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RawSpiceBar Subscription Box Review + Coupon – May 2016

Lindsey Morse
ByLindsey MorseJun 4, 2016 | 11 comments

RawSpiceBar-May-2016-Box

RawSpiceBar Spice of the Month Club
4.1 overall rating
45 Ratings | 26 Reviews

RawSpiceBar is a monthly subscription that sends freshly ground, small batch spice blends and recipes that utilize them.

RawSpiceBar-May-2016-Open

My Subscription Addiction pays for this subscription. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

RawSpiceBar-May-2016-Contents

The Subscription: RawSpiceBar

The Cost: $6 per month

COUPON: Use coupon code SPICEFLAVOR to save 50% off your first box!

The Products: 3 freshly ground spice blends from one country or region, enough to create 3 dishes serving 6-10 people.

Ships to: US (with free shipping) and Canada (for an additional fee).

Check out all of our RawSpiceBar reviews and visit the Food Subscription Box Directory for more food boxes!

Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!

RawSpiceBar-May-2016-Card

Each month, RawSpiceBar sends spices from one region or geographical area. This shipment spotlights Cambodian spices.

This month’s featured spices are: Kroeung Spices, Sambal Oelek, and Kaffir Lime Powder.

RawSpiceBar-May-2016-Kroeung

Kroeung Spices - 0.4 oz.

RawSpiceBar-May-2016-KroeungClose

This spice blend is a mix of lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime powder, black peppercorns, shallots, garlic, fennel, and turmeric.

From RawSpiceBar: “Kroeung, in Khmer, refers to a family of Cambodian aromatic pastes. This particular spice blend is subtly flavored and perfect for creating a paste for a yellow curry.”

RawSpiceBar-May-2016-Sambal

Sambal Oelek - 0.4 oz.

RawSpiceBar-May-2016-SambalClose

RawSpiceBar’s Parsi Garam Masala is a combination of freshly ground chile peppers, cayenne pepper, palm sugar, and paprika.

Sambal Oelek spices were also featured in the Malaysian spice box from last October.

RawSpiceBar-May-2016-Lime

Kaffir Lime Powder - 0.2 oz.

RawSpiceBar-May-2016-LimeClose

October’s Malaysian box also contained a Kaffir lime-based spice blend, so this shipment feels a tad repetitive. Even though I’m sure Malaysian and Cambodian cuisines use a lot of the same spices, I would have appreciated a bit more variety.

Cambodian Recipes

This month, RawSpiceBar included the following recipes: Sambal Oelek Paste, Cambodian Fish Amok, and Mini Kaffir Lime Tarts.

RawSpiceBar-May-2016-PasteRecipe

I began by making the Sambal Oelek Paste, since I would need to incorporate it into the curry.

RawSpiceBar-May-2016-PasteMade

This recipe was quick and familiar- it’s the same one that was included back in October.

RawSpiceBar-May-2016-AmokRecipe

After the Sambal Oelek paste was ready, I started on the Cambodian Fish Amok.

I used the provided Kroeung spices, garlic, ginger, shallot, brown sugar, and salt in a food processor and processed them to form a paste. The mixture was very thick, so I added a little olive oil.

RawSpiceBar-May-2016-Amok1

I transferred the paste into a pan and added a bit more oil. I cooked the paste, stirring regularly, for about 3 minutes. I then stirred in coconut milk, some of the Sambal Oelek, sugar, and salt and brought the mixture to a simmer.

RawSpiceBar-May-2016-Amok2

The recipe recommended serving the curry over rice, so I put some on to cook while I finished the curry.

RawSpiceBar-May-2016-Amok3

I added strips of white fish (I used mahi mahi) and some spinach, and then I covered the pot for a few minutes to let the fish cook. As soon as the fish was cooked through and the spinach was wilted, I stirred in an egg.

RawSpiceBar-May-2016-Amok4

I served the curry over rice that I seasoned with curry leaf and black pepper, and I thought it was really tasty. I did end up adding quite a lot of the Sambal Oelek paste to my dish, though, as I thought it needed the punch of extra flavor.

RawSpiceBar-May-2016-TartRecipe

To complete the meal, I made the Kaffir lime tart for dessert. The recipe was very similar to the one I use for key lime pie (minus the cream cheese), and it came together very quickly. Instead of making mini tarts, though, I decided to make a large one.

RawSpiceBar-May-2016-Tart1

I’m pleased with how the tart came out. To me, it tasted like a cross between key lime pie and lime cheesecake. Not a bad combination at all! I will say, though, that I’m not sure how authentic this recipe is. It feels more southern US than Cambodian to me, but I could be wrong.

