Wednesday, 30 January 2013
If there's one indulgence I cannot ever contemplate giving up, it's good food. The problem is, over the festive period I ate entirely too much of it - chocolates and cheese and puddings and OH NO now all my clothes are so tight they leave marks on me like some terrible form of clothes abuse.
And yet I cannot halt my greed for gourmet, regardless of my so far disastrous January Guilt diet. Then the nice folks at Deluxebite offered to send me their January box - aka The Detox Box - of delicious, natural, artisan foods. Oh, sweet heaven.
So how does Deluxebite work? They send you a fantastic monthly box of 5 gourmet and artisan food samples for you to include in meals or munch as snacks. You can choose your subscription length, but a one-off box is £20. Sounds good, but it gets better: they're also super-kind - for every box bought they donate one meal to a foodbank to help hungry families in the UK.
It's not always just healthy stuff - each month has a different theme, for example their December "Christmas Indulgence" box contained tutti frutti jam and PEANUT BUTTER PIE (I am hyperventilating.)
So what detox treats did I get with my naughty but nice January box?
I started with the Black Label coffee. Smooth, nutty, and an excuse to show off my cafetiere at work and deign to share my treasure with only the most appreciative coffee-drinkers like some ego-maniacal coffee queen. It was fun.
Third up, I used the sugar-free chutney. The one I got sent was caramelised onion flavour (result!) and was the most delicious ever addition to my boring ham sandwich. I can think of about a squillion tasty uses for this that - most importantly - do away with the need to caramelise onions when I'm feeling lazy, so it will be staying a store-cupboard staple for a while to come.
Butternut Squash Relish sounds as scrumptious as it is: I tried it with some blue cheese and wine as the deluxebite guys suggested and it took my cheese-lust to a whole new level - adding warmth, smooth texture and tons of flavour. I'm also looking forward to adding it to soups and stews, but - as you can probably tell - I've been too lazy to do that this month.
Lastly, and maybe even best, I sampled the venison chorizo. Never have two words made me so salivatingly-delirious. I have only had a teeny bite so far (a truly wonderful moment) but tomorrow I am putting it in a hearty and healthy butterbean, cider and thyme stew.
So, is it worth the £20? That depends. If - like this month - you really enjoy all five ingredients when you wouldn't necessarily have thought to try them before, then I think it's really worthwhile. But delicious though the ingredients were, I'm not sure their actual value is worthy of spending twenty quid a month.
That said, it introduced me to exciting new foods with zero effort required, and that's something I'd find hard to resist - just probably not every month.
My box has certainly helped make January a much tastier month than I'd expected.