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Flavrbox for June.

Flavrbox are well and truly back in my good books this month. After being a little bit disappointed with last month’s box, they’ve offered up a whole stack of tasty treats this month that perfectly match both their price tag generally and their usual standard of quality that I’ve become accustomed to.

As well as being very happy with this month’s box, I’m also super pleased because I won their competition to win two tickets for Taste of London next weekend! I’ve never really won anything that interesting before and to win it completely randomly even though I have a pretty good relationship with them anyway makes the prize all the more special.

I’m really looking forward to an afternoon up in London and doing something completely different from what I usually would. The only downside to winning, and it’s not really a downside because it means I get a longer weekend, is that the tickets I won fall on a Friday – which kind of means it was difficult to get a guest (except not really because I’m taking my Gran along). My Gran and I don’t really get a lot of chances to spend heaps of time together anymore since I moved away and I haven’t seen her properly in ages so it will a great opportunity to do that, as well as enjoy some tasty new food at the same time. So, thank you Flavrbox for giving me a fun, food-filled day out, I’m pretty excited!

[Caramel and Sea Salt Popcorn, Joe & Seph’s Gourmet Popcorn Chef & Connoisseur | RRP: £4.00]
I was pretty excited when I saw the beautiful packaging, but, and after all that good news I don’t mean to start off on a bad note because it’s totally not, this may have been my least favourite product of the box this month. I love popcorn, salty, sweet, it needs to get into a bowl ready for my face. This wasn’t actually disappointing really, it was more because I was so happy I had some popcorn, that when it was nice but not anything different, it was a bit of a let down. I think it’s the ‘sea salt’ part, I’m a big fan of mixing sweet and savoury so when I wound up with all sweet, it just left me feeling a little ‘meh’, like, ‘hey, it’s popcorn, it’s nice but it’s packaging is nicer’.

[English Truffle Oil 100ml, Truffle Hunter | RRP: £4.95]
Flavrbox pulled of another sneaky combination of things you can bung into one recipe this month. Funnily enough, this truffle oil was perfectly designed to go with the porcini pieces and risotto rice; that recipe was a total success by the way. Since trying it out in risotto, I’ve used it with green beans and as a part of a dressing and it’s worked really well, it smells awesome and does add some depth the flavour, I think it’s just my unsophisticated pallet that’s not quite able to totally put my finger on what it is that I really like about it. I thought the size was pretty good generally too, more than enough to sample once, but not so much that I’m drowning in truffle oil forever.

[Porcini Pieces, L’Aquila | RRP: £5.95]
I stupidly added this whole packet to water ready to cook with a risotto, but half of it was more than enough, I’m hoping add the rest to some kind of Chinese stir fry next. These were great for disguising mushrooms in a mushroom risotto and I even managed to get my friend, who has either never eaten mushrooms or just generally hates them, to eat the risotto and he went back for seconds(!) – score: 1 to mushrooms. They were really nice and the water from them made a great stock. I’m not a fan of the smell of the water though, but that’s more of a personal thing, it was mainly because after I’d left them soaking all day, they were all I could smell as soon as I’d walked through the door from work.

[Gluten Free Muesli, Alara | RRP: £3.50]
BEST MUESLI EVER! You’re reading the words of a muesli-hater, but I think I may be converted, this is practically all I ate for breakfast last week and I couldn’t get enough of it. I’m actually a little sad that the box only lasted me around 6 days, but cereal isn’t something I would eat every day normally so I think it would probably go a lot further if I had it as a staple. It’s just got such a great range of textures and it actually has taste, I was a little bad a couple of times and added sugar though (sorry, not sorry).

[Carnaroli Risotto Rice, Seggiano | RRP: £3.50]
It’s been claimed that carnaroli rice is better for risottos than arborio, which is funny because arborio is meant to be the one you buy. I have to say that I don’t disagree with that statement though. Having made two baked risottos with the two different kinds of rice, I definitely think that the one with this rice was less stodgey and therefore, in my opinion, much nicer to eat. I found that the rice wasn’t all stuck together in the same way it was when I’d cooked risotto before, so it actually felt like it was a little easier to cook too.

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