Nowadays you can subscribe to have practically anything shipped to your doorstep on a monthly basis. Wine, ready-to-cook gourmet meals, jewelry, nail polish, clothes, shoes, the list is inexhaustible. I’m usually hesitant to subscribe to any of these programs because 1) they seem overpriced and 2) who really needs new socks delivered every month? But when our friend Dee introduced the Try the World box to us, we considered it mostly for its entertainment value. For $45, each box contains foods from a particular country curated by “local experts,” which appealed to both our foodie and traveler selves. From the monetary standpoint, $45 is definitely on the upper end for subscription boxes, but given that a box is delivered every two months rather than one and that we were planning to split the box among four people, for a little over $5 a month per person, the monetary cost seemed reasonable enough.
We received the Paris box first which contained a culture guide along with various food items, including chestnut spread, fleur de sel (a finishing salt), salted butter caramels, fine teas, fig preserves, nougat, hot chocolate powder, Dijon mustard, and sablés (a type of cookie).
The culture guide consisted of a “Parisian playlist,” which we listened to on Spotify while nibbling salted caramel and nougat and devising dishes in which we could incorporate the other ingredients. Flipping through each page, we came across a list of classic and recent French films, a poem, and descriptions of famous landmarks and eateries.There was a simple crepe recipe on the last page that sparked the idea to make crepes with fig preserves and chestnut spread the very next morning.
To balance the sweet with the savory, our other friend Amy (who also blogs!) concocted grilled cheese sandwiches consisting of ham, caramelized onions, goat cheese, and Dijon mustard between slices of New York rye from a local bakery.
The Dijon mustard proved to be very versatile, in that we also used it to make pizza and soup later on. For the pizza, topped with mounds of mushrooms, the mustard acted in place of tomato sauce. For the soup, crisp cucumber was balanced by creamy avocado and spiced with Dijon mustard, cilantro, mint, white onion, cumin and curry powder.
Additional creations include:
Paris was a classic start to our Try the World foodie adventure. Can’t wait for where we’ll be headed to next!