, and they’re great with cheese or buttered with jam. These are a little sweeter than the ones we usually buy, but they’re delicious! Mantry recommends using them to make s’mores (they won’t get soggy like graham crackers), and I think that’s an inspired idea!
Campfire Cookout Recipes
Each month, Mantry posts recipes on their website that incorporate some of the ingredients they include in the box. This month, even though I had no plans to trek out into the wilderness, I wanted to try out some of their campfire recipes. So, I decided to make Cashew Cinnamon Butter S’mores and TreeHouse Drinking Chocolate with Wondermade S’mores Marshmallows.
Recipe #1- Cashew Cinnamon Butter S’mores
I love this modern take on s’mores! My only challenge in preparing this recipe was that I wasn’t camping, and, therefore, didn’t have a campfire! I debated using a candle (but only had scented ones on hand- yuck), and then decided it would be best to just use my stove’s gas burner. (Mantry recommended laying out the s’mores on a sheet and placing under the broiler, but, darn it, I wanted to roast them!) So, my husband and I skewered marshmallows with kebab sticks and huddled around our stovetop to cook them.
Surprisingly, it worked pretty well!
We had a lot of fun making indoor s’mores, and we both really loved this modern take on them. The recipe recommended using mini marshmallows, but we decided to use the Wondermade marshmallows instead. I’m glad we did, too- they were phenomenal with the nut butter and oatcakes!
Recipe #2- TreeHouse Drinking Chocolate with Wondermade S’mores Marshmallows
This wasn’t an actual recipe listed on the Mantry website (just a combination of ingredients they sent in the box), but they included a picture of the marshmallows floating in drinking chocolate in their info booklet and it looked so good I had to make it ASAP! According to the TreeHouse instructions, the drinking chocolate can be made with either milk or water. I opted for milk, and I heated it slowly on the stovetop. When it was warm, I stirred in the packet of cocoa (I decided to try the “Cherrywood” flavor) and topped the mug with a couple of Wondermade S’mores Marshmallows.
Wow. This is the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had out of a packet. The “Cherrywood” flavor has a lovely, subtle saltiness that’s perfectly in balance with the rich chocolate of the cocoa. I look forward to trying the other flavors!
Verdict: Mantry does a great job curating boxes around a theme. I’m always excited to see what theme they’ll pick and which items they’ll feature. I also like that they come up with relatively easy recipes that utilize their products in fun and creative ways. Even though it’s marketed for “the modern man,” I think Mantry is great for women too- I certainly always enjoy it! As for value, this month’s items total about $50. Mantry doesn’t normally break even with its cost, and this is within the range I’ve come to expect from them. I really enjoy this subscription, but I definitely wouldn’t recommend it to anyone looking for a high-value food box.
What do you think of Mantry’s Campfire Cookout (Vol. 2) box?