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Subscription services are, for the most part, a pretty stellar idea. If you’re even the slightest bit active on social media platforms like Instagram or Twitter, I’m sure you’ve seen a copious amount of ads from “influencers” promoting the different ones that are available. If you’re not active on the internet (well, I guess you aren’t reading this), it’s likely you’ve seen some sort of tangible coupon enticing you to test out some kind of meal delivery service at a discounted rate. With SO many different companies to choose from, it seems like there’s currently a big demand for this service.
A few of my married friends absolutely love the concept since it’s so convenient, and serves as a great bonding experience. It makes sense to utilize services like HelloFresh or Blue Apron or whatever to have an easy at-home “date night.” With all of the great things about these companies, I have a specific bone to pick with those who use them.
I’m not here to shit on meal delivery services. I think the business model is pretty awesome (except for how wasteful their packaging is, but that’s another rant for another day). What I’m here to complain about are all the assholes who think they’re renowned chefs since they put together a pre-portioned recipe that they didn’t even shop for. Please.
I can’t help but cringe any time I have some version of the following conversation with someone:
Friend: “John has become such a great cook. Last night he made an amazing chicken tikka masala.”
Me: “Wow! Did he use both ginger and turmeric? I always go overboard with the ginger but it ends up fine.”
Friend: “Oh — I don’t know, actually. It was from Blue Apron!”
Let’s dissect. Some might say if you have to grill, bake, sauté, boil, mix, or roast any kind of basic ingredient and have it taste decently it can be labeled “good cooking”… No. NO. You’re all wrong. If that’s the case, then hell, every college student out there is a master chef because they can whip up some Maruchan Ramen in their microwave. Just because you’re taking it upon yourself to elicit a chemical change in a raw vegetable (that was MAILED to you) to make it a slightly mushy vegetable, that doesn’t make you a “great cook.” Meal delivery kits are awesome, but they in no way should serve to put someone on a cooking pedestal when ALL of the heavy lifting was already done by the company.
Frankly, if someone makes something as simple and easy as a salad but puts the time and energy in to going to the store, hand-selecting complimentary ingredients, and makes it from scratch, they deserve more praise than Mr. Chicken Tikka Masala who did nothing more than open a box of EXACT portioned ingredients for two and, gee, not fuck up steps that were pre-written for him.
Why would anyone want to avoid the grocery store anyway? Do you really want some Gen Z first job kid picking out your cut of meat and wrapping it up in 100 layers of saran wrap? When I go to the grocery store, I can’t help but have a sense of pride when I pick out the exact bunch of leafy greens that I want. Also, going to the grocery immediately reserves you the right to impulsively buy that Dr. Pepper you don’t need in the check out line. Can HelloFresh do that? I think NOT.
I definitely get how convenient meal delivery kits can be. The fight against having anything delivered and practically prepared for you is damn near futile this day and age. Again, I’m not here to bash anyone for utilizing a meal kit subscription for the sake of being convenient. I get it! These services are a magnet for repeat business because they’re so terribly effortless. I also think there’s a lot of education that can be obtained from these services. Maybe after using them over & over you can start to see what flavors, spices, and amounts of ingredients are all complimentary to one another.
But for now? All I’m saying is that you don’t deserve to be a self-proclaimed mayor of Flavortown after completing a 3D edible puzzle that was mailed to you. .