Review: Hello Fresh

My kitchen favourites are my Le Creuset cast iron dutch ovens, there can be no doubt about it! I used to own a flaming cherry red set: a large round one good for Christmas dinner and a medium oval one for smaller parties.
But now here in Houston it’s just the two of us, so when the nearest Sur la table shop advertised a huge discount, I seized the opportunity, and got myself a small, green oval one for everyday use.
Together with it, I also got a $35 discount on my first Hello Fresh order.
If you’re not familiar with Hello Fresh, it’s a service that encourage people to eat better and cook more, by delivering fresh ingredients directly to their door.
There are a number of other companies that do the same thing: Blue apron is the one I saw ads on TV, but they don’t feature Jamie Oliver‘s recipes…

Basically, you go to their website and choose the box that’s right for your needs: we selected the box with 3 meals for 2 people. Then you can also choose the delivery time that’s more convenient for your schedule. Then when the box arrives, you only need follow the intructions and prepare your meal.
Also provided are useful tables with ingredients subtitutions, wine pairings, herb pairings…
The service is a weekly subscription, and can be canceled online.

In the 3 boxes we ordered, we had:
Box 1:
– paprika-rubbed chicken and barley, tomato & avocato salad
– pan seared steak with herb butter and roasted potatoes and green beans sauté
– Thai pork laarb burger with sriracha mayo and cucumber & mint salad

Box 2:
– Seared cod with mediterranean bean & tomato salad
– Parmesan crusted chicken with balsamic potato salad and garlic roasted tomatoes
– linguine with creamy poblano bolognese with thyme & parmesan (but I am Italian, and didn’t like this mexitalian fusion… so I made it a mince meat dish, with boiled rice as complement)

Box 3:
– spanish steak salad
– Roasted pork tenderloin with lemony potato & zucchini hash
– Herby pan seared chicken with farro caprese salad (I have no pictures of this, as my camera failed me…)

I really liked the Thai inspired pork burger, and I’ll be doing the sriracha mayo every time a burger dinner is implied.
I learnt how to parmesan crust chicken breast using panko breadcrumbs, and I think it can be useful when a kids’ meal is necessary.
I loved the “spanish” salad with roasted red peppers in it… I would have never thought of doing that!

I cannot complain about the ingredients quality (the Dijon mustard was Maille, the crushed tomato were Cirio), but to me, Hello Fresh biggest problem is the delivery.
Even tough the meat is packed and properly kept refrigerated, the delivery company (in my case, by UPS) doesn’t pay the least attention to the handling of the package, which arrives upside down, on the side, dented or squashed.
Of course the more delicate ingredients (zucchini, tomatoes, avocados, cucumbers) suffer a similar fate, being pummeled by heavier items: sometimes things are so hurt that you cannot use them, and the portion size (which is good, by the way) shrinks.
In general there is no comparison between the fresh produce you can get at the supermarket and what you find in the box.

That said, in my opinion, Hello Fresh is perfect for busy people who just don’t have time to go to buy groceries. As cooking times are around 30 minutes, it is very convenient for those who get home late and don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen. In both cases it is true to Hello Fresh mission: it helps you ditch take-out!
It can also be very useful to young people with basic cooking skills that they want to improve.
As I am not into any of these three categories, I canceled my subscription after just three boxes.


Orecchiette / Comments

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