RawSpiceBar is a monthly subscription that sends freshly ground, small batch spice blends and recipes that utilize them.
My Subscription Addiction pays for this subscription. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
The Subscription Box: 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).
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
Each month, RawSpiceBar sends spices from one region or geographical area. This is the “Kansas Spice Box,” and the featured spices are Kansas Dry Rub, Hickory Smoked Salt, and Charnushka Sesame.
(Note: Despite being called the “Kansas Spice Box,” I’m pretty certain this box is inspired by the BBQ made famous in Kansas City, Missouri.)
Kansas Dry Rub - 0.4 oz.
This spice blend is a mix of yellow mustard seeds, black peppercorns, cayenne pepper, sweet paprika, sage, garlic, onion, and spices.
Hickory Smoked Salt - 0.3 oz.
RawSpiceBar’s Hickory Salt is smoked over premium hickory wood to infuse the salt with rich, smoky flavor.
As I unpacked this month’s spices, they seemed a little familiar. Looking back, it seems last July’s box was very similar. That shipment was inspired by Memphis BBQ, and it included a dry rib rub and applewood smoked salt (that was also used in potato salad).
Charnushka Sesame - 0.3 oz.
Charnushka (also known as black cumin) has a nutty, smoky flavor that pairs well with the chocolaty flavor of black sesame seeds.
This month, RawSpiceBar included the following recipes: Kansas City Style Pork, Hickory Smoked Potato Salad, and Watermelon & Charnushka Sesame Salad.
The watermelon I picked up for this meal was a little underripe for my liking, so I ended up skipping that recipe and only making the BBQ ribs and Potato Salad.
Ribs take a pretty long time to cook, so I got started on them first. I began by rubbing the meat with a combination of salt, brown sugar, and RawSpiceBar’s Sweet Kansas Rub.
I them let the ribs sit in the fridge for an hour.
When they were finished sitting and ready to go in the oven, I slathered the ribs with BBQ sauce. The recipe card mentioned that you could use any bottled Kansas City-style sauce or you could make your own using their online recipe. I couldn’t find their online recipe, so I picked up a bottle from Whole Foods.
I cooked them for about 2.5 hours at 250 degrees, and I reapplied BBQ sauce about every 30 minutes.
Here they are fresh out of the oven!
The ribs were delicious and the cooking instructions were perfect. The meat fell right off the bone.
My only complaint is that the ribs tasted like BBQ sauce (and not the spice rub). I wouldn’t normally consider that a problem, but since this is a spice box, I want to taste the spices!
To accompany the ribs, I made Hickory Smoked Potato Salad.
Unlike traditional potato salad that’s mayo-based and creamy, this potato salad was made with vinegar, vegetable broth, and a little mustard. I followed the instructions provided, but it’s possible I made some kind of error. Oddly, the finished potato salad had a gelatinous quality that I found really unappealing. (Frustratingly, I couldn’t compare it to the photo in the recipe to see if was supposed to be like that because the photo was of a creamy potato salad— clearly a different recipe.) We ended up throwing it away.
Verdict: I’ve subscribed to RawSpiceBar’s subscription since the very start, and, for me, this is one of their least successful shipments. I did not enjoy the potato salad (and the picture of the potato salad sent to accompany the dish was clearly from a different recipe), the main flavor in the rib recipe was from BBQ sauce (not the spice rub sent), and this box felt a little like a repeat of last July’s Memphis box. Worst of all, I’m not sure that RawSpiceBar understands that Kansas City BBQ is from Missouri, not Kansas! Such a mistake seems indicative of the lack of care RawSpiceBar sometimes seems to have for their recipes. As always, the spices in this box were fresh and interesting, but if I could go back in time I would use them in different recipes.
What do you think about RawSpiceBar’s Kansas Spice Box? Did anyone try the Watermelon Salad? How was it?