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Filtering by Tag: food

Universal Yums April 2018

Been dragging ass on this review. Sorry it's late!

Universal Yums in a monthly food subscription service. For $14 or $25 or $39, you get 6+, 12+, or 20+ snacks and candies from around the world. Check them out here: UNIVERSAL YUMS

(I pay for this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones)

The April box comes to us from Spain! Here's a little trivia for you. Answer at the end of the post. TRIVIA: The national anthem of Spain: A.Is 16 minutes long; B.Has no words; C.Was written by a 10-year-old; D.Is played only twice a year.

Lots of yummy stuff in there, people!

Lots of yummy stuff in there, people!

I have tried every product but one this month. And they've all been pretty tasty!

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La Abuela Nieves Artisan Potato Chips: I'm not sure how they did it but these Iberian ham flavored chips TASTE EXACTLY LIKE HAM! The chips are nice, textured like regular potato chips with fantastic flavor.

Carmen Lupianez Tortas de Aceite (Olive oil cookies): I know, it sounds weird. But I made an olive oil cake one time and it was delicious so these did not scare me. Soft and moist, delicate flavor but not super sweet. Very good.

Lacasitos Gold Caramel White Chocolate candies: HOLY HELL these are good. They are really REALLY sweet but the flavor is beyond awesome. They're the same size as an M&M but taste like dulce de leche. Very creamy and wonderful.

Montecado Doble de Limon (Lemon Shortbread Cookies): These are those kinds of cookies that completely crumble when you touch them. So the consistency is very dry. The flavor is more like butter than lemon, there's just a hint of that, and they're not very sweet. I enjoyed it!

Leticias Naranja al Chocolate (Chocolate Covered Candied Oranges): Second favorite item this month! The dark chocolate is bittersweet which contrasts nicely with the candied orange slice - yes a real orange slice - which has a touch of bitterness to it, too, with the peel. It was awesome!

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Puntazos Mix Cocktail de Maiz: This is the one I haven't tried but it's Spain version of corn nuts. It's apparently a very popular bar food and they're mixed with rice puffs and corn chips.

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Shiki Shin Barbacoa (Barbecue Potato Snack): These are not potato chips in the regular sense. I think this is one of those potato snacks where they mash up the potato, mix in the flavors, then form the paste into shape then fry it. These actually taste pretty good, like bbq beef, but with that slight styrofoam texture. Which doesn't bother me at all.

El Caserio de Tafalla Crema Pistacho (Pistachio Toffee): Third favorite thing from the box this month. Though it's called toffee, it's not the hard crunchy version most of us are used to. This is soft and chewy, but not sticky at all, and tastes like sweet pistachio cream. SO GOOD!

El Caserio Chocolate con Pinones (Chocolate with Pine Nuts): I forgot to take a picture of this before I gobbled it down. Another soft chewy candy but it tastes like chocolate and pine nuts. Very flavorful and delicious!

 

TRIVIA ANSWER: B. Has no words. The Spanish national anthem, the "Marcha Real", is one of only four national anthems in the world (along with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, and San Marino) that has no official lyrics. It was originally composed as a military march in the 18th century, and though attempts have been made to add lyrics, none have ever quite stuck!

Good assortment of tasty treats this month! We're a bit stumped by the clue for next month. It's gotta be an island chain or something like that. I guess we'll find out soon enough!

Universal Yums March 2018

I think I may have missed February....ooops. It was from France and I don't think either the hubs or I enjoyed it that much.

For those who don't know, Universal Yums is a monthly food subscription service. For $14, $25, or $39 (new giant size), you get 5+, 12+, or 20+ snacks and candies from a different country. It's pretty awesome! Check them out here: UNIVERSAL YUMS

(I pay for this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones)

This month's box is from Poland (which I know we've had before so let's see how it compares!). First some trivia - answer will be posted at the end. TRIVIA: Craving a pizza? In Poland, you can expect it to be topped with: A.Sour Cream; B.Sauerkraut; C.Ketchup; D.Mashed Potatoes.

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Tapsy Cheese and Onion Chips: The flavor on these is good. Not strong by any means but enjoyable. But their version of potato chips is kinda like eating styrofoam. They process the potatoes then mix them with rice flour which makes them fluffy. Still pretty good though!

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Wawel Milkizz: This is a chocolate bar filled with a smooth milky center. I can't say I enjoyed it that much. The chocolate is fine but the milk flavor is overpowering, as much as milk can be. Though I love the packaging. Apparently, sweetened condensed milk is sold in tubes and people eat it as a snack. The work, "smak", means flavor so the line EXTRA SMAK should mean it's good. Just not sure I agree.

Krowki Milky Cream Fudge: I think we got this in the other Poland box from a couple of years ago. Again, that milk flavor is a bit off but I love the texture. It's like what we Americans know as fudge but maybe a teeny bit drier.

Soleo Caramel Pretzels: If you like Pocky, you'd probably like this stuff! But instead of a covered cookie stick, it's a pretzel. Which I think makes it a bit better because the caramel coating on these is SUPER sweet.

Dobosz Chocolate Plum: I think we may have gotten a chocolate covered plum in the Austria box (?) but whatever other country did this, did it better than Poland. The chocolate coating was fine as was the thick layer of cocoa filling. But the plum was tiny, gritty, and not good. It kinda ruined the whole thing for me. 

Aksam Peanuts with Paprika: These were awesome! I'm going to try to not eat a lot because the hubby REALLY like them. These are peanuts with a kind of cracker coating that's been covered in paprika. Not the boring after thought decoration I've come to know as paprika but a nice smoky, spicy, sweet flavor that compliments the peanuts really well. Perfect paprika peanuts!

Raczki "Lobster Tails": I believe these also came in our last Poland box and they're still good. The shell has a slight mint flavor and the filling is a peanut-rum mixture. Very good!

Can't say I enjoyed this Poland box as much as the other one but a couple of the savory snacks were really nice!

Judging by the clue for next month, we think it's going to be Spain! Ole!

TRIVIA: C. Ketchup! Even the biggest ketchup fans might find this surprising, but it's the thing to do in Poland. Polish pizza, or zapiekanki, is made with halved baguettes topped with mushrooms and cheese, then covered with a heavy squirt of ketchup. Now comes the existential question: just because it has cheese, tomatoes, and crust, is it still considered a pizza?

Universal Yums January 2018 Review

For those who may not know, Universal Yums is a monthly food subscription service. For $14 or $25, you will get a box of 6+ or 12+ candy and snacks from a different country. Check them out here: UNIVERSAL YUMS

(I pay for this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones)

January brings us goodies from GREECE. Here's some trivia for you. Answer at the end of the post.  TRIVIA: In ancient Greece, throwing an apple at someone was a way to say: A.I'm in love with you!; B.Happy New Year; C.Good luck!; D.You and your family shall be cursed

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There are a couple items in here that I will NOT be eating. One, because they're too hard to chew or two, I vomit a little just thinking about them. I'll get those out of the way first.

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Olympas Sesame Pasteli with Almonds: I couldn't even break this bar within the package to test how crunchy it might be so yeah. Not gonna eat it. Which makes me sad because there are only 3 ingredients: sesame seeds, honey, and almonds. It sounds so good, dammit!

Bliss Cocoa Toffee: Even without my Invisalign issues, toffee is hard for me because of all my crown work. Sometimes if there's sufficient chocolate coating, that helps to break up the stickiness. But these little bricks...no way. *all the crying*

Parthenon Green Olives with Fennel & Corriander: Olives, man. EWWWWWWWWWW.

Tottis Onion Bread Chips: Remember bagel chips? That's basically what these are if they had a one-night stand with some Melba toast. The onion flavor is a little sweet and subtle, not too overpowering. Very nice.

Serenata Dark Chocolate Wafer: I think EVERY country has some kind of wafer cookie in their arsenal. I have to say that I think this is my favorite so far, though. Because it's dark chocolate, it's not overly sweet and the filling between the layers is not too thick or too thin. It's pretty dang perfect.

