Try the World: Spain Subscription Box Review
As part of our Homeschool Five-Day Memorial Day celebration, today we learned about the Spanish American War through YouTube via Crash Course History and Drunk History: The Wild West, and through the food via Try the World: Spain Box. Four Santa Ana residents died in the Philippines in the Spanish-American War, and today we honor them by eating nougat.
Try the World is a monthly subscription box centered around exploring different countries. We pay yearly and so each box ends up costing around $34 and it's so beyond well worth it for us. We incorporate these boxes a lot in homeschool - it's really easy to learn about new cultures when you're stuffing your gullet with boxed treaties.
Each Try the World box includes 5-7 food products that are curated by a chef from that region. Each box comes with a curatorial pamphlet which describes the products and their regional significance. The Spain Box included the link for a Spotify playlist of Spanish music - they're always pretty great - this one has mix of flamenco, Spanish guitar, Arabic-influenced songs and even Spanish punk rock. It also includes a couple of simple recipes which highlight the products and instructions for a Spanish card game.
Gambas al Ajillo
The menu started off showcasing the smoked sweet paprika with Gambas al Ajillo which was a big hit in the house. It's a very simple recipe, basically you marinate shrimp in olive oil, paprika, salt, pepper, and lots and lots of fresh garlic, then saute it and serve it with a parsley garnish over bomba rice. Two adults and two kids ate two pounds of it, it was that good.
Tristan: It tastes like normal shrimp. Yeah I’d eat it again.
Julian: To me it tasted really good. It tasted like original shrimp but with the paprika it upped the spice therefore it made it more interesting to taste.
Now when people say Spanish cuisine is great, I usually respond with, "No, Spanish cooking is boring, but the food is such high quality it doesn't matter." That was definitely the case with Pan Tumaca. Apparently this is a big deal in Barcelona, and it's basically a jarred puree of tomato, olive oil, and garlic. We served it on buttery Mexican bread with Macaroni & Cheese. I think you could make this in your Magic Bullet with 1 Farmer's Market tomato.
Julian: Pan tumaca tastes like a extremely delicious version of garlic bread with tomato jam on it. That’s what it was, right? Tomato jam? I would love to eat it again.
Tristan: I think it’s like when you take garlic bread and dip it in a bowl of tomato soup.
P. Listo Jasmine-Petal Jam
Now for the best part: desserts! We started with the adorable jar of jasmine-petal jam. Normally, my kids hate flowers in their food whether it's lavender in their ice cream or nasturtiums in their salads. So jasmine-petal jam on toast (complete with mashed petals and crushed stamens) was met with dirty looks.
Julian: I think this is liquefied version of grape jelly. It has a good texture and is more delicate than grape jelly. This is amazing. I want this every day.
Ines Rosales Citrus Crumble Cake
This is a buttery, gooey, filled shortbread dessert popular in Andalusia. It blew the kids away, and they spent several minutes trying to nail down the exotic but familiar flavor. After some internet search we discovered that what we had thought was citrus was actually a filling made with "Siam Pumpkin" which looks like a sweet spaghetti squash.
Julian: Now that tastes like a Turkish Delight.
Tristan: It's basically taking a Turkish Delight and breading it with sweet stuff. How much is this? Can I spend my own money on this?
El Almendro Turron Nougat
Tristan: This is something you need to eat with your molars. It’s very hard. The bottom layer tastes like Styrofoam.
Julian: I definitely can't eat this or I will break my braces.
Tristan: Can I eat yours? I'm sort of addicted to the Styrofoam.
Did this box help us learn about the Spanish-American War? No. But it definitely made the kids miss their best friend Archie, who's on his way back to Barcelona soon.
"If Archie goes back to Spain, can he smuggle us some of that pumpkin cake?"