Friday, January 11, 2013

January 2013 Love With Food Review!

Happy new year!

So I'm still sick (now with a sinus infection), but I figure I could blog while I recover. I got my Love With Food box in the mail today; the first box I've received this month or this year, really. It's one of my favorite boxes in the mail to get because it never seems to disappoint (I guess I really do love food), and it's a box I can share with Henry. I always get to try something I've never had before and it's usually always delicious. There was a little mishap this month, but nothing I would consider huge, as they made amends before I was even aware of the error.

Here is the email that I received in my inbox this morning:

"Dear Nina Tran,

My name is Aihui (pronounced as i-we). I'm the founder/ceo of Love With Food. 

I want to personally thank you for being a Love With Food customer. We turn ONE-YEAR old this month and with your help, we've donated more than 50,000 meals all across America in the last 12 months. 

Your January International Delights Love With Food box was mailed out this week and you might have already received it or will be receiving soon.

We are very SORRY we made a mistake this month. The printing company we used made a printing error and our warehouse folks didn't catch the error in time. We are growing extremely fast, thanks to your support. Along with the fast growth, we are also facing some growing pains. However, that's not a good excuse on our part.

We'll be crediting your account with an additional 500 points in the coming week. We hope you'll accept our sincere apologies. Please know that we've taken all measures to ensure this doesn't happen again.

Here's the International Delight menu, listing all the products in our January box.

Love With Food International Delight Menu

Once again, we are sorry and we look forward to your continued support.

If you have any questions or concern, please feel free to contact us at

Aihui Ong

Aihui Ong - Founder of Love With Food"

Basically, the side of the card which has that list above (all the things that come in our box) wasn't printed on the back side of the theme card. We received the card, but it just had the two same sides printed on it (see below). They gave each of us subscribers 500 extra points, which I thought was very generous, to make up for the incident. Love With Food seems to have excellent customer service, although I've never really had to email them for any problems (which is a good thing). In addition to this, Love With Food is one of the only boxes that always gives back every month from the profit of their boxes, by donating a meal to a hungry child for every box they sell. I love that. Anyway, let's get to the unboxing! I only tried two things today, as I don't like reviewing food when I'm sick since my taste and smell is altered. I will update once I try the others though.

Quick rundown on what you need to know about Love With Food:

- Foodie Subscription Box (one of the least expensive options out there)
- $12 a month (and gets cheaper when you buy 6 months at a time)
- For every box that's sold, they donate a meal to a hungry child (you can see how many meals have been given out through Love With Food here)
- Awesome referral program (earning points that you can trade in for full sized items)

January Love With Food Box: International Delights

This is the card that had the same thing printed on both sides:

What came in this month's box?
Tiger Spice Chai from David Rio, Gluten-Free Japanese Tea Shortbread Cookies from Kyotofu, Almond Anise Biscotti from Biscotti De Suzy, Plantain Chips from Turbana, Apple-Strawberry Applesauce from GoGo Squeez, Firecracker Chocopod from Chuao Chocolatier, Cinnamon Milk Chocolate (Cannelle) and Belgian Biscuit Dark Chocolate (Speculoos) from New Tree

Total Value:

Tiger Spice Chai from David Rio ($2.00/packet):
I love Chai tea. I tried mine with water, although you can also mix it with milk. It probably would have tasted better with milk, but I forgot that I had some in my fridge. It was still good though. The directions say to mix it with 7 ounces of water, which isn't really a lot. At 140 calories a packet, I wish I could have made more without having it taste diluted. It was definitely enjoyable for the amount I had though, and I had it with the biscotti which came in the box also (see below). They went nicely together. The other thing that I noticed about it was that I had to keep stirring it because some of the spice wouldn't dissolve and would just sit on the bottom. It was fine, but it's just inconvenient as sometimes you might not have a stirrer, in which case you'd have to swish it around and possibly make a mess. I liked it, but it is a little pricey. Trader Joe's Spicy Chai Tea Latte is comparable and you get a lot more for the price.

Tiger Spice Chai Tea with Anise Almond Biscotti:

 Gluten-free Japanese Tea Shortbread Cookies by Kyotofu (~$3.80/3 cookies):
Haven't had the chance to try these, but I'm sure they are delicious. The flavors that came in the little sample packet are Genmai Toasted Brown Rice, Matcha Green Tea, and Black Sesame.
Update: So I finally had the chance to try these today, and they were delicious! I can't believe they're gluten-free. The differences in the flavors are very subtle, although, I'm still sick so that might have been a factor too. I would definitely purchase these if they were available in the Love With Food store. Unfortunately, they are not at this time. And they're pretty pricey on the Kyotofu website, but would make an excellent gift for someone who is looking for light, delicious, gluten-free cookies. I thought my favorite would have been the Matcha Green Tea, but I actually enjoyed the Genmai Toasted Brown Rice since it had the most distinguished flavor. You could actually taste the bits of toasted rice, and I really enjoyed that. Very glad I got to try these.

