Turkish Delights

Well since there aren’t really any new restaurants opening, ethnic or otherwise, I’m still having to have my global flavor fix delivered. I found a very reasonable snack box on Amazon from Turkish Munchies and ordered up their Midi box.

The neat little pamphlet on top was something I appreciated. It has a list of possible snacks you could receive and each one has a thumbnail picture, a bit about the item and a couple of other nice touches. One being a group of icons showing major allergens that might be present as well as beverage pairing icons (non-alcoholic). There are also Stars you can use to rate the snacks and they encourage you to share on social media, because who doesn’t like free advertising. Here is a layout of the contents of my box.

I didn’t take photos of the individual snacks out of the package except the Kagit Helva wafer cookie on the bottom right.

I only did that to show the scale of the thing. Unfortunately that was the only impressive thing about it. It had the taste and texture of one of those cheap ice cream cones you get in the super market, one step above sweetened Styrofoam. There were some really nice ones though. The chocolate cupcake that was supposed to have cherry filling was really tasty. The cherry filling had just been absorbed by the cupcake so it was actually just a moist center but the flavor melded in a lip-smacking way.

The Bidolu wafer cookie’s filling of chocolate with nuts and crisp cookie was a standout along with the herb coated Krispi snack sticks. The banana wafer cookies and the coconut / chocolate ones were both more than acceptable versions of their type. The Cubuk Kraker pretzel sticks were nothing special but they had the advantage of being the most plentiful snack in the box.

I wasn’t in love with the sour bubble gum or what was supposed to be popping candy (there was no popping). The weird strawberry cupcake with sprinkles was in my bottom four as well. It wasn’t so much bad as it just wasn’t my deal.

I would definitely recommend this little slice of Turkish snackdom for the price, quality and taste. They offer other options too but I think for under $15 you can’t beat this for an intro.

SpiceBreeze part 2

As mentioned in the SpiceBreeze review I decided to make at least one of the recipes included with the spice blends from each of the three envelopes I received. Each of them turned out pretty well and the spice blends played key roles in every case.

The first one was using the “Tacos al pastor” seasoning mix.

This recipe called for creating a thick, onion heavy marinade that included the spices, some oil and tomato paste then coating the pork with it and letting it marinate for a while. It also called for frying up some pineapple rings to go along with the meat. The recipe called for the pork to be cooked then cut into strips and then fried again. I had some salsa in the fridge and threw that on as well to get the end result you see below.

They were terribly tasty tacos that had a smoky flavor imparted by the spice blend. Was worth my efforts.

The next one was a spice blend for and Indian dish, Summer Aloo Gobi Matar.

This hearty dish is a stew of potatoes, cauliflower, and peas that also included garlic, onion, tomato and ginger. In my case I exercised one of the suggested options and included a bit of chicken. Served with the suggested Basmati rice and naan this was filling and had some nice color. The spices in the blend played well together and it was savory and satisfying as well. For the curious the spices were; fennel, cumin, turmeric, coriander and cardamom. As an aside there was another pack in the envelope of whole cardamom seeds with a Mango Lassi recipe that also got used. I love mango lassi.

The last one was a Kabob Koobideh spice blend. This is a ground meat grilled kabob popular in Persian communities, as well as with others who just like good food.

Now I’ll admit up front these aren’t as visually appealing as they could have been and bear a striking resemblance to something you might not want to eat but trust me they tasted better than they looked. The restaurant versions of this dish I’ve had were a little thinner and were formed such that there were little ridges along the length almost like delimiters for bite sized chunks.

The recipe called for lamb, beef or chicken and had the store had lamb I’d have gone that way but instead I settled for lean ground beef. The recipe is fairly basic other than grating an onion and squeezing out all the juice, which isn’t difficult just something I’d never done to an onion before. Next up was adding some garlic, egg, spices and then the meat. Then you knead it for a while to incorporate everything and give it texture. In this case the spice blend consisted of sumac, turmeric, black pepper & parsley. The recipe called for just shaping the meat into long patties and frying but I was having none of that and decided they’d be shaped on skewers and grilled like they should be. The end result, when paired with the marinated cabbage (also included in the recipe) and some rice, was very good and bonus there were plenty of left-overs.

