During our West London bloggers’ meet up last week, I was lucky enough to sample some dishes from a new company, Independence Market. This new concept, which lies between an online grocer like Ocado and a food delivery service, offers fresh meal kits to order. Aimed at busy families, where typically different family members eat at different times and only four recipes are known ‘from scratch’ because no one has time to learn or shop for more, they offer truly real, fresh food delivered in part-prepared form (some with prep, others ready for the oven) which can quickly be turned into a ‘home made’ dinner.
What sets them apart, to my mind, is the variable meal sizes and flexible ordering: for the evening meal you can order up to 1pm on the same day. Perfect! But enough about the technical stuff, the key thing here is what does the food taste like?
When we were sampling, it was set out buffet-style, so we got to taste a range of dishes. They were all proper, ‘fresh’ meals, and most definitely not ready meals (although this service is most definitely not thrifty, it is cost-effective when compared to how much you have to spend on a ready meal to get any decent flavour). The varietal tomato salad, for example, was really crunchy and tangy with great texture and bite. I liked the addition of chickpeas, making it a proper, substantial side dish.
In terms of main, my favourite was a superb paella – really richly flavoured and generous with the prawns and meat. We also sampled salmon, steak pie and more!
Now, would I personally use this service? Well, it seems I am in a lucky minority where between His Lordship and I we know quite a few (like, easily double figures … each) recipes, and we split the cooking pretty much 50/50. I’m also a bit of a savvy shopper, and, conveniently, we live 2 minutes walk from the biggest supermarket in the borough. So, for myself, Independence Market wouldn’t need to be an everyday thing. What I will be using it for is as a healthier, fresher option for date night dinner, or when visitors are coming: having more luxurious and exciting dishes with no excess food waste, part prepped (so I have more time to relax) and ready to my door sounds perfect!
I can definitely see how the service could be really useful for anyone who isn’t as obsessive about their bargains, and who wasn’t taught to cook by two grannies from different continents.
Here’s an overview of how it works, should you wish to order:
Disclaimer: I was given free food by Independence Market prior to review.