Verdict: I really enjoyed this month’s RawSpiceBar spices and recipes. The curry was a hit, and I liked the lime tart. I’m a little disappointed that two of this month’s spices were a little repetitive, but it didn’t put a damper on the meal by any means. I think RawSpiceBar is a really fun way to explore new spices and exotic cuisines, and they consistently send fresh and high quality spice blends. That said, it’s important to note that they have a history of sending flawed recipes, so I would recommend it only for experienced cooks who are confident enough to spot mistakes and go “off recipe” when required.

What do you think about RawSpiceBar's Cambodian Spice Box?

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Choose from a 3, 6, or 12-month subscription of global spice blends to be delivered directly to your favorite cook's door. Each month, we pair our fresh, handcrafted spice blends with a mouthwatering recipe to inspire even the most experienced home cook and bring out their best in the kitchen.
Lindsey Morse
Lindsey Morse

Lindsey is a professional baker, cold brew coffee addict, and rosé aficionado who loves writing about food and wine. When she’s not sharing her love of subscription boxes with the world, you’ll find her in the podcasting studio, perfecting her cake decorating techniques, or cursing her way through the New York Times daily crossword puzzle. 


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11 comments

OHWS

this is an email I sent to the co-fonder after getting skipped for a third month.

Hello Rebecca,

I am one of your subscribers to Raw Spice Bar. I very much enjoy receiving the spices along with recipes and getting excited about said recipes with the Facebook and other social media outlets.

The problem is, I only have received spices every other month. When I email your company all they ever tell me, is “sorry, that month is sold out and we will add an extra month to your one year subscription. I believe as of now, I have had 3 months added on.

I do not understand how your business model works. You take someones subscription, hype up the recipes for 3 weeks, ship out at the end of the month, and fingers crossed, hope that everyone gets theirs.
Then when people like me who somehow get skipped/shipment never gets here (seriously, for 3 months I am missing mail? The USPS is not that bad)

Your employees tell me that 4-5% get lost in the mail. If you are aware that 4-5% is getting lost every month. RETAIN 10% worth of product so you can resend!

You are also offering the same spices online on the website, yet I was told you were sold out?

As of right now I am not sure what direction I want to go in. Do I cancel and try to get a refund of the subscription I pre-paid for at $70.00, which is currently for sale on your website at $60.00. Or do I consider it a donation to your company.

Regards,
Ona H W S.

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Amanda

I tried this sub because of this review; I signed up in May 2016. It’s July and I’ve never received a single product. I emailed them and they refunded me for May, then they said they would immediately re-send June’s to me, never received…now it’s July…and nothing! They charge on the first of the month, too. I cancelled today online and sent a message asking for a complete refund. I don’t believe they send product out to everyone.
Their Facebook is also suspiciously barren of customer comments…looks like they delete them….and, reading the new comments on this thread, it appears a lot of other subscribers never got their spices, either!

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Tara

I have had the worst luck with this company….. I have been communicating with customer service since the middle of March. First could not purchase a gift online. Then I was charged for 2- finally refunded. Representative stated they would start the subscription for me and gift recipient would get it starting in April. It was never started, so I contacted in May. They stated they would ship out May’s and add a month to the end. Today we got two of the same spice packets to contact. It is frustrating and embarrassing to say the least, since this was a birthday present. I cannot review on how the spices are, since the mail. Both of these which were last months & still have not received June’s. Everything is done via email and there is no number works for we finally received the first one today. You think after all that I have had to deal with they would offer some compensation. Saying sorry only helps a few times.

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Val

I really liked this concept, and I didn’t mind paying more for interesting spices and recipes. The recipes themselves are so sloppy and poorly composed, I was left feeling confused and angry on several occasions. Not worth it.

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Emily S.

I cancelled a couple months ago when I noticed I wasn’t using the spices anymore. At first I was excited, making the recipes and subbing in vegetarian recipes when needed, but then over a year into the sub I got Feb. then March and I still have them; haven’t felt inspired to use them. The mistakes on the cards they send is irritating. If I was still a subscriber I would’ve been a little irked to receive repeat spices. One of the reasons I subbed was for variety and a desire to try new dishes. I may resub in the future, especially if they fix the typos and get on a regular shipping schedule. By the end of my sub I was getting the spices later and later.

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HL

You would definitely find such lime tarts in Cambodia. Because Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos were a part of the French Indochina colonies, there is a strong French influence in the cuisine, especially in baking.

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Jody

oh no! i need reliable recipes! i got May, so i’ll get on making it so i can consult your review if needed! (:

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Sharron

I just canceled. I never received my May package. Out of the 6 months I’ve been a subscriber I only received 3 packages. I wished I could enjoy it as much as you. I’ll try something else.

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Ragan

Yeah, I never got April or May. I canceled when I realized that and they gave me a refund. The sub never really worked for me because frequently there were no vegetarian alternatives, and there were issues with a lot of the recipes, anyway.

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Cecilia

But you can make anything vegetarian with all the spices. A quick google search is all it takes.

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