Piquant Post is a subscription box that delivers a package of spices to your door to help spice up your life! Monthly, you will receive an assortment of small-batch, freshly ground spices sent with recipes from a region of the world. Piquant (pronounced “PEEK” “ant”) by definition means “pleasantly spiced and appetizing flavor”, it also means “intriguing to the mind”. The spices do not contain sugar or fillers, and never have preservatives.
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The focus of the February Flavor packets was on China, fitting since this month is Chinese New Year. While the packaging of a brown envelope is simple, the content of the Piquant Post has me reeling to get into the kitchen and cook!
Our spicy tangerine seasoning uses freshly dried and ground tangerine peels along with crushed red pepper and ginger powder. One of the first steps is to rehydrate the dried peels in the tangerine juice. This not only softens the peels but infuses the tangerine flavor in the dish as the peel soaks up the juice.
This packet contains Dried Tangerine Peel, Ginger and Crushed Red Pepper. It is used in one of this month’s recipes.
Chinese 5 Spice
Five spice powder is essential in Chinese cooking. If you’ve had Chinese take-out, you’ve probably tasted five spice without even knowing it. Culinary historians believe that 5 spice as developed to stimulate all the 5 tastes in the mouth: sweet, savory, bitter, salty, and sour flavors.
This sophisticated packet contains: Cinnamon, Fennel Seed, cloves, Sichuan Pepper, and Star Anise. Used in one recipe this month.
Silk Road Spice
This spice blend used whole and ground cumin seed for a distinctive, nutty flavor. We combine a little spicy heat from cayenne pepper with a lemony tingle of Sichuan Pepper to create a warm, penetrating aroma that will fill your kitchen when cooking.
This heavenly scented packet contains: Cumin, Sesame Seeds, Coriander, Cayenne, Garlic Powder, and Sichuan Peppers. This flavor packet is used in the Spicy Tofu Steaks Recipe.
Salt & 2 Pepper
Sichuan pepper is the husk of fruit of an aromatic Chinese shrub. Not related to peppercorns or chili peppers, it is actually a member of the citrus family. With a slight lemony taste, its primary action on the taste bud is tingling sensation that may be new to the Western palate.
This simple flavor blend includes: White Pepper, Sichuan Pepper and Sea Salt. This flavor packet is used in one recipe this month.
Spicy Tofu Steaks - Recipe 1810
The aroma of this dish transports you to Xi’an capital of Shaanxi Province and one of China’s oldest cities that is best known as the home of the terra cotta army. The dish captures the essence of the early fusion of Chinese and Arab cuisine and is typical of flavors you will find today all over Northwest China.
Salt & 2 Pepper Shrimp - Recipe 1811
Crunchy, salty, tingly and a little spicy. Our take on a Chinese classic is a surefire crowd pleaser. Similar to salt and pepper calamari, this shrimp dish takes only minutes to prepare-perfect for busy weeknights and hungry mouths.
5 Spice Chicken Thighs - Recipe 1813
You can use bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs in this recipe. The meat can also be grilled or baked. Serve with rice, noodles, or your favorite steamed vegetables such as bok choy, snow peas, or a green salad.
There is more than just one recipe worth of spice in this packet. Other suggestions for using this flavor kit include sprinkling on oatmeal, yogurt, baked goods, or even in your coffee or tea.
Tangerine Beef - Recipe 1814
Eating this delicious Sichuan specialty just might bring you good luck. In many regions of China, the work for ‘tangerine’ sounds very similar to the word for luck. During Chinese New year, when ripe tangerines abound, you’ll find people gifting tangerines and restaurants cooking tangerine beef.
I loved that this month’s Piquant Post country of choice was China. With Chinese New Year here I have had China on my mind. Through my daughter’s school, we took a tour of Chinatown and had a feast at a very popular Chinese restaurant in the heart of downtown San Francisco. We all enjoyed the day, learning about Chinese culture and trying new foods. When I opened this month's Piquant Post, I was thrilled. My daughter and I will work on trying these recipes together and continue to engage our learning about another culture. I highly recommend subscribing to the Piquant Post, every month without fail it is a chance to take a culinary journey and expand your adventures in the kitchen. I love cooking things that are new to me and having these pre-prepped flavor kits makes it an easy weeknight meal choice.
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