I paid for my Hello Fresh box and have not received any compensation for my review or opinions.
After receiving a few Blue Apron boxes and having a great experience, I was really excited to try Hello Fresh. I initially tried Hello Fresh through a Groupon offer for half off your first box, so I signed up to try the vegetarian box offerings.
My first box arrived on a past Thursday evening. Opening the box I immediately noticed the neat packaging… and also the box didn’t seem “refrigeration” cool, but quickly forgot about it as I stashed the boxes in the fridge. Mid-day that Saturday I decided to make the mushroom risotto because it sounded delicious! After pulling out the ingredients I noticed, uh oh, MOLD growing on my mushrooms – which I had never actually seen happen before. Pretty bummed, I picked out any non-contaminated pieces – basically only the baby portabellas were safe. I chopped up the few mushrooms and continued to prep, noticing the incredibly limp single stalk of celery – oh well I guess it’s going to be cooked anyway? After everything was cooked the flavor was good, but I couldn’t really get over the fact that less than 48 hours after arriving on my doorstep, the ingredients weren’t fresh – despite the company name.
We later tried the Sunchoke Salad – which was good and flavorful, but just not what I expect to get from paying $10/plate. C made this in to his tiny side. It was good for me, but still didn’t contain sufficient protein (in my opinion) to be considered a meal.
The penne squash mac & cheese was good – slightly dry, but this was something I’ve already made on my own and the diced squash had a lightly sour acidic smell – which I ignored because it was going to be cooked, but didn’t add to my feeling that the food I received was less than fresh ingredients.
Since it was my first box, I decided to give it another shot and received another box – and I wish I could say that something changed my opinion, but sadly it was more of the same – no mold, but I still found the refrigeration quality of the box to be lacking. And while the small white meal ingredient packed boxes look neat and pretty, they are not functional for proper storage of ingredients – leaves and greens crushed under heavier items and varying moisture requirements all add to the faster degradation in quality.
While the flavors and recipes were good, I decided to discontinue by subscription until I feel some of the packing and refrigeration issues can be sorted out for a desert delivery (especially in the summer!).
All in all I was really hopeful I would like this product – especially since they have a dietitian on their recipe staff, but all the favors, nutrition, and recipe innovation can’t make up for ingredient products that loose their integrity so quickly.
Maybe it’s time to get back to my own dinner recipe testing?