I have to give the SpiceBreeze team props for some fairly simple recipes that were delicious and did a good job showing off the spice packs they sent. So while it wasn’t something I wanted to continue I could certainly recommend it to others who might want to try their hands and discovering new cuisines.

Thailand Yums 2

I really wanted to title this “Thai 2, the Eclectic Bugaloo” but it didn’t look quite right on preview.

Since the Yum boxes were in repeats and I canceled the subscription after the current one runs out I had pretty much decided to stop reviewing them. Indeed, the UK box was thoroughly un-photoed and un-remarked on but the Thailand box flipped that script after I tried the first 2 items. The first one had me nibbling the hook and the second one set it.

The first one I grabbed was the bag of Tasto Devil potato chips. They were supposed to be spicy with flames on the bag and blah blah blah. Everything that has ever been “spicy” was medium at best in all the months I’ve been trying these. Imagine my surprise when I reached in and grabbed a couple of chips, tossed them in my mouth and before I could finish the second crunch I was feeling the heat. Wow these did have Thai chili flavor going on. I was impressed as I felt my scalp beginning to tingle. Then I discovered they didn’t just have powdered chili coating the chips they included a goodly amount of dried chilis in with the chips. I found this out when I started chewing on one that infiltrated my mouth by hiding between two of the chips. It was hot. My eyes wanted to help my mouth by providing liquid but since crying wouldn’t really help I vetoed that idea. OK they weren’t quite that hot but they were no joke and I did break a sweat.

The next contestant from the Thai Yum box was the bag of sea salt & caramel coconut chips. These were simply great. Strips of crunchy dried coconut, lightly salted and boldly caramelled (I’m sure that should be a valid word). The caramel was not like chewy gooey caramel but only the flavor so if I hadn’t read it on the package it would have been a total surprise and even knowing it I was impressed with the execution.

Because the folks from Thailand apparently love their salt there were also some salt and lime gummy’s too. Another hit snack. They were about 1/4″ wide (6.4mm) and 2 1/2 – 3″ long (64-76mm) gummy strips lightly covered in a fine powder of salt and sugar and a nice lime taste. I would actually have liked to have someone who drinks tequila eat one of these after a shot just to get their thoughts. Sadly I didn’t save any for my tequila drinking friends.

I didn’t bother taking a photo of what I considered the weirdest of the snacks but it is worth mentioning as a cautionary tail if nothing else. It was a corn flavored chew from the Yum bag. I’ll give them this, it was definitely corn flavored but it was also like chewing wax that started morphing into plastic and I’m sure if I’d swallowed it that thing would have rattled my digestive system for quite a while.

The last one I’ll mention was one I saved for last because I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to care for it and wanted to put off confirmation until there was no other choice.

The name of this is Z Roll Farm Fried Shrimp & Salad Cream. A seaweed wrapped potato stick with fried shrimp and mayonnaise flavors. With that name and description you might understand why I approached this with trepidation. I like the individual elements here but as a combo and based on experience with seaweed and seafood snacks I cringed opening the pack. I had a bit of hope when it didn’t reek like a week old dead fish in a tidal pool. Alas, the first bite confirmed my suspicions that this would not be a snack for me. The unusual texture combination of the semi-pliable seaweed and the powdery crunch of the potato stick followed by the respective tastes was, shall we say, off putting to me. I’m sure if I’d grown up with this as a snack option I’d have a different opinion but as it was this was a big ole “NOPE”.

If the next month is a repeat I hope they deliver as well as the Thai box did. Even the crappy ones were worth talking about.

