Piquant Post Review February 2018
Well isn’t this the cutest little thing you ever did see? Piquant post arrived at my house in a trendy brown craft paper envelope, stamped with its logo. I just love when a package impresses you from the start like that! Upon opening the envelope I continued to be impressed. Each individual spice packet comes in its own resealable envelope, in a matching craft paper material with the contents represented with a hand drawn illustration and typography lettering.
Piquant Post comes with 4 artisanal spice mixes each accompanied with its own recipe card to get you started with some ideas for cooking. For a spice novice like me, this is an ideal way to get going. It provided me with a starting point for anticipating what the blend might taste like, and what sort of dish I would be able to make if I wanted to stray from the recommendation. I can be a picky eater and definitely have some things I stay away from especially when it comes to meat, so knowing that there is an easy way to swap something I don’t typically enjoy for something else is appreciated.
The included cards are double sided, with one side providing the “how to” for recreating the featured recipe, and on the reverse you find some background information about the included spice blend, it’s regional history, cultural significance, typical uses and flavour notes. This extra step Piquant Post takes to include this info is appreciated by a trivia nerd like me. Some of the interests closest to my heart include travel and food, so to be able to learn a little bit about each region and the story behind the spices serves as an extra added value to the packet.
This month’s recipes included a variety of traditional Chinese flavours and dishes including: Spicy Tofu Steaks, Salt & 2 Pepper Shrimp, 5 Spice Chicken Thighs and Tangerine Beef.
The Spicy Tofu Steaks are created with a blend of cumin, cayenne and Sichuan pepper, which has a distinct lemon scent. Although it is paired with a vegetarian protein, Piquant Post suggests an easy swap for meat eaters, swapping in lamb.
The Salt & 2 Pepper Shrimp is a mix of salt, spice and a little extra zing. It pairs a sea salt with two peppers: white and Sichuan peppercorn. The tasting notes provided for the previous packet, the tofu steaks mentioned how Sichuan pepper brings a lemony zing to it and on this recipe card I learned why: it isn’t a pepper at all but rather a member of the citrus family!
The 5 Spice Chicken Thighs brings distinct flavours to the dish and it is at once sweet, savory, bitter, salty and sour. It is a recipe that could be easily swapped for different parts of the chicken, say breasts if you prefer. However, it is important to note that the best flavor often comes from the thigh due to its higher fat content. I say go big or go home, but recognize that some eaters prefer to stick to the boneless skinless road.
The final recipe included is the Tangerine Beef. Included in the blend are pieces of dried tangerine peels along with red pepper and ginger. I highly recommend sticking to their suggestion of adding freshly squeezed juice along with a few freshly grated peels as it will give your dish that extra kick and freshness on that first bite.
Piquant Post Review February 2018 – Final Thoughts
All in all, Piquant Post doesn’t fail to surprise and impress. With their dedication to elegant packaging and design, developing your culinary education by guiding you through virtual tour of a far off region of the world it is a looked forward to part of my week. Month by month you are building a culinary globetrek in your pantry. I love that with spices, your use of them is not time sensitive so they can be filed away, helping you to build an arsenal of spices and gastronomical possibilities, to draw on just when the time is right such as an impromptu get together with friends, or when you simply want to elevate your everyday experience.
Jennifer Hulley – http://jenniferhulley.com