The Fare Trade Food Box Review + Coupon– November 2016
The Fare Trade is a monthly subscription box that sends small-batch, American-made gourmet products.
Every box is curated by a different chef who hand-picks the items in the box and writes a collection of recipes that incorporates some of the month’s featured items. Subscribers can also access online video tutorials. The Fare Trade also offers a 3 ingredient Artisan Box.
Good to know: you can skip any month (boxes are announced on the 1st of every month, and the skipping window remains open through the 4th) and cancel your subscription through the Fare Trade website.
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.)
This review is of the Leah Cohen-curated, $65 a month, box.
The Subscription Box: The Fare Trade
The Cost: $65 per month (less with longer subscription commitments). The Artisan Box is $39 (currently on sale for $19).
COUPON: Use code MSA15 to save 15% off any subscription!
The Products: Chef-curated products, step-by-step recipes, kitchen hacks, and techniques to help you take your cooking to the next level.
Ships to: U.S.
Keep track of your subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription box list or wishlist!
This month’s featured chef is Leah Cohen, head chef at NYC’s Pig + Khao. I thought that she looked familiar, and it turns out that I recognize her from her stint on Bravo’s Top Chef! This booklet provides some info on Cohen and outlines the items she selected for this box.
Cohen also created several recipes for this box. These recipes all utilize one or more of the items in the box.
I’m a total cooking nerd, and I always find The Fare Trade’s recipes really exciting. They’re far more involved and time-intensive than the average subscription box recipe, which I really like.
Now, on to the products!
Mama O’s Premium Kimchi Paste (6 oz.) – Value $15
This paste can be used to make quick kimchi at home, or it can also be used as a seasoning for soups and stews. I added a little to some scrambled eggs, and I really liked the salty, spicy flavor it added.
Brooklyn Delhi Tomato Achaar (6 oz.)- $8.75
I first discovered Brooklyn Delhi’s Tomato Achaar thanks to Boxwalla, and I’ve been a fan ever since. The spread is loaded with flavor— it’s spicy, sour, and a little sweet. I’ve spread it on sandwiches before, used it as a dipping sauce for naan, and even added it to ketchup to make an Indian-spiced dip for french fries. So far, each way I’ve tried it has been tastier than the last!
Unbound Pickling Pickled Cherries (16 oz.) – Value $8.99
These sweet and tart cherries are incredible! I don’t think I’ve ever had a pickled cherry before, and I’m surprised how much I like them. Chef Leah recommends using these cherries in a duck recipe (with savory bread pudding and Chinese jus), which sounds incredible. I think they’d also be great in cocktails and over ice cream.
One Culture Earthy Spicy Tingly Sauté & Finishing Sauce (13 oz.) – Value $9.99
The key flavors in this sauce are cumin, Sichuan peppercorn, fermented soybeans, and garlic. There are a number of recommended uses (over beef and noodles, on grilled lamb skewers, in chicken stew…) and they all sound delicious. I decided to use this sauce on chicken kebabs, and the complex, interesting flavor turned the meal into something really special.
The name of this sauce is certainly fitting, though. The Sichuan peppercorns really did make my mouth super tingly!
Entube Indian Curry Chili Paste (3.5 oz.) – Value $8
The last item in this month’s box is a curry paste that can be used in a number of different ways. The Fare Trade recommends adding it to a vinaigrette and pouring over carrots and using it to rub down chicken before roasting. I love curry, and this concentrated paste has incredible flavor. So far, I used it on mixed roasted vegetables.
I mixed some of the paste with lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper and poured it over a mix of onion, butternut squash, parsnip, and potatoes.
After roasting for about 40 minutes, they were done!
This curry paste has so much flavor— a little goes a long way! It added warm heat and great curry flavor to my veggie mix. Yum!
Verdict: As someone how loves to cook and enjoys trying out new recipes, I have a lot of fun with The Fare Trade. The recipes are always fun and challenging, but it’s also possible to use the products on their own or just make up your own recipes (like I did this month). All of this month’s items were delicious, and I really enjoyed discovering some great new products. (And, in the case of the achaar, rediscovering an old favorite!) The total value of the items in this box comes to just over $50, which falls significantly short of the $65 cost of the box. For me, though, the curation and chef-designed recipes help make up for the value gap. If you’re interested in subscribing to this box, I’d probably recommend considering a 5-month subscription and using our MSA15 15% off coupon, which brings the per-box cost down to $42.50 per month.
Have you tried The Fare Trade? What do you think of this month’s box?