Fresh Canteen is a food delivery program that launched in Toronto last year. Fresh. pre-portioned ingredients get delivered to your door along with recipe cards so all you have to do is prepare and cook them without having to take the time to buy groceries (or a whole container of cumin when all you need is one teaspoon).
I call it “Grocery Gateway meets SOS Cuisine” and I think the idea is brilliant. You choose what recipes you want to make each week from the Fresh Canteen website and they delivery the ingredients to you. It’s great for people who want to prepare their own meals but who might be a little overwhelmed at first. It’s also good for people who want to bring their cooking to the next level and cook more gourmet meals but might not have the time to take cooking classes.
The only downside is that the price point is a little expensive. It starts at $60 for two meals (for 2 people) so 4 servings in total. That’s $15/meal and you still have to do the cooking. It’s a little cheaper if you choose $100 for four meals (for 2 people) which works out to $12.50/meal. Considering that you could get take out sushi or pasta from a nearby restaurant, $12.50-$15 might be a little steep. But it’s definitely cheaper than the typical meal delivery programs out there (which provide fully cooked meals every day).
Fresh Canteen also has the ‘learn how to cook’ aspect going for it where you have the opportunity to develop your cooking skills (which is always valuable). I see it as being a good option for working professionals who are interested in cooking but would like to reduce the stress of preparing meals by having the ingredients already selected and measured out for them.
I chose the chicken burgers and the fish papillote items and received my Fresh Canteen delivery on the specified delivery date. The recipe cards were attractive and had photos illustrating each step in the process which was a nice touch. However, I found the instructions a little difficult to follow as the recipe card usually outlined two recipes at the same time and I found it difficult deciphering what directions belonged to which recipe.
The food was tasty and I can see how it’s geared towards people who are looking for meals that are a little more gourmet. However, it’s hard to justify spending close to an hour in the kitchen learning a new recipe when I could go outside and buy an already cooked meal for about the same price. I see it as being a good option for people who are used to eating out all the time but would like to eat healthier and save money in the long run by learning how to cook.