Anise Almond Biscotti by Biscotti de Suzy (~$0.87/each):
I did try this with the Tiger Spice Chai Tea that came in the box, and it was pretty good. I think the fact that I paired it with something that already had a bit of spice in it already, made the taste of the biscotti alone a little less overwhelming. When I tried the cookie by itself, I definitely had a bit of anise in my bite, and anise is a very strong spice. It wasn't that great by itself, and I'm not sure how well it would go with coffee, but it was enjoyable with my chai tea. I always enjoy a good biscotti. As with most biscotti, when it's not soaked with hot liquid, the texture is very tough and crunchy... almost stale. But I think that's just how most biscotti are, at least the ones that I have had.

 Natural Plantain Chips by Turbana ($1.00/each bag):
I'm not very excited to try these, only because I don't like bananas and plantains are very similar to them. I will wait for Henry to get home and will update with what he thought about them. They ARE a bit healthier than potato chips though, so if you're looking for a healthier alternative then I would give these a try. They are still a high calorie snack at 130 calories a bag, but they are gluten free, have 0 cholesterol, and 2 grams of fiber.
Update: So I was completely wrong, and these chips don't taste like banana at all. They actually taste more like potato chips, or those veggie chips that you find in the store made up of sweet potato, taro, or carrots. They were very thinly cut and crispy, and lightly salted. I would probably buy these if I wasn't trying to cut down on processed snacks. But I'm glad I got to try something like plantain chips for the very first time!

Apple-Strawberry Applesauce by GoGo Squeez ($0.71/packet):
I was a little excited to see this because we actually have these in the regular apple flavor. Henry brings them to work as a part of his lunch sometimes. I personally have never enjoyed applesauce, so we'll see if this one changes my mind. I'll have to wait for Henry to come home to try it, so he can tell me if it's better than the regular apple. I will try it too, but I'm a little hesitant since I saw that there was banana in the ingredients, so we'll see if I can taste it or not. These would make a convenient and healthy snack to put in a child's lunchbox though. I'm sure if I had a kid, this would be going to school with them.

Firecracker Chocopod by Chuao Chocolatier ($1.00/each):
I haven't tried this yet, but it sounds exciting! It's got sea salt, smoky chipotle, and popping candy with dark chocolate. I'll be sure to update when I do.
Update: I really liked this. I wish I hadn't waited to claim some for myself in the shop! It's so unique! Spicy chocolate with popping candy... who knew? And look how cute it is.

Cinnamon Milk Chocolate (Cannelle) by New Tree ($0.45/each):
Haven't had a chance to try this one, but I love cinnamon and milk chocolate. It also contains lime blossom extract, so that should be an interesting flavor. I will be sure to update once I do.

Belgian Biscuit Dark Chocolate (Speculoos) by New Tree ($0.45/each):
Haven't had a chance to try this yet either, but it sounds delicious. It's made in belgium, organic, and is made up of dark chocolate, Belgian biscuit, and flax seed. Will update when I try!
Update: This was also delicious. It was a bit on more of the bitter side than what I like for my dark chocolate, but the little bits of biscuit in them were a nice surprise. A part of me wishes the biscuit pieces were a little bigger so you could actually taste the biscuit instead of just getting the textures.

Overall, I was happy to see what was in my Love With Food box this month. Although, I was a little disappointed at the total value of the box since you pay $12.00 every month for it. I always believe that a subscription box's items value should outweigh the amount you pay for it by at least twice as much. I've explained this concept in my other posts, but it makes up for any items that you received in the box that you didn't like. That way, you're still satisfied that you got your money's worth even if you didn't enjoy everything in the box. What I do like about Love With Food though, is that you can try little samples of items that you'd have to buy in full size otherwise. This way, you know if you like it or not first before deciding if you'd like to buy it in bulk, which is nice. This is also a huge concept of a subscription box. So far, I've been able to try a lot of things that I wouldn't be able to find easily in big box stores, so that's kind of a pro and a con. A pro being that without Love With Food, there's a high chance you wouldn't have tried a snack otherwise, and a con being that if you DO end up liking it and wanting to go and buy it, most things would be hard to find in any stores. We actually buy the GoGo Squeez Applesauce in bulk at Costco, so that's an exception. Luckily, Love With Food provides their own store in which you can buy full sized items of the samples that you liked in the box, and you are able to use your points that you earn with their referral program, by reviewing items, or even just buying a box every month. They make it really easy for you to rack up points. I haven't redeemed any of my points yet, since I'm waiting for something that I really really like, but it's nice that they do this because if you're active on their website, it rewards people in this way. A lot of subscription boxes don't offer this incentive to the extent that Love With Food does, so if you are a subscriber, I highly suggest taking advantage of this and write reviews on the products! It can get you free stuff, which is always great.

If you'd like to subscribe to Love With Food, just click on the link here. It's only $12 a month, and it's always a fun thing to enjoy every month if you're a foodie or know someone who is. As you can see, I don't have any advertisements for my blog, and just love doing these as a hobby. I pay for all these boxes just like you guys do, and feel very honored and lucky when someone uses my links to sign up for a box! Hope everyone's new year is going great so far!

Thanks for reading!



  1. is that the mug from the popsugar box?

  2. Ok I'm convinced. Subscribing now :)

    1. Awesome!!! I'm sure you love it. It's one of my favorites to get each month. And thanks if you used my link!