SpiceBreeze “Box”

After I decided to stop the Universal Yum snack box description I searched for some other subscription box that would have an international flavor, literally, and be suitable for adding content to the blog. I was also considering the price / value as well. I decided to take a chance on SpiceBreeze. They call themselves a subscription box but it’s really a subscription envelope.

The plan I got came with 2 spice packets with recipe cards and 1 additional item like the cardamom seeds with the instructions to make a mango lassi on the label. For $7.99 I don’t feel cheated but I did feel disappointment when I got my first envelope.

They delivered everything they said they would on the website and the quality of the contents was decent but the presentation and packaging says “shoestring” to me. The first envelope had taco al pastor spice blend and furikake blend with recipe cards and I honestly forgot what the other packet was but it was a Mexican spice blend that I mixed into some refried beans to make a dip and air fried some small flour tortillas to make chips from. I’ll cover some of the recipes in a follow up entry but for now I’m just reviewing the subscription.

The recipes are definitely interesting but aside from the spice blends you have to provide everything else. None of the 6 recipes I saw over the 3 months I received had anything too exotic or difficult to obtain under normal circumstances but with the pandemic your mileage may vary. There is enough of the spice to make 1 instance of the recipe that generally feeds 2 or more. The recipe cards offer variants and on the back some additional detail on the blend and or the country it’s from.

Overall I’d say this was an ok subscription worth a solid 3 stars out of 5, maybe 3.5 but I just wasn’t feeling it enough to continue beyond the initial 3 month subscription.

Philippines Yum 2

The May Universal Yum box was another repeat country and while none of the snacks were a repeat exactly I decided it was time to move on from the Yum boxes. The subscription has a few months left so I’ll have a some more entries but now I’m searching for something new.

In the meantime let’s look at what this box offered.

There were a couple of nice treats but they were outnumbered by the sub-par snacks. My favorite was the ChocoMucho bar.

Not a pretty bar but quite tasty. The chocolate outer coating was a decent quality dark over crispy rice. That crispy rice covered a chocolate cookie with a caramel blanket. I could have eaten a whole box of these. Thankfully, for my weight, that wasn’t an option. Number two on my list was a bit more numerous and was enjoyed over several snackings.

Soft cookies with mango bits. I’m a mango fan so I loved these. They were kind of soft and doughy and each one was individually wrapped in a foil pack to keep them soft.  The mango bits tasted fresh and had an excellent flavor.   The cookies also had a bit of granular sugar that gave the occasional satisfying crunch.  Now let’s look at the weird and worst.

This Hulk colored sponge mess was supposed to have a cream filling but if there was any it had long since degraded into some goo that was absorbed by the cake around it. This was supposed to be flavored with Macapuno coconut which is, and I quote the booklet, “filled with a soft, jelly-like flesh.” It was as appetizing as that sounds. Not a winner.

Sticking with the offputting colors let’s move onto the Cupp Keyk Coco Ube.

If it had been the bright color of the package it would have at least had that going for it. Instead it was the grey purple that was more akin to the skin color of a floater fished from the river on a crime procedural. The taste wasn’t quite as bad as it looked but again it was not something I’d ever want to have again unless the option was a macapuno sponge cake, then it would be a coin toss.

Now there were some additional snacks that were serviceable like the cheese puffs, a cookies & cream ChocoMucho bar, some adobo corn nuts and a couple of hard candies. But the Farmer John BBQ sausage chips were just loaded with artificial and chemical tastes that were almost enough to edge past the mutant sponge and cup cakes.

Overall the box was average at best and made the decision to not renew the subscription pretty easy. Next post should be either a new spice or a restaurant visit.

Togarashi Testing

This week’s entry in quarantine cuisine takes me from the Mediterranean across Asia to the islands of Japan. I came across a small packet of togarashi spice blend and decided that would serve nicely as the next entry.

