The Mantry–Thinking Inside The Box

Craig McCord

Craig McCord › Craig possesses 23 guitars and cannot play any of them. He likes fresh grilled sardines with a ...

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My sister-in-law Jenifer is an amazing gift-giver.

This year’s Christmas present from her is so sensational I’m writing this post about it.

She gave me the gift of The Mantry.

What’s The Mantry, you may ask?

Here’s how that question is answered on their site.

The Mantry (The Modern Man’s Pantry) is a food-of-the-month club that helps you discover American artisan food and what to do with it.

Now, it would be easy to dismiss a ‘food-of-the-month-club’ concept as there are many unremarkable examples out there.

Not so fast.

More from The Mantry’s site:

So we scour America to hook you up with the best food and drink. We source, we send, you taste, you share. From the bayous to the best kitchens in Manhattan, it all arrives in a crate handmade in America with a manual that has no BS recipes and a story to tell.

My Mantry collection had a theme–Coffee and a Smoke, with this blurb:

We celebrate two of America’s oldest vices and discover six makers using smoke and coffee in their process. No need to stand in line for this pick-me-up.

Here’s what was in my Mantry crate:

1. Sweet Georgia Soul BBQ Sauce from Southern Soul Barbeque in St. Simons Island, off the scenic southern  coast of Georgia. Can’t wait to toss this sauce on some ribs.

2. La Quercia Smoky Borsellino. La Quercia is making world-class cured meats in Norwalk, Iowa. This smoky borsellino salami has a taste of caraway with a hint of smoke. I think I want another piece!

3. Lark Fine Foods-Espresso Chip Shortbread. Made by a mother and daughter team from Essex, Massachusetts (who according to Mantry) have been “waking and baking” cookies for grownups since 2008. Delicious.

4. Olive and Sinclair-Buttermilk White Coffee Chocolate. It’s no surprise our buddy, Scott Witherow‘s product is included here. His Nashville factory produces some of the best hand-crafted, small batch, slow-roasted, and stone ground chocolate found anywhere.

5. Granola Jones-Mocha Haze. This is no ordinary granola. Along with the usual suspects Granola Jones adds roasted hazelnuts, cocoa and espresso. Hailing from Lenexa, Kansas their tagline is “Peace. Love. Granola.” ‘Nuff said.

6. Dave’s Coffee-Coffee Syrup. OK, I learned something here–that coffee milk is the official state drink of Rhode Island and that it takes coffee syrup to make it. Who knew? Dave’s Coffee makes theirs in small batches with hand-roasted coffee beans simmered with natural cane sugar. Where’s the milk?

So, there you have it. The delicious contents of my very first shipment from The Mantry.

Thank you, Jenifer for turning me on to some high quality, small batch artisan food.

I can’t wait to see what’s coming next.

Photo credit: Craig McCord