I’ve never been that interested in the newly popular meal delivery services. I’ve always thought they are for those who don’t know how to cook or aren’t that into food. Isn’t that how they’re usually advertised? Leave it to a service (with a pretty awesome name) to prove me wrong. Full disclosure: Marley Spoon did provide me with a sample box to try out their service. Here’s what I really thought.
Just like many other services, Marley Spoon delivers fresh ingredients with ice packs, ready for you to cook when you get home. Everything is pre-portioned out for you, so the prep work is minimal. For someone who just doesn’t have time to make it to the grocery store (or even go on Peapod or Instacart to figure out what they want), this is definitely the way to go. Plus, prices come in at $12 per generously portioned meal.
My fiancee made one of the meals in our box. He’s a great cook, yet he is someone who needs really exact directions in order for his recipe to turn out. He made a beautiful plate of salmon and actually said, “If I can do it, anyone can.”
The one thing I will say is that this service is for the foodie. Or at least the wannabe foodie. The person who has an immersion blender, steamer and zester/grater lying around the kitchen. All of the kitchen tools were required for the two meals I prepared from my box. I’m not complaining because I own them all. That might not be the case for some people, though.
I have to say I was really impressed with the menu variety and originality of the dishes. I always enjoy eating a mix of food throughout my week, from Mexican to Thai, if possible. I personally loved the steamed salmon, kimchi kale and rice, which was healthy yet full of flavor. I wasn’t as much of a fan of the broccoli coconut soup, as it lacked some fat and flavor behind the spice. Still, in both cases the calorie count was low and portions were huge. We could have easily fed an extra person or two with the soup.
The one thing that really stood out to me after having tried out other services is Marley Spoon’s commitment to quality, seasonal ingredients. Renowned meat purveyor Pat LaFrieda provides the meat, fish is wild caught and produce is also organic whenever possible. Not only that, but you can really taste the difference. I’ll admit I only tried a few meals, although from what I tried the fish tasted incredibly fresh.
All in all, I don’t think meal services are typically cheaper than groceries as a long term solution. If you’re short on time and want an affordable, home cooked meal, I would say Marley Spoon is the way to go.
Disclaimer: Marley Spoon provided the reviewer with a complementary box