RawSpiceBar is a subscription that sends freshly ground, small-batch spice blends plus recipe cards to help you successfully incorporate these new flavors into your meals.
This is a review of the Spice of the Month Club Gift, $52 for 6 months or $88 for 12 months. (Previously $8/month.)
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: RawSpiceBar Spice of the Month Club
The Cost: $52 for 6 months or $88 for 12 months.
ACTIVE DEAL: First month free
The Products: 3 freshly ground spice blends from one country or region, enough to create 3 dishes serving 6-10 people.
Ships to: U.S. (with free shipping) and Canada (for an additional fee).
Good to Know: RawSpiceBar has re-introduced their core product as a quarterly subscription with larger sizes of their freshly ground custom spice blends! Quarterly subscribers will receive 6 new spices each quarter with enough spice to cook multiple meals per packet.
Their monthly subscription is still available as a gift, but new subscriptions will contain 2 larger 1 oz spices each month instead of 3 small 0.3 oz packets. (This review still shows the small 0.3 oz packets.)
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
In past months, RawSpiceBar has sent spices from one region or geographical area. This one does have a two of Japanese spices in addition to "The Super Mushrooms", so I suspect the region is Japan– but there was no intro card this month. I'm guessing this is partially due to the transition to the quarterly subscription.
I'm not super familiar with Japanese food outside of sushi and ramen (neither of which I make at home) so I was pretty curious to see what was on the table this month!
Seaweed and Sesame Gomasio, .3 oz
This blend isn't too crazy and has ingredients already familiar to me; black and white sesame with salt and chiles and "spices." (I'm guessing "spices" is actually the seaweed, which you can definitely taste here.)
As usual, everything tasted really fresh. I adore sesame so I felt like I could put this blend on top of pretty much anything!
The included recipe cards suggest using this very simply over edamame, which sounds great to me! I think this would also be great over a simple fried rice dish. I have become a huge fan of incorporating Everything Bagel Seasoning onto stir fries lately, the sesame really adds a nice flavor and crunch.
Turmeric Japanese Curry, .3 oz
I've become a bigger fan of turmeric this year thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. Golden milk, anyone? This curry smelled very warm and a touch floral, and again tasted very fresh. I'm not a huge fan of clove in general, but I thought this was very well balanced and significantly different from my usual curry powder of choice. I know it's not particularly Japanese, but I couldn't help but imagine this mixed with coconut milk and veggies over some rice... yum!
In addition to the curry recipe at the beginning of this post, RawSpiceBar included a recipe for curry fried rice. I've never had curry with fried rice, so I'm curious to try this one out! This recipe contains eggs but is vegetarian-friendly, and you could easily add a protein on top if you're so inclined.
The Super Mushrooms, .3 oz
I've really enjoyed that RawSpiceBar has been sending drink spices and flavored salts recently because sometimes I just want something that isn't too complicated but still a little adventurous. This mushroom blend definitely took me by surprise, since I thought this was way more of a specialty product and would not have expected it in this box!
This blend contains reishi mushroom, cacao, star anise, rose anise, cinnamon, and licorice root. I was already familiar with reishi as having calming properties thanks to receiving a sampler box of various mushroom coffees and cocoas I ordered from Four Sigmatic recently.
I wasn't too surprised, then, when the suggested use for this spice blend was in a warm drink! I was curious how this compared and have been craving hot cocoa lately since the nights are getting chillier, so I whipped this up according to the directions and sprinkled a little extra cinnamon on top:
This is only half of what the recipe actually made (served up in my teacup from CrateChef). I did make mine from cow's milk because we were out of almond milk at the moment, but otherwise stayed true to the directions, and used some honey for sweetening it. Compared to the Four Sigmatic Mushroom Hot Cacao Mix, I really preferred the taste of this instead! I didn't really taste the cacao at all, though; instead, it was heavy on the spice, like an autumnal pumpkin spice steamer. Less sweet and more spicy than the Starbucks version (and 1000 times more delicious, IMHO).
While I didn't feel the relaxing effect of the reishi mushroom with this particular cup (I had enjoyed a little more coffee that day than normal so not too surprising), I'd still definitely drink this again!
Verdict: Now that I've tried the new quarterly RawSpiceBar subscription, I have to say, the old style of their monthly kit kind of pales in comparison for me! While everything was fresh and I'm excited to try some new Japanese flavors, I really prefer having the resealable envelopes and larger spice quantities instead. I'm super happy they are carrying those changes forward into their monthly subscription going forward.
As usual, everything is super fresh, and I think RawSpiceBar does a great job at introducing subscribers to totally new spice profiles with each box. I always think this is a great gift idea for anyone who is into cooking, since it's affordable, fun and colorful, and totally shelf stable so there is no pressure to cook everything right away.
What do you think about RawSpiceBar?