Monday, 2 November 2015

Review : Thud Subscription Box

Oh I am a sucker for a subscription box! I'm a big fan of getting my fruit and veg box every few weeks from Abel & Cole (even more so since they've revamped their service to give you more control) but getting a big box of veg delivered doesn't suit everyone, especially if you live in a block of flats, are just one person or get stuck for what to do with those slightly exotic items (hello celeriac).

At the Good Food Festival this year I was drawn to Thud's stall, not least because it was one of the few that had fresh produce rather than row upon row of sauces or condiments. The premise is that enough fresh produce for 2 meals for two (or four) is packaged in a box small enough to fit through your letter box, along with the recipes, thus eliminating the need to be in to receive the delivery or running the risk of a box being nicked.

I took advantage of their introductory offer of a box of 2 meals for two for £5. I ordered on Saturday and the box arrived on Tuesday. My postman did ring the bell to deliver it, but he knows I'm often in during the day so I'll forgive him. I did test though and as promised, the box would have fitted through my letterbox. My parcel contained crab apples, tomatoes, shallots, spuds, kale, mushrooms and parsnips, as well as garlic, fresh herbs, ginger and turmeric, all cleverly packaged (the secret compartment along the front of the box escaped notice for a while) and in good nick.
My recipes were mushroom risotto with kale and crab apple and parsnip soup with bruschetta. Now I know how to make a risotto and I'm happy cooking kale so that wasn't too much of a departure for me. I've never used crab apples or fresh tumeric though so I was keen to try out the soup recipe.
The recipes are fairly quick to make at 25-40 minutes, with minimal prep (mainly chopping) and are very straightforward. The soup was pretty thick in consistency, extremely and actually made enough for three portions even without the bruschetta (which I'm planning to have as a lunch in it's own right). Now I know how to deal with these, I'll be foraging from a nearby crab apple tree in the future to recreate versions of this soup, or perhaps use them in a crumble.
The risotto was also very tasty and the portion size was about spot on, but not terribly adventurous or unusual to me. There isn't a choice of recipes each week but that wasn't something that bothered me. Other recent recipes include Asian stir fry, leek and mushroom parcels and a broccoli and cavalo nero curry. A nice touch to the service was the emails I received before the box arrived, containing expanded step-by-step instructions for the recipes and advising what store cupboard items you would need to hand. This certainly isn't the cheapest way to get your veg but it certainly meets a need. At £10 for 2 meals for 2 for £10 or £18 for 2 meals for 4 it is reasonably priced and the range of recipes is good. 

Would you consider trying a service like this? What's the most unusual fruit or vegetable you now use regularly?

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