Andrew Zimmern #ZIM01 Quarterly Subscription Box Review

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Andrew Zimmern was my first Quarterly Box experience, but not my first with Zimmern! I loved the Love With Food box he guest curated last year so I decided to sign up for his first Quarterly subscription box.

The Subscription: Quarterly
The Description: Quarterly Co. is a subscription service that lets you receive awesome things in the mail. You can subscribe to people you find interesting and, once every three months, they will send you a package right to your doorstep
The Price: $25+ per quarter

#zim01 Review

#zim01 information cards
#zim01 information cards

Every Quarterly subscription includes a letter from the curator. Plus wacky Zimmern unboxed his own box on video. This box was supposed to come with a recipe for paella. The packers forgot it in I’m guessing half the boxes – because I got two!

Andrew Zimmern Quarterly Box
Andrew Zimmern Quarterly Box

Olivar Santamaria Olive Oil ($15) This is supposed to be a great olive oil, I’ll happily add it to my collection.

The Bizarre Truth ($2) It’s autographed, but it’s also a bargain book and a dead tree. I have a thing about getting books in my boxes – I don’t want them! I prefer digital books, that’s all. I’m an extremely avid reader and decidedly do not have an obsession with book as object.

José Andrés Galician Style Mussels ($18) I have a hard time eating fish, and an impossible time eating mollusks. I felt that much like a box unexpectedly containing nuts, a heads up would have been great – I would have skipped this box due to the fish (or whatever you’d like to call mussels!) content. My husband also pointed out that mussels are also not kosher.

Chiquilin Smoked Paprika ($3) I love smoked paprika and already have a large quantity of it. I was puzzled by the inclusion of this instead of saffron! I guess there’s just more of it, and it might be unique to many subscribers.

Santo Tomas Rice ($9) Bomba rice – the best for paella. I typically just use kohuko rice but I was happy to find that all the ingredients in the box, including the rice, were from Spain.

I have to be honest – though I love the idea of Quarterly, they are pricey boxes, and I think this one missed the mark  for me. The value was $47, short of the $50 price tag (using the market price of an un-autographed book). I was more than a tad disappointed and had wished I’d used my $50 on a sitter and lunch out at one of José Andrés’ many restaurants in the DC area (and yes, they really are all that). I was glad everything was edible and not too far out there, but it seemed a little uninspired and didn’t focus in the right places to me.  Everything in the box was either a) a mollusk b) a kitchen staple [at least in my kitchen], or c) a bargain book. I will be saving the mussels for my husband and making a chicken paella… as soon as I pick up some saffron at Costco. Unlike smoked paprika, I don’t regularly keep saffron in my extensive spice collection!

I’m looking forward to some other Quarterly boxes I signed up for! Have you subscribed to any? What did you think? Should I stick around for the next box or cut my losses on this one?


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  • kenziedegen

    This looks delicious to me but I understand anyone who doesn’t like/is allergic to fish would have an issue.. lol and I would be expecting another item like a paella pan or something to really bring the price value up!

    • Brandy

      Or some olives. The story you were supposed to feel was eating paella at a tapas bar in Spain. I would not go to a tapas bar and eat paella (even a fishless paella – I much prefer the small plates over the mains), so… If they’d sent something like pickled white asparagus and nice spanish olives, cured ham, etc. I’d be all over it. With Quarterly it’s more of an actual curated experience than, say, Fancy (where I believe they just pick out products from the catalog). And I do appreciate that, but I also want to like it! And if you just don’t feel the vision of that curator then you’re out of luck! In this case I just thought there wasn’t enough there there.

  • bclaire

    Oh how I miss DC area restaurants… Sorry you got a dead tree. I probably have an over attachment to having physical copies of books.