RawSpiceBar September 2015 “Istanbul” Spice Subscription Box Review

RawSpiceBar sends a selection of spices to your door each month based on a certain area of the world. You’ll also receive a colorful information page with recipes, photos and details about the area and spices chosen.

This subscription has gone through a lot of revamping lately. While I do like the new pamphlet with pictures of the dinners, I am disappointed that the amount of spices has been so drastically reduced and with the decision to use pouches that are not resealable.

What You Get: Each month, we send 3 spice blends which are enough to create 3 separate dishes serving 8-10 people. The spice blends will weigh between 1-2 ounces each month.

Za’atar– This blend consists of thyme, sesame seeds, oregano, salt and sumac. It goes well stirred into olive oil and served on bread or sprinkled on eggs and oatmeal. It can also be used as a rub for chicken and veggies. This smells AMAZING! The thyme and nuttiness of the sesame seeds are mouthwatering. /drool

Urfa Biber-.2oz-This is a Turkish chili that turns everything it touches maroon. Kinda like beets, I guess. It has a strange smoky, almost chocolatey scented sweetness to it. It goes well paired with meats like lamb or in spreads like hummus. I… am not loving this. It’s just too oddly scented.

Baharat– This is a spice staple for Turkish cooking. I love the cumin mixed with the paprika. So so so good. It also has coriander, black peppercorn, cinnamon, allspice, cardamom, nutmeg and clove. This is the kind of spice blend I wish I could buy more of.

VERDICT: I love the idea of this subscription. It gets me out of my food rut and my comfort zone with regards to unusual spice combinations. I wish they had a shop that would allow me to purchase more of the ones I like. I wish they had continued to use resealable pouches. We are only two people and we don’t need to make dinner for 6-10 so there is inevitable extras. I also wish that they hadn’t gone from sending 3oz to sending less than one. There was only .6oz this month. I noticed last month that the ounces noted on the package were incorrect but thought it was an accident. Except now this month’s are incorrect as well.
I also really liked how previously the spices made up a main dish, side dish and dessert or appetizer. Last month included a recipe for Pickling Spices. Pickling Spices?! That is just a little too random. I mean, I thought the ice cream spices was pushing it but pickling?! You have to have a lot of kitchen equipment for that. At least this month didn’t require any uncommon ingredients or kitchen accessories. Please go back to what you were doing before, RawSpiceBar!

If you want to sign up for RawSpiceBar, you can do that right here. I think for $6 it can still be worth it even though you’re receiving very little spice. For me, it’s the inventiveness the new spices add to my dinner table that makes this the most fun.

What do you think of RawSpiceBar?