Blue Apron versus Hello Fresh

If you’d told me just a few years ago that I’d be enthusiastically using a mail order food service, I would have called you insane. I’m the girl who makes her own pasta and pie crust. I haven’t mastered biscuits yet but I’m working on it.

And yet…I am now pretty much addicted to Blue Apron. Any week you want to (you can skip weeks at will) pre-portioned ingredients appear on my door step. I do the cooking but I don’t have to darken the door of the grocery store, which is my Achilles heel. Everything at my beloved Publix is sparkly and shiny and I want it all. No self control. None.

And what I’ve learned from Blue Apron is that there’s a lot of cooking chops I don’t know. Ingredients like piquante peppers, sweet white miso paste, furikake and yellow curry paste have made appearances. Rice flour became a revelation — it makes fried catfish super crispy. Blue Apron is directly responsible for my conversion to chicken thighs.

But like that reliable wife versus the exciting mistress, I strayed a few weeks ago to try another food delivery service, Hello Fresh. Both Hello Fresh and Blue Apron are market leaders in this exploding segment of the food business.

And I immediately noticed what I don’t like about Hello Fresh. It’s very, very basic. A recipe for Little Ears Pasta includes these ingredients only: broccoli florets, orecchiette pasta, sweet Italian sausage, pesto, chili flakes and Parmesan cheese. Nothing wrong with that. Just way too basic. No exotic ingredients, nothing to challenge me or teach me something new.

So I immediately cancelled Hello Fresh and I’ve gone back to my first food box love. I’ll probably venture out again to try another service because they’re literally popping up every day. There’s Home Fresh, Plated, Purple Carrot (all vegan) and Terra’s Kitchen just to name a few. Every one of them entice the consumer with a deep discount to try them.

But chances are Blue Apron will always be at the top. I now know that I can’t do without fromage blanc, Prince of Orange potatoes and pink lemons. It’s a whole wide wonderful world out there.



  1. Linda J. Quigley
    Linda J. QuigleyReply
    April 28, 2017 at 11:16 pm

    Blue Apron has come to Fargo, and we love it. I will never make spaghetti sauce without carrots again. I’ve learned to use all kinds of vinegar in things I never imagined using vinegar in at all. And, yes, I now know pink lemons are a thing. Admittedly, though, I do sometimes take out six ingredients and wonder how much we paid for a single egg in its own little biodegradable toadstool. (And even if it’s sort of fancy food, the best blackberry cobbler ever you posted a while back is gonna follow it a lot this summer—have a happy one!) Cheers, Quigley

    • Catherine Mayhew
      Catherine MayhewReply
      April 30, 2017 at 3:31 pm

      Older dogs…new tricks. Glad that Blue Apron has found its way to Fargo.

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