You don’t often find me talking about brands or reviewing products on this space. When you’ve been in my line of work for as long as I have, you start to see how a courtesy of changes people and the content that they share with their readers. Once passionate, hungry and scrappy bloggers who wanted to simply wanted to create and share now wax poetic about monetization and blogger agents. They’ve become deal-makers, product-shillers and somewhere along the way they left they checked their integrity at the door. I too struggled with this a few years back, as the products and gifts and delicious soirees make it hard to resist, but I started to read my blog posts, really read them and they felt airless, dispassionate, rote.
Granted, the bloggers who have become commodities, traded on an open market by brands like lucrative stocks, may not be the norm, but my small taste of it has me running skidmarks in the opposite direction. As this space is my own personal scrapbook of the food I make, buy, bake, and swoon over, I care less about traffic numbers and analytics and more about how I, and others, feel when they read my content. Food is inexplicably bound to memories or emotions within me, so every post has to be thoughtful, personal and evocative.
This is a long-winded way of saying [COME ON, ARE YOU SHOCKED?] that I’m very selective when it comes to reviewing products or services on my blog, and when I do it’s MAJOR.
Simply put, Blue Apron is the coolest concept I’ve discovered in a long time. The grocery delivery concept is pretty straightforward. Each week you get three recipes and all of the ingredients to craft your meal. No measuring, no fuss, no long supermarket lines or fear of missed ingredients — just a box of simply-packaged ingredients, all meant to make a delicious meal. And the recipes? So simple any one can make them. Each 8×11 recipe card tells you a bit about the dish, lists the ingredients, serving size, calorie counts, and gives you step-by-step visual + text instructions on how to fix your meal. Not only was I impressed by the delivery (all of my food was wonderfully packaged), but the ingredients were first-rate, and you can see the care and thoughtfulness that went into every step — from recipe concept to ingredient selection. My first week I had chicken paillard with warm potato salad, fish tacos with avocado and radish + lamb sausage with late summer Moroccan couscous. ARE YOU NOT PALPITATING?
For now, Blue Apron is available on the East Coast (primarily) via Fedex delivery + local delivery (in Manhattan). The prices are about $60/week, and in my opinion WELL WORTH the money. For a delivery map, click here.
Full Disclosure: Blue Apron was kind enough to let me sample their services, gratis, for a week.