Family * Travel * Food

Callaloo Box- Trinbago Seafood Themed Edition (Giveaway)

It's so hard to believe that we are already well into the month of March. The year is flying by already and spring is in the air. I am excited about getting to do more outdoor cooking since the weather is warming up. Just in time, we received the March Trinbago seafood box from one of our favorite subscription box services, Callaloo Box.

Callaloo Box is a monthly subscription box service that offers tastes from the Caribbean including sauces, seasonings, marinades and more. This is perfect if you don't have access to purchase these types of products. I've talked about it before and believe me when I say, they are more expensive on Amazon, so don't be afraid of the cost. I've done the math for myself, and Callaloo Box is a great value.

So what's in this month's Callaloo Box?

Inside the box:

Constance Estate Garlic Infused Coconut Oil, Chief Lime Pepper, Karibbean Flavours Green Seasoning with lime for Fish & Seafood, Chief Tamarind Chutney, Karibbean Flavours Dried Sea Moss, and Karibbean Flavours Fish & Chief Fish Shaker Seasonings.

These fish seasoning packets are perfect to use to marinate fish, or to use while cooking. They are very robust so a little goes a long way! For extra flavor, try adding a little bit of green seasoning.

One of my favorite types of sauces is tamarind sauce. It goes so well with fried fish, seafood fritters or pholourie. It has the perfect balance of sweet, tart, and spicy flavors. The Chief Lime Pepper is perfect if you want some added tangy, fiery-heat to dishes. I like having mine with cook-up rice and grilled chicken. You can even add some into your dishes as they cook. Let me tell you though, it's HOT HOT HOT!

Constance Estate Garlic Infused Coconut Oil is ideal for sauteing vegetables, or in any dish you want a good garlicky punch. It is very strong and absolutely delicious! A couple tips: To get your coconut oil in liquid form, soak the bottle in a tall container with hot tap water until it melts. You can even pour the coconut oil in a container to scoop out as needed, which is what I did. 

If you love lime, this green seasoning is for you. Be careful not to use too much, because it can be overpowering. I feel like this would be better on chicken than fish. 

Last, the dried seamoss or Irish moss is something I have not tried yet. You can use it to make a sweet beverage with (directions on package). I did some research and it is believed to be good for regulating your thyroid and to help with joint pain. I'm definitely going to have to experiment with it!

Purchasing options: 

One-time purchases
You will receive the current month's box offerings.  You will be charged only once when you purchase.

The final day for new subscribers to sign up for the current month's box is the last day of each month. Subscriptions auto-renew on the 15th of each month and every 2nd month for 2 month deliveries.

Shop the Callaloo Box grocery store for individual items. This is a great way to get specific things in the event you don't want an entire box. They also have a Callaloo Snack Box if you're craving goodies from 'back home'.

If you create an account at Callaloo Box, you can earn rewards. Also, if you use this code: MOMFILES5, you will get $5 off your first box with subscription or a 1 time box purchase.

The very sweet ladies from Callaloo Box have offered us to host a reader giveaway. One lucky winner will receive their very own Callaloo Box shipped to their doorstep. Enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway is open to U.S. Residents only and will end on March 26, 2018. Please follow entry rules in Rafflecopter widget. Mom Files is not responsible for any lost or stolen prizes. Good luck!
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Callaloo Box Makes The Perfect Gift (Giveaway)

I have been living in South Carolina for close to two decades now. It’s hard to believe that so many years have passed that quickly. I have watched the city of Columbia really grow and get a lot more diverse. Sadly it still lacks something very important to me, culturally. We have so few West Indian/Caribbean grocery stores, and the ones we do have aren’t great and don’t carry all of what I need.

A couple months ago, I was so lucky to get connected with Callaloo Box. If you'd like, you can read this post for a little background. Callaloo Box is a U.S. based subscription service that brings you many of those hard-to-find Caribbean sauces, snacks, and other food products right to your doorstep. I can’t even begin to tell you all how excited I get when a box shows up at my house. It’s like Christmas every time! Speaking of Christmas, the December box is themed for the holiday season and they didn’t miss a thing.

I felt so nostalgic the moment I saw the contents. It’s as if I was transported to my childhood during Christmastime. Here’s what is in the December 2017 Callaloo Box:
Dried Sorrel- which is dried hibiscus. You boil it with cinnamon sticks, cloves, bay leaves and ginger, then sweeten to taste. You can also make alcoholic beverages with it.
Mauby Bark & Spices- It is dried buckthorn bark, which is a species of tree found in many Caribbean islands. It’s been likened to root beer by many. You prepare it just as you would the sorrel.
Mixed Essence- Growing up, we called extract ‘essence’. This is a key ingredient in ice cream, baked goods and certain beverages like mauby. I remember my mom used to make freshly squeezed lemonade or limeade, and always added a few drops of essence.
Lime Flavoured Hot Sauce- A blend of hot peppers, lime & herbs, pickled in vinegar. It’s perfect with any dish, especially seafood and fish. It has the perfect zesty kick.
Hot Chow aka Chow Chow- It’s a spicy, mustard-based pickled relish that’s the Caribbean’s version of the English “Piccalilli”condiment. It contains small chunks of vegetables and tropical fruits. It’s got quite a kick!
Split Channa- It’s salted fried chickpeas spiced with pepper. It was a common snack in our house, and my dad used to make it for us and fill it in jars. This one tastes exactly like I remember.
Black Cake- This is a true sign of Christmas time. My mom made this cake every year and would soak her dried fruits in rum months in advance. I can remember the smell in the kitchen as they baked. She made the best black cake ever. Now let me tell you, this cake tasted exactly what my mom used to make. I got a little teary-eyed being transported back to my childhood. It is the star of this box!

