This month’s Yum box was loaded with snacks from across the pond and specifically the UK. Just to get rid of any confusion the little booklet pointed out early on that while many people equate the UK with Great Britain they aren’t exactly the same. Great Britain is England, Scotland & Wales and the UK is Great Britain plus Northern Ireland. Now that we have that out of the way here are shots of the box opening.
The box leaned more towards the sweet side than savory side of the snack spectrum. There were 3 bags of different flavored crisps and 3 different kinds of cookies or biscuits plus a couple of toffees and other chewy treats. As has been the custom I’ll go over my favourite 2 along with the most unusual and least favorite and this week an honorable mention in the unusual category.
Both the favourites appealed to my sweet tooth. The first was the Wagon Wheels.
These Wagon Wheels Jammie snacks beg for a comparison to moon pie’s based on first look as it was two cookies sandwiching marshmallow and covered in chocolate. Covered in medium quality milk chocolate with a low melting point that didn’t taste bad but you could count on a little mess. The cookies were thinner than a moon pie and crisper as well as sweeter. The marshmallow cream was smoother and not chewy like a moon pie’s. The biggest differentiator was the little dab of jam that added a great taste. It was for sure sweeter than I was expecting but very good. Also the packaging is complete with that icon of UKness, the Conestoga wagon.
The second place favourite (actually third but the real second was the most unusual) was the Toffypops.
These were a tad melty when they came in off the August in the South front porch so I threw them in the freezer and as a result they were not as pretty as if they’d come straight from the grocer’s shelf. In spite of their unsightliness they were tasty. Toffypops are tea biscuits with toffee in a well at the center of the biscuit and topped with chocolate. The cookie was plain with little flavor of it’s own which made the taste of the chocolate and toffee stand out all the more. The chocolate was ok but the toffee was quite good and the combo went well together. I didn’t have mine with tea but I could certainly imagine it going well with a strong black tea.
My least favourite item was from the bag of candies.
The yellowish green one was called a chocolate lime candy. These little nuggets are hard candies that have an artificial lime flavor typical of the genre and have a center of equally artificial chocolate flavor. The combination did nothing for me and the whole thing just tasted so artificial it was off putting (that sounds better than nasty right?).
The most unusual category I have what was also my true second favorite as well as an honorable mention.
Johnny’s Pickled Onion Rings were a surprising snack that made me go Wow! The vinegar and onion taste are no joke on these little bad boys. They are fairly uniform corn based rings and even as I was taking that first bite I smelled the vinegar. I could feel the glands in my neck react and the pucker factor was serious business when they hit the tongue. The vinegar is definitely the first impression but then the onion flavor gets to come out and play and the overall snack was a hit with me. I could see bowls of these sitting on a bar doing the job of getting people to order an extra pint or two.
The honorable mention goes to one of the bags of crisps.
I can’t think of a more fitting company to make haggis and cracked pepper crisps than Mackie’s of Scotland. I have to be honest and say I approached these with some trepidation but also it was the first snack I tried. I had no idea what I was going to get because I’ve never had real haggis but I’ve read descriptions and never thought I had to book a flight and get me some. Turns out it was a nice crisp. The seasonings gave it a salty, smokey taste, then you got the potato flavor. The cracked pepper was not to be left out and built up the heat a little as more of the chips were consumed. One thing about all the crisps, they were thicker than a standard US chip but more delicate than a kettle cooked style. Also the various flavor profiles were more subtle than what you’d get in a US chip and you could get a better taste of the potato.
The other items in the box were good and while I won’t detail them all I’ll mention what they were; Creamy Dreamy Toffee, Sea Salt & Cider Vinegar Crisps, Mature Cheddar & Onion Crisps, Chocolate Chip Shortbread biscuits, Rhubarb & Custard Chews, Walker’s Treacle Toffee, Prosecco Fudge, Kir Royale Black Currant & Champagne Chews.
Overall an interesting and enjoyable box with some items I liked more than I thought I would and some that were a bit disappointing but not bad, except the lime chocolates. Those were not pleasing.
Based on the clues I think next month will be Thailand but I’m not sure.