Bergamot Jelly Candies: Though the bergamot in these tasted a LOT like perfume (and not in a good way like those mints from Turkey), I loved the texture. They're like a cross between Jello Jigglers and a Chuckles Fruit Slice.

Tottis Chips: I'm not a huge oregano fan but the flavor is these chips is subtle enough for me to handle. Texture is like any regular potato chip so they're easy for me to eat, too!

Derby Chocolate Bar: OMG this is my favorite item from the box. Coconut, caramel, crisp rice, and chocolate. What's not to love?!?

Overall, a very nice box (that's what he said). The clue for next month makes us think we'll get some snacks from France. It would super cool if, like last year, we get the bigger sized box as a Valentine's ILY. Yes, I'm a greedy bitch.

TRIVIA ANSWER: A.I'm in love with you! Hey, it's a lot cheaper than a ring! Throwing an apple at a woman in ancient Greece was considered a marriage proposal. As that tradition slowly faded away, a new one appeared: many couples in Greece ate an apple as part of their wedding festivities as a sign of their love for one another.

Universal Yums November/December 2017 Review

As per usual, I got a little behind on my reviews. Partly from hubby's busy season at work but also I stared Invisalign in August. As of October, my teeth hurt pretty much all the time. Snacks that are too crunchy or chewy are impossible for me to eat so I can't try everything and I want to give as thorough a review as possible. Well, I still have 5 more months to go with Invisalign so I figured I'll do the best I can during that time and get back to detailed descriptions in the summer. 

For those who don't know, Universal Yums is a monthly subscription service. For $14/$25 each month, you'll get 6+/12+ snacks from a different country. Check them out here: UNIVERSALYUMS

(I pay for this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones)

NOVEMBER - TURKEY

Here's a little Turkey trivia for you (answer at the end of this section): We have Turkey's diverse climate to thank for bringing about which popular spring flower? A.Easter lilies; B.Daffodils; C.Tuplis; D.Azaleas

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First let's look at the stuff I haven't tried:

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Today Croissant with Thyme, Basil, and Olive Oil: Interesting fact, without the Ottoman Empire (modern-day Turkey) the croissant never would have existed. The empire planned to attack Vienna in 1683 during the middle of the night using underground tunnels. The bakers in the city could actually hear them coming, since they were already awake and at work. They warned the Austrian army who fought off the attack. No reward wanted, the bakers instead baked bread in the shapes of crescents (the symbol on the Turkish flag) to celebrate the victory. How cool is that? Though I have to say the description on this snack didn't intrigue me and it felt VERY weighty for such a small treat. If the hubs ever eats it, I'll let you know if it's any good.

Clip Sesame Stick: Basically these seem like your basic breadstick completely covered in sesame seeds (they're based on the sesame encrusted bread normally served for breakfast). Crunchy sticks of bread are just too difficult for me but I image these taste pretty good.

Torku Cocoa Helva: I'm pretty sure we've had this type of sweet from half a dozen other countries. It's dry and crumbly but melts in your mouth. This is a sesame paste based sweet. According to the info card we DID get something similar in the Israel box so I just never got around to trying this one.

Miniki Turtacik: This was my favorite treat this month. The cookie was nice and the tangerine jelly was tart and sweet. Don't think I got much flavor from the sprinkles but that's okay. Divine cookie.

Baharatli Ulker Krispi Kraker: I was worried this might be too crunch but it definitely had a texture more like a Ritz, maybe a titch firmer. The flavor was great, too. Nice and salty and the spices were wonderful (onion, parsley, garlic, thyme).

Ibon Yogurt Candy: We got the banana flavor and it was yummy! It could have been chewy but I ended up sucking on it to soften it up and then my teeth could grind it down a bit. Very tasty.

Toffix Mastic: Mastic is made from tree sap and it takes a year to extract! It's a very unique flavor but I really enjoyed it. Tasted a little like bergamot (which is an oil from the bergamot orange peel) but really it's hard to describe the flavor. Did the same thing with the Ibon - I just sucked on this until it got soft (holy hell, really, Peggy?). Another tasty treat.

Miniki Milk Cream Chocolate Bar: This reminded me of a 3 Musketeers so much but a lot sweeter. If that's even possible...Nice soft texture but way too sweet, even for me. Not my favorite.

Torku Sade Mevlana Seker: These candies are nearly identical in texture to a butter mint (if you've never had one of those, you NEED to try them). These are made from sade (bergamot oil). Bergamot is used a lot in perfumes so when I say these things taste like perfume, that's why I mean. But not the alcohol and other additives - just like a slightly sweet and bitter mixture of orange. It's really unique and they are my 2nd favorite treat from Turkey!

TRIVIA: C.Tulips. We credit the Dutch for tulips but they actually originated in Turkey. Tulip bulbs brought to Europe from Istanbul in the 1500s were so intensely popular that by 1634 they had caused "tulipmania" in Holland. Aside from tulips, Turkey is also home to approximately 9,000 other species of plants!

DECEMBER - EVERYWHERE!

To wrap up 2017, the final box for UY contains a variety of snacks from a variety of countries - BUT NO REPEATS. Fucking A, man! Still have some trivia for you! (answer at the end of this post)

TRIVIA: Latvia claims to be the home of the very first_______? A.Christmas tree; B.Christmas stocking; C.Christmas carol; D.Christmas lights

(as of typing this I haven't tried any of these treats yet - I hope that will change over the next day or so)

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Garlic Straznicke Bramburky: These garlic chips are from the Czech Republic. Apparently garlic is thought to provide strength and protection and it's put under the chairs of your holiday guests. They're nice and thing chips so they're easy for me to eat. And they taste like garlic butter. Sooooo nice....

Brevas con Arequipe: Colombia includes figs as an essential part of their Christmas dinners. And this fig is stuffed with arequipe, caramelized condensed milk (kinda like dulce de leche). It's a little too sweet, even for me, so I can't say it's a favorite. At least it wasn't sticky!

Golden Flake Dill Pickle Chips: Leave it to America to turn a not-so-popular German Christmas ornament into a best seller. Woolworth's sold German ornaments since the 1880s but the fruit and veggie shapes (particularly the pickle) were not in high demand. So a salesman made up a story about German folks putting a pickle in their trees and the first person to find it would have good fortune in the coming year. How can we be so inventive and so gullable at the same time? And these do taste like straight up dill pickles. Awesome! But I can only eat a few at a time because the briny flavor does get overpowering.

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Hillier's Mini Christmas Puddings: In Australia, Christmas pudding is a hold-over tradition from their UK roots. This candy has the traditional fruits, nuts, and spices used in the pudding (sans the bread) and wraps it all in chocolate. Hillier founded the first Aussie chocolate company and was known for his creative chocolate fillings, as well as injecting his candies with booze to sneak it past the local governments!

Jabri Baklava: Eid Al-Fitr is celebrated on the last day of Ramadan and is known as the 'sweet' holiday. This is where you will find baklava during the celebration. Subhi Jabri & Sons is a famous restaurant in Amman, Jordan, where you will find this brand of baklava. If you've never had this confection before, WHAT THE EVER LOVING HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?

Yugwa Candy: South Korea has been making this candy since the year 918. Dayuuum. The making of this treat is regulated by the SK government and it MUST be made by a Korean Food Grand Master. Mr. Kim Kyu-Heun is the master who made the batch for this box. He's been studying the practice of yugwa making for over 20 years. And while I respect the tradition here, the snack itself doesn't really taste like much. Kinda like rice cake air with a little chewy sugar coating.

Mince Pie Candy: This English candy is based on the original mincemeat pie popular during the 12th century, sans the meat. You will find traditional spices of the time (cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg) plus chocolate. I didn't really get the chocolate flavor off it but the spices were wonderful.

TRIVIA ANSWER: A.Christmas tree. Germany is usually given credit for the Christmas tree but the first recorded use was in 1510 in Riga, the vapial of Latvia! Maybe we should be singing, "Ak, Ziemassvetku eglites" instead of "O, Tannenbaum"?