There are different versions of togarashi but some elements are pretty much consistent which are; red chili peppers, orange peel, sesame seeds, nori (seaweed), ginger, and white pepper. Other items are added depending on who’s making it and what profile they’re going for. The blend I have uses hot and sweet paprika, black and white sesame seeds, orange peel, poppy seeds and powdered nori but no ginger or white pepper so I added both to the mixture myself.

Typical uses are adding it to soups, noodle dishes or rice dishes. In my case I decided to make a simple soup using thin sliced beef, dashi broth (thanks Lynn), shitake mushrooms, green onions and udon noodles and add the togarashi.

I marinated the beef in a mix of soy and teriyaki sauces then browned the bite sized bits just a tad before adding to the dashi broth with the other ingredients. So I never took a snap of the beef at any stage and even in the finished product below it is hiding beneath the other ingredients but trust me it was tender and tasty.

This turned out to be very tasty and quite filling. The togarashi spice added a little bit of heat and some nice color to the dashi broth. The pepper flavor was there and melded well with the marinated beef and green onions, which also added a color element. I really liked the finished product and there were left overs so I’m expecting one of those “better the next day” experiences.

I’ve used this spice blend as a rub before and also sprinkled on roasted vegetables. Both good but for some reason this blend smoked at any highish heat. I’d definitely recommend trying it if you never have.

Holiday Yums

Well after several weeks of laziness I decided to drop the December Holiday Yums box entry.

The 2019 Holiday box had 13 snacks from 13 different countries; Spain, Uruguay, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Philippines, France, Jordan, Austria, Croatia, Belgium, Japan, and Poland. There were a couple of repeats from previous boxes but mostly it was new stuff. My favorite was a repeat.

The Jabri Mixed Baklava was my favorite from last year’s Holiday box as well. The regular is great but the birds nest version with pistachios is just a special treat. It did have some competition this year in the form of a Belgian treat.

If I haven’t said it before I’ll say it now, white chocolate is not my jam but add some cinnamon cookie bits and I’m inviting you to the party. It was like an uber-sweet snickerdoodle. A little went a long way sort of like the most unusual paring of the box.

The Spanish weighed in again with a twisted chip flavor because someone thought, “you know what this chip needs? Raspberries!” It really didn’t. It was better than I expected but I had the bar pretty low going in. The raspberry flavor was reasonably muted so it was more like a distraction from a quality chip that an enhancement. The French, not to be left out of the chip wars said “hold mon bier”.

Roasted chicken chips? I had high expectations in spite of past experience with most “meat” flavored chips. First chip had me impressed and thinking “by golly these do have a roast chicken flavor” by about the 4th chip though I was over it.  It was just too much of the roast chicken flavor, which is something I never imagined saying. I could’t even finish the bag. Croatia managed to come in with powerful entry though that I did finish.

As soon as the package was opened the garlic smell ventured forth like it was planning to conquer the world or at least the room.  The pretzel sticks were good and crunchy even with the hollow core that was loaded with garlic.  I do mean loaded.  It was so garlicky I had to go brush my teeth and gargle just so I could move on with my day. 

Most interesting taste sensation goes to the Polish gingerbread.

This was actually the first thing I had from the box. Gingerbread snacks have been hit or miss but this entry with black currant icing was tasty and light with a hard glaze icing.  For the interesting taste sensation. As I was biting it I got a strong hint of black currant that was like a combination of scent and taste but it hadn’t yet hit the tongue. This certainly has happened with other foods but this was probably the most remarkable because the black currant taste on eating it was very subtle until I was finished and then it lingered. Good start, good finish.

The other snacks were mostly good with a couple of so so but the grade for the Holiday box was an A-.

The next blog entry will have me out and about again for a lunch at one of a couple of new (to me) restaurants I’ve found.

   

Arlington/DC edition

OK this is multi-day blog so it’s longer than the average entry.

