There are thousands of brilliant independent food producers here in the UK but unless they’re on your doorstep, visit food trade shows, have a keen interest in visiting food markets up and down the country, or sign up to the Grocer, it’s highly unlikely you’ll know about them, let alone sample their goods. Flavrbox is a company that’s putting an end to that. They’re championing these small brands, making it a lot easier for us to discover them.

I had been sent the Taster Box and the idea is simple, you pay a monthly fee and a box is delivered by Royal Mail each month with a selection of artisanal products.

Their website http://flavrbox.com allows you to choose items from categories including boxes of bread, sauces and condiments, cheese and dairy, alcohol, meat and seafood, chocolate and sweets …… the list is pretty exhaustive and there are plenty of choices in each group.

But back to the taster box.  A welcome letter is the first thing that you see when you open the box and this explains a bit about the company.  A ‘Meet the Makers’ leaflet told the tale of how the products inside my box and the people behind them.  Provenance is such an important part of the food we eat these days and again this was a really great touch.  What struck me immediately is what a brilliant gift this would be for someone who loves their food but is insufferably difficult to buy for.

There are a few payment options for the Taster Box. Pay £20 a month and the delivery is free within the UK (they don’t post outside at the moment). For any of the plans you choose, you can cancel at anytime, and change your delivery address. Flavrbox works out more economically if you buy upfront so at £18 for a 6 month delivery plan, they offer you a 10% discount and charge £108 upfront.   Those looking for boxes for a year are rewarded with a discount of 20%, so again a discounted monthly price of £16, and £192 is billed to your card upfront.

Flavrbox offer a choice for vegetarians.

So what was in mine and how does it add up value-wise?

A 125g bag of North Coast Roast from Hands on Coffee a Cornish micro-coffee roaster who roast in small 15kg batches. I could only find a 250g bag for sale on the internet and that was £5.00, so let’s say £2.50.

Chilli Bacon Jam. This jar of bacon flavoured jam, sounds weird, tastes divine and was conjured up in the kitchens of the Eat 17 Restaurant in London. The combination of homemade onion jam with smokey bacon goes with pretty much anything. Found this for sale at £3.89.

A selection of Bailey’s Real Food cereal bars from the family business based in Herefordshire. Steve’s a professional chef and they make the Jackson bar. I’ve got a Hot Spice, Naughty Nutty and an Original bar. You can buy 16 of their bars for £16.50 online so if we say that one bar is £1.05 that’s £3.15.

Mr Popple’s Chocolate – Ben Popple is a purveyor of handmade raw cocoa chocolate – usually too bitter for most palates. Ben sweetens his chocolate with Yacon syrup. It is a low GI sweetener which basically means you don’t get that sugar crash you do with most chocolate. – which means that your body will release the energy slowly, so you will not get the sugar crash that is linked to most chocolate. Yacon syrup has roughly half the calories of honey. So, chocolate that really is good for you. Two bars of this – Euphoric Orange & Uplifting Mint & Lime. Ben’s own website is currently offering up a 25% discount if you buy 4 bars £11.99 with free P&P. That’s a bargain £6.00.

And finally, an original blend breakfast cereal from Bendy Legs, a company based in South Wales and run by a GP £5.00.

That’s £20.54 and if you ordered separately from websites you would pay for the postage and packing so you can realistically add £10 to that. Of course I can only comment on the box I received this month but in terms of value for money and hunting out new and exciting products I’ll definitely be recommending Flavrbox.

I’m working my way through the contents and can reliably tell you that the Bendy Legs muesli was absolutely delicious and I woofed the bag in two breakfast sittings so will definitely be ordering more. The Mr Popple Uplifting Mint chocolate is another winner. I’ve just finished the North Coast Roast and shared a couple of cups at work and there were plaudits from the samplers and I’ll be getting more of that too.

Each item in the food and drink categories is clearly priced and some have postage offers.

Love, love Flavrbox a great website and service for Epicureans everywhere.

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