That wraps up 2018! Hope you all stick around for my less in-depth reviews for a while and I promise I'll be back at full strength by summer (barring any horrendous complications!).

Universal Yums August 2017 Review

For those who don't know, Universal Yums in a monthly food subscription. For $14 or $25, you will receive 6+ or 12+ snacks and candies from a different country. How fun is that? Check them out here: UNIVERSAL YUMS

I pay for this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones.

This month comes to us from COLUMBIA! Here's some trivia for you (answer at the end of the post):Colombians like their hot chocolate mixed with: A.Cheese; B.Alcohol; C.Chili pepper; D.Strawberry marshmallows

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I haven't actually tried all the snacks this month, and probably won't be able to in the coming months either. With my Invisalign and rubber band hooks, I'm trying to avoid super crunchy and sticky foods. But I'll tell you what I can about what I have been able to taste!

Tocineta Lime & Bacon Chips: Mother of God these were awesome! I suppose they are what pork rinds taste/feel like but with lots of lime flavor on top. Too much for the hubs but I loved them.

Castipan Veleno: This is a thick guava paste in block form called bocadillo. I think it had a little sugar crust on the outside, too, but it wasn't that noticeable. The guava was fantastic!

Supercoco Candy: I didn't try these because when I unwrapped one, it was so sticky. It's a nut based nougat so...there you go. I bet they're good though.

Bianchi White Chocolate Bar: Another one I didn't try because it's nuts and caramel covered in chocolate. WHICH IS MY FUCKING JAM, DUDES! Oh well...*sad trombone*

Piazza Chocolate Barquillos: Basically a tube wafer coated with chocolate on the inside. You can see through the tube so it's not a solid fill but it was lovely. The chocolate had such a smooth sweet texture and flavor. Probably one of my favorite wafer tube style treats in a long time.

Rizadas Mayonesa: Believe it or not, Colombians like to dip their potato chips in mayonnaise. May seem weird but I get it - I dip my fries in tarter sauce when I have fish and chips. These actually smelled a lot like mayo but I didn't get that flavor off them. They just tasted like regular chips to me. Good but regular.

Bon Bon Bum Lollipops: Pronounced BOOM not BUM, the largest candy manufacturer in Colombia makes these pops. The passionfruit candy is TO DIE FOR. So good. Once I hit the bubblegum center, though, I had to stop. 

Rizadas Picanticas: Colombia's version of a spicy potato chip, these had just the right amount of heat. I don't like super hot foods. And apparently neither do the Colombians. Spice is used sparingly in their cuisine, which is fine with me. These were delicious!

Coffee Delight: I actually did have one of these hard little candies - I just forgot to take a pic. The flavor on these was slightly less sweet than many other coffee candies from around the world. Very tasty!

That's it for August. I pretty much loved everything I ate, and I'm sure I would have loved the rest, too. Oh well. The clue for next month, and from the spoilers I saw on IG, is for Pakistan in September!

TRIVIA: A. Cheese. It's typically consumed with hot chocolate in Colombia. And by "with"
we mean put inside. A couple blocks of cheese are placed into the warm mug until it heats up to a gooey, cheesy, chocolate-y delight.

Universal Yums July 2017 Review

I guess 2:30am is as good a time as any to write up this review!

For those who don't know, Universal Yums is a monthly subscription service. For $14 or $25, you'll get 6+ or 12+ snacks from a different country in each box. Check them out here: UY

I purchase this box with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones.

This month's goodies come from South Korea! Here's a little trivia for you before we get to the snacks (answer at the end of the post). Koreans who win Olympic medals do not have to: A.Pay taxes; B.Join the military; C.Follow the speed limit; D.Pay child support

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I'll start off with the snack with no picture, because the hubs and I split it and both ate our halves in about 18 seconds.

Lotte Chocolate Rice Cake: This is not like the crunchy rice cakes we have here. This was like mochi. Think two layers of mochi as the outside 'cookies', a chocolate filling between them, and the whole thing covered in chocolate. Might sound odd but holy balls this was probably THE best snack in the whole box.

Tteok-bokki Snack: I've seen the street food this snack is based on in a lot of the K-dramas I watch. I've always wanted to try it. And though I know it's not crunchy like this stuff, if the flavor is anything similar, I'd be happy to eat myself into a coma!

Lotte Moncher Creme Pie: I thought this would be like a moon pie, which is what the Korean Choco Pie is, but the filling is not like that marshmallowy crap (sorry Moon Pie fans). This is a smooth delicious creme center between layers of soft cake and covered in chocolate. So delicious!

Scorched Rice Candy: Somehow Korea has figured out how to make burnt rice taste good. And it's in this little candy. I also taste a little burnt popcorn going on, which probably comes from the corn flavor mixing with the scorched rice. Doesn't matter to me because it tastes pretty dang good.

Malang Strawberry Candy: This has a similar texture to a Hi-Chew but it's much softer, more fluffy like a marshmallow. It's also kinda bland and boring and not all that special.

Choco Heim: It's another wafer style cookie (really there's no flavor - it's like a communion wafer) that's filled with a hazelnut chocolate creme. Tastes good though!

Kook Hee Biscuit: These are what Nutter Butters SHOULD taste like! Not sugary sweet, the cookies and creme filling are perfect together. There are bits of peanuts in the filling, too!

Bulgogi Ppushu Ppushu Snack: Forgot to take a pic of this one, too, because I haven't tried it yet (it's the big yellow bag on the right in the very first pic). This is one of those dry ramen noodle snacks. But this one you smash up, while it's still in the bag, then open it and sprinkle the flavor packet over it. Um...okay.

Anytime Milk Candy: These things kinda sucked. You can see the different layers in the pic. The outside ones are mint and the middle is milk. Very odd and displeasing taste combination.

BONUS: The UY folks included a bonus item this month of Korean chopsticks. You might notice that they are metal and not wood, like every other Asian country. There's a long history behind it. Short story - royals in the Baekje period (18BC-660AD) used metal because it would change colors if anyone poisoned their food. Eventually it became a status symbol then available and used by all. Cool, huh?

Pretty good box I think. Just a few duds for me but that's not unusual. The clue for next month might be Colombia. We'll have to wait and see!

TRIVIA: B. If a male athlete wins an Olympic medal, he doesn't have to complete his required military service (Korean women are not required to serve). This puts added pressure on athletes because, for many of them, if they don't win a medal, it means they must give up their professional athletic careers to complete the 21-month mandatory service.

Universal Yums April 2017 Review

Sorry this one is a bit later than the last. I just now tried the final goody in the box (wow. just...wow) so I can review everything. For those who don't know, Universal Yums is a subscription service. For $14 or $25 you get a box filled with candy and snacks from a different country. Check them out here: UY

I purchase this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones.

April brings us AUSTRIA! Here's some trivia (answer at the end of the post): Austria is home to the oldest __________ in the world, which opened in 803 A.D.? A. Opera Theater; B. Shopping Mall; C. Chocolate factory; D. Restaurant

There's only one savory treat this month so let's get that over with.

Kelly's American Pizza Rolls: No, they aren't like the kind you get in the freezer. They're little hollowed out tubes of corn snack made to taste like pizza. Which they don't. They basically taste like little salt licks. Ugh.

The rest are all chocolate or, at the very least, nice and sweet!

Sissi Taler: Sissi was Bavarian royalty who ended up marrying Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph. Long story short she had this candy named after her. Filled with apricot marzipan and covered in chocolate, it is a unique flavor to be sure. I gobbled it up in about half a minute.

Heindl Mozartkugel: This confection was named after Mozart because at the time, companies named their stuff after famous people in the region. Though I imagine if he did eat sweets, these would be at the top of the Liszt (sorry, couldn't help it). Pistachio marzipan, covered in nougat, dipped in dark chocolate. HOLY FUCK. It's awesome.

