Monday, June 22, 2015

RawSpiceBar June 2015 "Spice Route: Jamaica" Review

RawSpiceBar always surprises me when it arrives. So much goodness in such a flat package! This month the spices blends are Jamaican and has Jamaican recipes. I can tell you right now, these recipes are gold! I already made two of them.
Every month packets of freshly toasted and ground spices are sent to your door. Your envelope will also include recipes for each spice blend and a little historical information about the area the spices are from. Jamaica has a unique and eclectic cuisine as a result of immigrants from China, England, Spain and India. Commonly found spices are ginger, allspice, nutmeg and turmeric. According to the included information, there is a high rate of chili pepper usage thanks to the Chinese that is found no where else in the Caribbean.

The three recipes included with this months spices are Jamaican Jerk Fish Tacos, Paprika Mango Corn Salsa and Jamaican Banana Fritters. Yum!

The Cost: $6/month (in 3 month increments)

What You Get: Each month, you will be sent 3-4 spice blends which are enough to create 3 separate dishes serving 8-12 people. The spice blends will weigh between 1-3 ounces each month. You will also receive recipe cards using the blends and access online to other recipe options.

Jamaican Jerk Spice Blend- This spice blend includes the ubiquitous allspice. In fact, another name for allspice is the Jamaican Pepper. Jamaica is one of the only places this spice is harvested and even the wood of the tree is used for their jerk.
Also in the blend is thyme, white onion, garlic, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, black peppercorns, habanero pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon. And let me tell you that this blend is SPICY. Even my husband coughed and admitted it when I made the recipe.
In the recipe the jerk seasoning is heated in a skillet with oil then added to the rest of the ingredients. This is a richly fragrant blend and the entire house smells amazing because of it. The fish is currently marinating but I'm sure it's going to be amazing. Plus I used some fresh thyme from my garden. :D
Mango Salsa Spices- I admit I was a little disconcerted about getting spices for salsa but this was amazing. It's one of those things I wish I could repurchase. This one consists of sweet paprika flakes, allspice and freshly ground ginger root. Well since these are all supposed to be freshly ground I'm not sure why that was specified in the ingredient list. This spice blend also smells amazing.
This was the first blend I used. I made the Paprika Ginger Corn Mango Salsa. Instead of grilled corn on the cob, I just used frozen white corn (which saves a billion years of time), 2 mangos, half a bunch of cilantro (also called coriander), salt, two limes and salt and a tablespoon of olive oil that my friends just brought back for me from Greece. This is an amazing savory sweet dish and the spice blend enhances and elevates the flavor combinations. It is absolutely delicious. It's definitely a "keep" recipe and since I can't buy more of this blend, I'll have to improvise when the time comes.
Jamaican Sweet Spices- One of the things I like about RawSpiceBar is that they include a dessert almost every month. The Sweet Spice blend is composed of white and black sesame seeds, cayenne pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg. The accompanying recipe is for Jamaican Banana Fritters. I *love* banana fritters. Like, I could eat them day and night. I have a recipe I love but never have I put sesame seeds or cayenne pepper in my fritters. I'm totally making these. I would make them right now (like leave the computer and really do it) but the bananas my husband bought are a little too green for this so I have to wait. Ohh, the suspense! I want to try them now!

VERDICT: This was a GREAT month by RawSpiceBar. I love that each recipe is so easy. And fairly quick, too. I love discovering new recipes but sometimes I just don't make time for it. RawSpiceBar makes it super easy to expand my recipe collection and get me cooking new and interesting things. The Jamaican Fish Taco Jerk just came out of the oven, too:
Instead of tortillas I used romaine lettuce because Walker is trying to cut down on his carbs. The jerked fish went first, then the Mango Salsa. I topped it with tomatoes and avocado and garnished it with lime wedges. The cool salsa really mellows out the habenero heat but you still get a glorious melding of spice flavors. Mmm!

If you would like to sign up for RawSpiceBar, you can do that right here. It's $6/month but you have to buy in 3 month increments so your first payment will be $18 for three months of shipments.

Have you subscribed to RawSpiceBar? What do you think? How often do you use the recipes they include?

*This box was sent to me for review purposes. All opinions and photos are belong to me. ;) And my happy tummy. Affiliate links were used in this post.

2 comments:

  1. Just the names of these recipes have me drooling. I really need to subscribe to this damn box already! :P

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    1. These were fantastic! The only downside to this subscription is that you fall in love with the foods and their spices and you can't re-buy them. I mean, someone who is good at cooking and already has most of the components could come up with an approximation (I tend to have most but not all) but I really hope they can expand to include a shop.

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