Sunday, February 07, 2016

Bespoke Post "Mangia" Review

Despite finishing our Groupon deal for three months of Bespoke Post, I was awarded $15 by Bespoke Post to make up for a shipping issue with my husband's Christmas box.  Kudos to customer service as they reached out to me to apologize and put a $15 credit in my account.  I love when I don't have to hound a company to get a little service!  So although a box is a little pricey at $45 US (or $55 for a one-time purchase) plus $10 for Canadian shipping, I figured that a 33% discount on the box itself was a pretty good excuse to pick it up.  Although I really love Bespoke Post's boxes, this will likely be our last for quite awhile as they are pricey to begin with. . . and exchange is killing my cross-border shopping these days :(  I won't cancel (yet) though because I can easily skip until there's a box I can't resist, our dollar gets better, or I need to pick up a great gift for someone. - That said, I said this last month as well so we'll see.

Although Bespoke Post does ship once a month, their website allows you to skip a month or swap out the box they've selected for any other available box (there are usually a few new options as well as some old favourites).  If you forget to skip or swap, they will send you your default box for the month, as many of these types of subs do.  Billed as a men's subscription, I prefer to think of Bespoke Post as a lifestyle sub.  True, some boxes seem very geared towards men but a lot of them would appeal to anyone!

This is "Mangia" - a box dedicated to Italian food :)  It is currently sold out but Bespoke Post regularly brings back old favourites - you can sign up at the above link to receive an email when this one comes back in stock if you like.

Pasta maker, wooden spoon, semolina flour and a cookbook - everything you need (well, besides ingredients) to make delicious fresh pasta at home!

Weston Supply Roma Manual Pasta Maker ($39.99 value)

This is pretty no-frills but I love it! We've actually been looking to pick up a simple pasta maker and this one fits the bill.  It is pretty sturdy when you clamp it on to your counter and the instruction manual has clear instructions.  The cutter allows you to cut thin noodles like spaghetti and thicker noodles like fettuccine.  We have also made tagliatelle (cutting the pasta ourselves with a knife) and sheets for ravioli-making.  There is a bit of a learning curve when it comes to rolling the dough thin enough but it's not any harder than making pizza dough or perogies, which we do often.  Tip:  flour everything! I know the cookbook (reviewed below) says not to. . . but seriously. . . unless you want your pasta to stick to everything and drive you to drink, flour is your friend!

Molino Grassi Organic Durum Wheat Semolina, 2.2lbs ($7.90 value)

Although you can make pasta with all-purpose flour (and the recipe in the provided cookbook does just that), it is best to use the best - semolina.  We usually have semolina on hand as we like to swap out half of the flour in our pizza dough recipe for semolina.  It makes the dough a bit more delicate and tender.  And it makes for really great pasta too!

Wild Cherry Spoon Co. Cherry Wood Heavy Chef's Spoon, 13.5" ($25 value)

This might be the fanciest spoon we own! It's handmade from cherry wood.  The linked spoon does not have slots but seems to be the same, otherwise.  Handy for stirring pasta!

The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion and Cooking Manual ($24.95 value)

And a how-to guide for Italian food.  This is a really beautiful cookbook - leather-bound, gold trimmed pages, embossed cover and it even has a ribbon bookmark! Fancy! This book offers more than just recipes - it includes lots of details and descriptions about Italian foods, ingredients and how-tos ranging from how to make pasta, to how to make an antipasto platter, to how to host "Sunday Sauce" for a large group of people.  The recipes tend to use easy-to-find ingredients that won't break the bank so that's a plus.  We made pasta using their recipe and enjoyed it (I needed to add more water since we were using semolina instead of all-purpose flour though, just FYI) but I wasn't immediately drawn to any of their other recipes (including sauces).  I think if we were novices to cooking Italian (my husband is second-generation Sicilian and we're both foodies who love to cook), I might be more inclined to dive into these recipes.  I will try some out eventually though.  This book is totally out on my counter though - look how gorgeous it is!

Overall Verdict:

This box cost us $40 US ($30 for the box, $10 for shipping) and has an approximate value of just under $100 US.  That's pretty great! But the thing I value most about Bespoke Post boxes is how well thought-out and put-together they are.  The items chosen always fit the theme for the box and are carefully selected.  This box includes an artisan spoon and one of the most beautiful cookbooks I own! While I wouldn't get myself a Bespoke Post box every month, I do think they make for wonderful gifts and the occasional splurge as well.

If you're interested in trying out Bespoke Post, your use of my links would be much appreciated.  Thanks!

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