Auer Tortenecken Apfelstrudel: Basically this is like those sugar wafer cookies (the chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry ones, remember those?) but it tastes like apple strudel. I shit you not. Super sweet, the cream filling tastes like apples and cinnamon. It's awesome.

Pischinger Haselnuss Riegel: Another wafer treat, this is chocolate and hazelnut. It's pretty dang good.

Pischinger Mandel Ecke: Yet another wafer cookie, this is supposed to mimic the corner piece, and most coveted slice, of Pischinger's famous torte cake. This is filled with almond creme and covered in chocolate. It's phenomenal!

Blascke Coconut Macaroons: Apparently this is the first time this sweet has been available in the US. I can kinda understand why they'd want to keep this one close. It's light and chewy, great coconut flavor. Nice treat with tea!

Except for those nasty pizza monstrosities, this was a great box. Not quite as good as Poland (which has topped all others in the chocolate department for me so far) but a close second. Next month's clue tells us we'll be seeing goodies from Japan!

TRIVIA ANSWER: D. Austria is home to the oldest restaurant in the world, Stifskeller St. Peter, which is housed inside St. Peter's Monastery in Salzburg. Both Christopher Columbus and Mozart have eaten there.

Universal Yums March 2017 Review

Coming at you a little late on this one. Didn't have the time to open it any sooner! March has been a little crazy.

For those who don't know, Universal Yums is a monthly subscription service. For $13 (or $25) you get a box full of candy and snacks from around the world. Check them out here: UY

(I purchase this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones)

March brings us goodies from Israel! Here's some trivia for you (answer at the bottom of the post): Which of these is banned in Israel? A. Underweight supermodels; B. Two-piece swimsuits; C. Public displays of affection; D. Tanning beds

I tried to take more close up pics of the snacks this time so I hope that helps! And yes, instead of writing our names at the top of the rating list, I just drew the faces indicating our preferences.

Elite Mekupelet: This has a crumbly texture which I don't prefer with my chocolate. Apparently the method of creating this is a highly guarded secret at Elite. That's all right because it just tastes okay. It's sort of like what the cheap chocolate here tastes like.

 

Bamba: Another one of those corn puff snacks that is made to taste like something else entirely. These smell like Peanut Butter Captain Crunch but taste like straight up peanut butter. Really good! And apparently a group of scientists discovered some new allergy information using these puffs.

 

Chocolate Gelt: These chocolate coins are traditionally given to kids at Hanukkah to use when playing Dreidel. They're a smooth bittersweet chocolate (but not nearly as smooth as the last item on this review) which is not my favorite thing but I can see how they might become addictive. We also got a bonus item - a dreidel! There are even instructions on the pamphlet explaining how the game works (for people like me who didn't already know).

 

Vanilla & Walnut Achva Halva: Another one of those flaky dry layered sweets, the flavor on this is mild. It's more sesame than vanilla, which is obvious, and the walnuts add a nice bitterness to it. Though this isn't very sweet so I'm not sure it needs it. It was okay.

 

Bisslie Remix: I don't mind the wheat base in this. I like the crunchy texture. But the flavors are blech. The "smoky" is a bit overpowering and the "grill" doesn't taste like anything. 

 

Abadi Falafel Mini Bagels: This crunchy little snack ended up being the hubby's favorite. I mostly taste chickpea and cumin but maybe that's what falafel tastes like, which I've never had. They were okay so I'm leaving them all for the hubs.

 

Elite Chocolate Bar with Popping Candies: By far my favorite item in the box this month! The chocolate is smooth and creamy and super rich. The popping candies (aka Pop Rocks) aren't huge so it's not like you've just dumped a packet in your mouth and followed up with chocolate. They're pretty small and dispersed throughout the bar. Though I have to say - CHEW THOROUGHLY. Don't let one of those un-popped popping candies pop IN your throat. Learn from my mistakes, people.

This has probably been my least favorite box so far but I'm not mad about it. I still enjoy every month that comes through. It's too much fun not to!

The clue for next month makes us think it'll be Austria (with Mozart in the clue, how could it NOT be?).

TRIVIA ANSWER: A. Underweight supermodels are banned in Israel in order to fight eating disorders. France, Spain, and Italy have all instituted a similar ban. (Bloggers Note: which makes sense they are countries known for their FOOD!)

Universal Yums February 2017 Review

For those who may not know, Universal Yums is a monthly subscription service. For $13 (or $25) you get a box full of candy and snacks from a different country. Check them out here: UY.

I pay for this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones.

This month's box comes from ITALY! Here's some trivia for you (answer at the end of the post):

When McDonald's first opened in Italy in 1986, what did some Italians do in protest? A.Give away free spaghetti outside the restaurant to remind patrons of Italy's culinary heritage; B.Buy Big Macs just to dramatically throw them away in front of TV cameras; C.Sneakily fill ketchup dispensers with marinara sauce; D.Form a human blockade so that no would-be patrons could enter.

Amica Lemon Chips: Sounds weird but these were delicious! A little like vinegar chips but not that tangy/sour. Just a hint of lemon and salt. Perfect with a sandwich.

Laurieri Orange Froletti Cookies: These were all right. Tasted like average shortbread cookies with a hint of orange.

Cabrioni Wafers alla Nocciola: Hazelnut chocolate is very popular in Italy and these wafer cookies were filled with it. So good but not super sugary and sweet. Pretty perfect, actually.

Cantuccini (Biscotti): I love biscotti and these teeny little cookie were...okay. I know how biscotti are made and how hard they are but even these tasted kind of stale. Coffee helped a little.

Gran Art Rosemary Stuzzichina Toscana: Basically baked rosemary crackers. I'm not a fan of rosemary but these were NOT overpowering at all. Very mild but still tasty.

Monardo Gianduiotto Chocolates: MOTHER OF GOD THIS IS THE BEST CHOCOLATE I'VE EVER HAD IN MY LIFE. Fuck Belgium and Switzerland. They've got NOTHING on these. Smooth rich chocolate with a hint of hazelnut. The only way you know these are authentic is because of the gold wrapper. GO GET YOU SOME IF YOU CAN.

Anise Candy: Nice little hard candies with a smooth anise flavor. I'm not an anise fan so I was worried. They were great, though. Also aid in digestion, apparently.

Monardo Chocolate Pralines: We got the hazelnut and cereal (puffed rice) and milk and cereal flavors. Smooth and creamy - great flavor. Very sweet!

Awesome food in this month's box. The clue for next month makes us think it'll be someplace in the Middle East but can't be sure yet.

TRIVIA ANSWER: A. A group of Italians cooked spaghetti to a perfect al dente then served it to would-be patrons. Many Romans were outraged by the restaurant in 1986, calling it a 'degradation of Rome' and 'Americanization' of Italian cuisine. For this reason, Starbucks hasn't opened a single shop in Italy yet, though plans are in place to launch their first store in Milan this year. (Yeah, good luck with that, Starsucks)

Universal Yums January 2017 Review

The first box of 2017 arrived about a week ago. Seemed earlier than what we've been usually getting so I'm not mad about it! For those who may not know, Universal Yums is a monthly subscription service. For $14 (or $25) every month you will receive a box of candy and snacks from a different country. Check them out here: UNIVERSAL YUMS

I pay for this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones.

January brings us Ukraine. Here's some trivia for you (answer at the bottom of the post):

What political part actually exists in Ukraine? A.The Red Party; B.The Birthday Party; C.The American Party; D.The Internet Party

That big card in the lower left is new this month. It's basically a rating sheet on the left for each food item. There are also a couple of little games on the right side. Yes, I finished the puzzle to get a hint for next month! Anyway, let's get into the food. I've decided that I need to try each item before posting here. That way you can get a better idea of what each treat tastes like!

Who Said Muuu?: A sectioned wafer bar with a sweet creamy milk filling. Waaaaay too overpowering flavor of milk in this. I just ate one little section and put the rest back. 