A couple of weekends ago a number of family members went to Arlington, VA to have my Father’s urn placed in Arlington National Cemetery with the accompanying military honors. The service was on Monday so my sisters, their husbands and my two youngest nephews met up the Friday before and started our dining experiences at Ireland’s Four Courts pub just a couple of blocks from our hotel. My sisters both went with the Chicken Boxty and my brothers-in-law both got the Shepherds Pie. Both dishes got high marks. My choice was the traditional Irish Breakfast.

If this is a normal breakfast I don’t understand how all of Ireland isn’t a bunch round people just rolling off the island based on the quantity of food. There were eggs, sausage (kind of bland), beans, fried potatoes, roasted tomatoes, toast, black and white pudding and hiding in the picture are two rashers of bacon. I’ll tell you right now this did not all get consumed but damage was done. The white pudding was the only new item for me and for taste was just a bit milder version of the black pudding. I guess the blood does make a difference. Since I had low expectations of the sausage links I was not disappointed and overall I enjoyed the breakfast for dinner alongside a Magner’s Irish Cider, which was just OK.

Our next group meal was in DC at a place just off the Mall, b DC Penn Quarter. Their sub-title is burgers. beer. bourbon. I can vouch for 2 out of 3. We’d been to one of the Smithsonian museums and had built up a thirst and appetite. Many burgers were ordered and water consumed in large quantities. My choice of burger was the 3 Shrooms.

Now I’ll admit the picture doesn’t look appetizing but let me tell you it was fantastic. The burger was a 7 oz patty of in-house ground beef with sauteed mushrooms, a mushroom spread, truffle mayo and lots of melted Swiss cheese on a soft bun. If you’re a shroom fan I don’t need to say much more and if you’re not I’d be wasting my breath so I’ll just leave you with the fact that I left an absolutely clean plate. To partner with the burger I selected a local beer, Devil’s Backbone Vienna Lager. It was a light easy drinking beer that went well with the very flavorful burger. Oh and there were crispy tots involved too.

The evening meal was Italian with local friends not seen in person for 40 or so years. We knew them from Geneva, Switzerland and the wonderful years we lived there. This was automatically going to elevate the meal. The place picked for us by our VA friends was Pazzo Pomodoro. Now the expectation got ratcheted up quickly as on the way in a gentleman I was holding the door open for to exit stopped to tell me this was the best Italian food in the area and I’d love it. Since I had no local frame of reference for Italian food I’d have to take his word for the first part but the second I’d decide for myself. I elected to try one of the Chef’s signature dishes.

The Involtini di Vitello was veal stuffed with prosciutto, fontina cheese, and wild mushrooms in a marsala sauce with vegetables on the side. I just realized the mushroom theme of the day. The veal was tender and the stuffing was savory and delicious. I had some local beer that I didn’t bother to keep track of because I was honestly more interested in catching up and enjoying the company of friends. I don’t know if this is the best Italian food in Vienna, VA but the dish I had was well worth the going for.

The next day we decided to get our cheese on and headed to The Swiss Bakery in Springfield, VA. This is a great little place that is a bakery with a side of Swiss market and oh yeah a restaurant. The cheese several of us got was raclette over potatoes. I went to the drink case to pick a beer but saw the Sinalco and had to get that instead. It is a citrus soda that was the first Swiss drink we had at my dad’s bosses house the night we arrived in Geneva so I had to get that. It was just like I remembered.

As mentioned I got the raclette cheese over potatoes which also came with bread, dried beef slices, pickled onions and baby dills. I also got a side bratwurst.

If you’ve never had raclette before I’ll say up front it smells like feet, after a long walk, but it is good. The pungent cheese and the plainness of the potatoes go well together. The salty dried beef and tangy pickled vegetables are perfect pals to have with this. The bread clears your palate so you can load it up with flavors all over again. The brat was good but really I could have done without it and been just fine. Since this was also a market we may have purchased some Swiss chocolate and there’s a possibility some pastries were procured.

The next day the international theme of meals continued when we walked the short distance from our hotel to MeJana Lebanese restaurant. It was just a little too warm for outside dining so we got a booth by the window so we could still have a good view of the street. We started with some hummus and warm flat bread and then right into various kebabs. I got the mixed grill.

