Mantry Subscription Box Review – September 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 me 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 “Biergarten.” Perfect timing, since it looks like Oktoberfest runs from September 19th until October 4th this year!
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 includes a note from Mantry’s curator.
Vosges Smoke and Stout Caramel Bar (3 oz.)- $7.50
I first discovered Vosges when one of my friends sent me some of their truffles as a wedding present 7 years ago, and I’ve been a fan ever since. I love their innovative flavor combinations (the Naga Bar is a favorite of mine). This is my first time sampling their Smoke and Stout Caramel Bar, and I think it’s great. The smoke flavor is fairly mild, and the beer-flavored caramel is subtle and delicious.
Schaller & Weber Alpine Soppressata (6 oz.)- $7.99
Schaller & Weber Alpine Soppressata is a German take on the classic Italian cured meat. (And, to make things more complicated, it’s made in the US!) It’s air dried and made with Berkshire pork. I haven’t yet decided what to do with it, but I’m loving the look of these Soppressatta Skillet Rolls.
Trees Knees Spicy Syrup by MixedMade (13.5 oz.)- $13.99
To craft their spicy syrup, MixedMade infuses organic maple syrup with chili peppers. It’s the perfect balance of sweet and spicy, and I think the flavor is fantastic. I love it, and I want to put it on pretty much everything. For me, this is definitely a “where have you been all my life?” product!
Black Truffle Mustard by Mustard and Co. (6 oz.)- $7
I received Mustard and Co.’s Garlic Dill Mustard in the Hamptons Lane Summer Picnic Box and really enjoyed it, so I was excited to try the Black Truffle Mustard, too. I used some of this mustard to make Maple Glazed Bratwurst, though, and I was a little disappointed by the lack of truffle flavor. It could be that it got lost with the mélange of flavors, so I’m looking forward to trying it again soon on a less complicated sandwich.
Haldeman Mills Soft Pretzel Mix (24 oz.)- $8.48
I think this is such a perfect item to include in a Biergarten-themed box! I love making (and eating) pretzels, so I’m excited to give these a try. Mantry recommends topping them with Bulls Bay Smoked Sea Salt for a fun twist on the traditional salted pretzel.
Smoked Sea Salt by Bulls Bay Saltworks (3 oz.)- $10
To create this salt, South Carolina’s Bulls Bay Saltworks smokes their signature sea salt with oak cut from their homestead. They recommend adding it to chili, rice, grilled meat, and fish.
Spicy Maple Glazed Bratwurst with Black Truffle Mustard
Every month, Mantry posts recipes on their website that utilize the items they send in their boxes. This month, the recipes weren’t posted in time for the review, but the brochure included a photo of Maple Glazed Bratwurst (that I’m assuming will soon be featured on their website). It seemed pretty straightforward, so I thought I’d give it a shot without the recipe!
The photo pictured bratwurst in soft white buns, but I got a bee in my bonnet and decided to make homemade pretzel rolls instead! (In case anyone is feeling equally adventurous, I used this recipe and was really pleased with the results.)
When the rolls were ready and waiting, I cooked bratwurst sausages in the Tree’s Knees Spicy Syrup, making sure I removed them when they were warm but before the syrup started to burn.
I served them on the pretzel buns with sauerkraut and truffle mustard.
Overall, I was really impressed! The spicy syrup made a fantastic glaze, and the bratwurst was delicious on the soft pretzel buns. I liked the mustard, too, but I had a hard time picking out the truffle flavor. As I mentioned above, I’m going to try it again soon on a simpler sandwich. The bratwurst sandwich had a lot (of deliciousness) going on, so I suspect the truffle flavor was simply overshadowed.
Verdict: Mantry does a great job curating boxes around a theme, and I love this month’s Biergarten inspiration. I really like the Vosges bar and smoked sea salt, and the Tree’s Knees Spicy Syrup is one of my favorite product discoveries of all time. This month’s products have a combined value of almost $55. While that doesn’t meet the cost of the box, it’s an improvement over the value I’ve seen in recent months and about what I’ve come to expect from Mantry.
What do you think of Mantry’s Biergarten Box? Did you do anything to celebrate Oktoberfest this year?