Macho Forest Mushroom Chips: Mostly yum. Taste like good potato chips with just a hint of mushroom flavor. Unfortunately, there's a weird lingering aftertaste that needs to be washed out with candy or alcohol. I guess that's not such a bad thing after all.

Oreiro Apricot & Cream Bon Bons: OMG these are the best things in the whole box. More wafer outside with a creamy filling (but these are just individual pieces instead of a bar that's got notches in it. Does that make sense? I think I'll need to start taking pics of the actual food...). Anyway, the filling is absolutely delicious. More delicate than orange or citrus, the apricot flavor is wonderful.

Roshen Creme Brulee Chocolate Bar: This isn't just plain chocolate, which would have been delicious all by itself. This candy is filled with a soft gooey caramel. Messy but awesome.

Red Caviar Bread Snacks: Remember the little hard crunchy bits from the Russia box (Korochki, I believe they were called)? This is the same style treat but caviar flavored. Very very very VERY salty and fishy tasting. Ugh.

Crazy Bee Candies: Soft gummy chews with a liquid center (think Gushers but softer). We got the lemon-lime flavor. It was great!

Svitoch Chervonyi Mak Candy: This is supposed to be a chocolate lovers ultimate fix. Um...no. Kind of a dry texture, gritty, and a bitter after taste. Me no like.

Glass of Milk caramels: Very good. Soft texture but not sticky. The delicate milk flavor is so much better than the overpowering milk filling on that first snack.

Fizzy Boom Hard Candies: Think Zots but with better flavor. The candy itself is nice and fruity and the fizz adds a little sour surprise when you get to it. 

Overall I enjoyed this box with just a few exceptions. Based on the monthly clue on the back of the pamphlet, we think the next country will be Italy! Maybe that LEMON hint means we'll get something Limoncello flavored??

TRIVIA ANSWER: D. The Internet Party in Ukraine wants to create an electronic government that exists without bureaucracy (and paperwork).

Universal Yums December 2016

Already 2017, huh? Well let's hang on to that bitch 2016 for just a moment longer, shall we? December brought us a little taste of Germany from Universal Yums. In case you don't know, UY is a monthly subscription service. For $13 (or $25) each month you'll get snacks and candy from a different country. It's actually a lot of fun! Check them out here: UNIVERSAL YUMS

I pay for this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones.

TRIVIA: In Germany, you're not breaking the law if you: A.Refuse to pay taxes; B.Escape from jail; C.Drink and drive; D.Smoke in a public place (answer at the end of the post)

Lorenz Curly Peanuts: These aren't actual peanuts. It's another one of those puffy corn snacks but they taste like straight up fresh peanuts. I have no idea how these countries can make corn taste so much like other stuff but it amazes me every time. Very tasty!

Leibniz Butterkeks: These are supposed to be shortbread cookies and they look pretty dang delicious. 

Sallos Black Licorice Candy with Herbs: I LOATHE black licorice. But the little card assures me that with the addition of herbs into this little candy, the black licorice flavor is muted and quite pleasant. Personally I don't believe them but I'm willing to give it a shot. Someday. Maybe.

Milka Oreo Chocolate Bar: This treat will be here in the US this month but it's already out in Germany. Not sure how to feel about this so I haven't tried it yet. It's basically Oreo filling with cookie bits inside covered in chocolate. I suppose for those whose favorite part of an Oreo is the filling will enjoy these most.

Dr. Quendt Russich Brot: I was excited for these alphabet cookies but I have to say I'm a bit disappointed. They basically taste like fortune cookies with a little bit of caramel flavored icing on top. Kinda lame actually.

Schluckwerder Marzipan: I've never tried marzipan before so I was most excited for this. Many people say it's the same as basic almond paste but I think marzipan is A LOT sweeter. I personally loved this. The thin chocolate coating didn't really add anything to the awesome almond flavor of this little candy. I need more of this in my life!

Ahoj-Brause Cola Bonbons: Not sure why these are called bon bons as they're just hard candy. But I swear to gods they taste just like cola! There's a fizzy center which is supposed to be like the carbonation but it's not that great. Zots do it better. But the flavor is awesome!

BONUS: Riegelein Chocolate Santa: Great smooth milk chocolate candy. Apparently Riegelein is famous in Europe for its chocolate and I can taste why!

Very nice way to end 2016. According to the clue, we think January's box will be Russia!

TRIVIA: B. Escaping from jail isn't considered a crime in Germany as Germans consider it a basic human instinct to want to be free. (is it me or is that little ironic?)

Universal Yums November 2016

Yeah, yeah. It's already December. But I don't get this one until later in the month so deal with it. It also gave me some time to eat stuff!

For those who may not know, Universal Yums is a monthly subscription service of FOOD. Each month, for $13 or $25, you'll get a box of delicious snacks from around the world. Check them out here: UNIVERSAL YUMS

(I pay for this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones)

November brings us INDONESIA! Here's a little trivia for you. Answer at the end of the post. Indonesia experiences at least one of these everyday. A. Earthquakes; B. Hurricanes; C. Typhoons; D. Volcanic Eruptions

Tic Tac Spicy Crackers: Haven't tried these yet even though the card assures me they're not THAT spicy. That's more the hubby's thing. But they look fun. Who doesn't like spicy balls?

Superstar Triple Chocolate Wafer: SOOOPER excited for this. Again, we haven't tried it yet but it looks awesome. Chocolate wafers with chocolate filling covered in chocolate. Um, yes please.

Choki Choki Choco Cashew Spread: I just tried this yesterday. Think what a rich chocolate bar feels like when it's mostly melted and that's what you've got in a tube. The cashew adds an awesome flavor with the chocolate. So much better than Nutella (which I know is hazelnut but I'm trying to give you an idea of what this is).

Richeese Rolls: These are like those rolled wafer cookies filled with some kind of sweet creme but in these you get Swiss cheese. Not really a Swiss fan so I might skip this one.

Momogi Keju Cheese Stick: More Swiss cheese? Apparently it's not the taste but the shape of this snack that makes it interesting. Um, that's not really selling me on it. We'll see...

Barley Mint Candy: Very interesting mint candy. The barley gives a surprisingly complementary flavor to the mint. I know it sounds weird but it really works.

Beng Beng Chocolate Bar: Pretty sure this was the first thing we ate from this box. It's very similar to the $100,000 Bar we've got here: chocolate covered caramel and rice krispies except this one didn't seem overly sweet, if that's possible. Yummy!

Roast Corn Cheetos: First I thought, "Cheetos? Really?". But these were not a disappointment. Taste like roasted sweet corn with the familiar crunch of Cheetos. SOOOO GOOOD!

Nano Nano Sweet & Sour Candy: The booklet says it's sweet and sour. The package says sweet and tangy. I don't know what the hell this stuff is. They're little hard candies, individually wrapped, but I have no fucking idea what the flavor it's supposed to be! Not bad but not really good either. The orange is very subtle but the other flavor is...?? I got Cup of Soup. The new friend GLAHW made at Steel City, Jarrod, got cucumber. Don and Steve couldn't really quite place it. MontiLee didn't know what to make of it either. But there are two packages of it in this box so I'll give it another go...maybe...

That's it for November. Stay tuned for what we think will be Germany in December!

Trivia Answer: A. Earthquakes. Indonesia had 897 of them in the past year.

Universal Yums October 2016 Review

Again, I missed a month (or possibly two) but I'm back on the Review Wagon with October's Universal Yums box. We just got the November one but since we hadn't opened October yet, I figured I wouldn't skip it! November will be coming soon...

For those who may not know, Universal Yums is a monthly subscription service. For $13 (or $25) you get a box of candy and snacks from a different country each month. Check them out here: UNIVERSAL YUMS

October brings us goodies from RUSSIA! Trivia Time: Which country is still fighting WWII with Russia? 1. USA; 2. GERMANY; 3. JAPAN; 4. ITALY (answer at the bottom of the post)

(I'll go left to right, top to bottom)

3 Korochki Holodets: These aren't true holodets, which are cold meat jellies (ugh) but the flavor of these little crunchy niblets is of the traditional Russian dish. They start off tasting like straight up roast beef! Then they take a weird turn toward "what the fuck" then veer back to regular meat. Then skip off the road again. Very strange yet pleasant and bewildering.