The mixed grill had one chicken, one lamb and one kafta kebab plus rice and some vegetable matter on the side. The kafta was the most flavorful but a bit chewy. The chicken was probably the best overall as it was spiced just right and very tender. It was a ton of food and under other circumstances I might have carried some leftovers home but instead I plowed through. Thank goodness for the walk back to the hotel.

My final day in DC found me at the National Archives and the Smithsonian castle working up a lunch appetite. Checking out Yelp for stuff in walking distance I did a double take on the USDA Cafeteria and the high ratings it had so I needed to check this out for myself. After going through security and getting a visitor’s sticker I followed the stream of people to the cafeteria.

Wow this was one bad-a$$ cafeteria. It had a salad bar and hot bar that you pay by the pound plus deserts including cold and frozen options. Around the perimeter of the cafeteria are specialty stations like Korean BBQ, Italian, Deli, Mexican, and at least one more I’m forgetting but the choices were quite varied and the food all looked fresh and delicious. I decided to go for the Korean bowl, specifically the regular bowl. The small would have been sufficient.

The way this worked is you picked your carb, I got brown rice, then 4-6 vegetables, your meat or tofu then sauce. For vegetables I got some kimchi, something else spicy and pickled, some broccoli and sprouts. I got the beef and house sauce that was tangy and spicy. It was very good but I only got about 2/3 of it eaten before I had to tap out. The beef was good and the sauce was just spicy enough to make me sweat just a bit.

That pretty much wrapped up the culinary experience for my northen Virginia / Washington DC trip. I do want to say thank my family and friends who shared various meals with me; Lynn, Keith, Dee, Chris, Alex, Haley, Lauren, Jesse, Jay, (we missed you Paige), Ellie, Jackie, Shelley, Stephanie, Kallianna, Kyle & Julie. The meals were all enhanced by your presence.

Russian Yum

Russian Snacks

The October box from Universal Yums was loaded with snacks from the continents spanning country of Russia.

 

The nice thing was there were none that I really disliked but it was also pretty easy to come up with the “worst yum” for me as well.

As usual there was a nice mix of sweet and savory leaning more toward the sweet end of the snack scale.  My favorite was also the first snack I tried, the Blackurrant Zefir.

This snack was a chocolate covered marshmallow cream with black currant. The layer of chocolate was very thin and brittle. The marshmallow filling was the star. It was a bit firmer than marshmallow fluff and a nice tangy mix of black currant throughout. Really tasty and a winner from the start.

My second favorite was the Grapefruit Chocolate bar.

It had a very good quality dark chocolate providing a thick shell for a creamy filling.  The filling had a significant grapefruit taste.  It was authentic enough I expected a bitter aftertaste that never came.  It was just the citrusy grapefruit goodness with some sweetness that melded well with the slightly bitter dark chocolate.

The worst of the lot was the Holodets and Horseradish Husks.

I didn’t know what holodets was until I read it in the booklet.  It is cold meat jelly and that put visions of that congealed nonsense you wipe off of spam or something like souse.  Either way not an appetizing picture to start.  When I opened the package I got a whiff of something that smelled vaguely meaty but not appetizing.  Husk apparently means something like breadstick.  These were rye bread bits and I figured getting past the smell would get me a sinus clearing taste of horseradish but it was very very mild.  The texture was like a crouton and since they weren’t very good just eating them from the bag I tried eating them with a bowl of homemade vegetable soup.  They didn’t ruin my soup so they had that going for them.  Anyway not the best.

The most unusual wasn’t anything weird but more like something unexpected in the Tula Pryanik.

This was a nice big gingerbread cake made with milk and honey.  The Russian writing was raised and the whole thing was about an inch thick and had a thin line of filling in the middle that was brown and sweet.  The cake itself had about the same consistency as a cake doughnut and the gingerbread taste was milder than just about anything gingerbread in the US.

