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Destination Dinner Recipe Kits

Destination Dinner Kit: Love It or Hate It?

Ever had a craving for jerk chicken, pad thai, or falafel — but had difficulty sourcing the ingredients? If so, perhaps you'll spring for Destination Dinners, a series of recipe kits from countries like Japan, Korea, Lebanon, and Bangladesh. For $20 to $30, you get a kit that contains a pre-measured amount of all but the most basic of ingredients, and a trademark dish that will make enough to serve six to eight people. Although I can see how this would be a great idea if you don't cook often or live in a rural area, as a city dweller, I'd rather go to the Asian market down the street to pick up the ingredients — or, if I'm truly that lazy, I'll order takeout. What do you think of the idea?

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Akasha Akasha 5 years
I have purchased a similar spice kit, but I got it at the Indian market. It had the authentic high-end versions of all the spices needed for the meal I was planning on making. Since it was something I was trying for the first time I was glad I was able to save a bit of money on the spices, especially saffron which is very expensive if it's good.
dithmer dithmer 5 years
I think this is an awesome idea for a gift. Most people I know wouldn't have every single one of these spices in their collection, and don't need lots of them. This is a perfect way to let somebody try a new meal if they don't have all the ingredients. Super clever. I'm considering getting one right now!
Spectra Spectra 5 years
It's a good idea in theory, but it's a little bit pricey. I think it'd be cheaper to just get the spices/herbs from the bulk section at the grocery store. That's what I do when I need a mix of spices that I know I won't use up for a while.
GummiBears GummiBears 5 years
Personally I don't hate but I don't like it. Thankfully I live in a "diverse" city so most of the ingredients are not hard to find.
fuzzles fuzzles 5 years
*too
fuzzles fuzzles 5 years
*too
fuzzles fuzzles 5 years
Not for me. I have way to much fun tossing and throwing (no measuring) when it comes to ingredients and seasonings, adjusting as needed.
sourcherries sourcherries 5 years
Hate is such a harsh word, couldn't we use dislike? Jes sayin'...regarding the kits, I'm with Bengalspice--how authentic could they be? Also, I'm with Yumsugar regarding purchasing said spices--that's part of the experience. And, you can get great tips from others.
courtneyd courtneyd 5 years
I think it is a great idea. I am lucky enough to live near various international markets, but when I head back to Tennessee to visit the family, I realize how much I take for granted. Finding fresh ginger is not easy, not to mention many spices, flours, lentils, etc. I like the idea of trivia as well - seems like a good mix of food + learning about another culture.However, it does look like the recipes aren't exactly authentic. The jambalaya one is rather funny, as the thing I would say is hardest to procure is tasso, which isn't included in the kit (they recommend ham, which isn't at all the same, to me at least).
courtneyd courtneyd 5 years
I think it is a great idea. I am lucky enough to live near various international markets, but when I head back to Tennessee to visit the family, I realize how much I take for granted. Finding fresh ginger is not easy, not to mention many spices, flours, lentils, etc. I like the idea of trivia as well - seems like a good mix of food + learning about another culture. However, it does look like the recipes aren't exactly authentic. The jambalaya one is rather funny, as the thing I would say is hardest to procure is tasso, which isn't included in the kit (they recommend ham, which isn't at all the same, to me at least).
bengalspice bengalspice 5 years
Ok ... I just looked at the Bangladesh kit. Ketchup?!? The recipe calls for ketchup?!? And a typical Bangladeshi dish is lentils and fish. That kit looks like every other Indian tv dinner.
bengalspice bengalspice 5 years
I wonder at the authenticity of it. When they measure stuff out for Bangladeshi cooking, are they using regular tumeric or Bangladeshi tumeric? Is the chili powder the same as what you find in stores, or like the real deal you can only get at an Indian supermarket? I made Tandoori once using supermarket ingredients, and my mom made fun of me because it didn't come close to looking or tasting right.
mandaleebee mandaleebee 5 years
Spices last so long - I am never concerned about buying something because I'll find another use for it eventually. I don't like this idea - playing around with flavors and spices is one of my favorite things about cooking!
rainydaybleus rainydaybleus 5 years
It's a neat idea, but just looking at the packaging makes me a little sad. All that plastic just to hold a teaspoon's worth of spice?
ecel4687 ecel4687 5 years
I love that idea! I sometimes hesitate to buy ingredients because I feel like I won't use them again.
Sasorisa Sasorisa 5 years
I wouldn't want to trek over to the nearest supermarket because I always end up with leftover ingredients.
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 5 years
I think it's a really nice gift idea, not sure that I'd buy it for sunday night cooking by myself, however. Maybe if I had company over.
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