Ruzik Vanilla Corn Puffs: Think Corn Pop cereal but with a texture of a regular cheesy poof. The vanilla coating on these are more powdery than smooth and they taste sweeter than regular corn pops. They are pretty awesome!

3 Korochki Salmon &Cheese: Haven't opened these yet but as they're made by the same people that did the holodets one, I'm thinking they're the same type of snack. I'm a little afraid...

Skazochnly Strawberry Sponge Cake: Saving this one for the hubby because apparently it tastes like strawberry short cake and he loves that stuff! It does have a nice give to it when I squeeze it so I'm hoping it's nice and moist and tastes good!

Blackcurrant Candies: The description says they're chewy but they feel like little rocks. I anticipate the flavor will be awesome, though, so it doesn't really matter!

Mikaello Chocolate Covered Apricot w/Walnut: This is the flattened empty wrapper above. It was DELICIOUS. It does have a bit of a weird aftertaste but I think all apricots are like that! The textures of dried fruit, nuts, and chocolate were wonderful together.

Russkoe Chocolate w/Sunflower Seeds & Cranberry: Haven't tried this one yet but it sounds pretty good. 

Rot Front Chocolate Vanilla Candy: Don't let the 'rot' name fool you. I thought these tasted good - and very unique. It might be the crushed waffles that make the flavor kind of odd but I liked them. The consistency is sort of like the middle of a butterfinger but not so crunchy. Melts nicely in the mouth!

Red October Toffee Krepysh: Not sure if I'll try this one because it feels rather stiff which usually translates to super sticky which translates to missing dental work. And yes, this company name comes from Lenin's 1917 government takeover. Thought they don't make military rations anymore, it's still government owned and makes the most popular candy in Russia. Of course, I'm guessing if you don't agree with that assessment...

That covers everything. We got a lot of stuff this month and I'm excited to try the few things we haven't opened yet. Until next time....

TRIVIA: 3. JAPAN. Neither Russia nor Japan have signed a peace treaty with each other after WWII. They're still fighting over a piece of land called the Kuril Islands in the southern part of Russia/northern part of Japan. 

Universal Yums May 2016 Box

In case you don't know, Universal Yums is a food subscription box. For $13 or $25 a month, you'll get a bunch of snacks and candy from a different county. How cool is that? Check them out here: UNIVERSAL YUMS.

Trivia: Contrary to popular belief, which of the following ISN'T typically eaten in Greece?   A.Feta Cheese; B.Greek yogurt; C.Hummus; D. Pita  (answer at the bottom of the post)

Mikio Sun-Dried Tomato & Olive Bread sticks: At first these crunchy bread sticks tasted just like sun dried tomatoes. Not my favorite but not terrible. But the olive finish (or perhaps too much oregano) was pretty bad. Neither the hubs nor I cared for these. Even Dozer was a little suspicious of them.

Serenata Chocolate Croissant: WHERE HAS THIS BEEN ALL MY LIFE?!?!?! This was a good sized croissant, soft and buttery, filled with what I can only describe as chocolate pudding heaven. I ate half when we got the box and the rest the next day with some coffee. In fact, the wrapper in the picture is already empty. OH PLEASE tell me the UY folks are working on their storefront right now!!

Rose Mex Pastilles: I've recently discovered how much I like the flavor of rose candy. Unfortunately, these rose gum drops taste like anise and cloves. Clove is a favorite of mine but not in these. Ick.

Ion Assorted Chocolates: We got 2 hazelnut (which were technically from the Ion Noisetta line), amaretto, and nougat. The hazelnuts were great, amaretto even better, but the nougat was too sugary and didn't taste like much of anything. The chocolate tasted a little like Hershey's but better. Smoother, richer flavor.

Ouzo candies: Let's get liquored up! Actually I don't think there's any booze in these hard candies but they did taste really great. Not too over the top anise flavor. Nice and sweet.

Serenata Chocolate Wafers: Think a Kit Kat on crack. Crispy wafer covered in smooth chocolate. This is from the same company that made that chocolate croissant so you know it's good.

BONUS ITEM: Saffron Herbal Tea. What a pleasant surprise! I do like tea so I was excited for this. Not sure I taste the saffron, or the lemon grass, but there's a nice soft flavor of mint that was very nice. 

This was a very good box - that croissant alone was worth it! The clue to next month pretty much tells us it'll be the good ol' US of A!! USA! USA!

TRIVIA ANSWER: C. Hummus

Universal Yums April 2016 Box

Pizza in Poland is often topped with: A. Ketchup; B. Sour Cream; C. Mayonnaise; D Spaghetti Sauce.

If you really wanna know the answer, comment on this post!

This was just one of the trivia questions in April's Universal Yums box. For those who may not know, UY is a monthly food subscription. For $13 (which is the size we pay for) or $25 each month, you'll receive a box full of snacks and candy from a different county. It's so fun to get these and try foods that might not be something we here in America automatically turn to for sustenance. Or a gluttonous night of binge watching TV shows.

Check out this service here: UNIVERSAL YUMS

As you've probably figured out by now, this month brings us snacks from Poland. I have tried everything in this one and I must say....sooooo goooood!

Onion Potato Prazynki: these are Poland's version of the potato chip. The texture is...odd to say the least. Kind of like really thin styrofoam. But the flavor is phenomenal!

Katarzynki Dark Chocolate Gingerbread: not my favorite. The gingerbread texture is airy and spongy which makes me think it's stale. Also the molasses content is too high for me making it more bitter. But the chocolate is awesome.

Krowki Milky Cream Fudge: Very nice flavor on these. They do have a dryer fudge consistency so they aren't messy or gooey. Just soft and creamy and delicious.

E Wedel Chalwa: This is like eating the inside of a Butterfinger but instead of a peanut base it's sesame seed. Not super sweet and a little flakier and drier than it's American counterpart. But still good.

Prince Polo Hazelnut: Remember those sugar wafer cookies we grew up with (that are actually still made today)? This is a similar consistency - creamy hazelnut filling between layers of wafers then covered with chocolate. It's not as sweet as ours, which is a good thing, and it's probably my second favorite treat this month!

Solidarnosc Candied Plums: Basically it's chocolate covered dried fruit. I've had several versions of that here in the US but never plums. The plum gives a nice unique sweetness to this treat. Dare I say I liked it better than chocolate covered dried cherries? Yes, I dare.

Wawel Raczki "Lobster Tails": I don't know why these are called lobster tails. The booklet says that it's because of the pink & white candy shell. Huh? Whatever. The outer candy shell is thin and sweet and there's a crispy peanut filling inside with a hint of rum! Yes, please!

Milka Chocolate Covered Cow: No, it's not real cow. It's a cow shaped cookie with chocolate coating on one side. The cookie tastes like a mixture of pretzel, graham cracker, and vanilla and the chocolate is delicious!

E Wedel Panna Cotta Milk Chocolate Bar: O.M.F.G. This is the best snack in the box. I've had Polish chocolate before and it's fantastic. This, with sweet cream filling and raspberry preserves - HOLY FUCKING SHIT. You know how Ambrosia is supposedly the food of the gods? NOPE. It's this stuff! And I bet you can find it at a local Polish market. If not....RAAAAMPAAAAGGGEEEE!!

I'm tempted to say this month might have edged out the France box, even though that one was twice the size. I really would have paid $13 just for that Panna Cotta bar. 

The clue given for next month makes us think it's Greece so I'm excited to see what we'll get!

Universal Yums March 2016 Box

For those who may not know, Universal Yums is a food subscription service. For $13 (or $25) a month, you get a box filled with yummy treats from around the world -  a different country each time. Check them out!   UNIVERSAL YUMS

This month brings us goodies from the Philippines! (don't mind the spelling error on the front cover of the booklet - they got it right everywhere else). It's unusual that the hubs and I eat most of the snacks before I can write up a review. But aside from maybe 4 candies, this baby is GONE.