In addition to the ones pictured there was a toffee with peanuts, shishkabob potato crisps, fairy tale roll cakes, wheat snacks that were shallot and potato flavored, salmon and cheese husks and a big old pack of milk cookies with a chocolate glaze on the bottom.  Oh yeah the bag of candies was great with forest fairy honey peanut delights, juicy light peach & apricot jellies, and caramel dreams that had no caramel but did have lemon fondant and apple jam.

Good box of snacks.  If I read the clues right next months featured country it Holland.  I bet it’ll be Gouda.  (I’m not even ashamed)

 

 








Thailand Yum

Siamese Snacks

The September Yum snack box was Thailand themed and continued the streak of fun boxes loaded with interesting and unusual snacks.

 

I’ll continue highlighting my favorite and number two as well as the worst and most unusual but I’m also going to mention a couple of the others that just need to be touched on because they were both weird and weirdly good.

So the favorite was the first one I tried from the box.

Coconut Snack Bites sounded like a can’t go wrong and that big package looked like it was going to be a two session snacking event.  Alas it was a case of excess packaging but the contents were delicious.  They were little round golden brown crispy treats with a nice toasted coconut flavor. Real shredded coconut that was not too sweet so you got the natural coconut taste.  The package says crispy and yummy and I concur.

My number two was the Coconut Cream-O Choco Plus.

This was a five pack of two cookie sleeves so they were easy to parcel out and enjoy several times.  The cookies had chocolate and coconut flavored caramel. The cookie part tasted like a regular butter cookie that had a well in the center lined with a very thin layer of caramel with coconut flavoring at the bottom and topped with chocolate. The chocolate was soft, the caramel was a bit chewy and the cookie was crumbly. All working in harmony to provide an enjoyable snack.

The worst snack was the only snack I haven’t finished from any box to date.

Big Roll Grilled Seaweed roll Tom Yum Goong flavor.  This was the second snack I tried from the box and thank goodness it was not indicative of the rest of the box.  I’m not a seaweed hater but the mascot looks like Eric Cartman so maybe that should have been a hint.  Man was this not good.  It was a thin, fragile seaweed roll that was flaky and on first taste had a strong salty sea / fishy taste and then I forgot about that as the hot and sour flavor came to the fore.  The hot and sour wasn’t bad but trying to get by that fishy salty nastiness wasn’t worth it with a box of other choices.  One of which was the most unusual.

Sticky rice with coconut cream and mango.  Living up to the name it was very moist and sticky.  Unusual but quite tasty.  At first the coconut and mango were both mild flavors but definitely present.  Then as I got into it there turned out to be a very ripe piece of mango in the center of the sticky rice.  The look, feel and texture could easily be off-putting but it was a tasty little snack once you got past all that.

Two others I liked that were just odd enough I wanted to share them as well.

The Juzi-C gummy strip was a spicy pineapple fruit roll up type of snack.  The strip itself was thin, flat and coated with a light dusting of sugar crystals.  A bite of the stretchy treat got you a sweet pineapple taste that resolved into an eye opening spicy sweet treat.  It wasn’t too hot when balanced by the sugar but it was definitely not something you have every day.

The other was a savory snack.  Jack ‘n Jill sausage and sweet chili potato rings.  This snack was on my radar to be in the weird column because it had a hot dog on the package and it was unusual. They were wee little crunchy rings.  After I opened the package the first thing to hit me was the smell.  They smelled like hot dogs so the package was no lie and as I was eating them the immediate impression was the same but a microsecond after they hit your tongue the sweet chili flavor takes over. Not bad but staying in the weird column.

I signed up for a 6 month subscription and this was box 5 and unless box number 6 totally tanks I’m definitely going to let the auto renew go through.  If you’re interested in securing a box or more for yourself use the link below and you’ll get $5 off and so will I on my future purchases.

Universal Yums referral link