I was recently offered a trial of the Gousto delivery service. If you're not familiar with Gousto, I'll tell you a bit about them first.
Launched in June 2012, Gousto offers customers a great variety of recipes to choose from and delivers all the ingredients in just the right proportions direct to their doorstep. The recipes are developed by a team of chefs that include a Michelin star chef and a BBC Masterchef chef and customers are able to pick from 8 gourmet meat/fish dishes as well as 6-8 vegetarian dishes with 3-4 new recipes being aded each week. Each recipe on the website shows the difficulty level and nutritional information and Gousto try to use fresh, local, organic product and ensure the meats and fish they supply are responsibly sourced.
I was immediately impressed by the fact that Gousto deliver nationwide, as services like this are often restricted to London and the website was clean and fresh. On browsing the recipes it was nice to see that choices were interesting and different, definitely not dull. I was sent the ingredients to make a salmon, broccoli and dill quiche as well a dish of chicken in mascarpone, chilli, lemon zest sauce with rice.
The first thing I did (obviously) was unpack all the ingredients. I was pleased to find that all the ingredients were of great quality and looked fresh - no ropey vegetables here! (Take note, supermarket deliveries!)
The recipe card gives you background information to the recipe as well as some preparation information On the back, it has step-by-step instructions. If you cook regularly you might find the instructions a bit basic but I am guess they are taking into account the fact that some people may never cook normally!
The first dish I cooked was the chicken in mascarpone. The recipe was easy to follow and the dish was simple to put together. It didn't look too far off the example picture and tasted delicious. Truly. I loved the combination of flavours and will probably use that sauce as a base for a pasta dish in the future. Then I tried the quiche. Having never made a quiche before I thought this might be a bit of a challenge for me and this is where the basic instructions came in handy! The quiche was also a success, but alas I forgot to take a picture of it so you'll just have to imagine it!
I'll admit, I was initially put off the Gousto service, as it is a subscription-based service however I was pleased to note that here is no minimum duration (with a 7 day notice period) and you can place your subscription on hold at any time with no cost. I could see if you were a really busy person, working full-time, that this would be an amazing service however as I work part-time and have enough time on my hands it's probably something I would turn to for a special occasion, or if I knew I was going to be extremely limited on time one week.
One of the biggest plusses for me was having the ingredients delivered in the right size portions - it really gripes me, every single week, when I go to the supermarket. I want to buy ONE red chilli but I have to buy a bag of five. I want to buy a small amount of parmesan but I either have to pay for a huge block or buy the overpriced ready grated stuff. This often puts me off cooking certain things as I don't want to buy things just to throw away.
I'm not sure if I would use the Gousto service myself because I don't really have need to, however if you like to experiment with tastes and flavours but are short on time then this would be a great service to use, as the recipes are varied and you wouldn't be wasting lots of ingredients.
With thanks to Gousto for this trial.