The ladies of Callaloo Box did a great job with the items they chose to make this box perfectly themed for Christmas. I think this one is my favorite so far, but all of them are my favorite! You can tell that they hand pack the boxes with love, and leave no details out. They include an information sheet with descriptions and suggestions of how to use or serve each product.  I am also so happy that they are now offering items for sale individually. Their prices beat Amazon hands down! I ordered a couple packs of pholourie mix since I can’t find it anywhere locally. I'm also very proud to help support a small business at the same time. By the way, they have pretty speedy shipping, which is always a plus.

Not only does Callaloo Box offer monthly boxes, they also have a new snack box ($29.99) and product bundles (ranging in prices under $30). If you or someone you know is interested in Caribbean/West Indian cooking or simply can’t get many products locally, Callaloo Box is for you. It makes such a great Christmas gift, and the recipient would LOVE it. The monthly boxes are $39.99 and if you use this code: MOMFILES5, you will get $5 off your first box with subscription or a 1 time box purchase.

Our generous friends from Callaloo Box want you to experience a box for yourself. One reader will win the December box valued at $39.99. Enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway is open to U.S. Residents only and will end on December 15, 2017. Please follow entry rules in Rafflecopter widget. Mom Files is not responsible for any lost or stolen prizes. Good luck!

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Get The Flavors Of The Caribbean Delivered To Your Doorstep With The Callaloo Box

For those of you who have been following my blog for some time now, you know that I am from Guyana. I grew up in Miami, FL for most of my childhood and was heavily immersed in the Guyanese-Caribbean culture. We had so many West Indian shops nearby and never went without the kitchen staples. I remember when I moved to Columbia, SC more than 18 years ago. It was major culture shock for us. Having access to my West Indian food items was pretty much non-existent. I depended on my relatives in Florida to send me stuff. We have one West Indian store here and the pickings are VERY slim. The prices are ridiculous and when I look at the expiration dates, you can tell the items have been sitting around for a long time. 

I have shopped around on Amazon and can't believe how expensive some of the most basic things are. I was lucky to get connected with a new business called Callaloo Box on Instagram. Callaloo Box is a new U.S. based subscription box service featuring seasonings, marinades, and hot sauces from the Caribbean twin-islands of Trinidad & Tobago. Trinidad is Guyana's neighbor and we use the same exact products for the most part. The founder and co-founders are 3 girlfriends who are all immigrants from Trinidad currently living in the U.S. and Canada. Their aim is to get these products into the hands of anyone interested in Caribbean cooking that live in the U.S. and don't have easy access to them, or anyone who simply loves food, cooking, and experimenting. This made me so happy! 
The September Callaloo Box did not disappoint! It came with 3 Chief brand products: Hot & Tasty Pepper Sauce, Green Seasoning, and Kuchela (mango chutney). Also a bottle of the classic Angostura Aromatic Bitters, as well as a package of curry powder.

The pepper sauce is so spicy and delicious. It is the perfect addition for if you want a little hot kick to your meal. It tastes very similar to what my mom used to make. The green seasoning is similar to what I make which is a blended mixture of green onion, garlic, hot pepper, and herbs. It is so convenient to have it already made in a bottle so you can marinate your poultry or meat with ease. I also add it in soups and stews for extra Caribbean flavor.

Kuchela is what Guyanese people call mango achar. It is shredded green mango with hot pepper, garlic, and spices. I remember my mom cooking achar on the stove top early on a Saturday morning, and all of our eyes and noses would be burning from the hot, HOT pepper. Now that my mother is no longer around, I'm happy to have access to it, without the tears. Every West Indian home has a bottle (or three) of Angostura Aromatic Bitters. What is it?: It is an aromatic botanically infused alcoholic mixture consisting of water, ethanol, gentian, herbs and spices. Although the product contains 44.7% alcohol by volume, each dash contains an insignificant amount of alcohol and therefore remains non-alcoholic. Suggested Uses: It is a well-known key ingredient in many alcoholic cocktails, but is also widely used to flavor non-alcoholic drinks, baking, and cooking. I personally add a few drops to certain savory dishes when I feel like it is missing something. It will balance out the flavors nicely. Also, I have learned that bitters never expire. This is good to know in the event you have had a bottle lingering around for a long time.

Last item in the box is curry powder which is is a blend of turmeric, coriander, cumin, salt and spices. Growing up Guyanese, we curried everything under the sun from meats, poultry, vegetables, chick peas (channa) and even eggs. I have a new tradition that started this year where I cook curry every Saturday morning. The family really does look forward to it!

One of the things I love to share with my family and friends is my passion for cooking. No matter what I'm making, I love to add my Indian-Guyanese twist into my dishes. I am so thrilled that I have access to my West Indian goodies via the Callaloo Box. I was quite surprised at how heavy the package was and it is a great value at $39.99 a month (cancel any time), or you can pre-pay a year for $419. If it sounds expensive to you, I challenge you to look up the products I listed above on Amazon and see for yourself what a value you are getting.

Right now Mom Files readers can use the code: MOMFILES5 for $5 off of your 1st box when signing up for a month-to-month subscription. I am so happy with my first box and think you would be, too. Give Callaloo Box a try today!

You can find Callallo Box here and please be sure to follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for product updates, promotions, and sneak peeks into upcoming boxes. Please let me know if you decide to give them a try. I would never recommend anything I did not believe in. Thanks for stopping by today and big thanks to Callaloo box for providing a sample box for us to try.
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