A fun aspect of Escape Monthly is that each month, one very lucky subscriber will find a ticket in their box for travel to that destination. Spoiler alert...it wasn't me this month!
Escape Monthly arrives in an aqua blue box with aqua chevron patterned tissue inside...sort of a beachy look that immediately makes you think "vacation".
Inside is an assortment of products that bring some local Mexican culture, particularly from Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo. I've been to Mexico quite a few times but these are two places I haven't visited so was glad to have a chance to explore!
The most prominent item in the box is a Moon travel guide focusing on Ixtapa and Zihuatenejo, including Acapulco. This looks like a really comprehensive guide to the area with lots of maps and photos. In browsing through this book, I see enough inspiration to make me want to book my trip right now!
There is also a flyer, customized for this box, that gives an introduction and describes all the products and their retail values. This one also provides some fun facts about Mexico ("A Mexican tamale called the zacahuil is three feet long and weighs about 150 pounds") and advertises various offers on their site. The flyer also tells you where we'll be going next month...for May, it's California.
Then come two authentic Mexican soda pops which are said to be favorite drinks of street vendors in Zihuatanejo. One is Mundet Green Apple and the other is Sangria Senorial. The first one sounds good to me; I'm not so sure about the second one. I'm not a fan of sangria so may have to find another home for that one.
Next is a cute cork-sealed glass container of Fusion gourmet habanero salt which is a naturally flavored gourmet sea salt. I was surprised to see on the label that this is actually made in Washington. Although I am interested, I don't know how to use this seasoning and there are no tips or recipes provided. However, the manufacturer's website (www.seasalt.com) does give a lot of good information so I will refer to that for ways to use this seasoning.
I love dried fruit, so my favorite item in this box is the package of organic mango by Kopali Fruit. Mexico is known for its mangos so I thought this was an appropriate addition to the box.
Candles in any form are always welcome additions to sub boxes, as far as I'm concerned. This little one by Pacifica is a reddish brown color in "Mexican Cocoa" scent. This has a wonderful chocolaty smell with hints of spice, perhaps cinnamon, I'm not sure.
Some common Mexican candies were included in this month's box....two Pulparindos and one marzipan candy from de la Rosa. I've had both of these in other recent sub boxes and they are also commonly sold where I live. Personally, I don't like Pulparindo which is a hot salty candy made from tamarind pulp so these will be give-aways. The marzipan is very crumbly and falls apart in your fingers but it's good.
The final item is a small plastic container of Lucas Mango Powder. The Escape Monthly flyer calls this a candy, but I have no idea what you're supposed to do with it. Consume it straight from the container? Sprinkle it over something? Under the blue lid is a strange little snap off tip, so I snapped it off and took a "hit"! Wow...very spicy and strong, not something I would eat straight. This might be good added to a smoothie or sprinkled on something as a topping, but for me it's much too strong to eat straight as a candy.
So that was our little Mexican excursion for the month. To be honest, there are a LOT of complaints about the Mexican box on Escape Monthly's Facebook page. Of course, people will complain about anything but the sheer volume of them for this one box was surprising. Many of them had to do with the fact that there were so many hot and spicy items in this box that a lot of subscribers didn't like. I don't care for them either...BUT...the box was supposed to represent Mexico! I do get the impression that the company is loading the upcoming California box more carefully to allay some of the dissatisfaction with the April box.
Complaints aside, I think this company has a wonderful concept and one that does not have a lot of viable competition. I'm really interested to see where they will go in future months!
The regular monthly price of Escape Monthly is $49.95; however, 20% discount codes are widely available. I believe these are good for the life of your subscription, so you effectively pay $39.96 per box.
If you'd like to try Escape Monthly, click here. To get the 20% discount, use codes CALIESCAPE, MYESCAPE, YOUDESERVEIT or YOURESCAPE. They offer frequent and varying coupon codes, so if these don't work by the time you read this, check their Facebook page for updated codes.