The Monkey Is In.

So be prepared. Bring a banana.

I'm a writer of horror and dark fiction. I've been doing this since 1999 and believe me when I say, it's cheaper than therapy and safer for the world at large.

Filtering by Tag: foreign

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!


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!

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 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 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!  (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!