Golden Sweet Corn - this went pretty fast. There are supposedly only 2 servings in the whole thing but we made it last for days. They're the consistency of cheesy poofs but they taste straight up like sweet corn in the middle of summer. SO DAMN GOOD. I need to contact the UY folks to see if we can buy this anywhere!!

Pandan Cake (green package) - little dry but it tasted like a nice light vanilla cake.

Goldilocks Polvoron (purple and brown wrappers up  front) - these are shortbread cookies. I had the purple one (Ube flavor - purple yam). Not too sweet. Kind of tasted like taro. Very yummy. The other is cookies and cream flavor, which I don't like, so the hubs got that one.

Pinky Goodies Butterscotch Bar - you can't see the package but it's in there. It was a small moist cake. It was white chocolate flavored but I could taste the butterscotch more. It was really good.

King Choc Nut - I didn't know what to expect with these. They're small little squares of chocolate but the consistency is what I imagine chalk would be if not pressed into a stick. Though that was weird, it was DELICIOUS. 

Lipps Mango Candy is supposed to color your lips, like other hard candies can, but not so much. Flavor was outstanding though. XO Coffee candy tasted like coffee with cream and a little sugar. Awesome. The only candy we haven't tried are the Melon Dew Menthol candies. You can probably imagine why.

So aside from the big ass France box we got in February, I think this one has been the biggest success for us. Usually we take a long time to eat through everything to help it last until the next box. But now we have to wait SOOOOO LOOOOONNNGG for April! Which might be Poland, if we deciphered the clues correctly. If you're not getting this box, I highly recommend you give them a try!

Universal Yums January/February 2016

Again, I got too distracted by life to remember to write up a January UY review. That's okay, though. I'll just put it here with the February one!

Universal Yums is a monthly food subscription service. For $13 or $25 a month, you'll get a box filled with international snacks and candy. I purchase the smaller one with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones. Check out there site!  www.universalyums.com

January - Turkey

I've tried almost all of the stuff in this box. The Dankek Orange cake was a little dry but the flavor was great. The Krokan (the sesame thing on the right) was nice. Not too sweet or overwhelming of sesame. The Mastic gum was AWFUL! Tasted like I was chewing on a balloon. Every wrapper comes with a fortune but it's in Turkish so I have no idea what it says! The NutyMax hazelnut cream bar is, by far, THE best snack in this box. So creamy! The Albeni Biscuit tasted like a fat Twix bar. The Toffix fruit chews are awesome! Soft and chewy with a sweet filling. Very yummy!

Haven't tried the Pizza crackers yet. And that thing on the left, that looks like a giant vacuum wrapped turd, is apparently an aphrodisiac made of grapes, molasses, and walnuts. I have to admit, I'm a little nervous about that one. Overall, I loved the uniqueness of this box!

 

February brought us the bigger sized box because the folks over at YU apparently love their customers. Isn't that awesome?!? So we got double the treats this month and I've pretty much eaten all of it.

 I'll mention the two treats I haven't tried first: the Gourmand Fruit lollipops and the bubble gum. The gum comes with a temporary tattoo in each piece. How cool is that? It also claims to produce the largest bubbles in the world. Challenge accepted, France...

I've tasted or finished off all the rest. The Ker Cadelac palets taste like shortbread but not quite as buttery. Still good though! The Rochambeau cheese puffs are definitely stinky but they taste like a regular cheesy poof with just a slightly stronger flavor. The Madeleines are the hubby's favorite so I'm going to let him finish them. Moist buttery cakes. So good!

The Lutti caramels are cool. They have a hard candy shell and a soft smooth center. Delicious. I demolished the Nougat bar in about 5 minutes. I love me some nougat and this contained pistachios and almonds. MMMMMMM. Rose Pastilles are good...at first. I love the flavor of rose candy (who knew?). These have the rose on the outside and black licorice on the inside. I hate black licorice so I just suck on these until the rose flavor disappears. Then I spit them out.

Loc Marie dark chocolate Crepe Dentelles are amazeballs! Dark chocolate covered crispy crepe layers. So damn good! I have to be careful not to eat them all before the hubby can have a few. The Lemon cookies were great. Like shortbread with a lemon filling on top (you know how jam thumbprint cookies have a chewy jam on the top? same thing here only lemon). Carambars are okay. They are rather hard but it suggests to soften them in the microwave. Might have to try that because they're super sticky. LiquiCroc chocolate dragees are ok. The chocolate shell is meh but the salted caramel filling is great!

Fantastic box this month. So delicious! We can't figure out the clue for next month, though. It's a bit of a head-scratcher. I'll be back next month to let you know!

Universal Yums December 2015 Review

Trying to stay on schedule here so I'm happy to present my December Universal Yums review! UY is a monthly subscription service that ships a box of delicious snacks from a different country every month straight to your door. I buy the smaller box, $13 each month, but there is a $25 option available as well. http://www.universalyums.com/

This month's snacks come from the United Kingdom! The card that comes with each box was seriously upgraded for December. It's more like a booklet. I hope it's permanent!

The snacks I've tried so far: Tayto, cheese and onion chips (or crisps). Delicious! The Meanies are a puffy crisp snack (the texture is like an original Cheeto) that is supposed to be a pickled onion flavor. It's kind of weird. Tastes mostly like mustard to me. The Chewies are a currant flavored chewy candy - think Now n Later but a bit softer - that are awesome! The Treacle Toffees are good (look at the lower right corner of the box - the white label down there). They are actually kind of chewy but still sticky so I had to be careful of my dental work! Side note: my hubby's grandmother used to eat these all the time so there IS a candy he's eaten that I hadn't! (a rarity in this household).

I haven't tried the Clove Drops hard candy (though I'm super excited because clove is one of my favorite spices), Turkish Delight, Jammie Dodgers, or the Drumstick Chew Bar (which feels kind of hard so I probably won't be eating that lest I want my crowns to all pop off). But only because we have a lot of holiday treats around here that need to be consumed quickly!

I'm very happy with this month's box. The hint for next month leads me to believe the snacks will come from Turkey. SO EXCITE!

PDs, GFYs, and MEHs - October/November 2015

Yep...another post where I whine about the months slipping past me at an accelerated rate and me powerless to stop it.

*shrugs*

Finally getting around to posting my thoughts on some truly great stuff, some not so great, and others that can take a running jump off a cliff. Let's get started, shall we?

PDs (Panty Droppers)

Let's start with the pictured stuff (make up and skin care) and then I'll talk about some food!

Essence Gel Eyeliner and Small Angled Brush: As I get older, the skin around my eyes gets more and more delicate (read: aged as fuck). Eyeliner pens, which are awesome and I do like them, get a little trickier to work with (read: pain in my ass). So gel liners are a great alternative. The one from Essence, in league with the little angled brush, are PERFECTION. The color is super black, it sets quickly, and it doesn't move one fucking inch all day. And I have really oily lids and a bit watery eyes. You can get this brand at Ulta Beauty and all Essence's products are pretty inexpensive!

L'Oreal Stylist Eyebrow Plumper:  Most of you who know me know I don't really have eyebrows. I mean, the hair is there but it's sparse, thin, and light in color. I've tried brow gels in the past but they are too gloppy and just goop all over the skin UNDER my brows. So I was a little dubious of this. But it works like a charm! The brush is tiny so it's easy to control and the product is just the right consistency. With a light hand, I can just build up those little hairs to the point where it looks like I have regular brows, not something drawn on. It's awesome! And once it sets, it doesn't move!

Pure Vanilla Roller ball Perfume from LaVanilla Lab: I've bitched about this company's lotion scent before (too heavy, very fake) but this perfume is wonderful. It's everything I want in a vanilla scent. I think I already talked about it in my last Ipsy double review but it's worth mentioning again. It's that good.

