Nonna Box Subscription Box Review + Coupon – March 2016
Nonna Box sends a carefully curated selection of full-sized, gourmet Italian products.
Each box spotlights a different region of Italy.
Every Nonna Box also features the story and recipes of a local nonna from the featured region.(Hence the name!) Some of the recipes utilize items from the box.
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
The Subscription Box: Nonna Box
The Cost: $69.95 per month (save with a longer subscription commitment)
COUPON: Save 20% off your first box with code NONNALOVESMSA!
The Products: Each box contains “6 artisanal gourmet products from a different region of Italy.”
Ships to: US
Find other international food boxes in the Food Subscription Box Directory and make sure to add Nonna Box to your subscription list or wishlist!
Nonna Box includes an envelope that contains lots of supplemental info cards. On the front of the envelope, Guido, Nonna Box’s founder, pens a handwritten note for subscribers.
This month’s featured region is Lombardy (home to Milan and Lake Como)!
I received a map of the region that pinpoints the origins of the items in the box.
Information about each item came printed on a thick, two-sided card.
Another card provided the history and background of this month’s featured nonna- Nonna Carla!
Three of her favorite recipes were included, as well.
Fieschi Mostarda di Cremona (380 g.)- $12.95
I’ve never tried Mostarda before, and when I pulled it out of the box I first thought it might be a type of jam or preserved fruit. Instead, the sweet and spicy condiment is made from fruit, sugar, and mustard oil and is similar to a chutney. It’s often served with cheese and roast meats.
Italian Harvest Fagioli Minestrone Heirloom Bean Soup Mix (1.1 lb.)- $6.50
These heirloom and GMO-free legumes are mixed and ready to become minestrone soup! All you need to add is tomato puree and veggies and herbs, if desired. The info card for this item points out that true Italian minestrone soup is made with seasonal veggies, so it’s perfectly acceptable to toss in whatever you have on hand. You can also add pasta, rice, lard, pork, or a rind of Grana Padano cheese for some extra flavor.
La Grande Ruota Polenta (500 g.)- $3.99
This stone-ground polenta comes from a family-owned producer that has been operating since 1853. Polenta can be served creamy, grilled, and even fried. I don’t often cook with polenta, so I’m looking for some inspiration. Does anyone have any recommendations? A favorite polenta dish you’d like to share?
T’a Milano Chocolate Bars (72%, 80%, and Latte 36% Cereali)- $15?
(I couldn’t find all of these bars available for sale online, so I’ve estimated their retail value based on other flavors I could find.) I don’t say this lightly: this chocolate is phenomenal.
I opened the 80% bar first (I can’t resist dark chocolate), and I was blown away. For a bar with such a high percentage of cocoa, it’s incredibly smooth with very little bitterness. I also sampled the milk chocolate cereal bar. I don’t usually love milk chocolate, but this bar was also fantastic. The sprinkling of cereal added a lovely flavor and crunch.
Amaretti del Chiostro (50 g.)- €4.80 (approximately $5.47 USD)
I love Amaretti biscuits! My father used to buy these at Christmas time, so they have some nostalgic charm for me. They’re crunchy with a lovely almond flavor, and I think the tin is so cute. If I was able to resist eating the cookies myself, they’d make a great gift.
Rustichella d’Abruzzo Pizzoccheri (8.8 oz.)- $9.95
Pizzoccheri is a traditional buckwheat pasta from Lombardy that is often used in Pizzoccheri alla Valtellinese, a cheesy pasta dish made with potatoes, cabbage, butter, garlic, and sage. Pizzoccheri all Valtellinese is Nonna Carla’s favorite dish, so I couldn’t wait to try our her recipe!
Pizzoccheri alla Valtellinese
The recipe for Pizzoccheri alla Valtellinese was easy to follow and written very well. (The only potential issue for American cooks is that the ingredients were listed in grams vs. ounces.) I boiled potatoes, cabbage, and pasta and then strained the mix and layered it with fontina and parmesan cheese. In a separate pan, I cooked butter with sage and garlic (discarding the garlic after it browned) and then poured it over the pasta. I then stirred everything together until it got nice and gooey.
I plated the dish in small bowls and topped each one with a little bit of additional parmesan and some crispy sage.
This was my first time trying Pizzocchieri all Valtellinese, and all I can say is WOW. It’s like next level macaroni and cheese! The gooey noodles were incredibly tasty, and I loved the nuttiness of the browned butter with the crispiness of the fried sage. Thanks, Nonna Carla! This recipe is definitely a keeper!
Verdict: This is my first Nonna Box, and I’m so impressed! The products included are all interesting and high-end, and I love that the box included all different types of items- from ready to eat treats and condiments to soup mix and pasta. I also absolutely love that Nonna Box includes recipes from actual Italian grandmothers- I think it’s such a sweet and clever idea! As someone without my own Italian nonna (my family is German/Swedish/Dutch/British), I think this is such a fun way to learn authentic Italian recipes! The retail cost of the items in this box totals $54. I typically like to see the retail value at least break even with the cost of the box, but I have to make an exception for this box. Since all of the items are made in Italy (and most are unavailable or difficult to find online), I think it would be impossible to purchase the items in this box for $54 (unless you were shopping in Lombardy). Given this, I think the price is definitely fair.
What do you think of Nonna Box?