Makeup Revolution Blush Palette: I am super impressed with this brand. They are from Britain and until recently, we over on this side of the pond could only order their stuff on-line. Now Ulta is carrying part of their line. I got this blush palette, as well as a baked highlighter and some eye shadow, and I've got to say I'm in love. These blushes are so pigmented. I should have swatched them for you - maybe in another post (I might do a whole MR review). And now I've got 2 extra highlighters and they are gorgeous. Not super glittery - just a little shimmer - but they are awesome. 

Skin Food Rice Mask: I've had a lot of hit and miss with Korean skin care. If they work, they work perfectly. If they don't, they break me out so I look like a pineapple. No middle ground. Ugh. But this rice mask is fantastic! It's a thick unscented cream with little bits of rice (cooked, not raw - they don't want us to scrub our top layer of skin off!). You spread it on and rub it in for 10-15 minutes then rinse away. My arms get a bit tired at the 10 minute mark but my skin feels like it must have when I was born. I don't think any other scrub product has every made my skin feel so soft. I only use it once a week because I have a tendency to go overboard with stuff I like. I will definitely purchase more of this in the future.

Now for food awesomeness:

Peppermint Oreos: they are similar to the regular mint ones (that taste like Girl Scout Thin Mints). Peppermint is more of the flavor people associate with Christmas as it's in peppermint bark, cookies, I think candy canes are peppermint flavored, etc. GO GET SOME.

Chiobani Yogurt Flips: I get on my yogurt kicks every few months and these are great. Low fat flavored yogurt that comes with a little packet of bits you mix into the yogurt. The only one I haven't liked is the Peach yogurt with pistachios. I don't know why. Every other flavor has been great (Chocolate coconut, Peanut Butter Dream, Key Lime, Coffee Bliss....and more!). They're usually on sale at my grocery store so I'll grab 6 or 9 each time!

Now for the MEHs

Skin Food Honey Emulsion and Toner: Now here's an example of Korean skin care, from the same brand that I JUST raved about, that didn't work. It broke me out. The products themselves feel great and smell good. But my skin said no fucking way. But for those who don't break out easily, these might be really good.

Benefit Roller Lash: I want to say that somewhere Benefit claims this mascara creates volume and length while curling. It doesn't not. I don't have heavy thick lashes or ones that point straight down so the mascara curled my lashes extremely well! But when I compared it to other mascaras, they did just about the same thing. So I'd like to know if anyone with hard to curl lashes uses/tried this and what they think! For me it was just ok.

Physicians Formula Organic Wear Ultra Black Mascara (not pictured): I like a lot of PF's mascaras. This is the one that comes in the black packaging. It didn't really do anything spectacular for my lashes and it smudged a little bit. Might work great on someone else but just not for me.

Luxe Eyelash Essence: Got this from 3B in September. I've been using it most days (I forgot a couple of times) and it doesn't seem like anything is happening. Maybe it's a nice conditioner for lashes but it sure doesn't make them grow. Oh well.

And now for what is, honestly, my favorite part of these posts- the GFYs (Go Fuck Yourselves):

Looking at these pics I realize aside from one skin cream, it's all lip stuff. Huh.

Yu-Be Skin Cream: Ugh. Smells like straight up menthol. It doesn't feel nice on the skin either. Hopefully I'll never get another sample of this crap in my 3B bag.

Lipstick/Gloss Sample Foil Packets: What the fuck is this shit? First it's a crappy teeny sample of a lip product. Second it comes in a foil backed package that CANNOT be resealed. I had to monkey around with bobby pins to keep the foil from peeling and curling away and drying out the samples. You know, Avon used to make those mini lipstick tubes (do they still do that?) that probably contained the same amount of product in the above photo but were so much more consumer friendly. Get it together, make up companies. No one wants this bullshit.

NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick: I was so excited for this. After the Colorpop matte lippie disaster earlier this fall, I'm eager to find comfortable matte lip products. Unfortunately, these are not it. I love NYX. I have a lot of lippies from them. But this dung in a tube is just awful. It dries to a sticky tacky layer, it goes on patchy as fuck, and it wears uneven. Terrible. Shitty. Awful. Useless.

Milani Amore Matte Lip Creme: If possible I think this stuff is worse than the NYX. Application is patchy, it's just about as dry as the Colorpop mattes (read: painful), and it wears off the inner part of the lips first (yes, you look like a blow up fuck doll). The dark purply-red color is gorgeous but the darker the color, the worse it looks. I could mess with it by putting a light pink lipstick over it and get this really cool blue duo-chrome effect but honestly, I don't like it enough to fuck with it that much. 

That's it. I'll try to get a quick post up at the end of the year. But since it's already December 7, don't hold your breath.

Universal Yums October/November 2015

Let's take a two country tour this month, shall we? As I stated in my Morgue Drawer post, October got away from me so we're going to need to combine some monthly reviews here!

Universal Yums, for those who may not know, is a monthly subscription service that sends you snack foods from around the world! Each month is a different county. You can either sign up for the Yum Box ($13) or the Yum Yum Box ($25). Check them out for yourselves!  http://www.universalyums.com/  (I purchase this service with my own money and all reviews are my honest opinions and not bought and paid for. I'm not as shill.)

October 2015 - The Netherlands

So much good stuff...We haven't eaten all of the goodies yet. And when I say 'we' I mean 'me'. I've tried everything but the stroopwaffel wafers that you're supposed to put on top of a cup of steaming hot joe and let the heat warm up the creamy center. The Meller caramel candies taste a lot like Milk Duds but with a fudgy center. The windmill cookies were dry and rather tasteless; the coffee hopjes are excellent; the Advocat chews tasted like sweet cream (nice); two mints - King and Princess were pretty basic mints though I liked the princess ones a little better; the paprika chips were the first to go. They tasted like basic potato chips to me but not as greasy as what you normally find here. 

I'm trying the raspberry wineballs now and it seems like they have the same center as a Zot . The flavor is sour and sweet with that fizzy middle seeping out. Kinda cool. The one thing I haven't tried yet is the Licorice Balls because I believe there's salt in the center. Yep, you read that right. Salt. I'm scared...

(as I'm editing this review I'm sucking on a licorice ball. The outside is actually savory, not sweet at all. And the salt center....AAAGGGH! UGH! *cough* *sputter* Throw it in the trash...)

This seemed like an average box. I happy with most of the stuff in here!

And on to November 2015 - South Korea

WOO! Anyone who knows me knows how addicted I am to Korean Dramas and Korean culture. And now I'm getting more into K-Pop...but that's neither here nor there! Here's the box.

I've tried all but one item from this box. The Choco wafers are ok. Like those sugar wafers with the cream center you can get here. Maybe these are a little drier but the flavor is nice. The Milk Strawberry candy is great. Tastes like a strawberry milkshake! The Plum Candy is also excellent. Very good flavor. Almond Pepero is basically Pocky with chocolate and almond coating. Yummy! The soft walnut candy is fantastic! Tastes like a sweetened walnut but chewy instead of crunchy. So  good! I was really excited for the Choco Pie because I've seen it pop up in a few Korean dramas. It's basically like a moon pie but smaller (which is fine) and much drier (not fine). I was a little disappointed. I haven't had the Tiramisu Cupcake yet but it looks wonderful.

The only other thing I tried were the Peanut Squid Balls. Yes...they love their squid over in Asia and apparently peanuts and squid are a popular combination. The description calls it a 'palatable squid aftertaste' and that's about as accurate as you can be. The balls are crispy and the peanut in the center is basically a peanut. There's a soft filling surrounding the peanut but I don't know if that's where the squid taste come in or if it's in the balls (oy, this post is getting dirty). It is a very subtle after taste but I just don't get the combo here. I think it's off putting, even though it's mild. I think without the peanut it would be fine or leave out the squid and the peanut flavor is fine. Just...not together.

This was an okay box. Some of the snacks were great and others were just so so. I still love this idea of snack food from across the globe so I'm gonna stick with it for a while!