Greek Yums

Snacks from Greece

The September box from Universal Yums was loaded with treats from the land of Greece. I’ll say up front it was a mostly solid box with nothing being awful but there were a few I’m ok with never having again.

We’ll start off with my favorite and also the winner of the least photogenic of the snacks.

The poor Serenata Triplo Hazelnut did not fare well in transit due to the ovenlike temps we were having. As much as it looked like something that would empty a public pool it was quite tasty. The milk chocolate was good quality, the hazelnuts were big generous pieces while the wafers and cream filling provided a delicious platform adding even more textures. A case of don’t judge the snack by it’s melty cover.

The second place finisher was a baklava variant call Soragli.

Phyllo pastry dough, almonds, walnuts, a hint of cinnamon and syrup wrapped in a roll, how can you not like that? I will say it did spike the old blood sugar but in small doses it’s a straight up winner.

I didn’t have a “This was nasty” experience so instead of a least favorite I have a most disappointing.

OK look at the package, now look at the inside of the cake. Notice the difference in the size of the cocoa cream filling? I know the pictures always show a best case scenario but come on that’s just false advertising. Aside from being a tad dry the bread itself wasn’t bad and the filling had a decent flavor even if it was spiced with disappointment.

Most unusual goes to another one that was also a bit of a let down.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I saw the donut shaped, cakey looking item with the grapes on the package. I did expect something grapish about it though and that expectation was met only minimally. It was a wheat cake that was sweet and the 8th ingredient was grape juice and it tasted like that’s where grapes were in the priority. The texture was crumbly and wasn’t overpoweringly sweet in spite of sugar, high fructose corn syrup and sorbitol beating out the grapes on the ingredient listing. It went ok with some strong black hot tea. There are too many other better snacks though to bother with this one again.

I want to give a shout out to the candies from the Yum Bag.

They were all three a hit with me and each was very different from the others. The white ball was an ouzo flavored hard candy that had a great anise taste. The middle one was a honey flavored toffee chew that nailed the honey flavor and the toffee just about melted in my mouth as I chewed it. The pomegranate jelly candy had the tartness of the pomegranate and the consistency almost like a Turkish delight with a light dusting of sugar crystals. All nice little nuggets of goodness.

There was also a peanut and honey bar that was reminiscent of a peanut plank, some oregano potato chips, a bruschettini pizza cracker, and some mini breadsticks with pesto flavor plus a chocolate coated wafer cookie that rounded out the box. According to the hints the next box should be an assortment from Austria. Looking forward to seeing what that includes.

Columbian Yum

Seems I haven’t included a Yum box in the blog for a while so let me jump back in with the box from Columbia.

I have to say Universal Yums did a great job with this stash of snacks. I’m not sure my usual MO of highlighting the top 2 plus the worst and most unusual will be maintained. Let’s see where the train of consciousness stops. We will start with one of my all time favorites though.

This little box was just fantastic. It pushed several of my buttons (the good buttons), it had variety with 6 different flavors, they were sweets and smooth creamy textures were a joy to eat. Caja de Dulces Surtidos, assorted sweets. There was a milk caramel that was essentially condensed milk and sugar cooked down into a silky consistency and sweet taste that belied it’s simplicity. The Coffee took that fantastic caramel base and added Columbian coffee that tasted fresh brewed. The Guava had a layer of guava paste on top of the caramel to give it a wonderful tropical flavor and add a second texture. The Panela was made from unrefined cane sugar and had kind of a brown sugar taste on top of the dairy goodness. The Orange had orange zest adding some citrus notes and some bitterness to contrast with the sweet of the candy. Finally the Coconut added a different tropical taste and consistency to the dulce de leche and different was good. I’m almost glad they don’t sell these here as I might become an addict.

Picking a second favorite was hard because there was nothing close to the favorite and almost nothing I didn’t like but I’m going with the Bacon Lime chips.

I wasn’t sure about them when I grabbed the bag, I mean bacon and lime? When I saw they looked like little bacon strips I started to come around. The composition was like a rectangular cheese puff and you there is a bacon aroma and flavor right at the start but then the lime joins the party like a diva headed for a microphone. In spite of the fact they look a bit like a dog treat and the lime is a tad strong I really did enjoy these chips.

There wasn’t anything I thought was just bad so the worst in this case is just my least favorite. They were unexciting enough that I forgot to take a picture of them. They were plantain cookies which were crisp and slightly sweet and that’s about all I can say about them. On the other hand I have two for the unusual category.

The first picture is of mayonnaise chips. Some of you may be gagging, some going Yum!, and others just intrigued or a little chip curious. For the most part it isn’t a combo you see in US stores. They were not bad at all. The chips were decent ruffled crisps and the mayo flavor was there but not at all overpowering. Honestly they’d probably be great on a sandwich you were putting mayo on anyway.

The pastel Easter egg looking candies were candy coated white chocolate bits with a gummy bear center. It was quite interesting to take a bite and just like the package shows, have a little gummy staring at you. If you throw a whole one in your mouth you get the crunch of the candy shell followed by the smooth white chocolate and you end with that chewy gummy so it has quite the mouth feel. They were good but also quite unusual.

There were some other nice snacks both sweet and savory, like the garlic plantain chips, the coconut cream wafer cookies, the cheese & butter arepa chips and the passionfruit lollipop with bubblegum in the center to name some.

There is one I’ll mention because the packaging threw me.

I saw this package and just knew I was going to get some turnip flavored gummy candy and that sent a shiver up my spine. I’m game though and gave it a try. Strawberries and cream? Heck yeah! The flavor may have been enhanced by sweet relief but even so I’d recommend them.

Well that’s all for the Columbia Yum box. The next one in queue is from Indonesia and there’s a few interesting tidbits in that one too.

Ukrainian Yum

Ukraine

The March box of goodies hailed from the country of Ukraine and looked promising right off the bat with the amount of chocolate I could see. Before I get on to the snacks let me say that the little booklet that comes with this as well as the intro card are educational and interesting so if you have kids at home these boxes are educational as well as mostly delicious.

Now on to the goodies. The one I liked the best was a pack of little chocolate squares that had a caramel and cinnamon filling in the center.

I was kind of skeptical at first but the bitterness of the dark chocolate paired with the sweet caramel was a given winner and the hint of cinnamon was a very nice add in. The number two snack was also a chocolate based snack.

I had not read the description in the booklet and took this at face value expecting nothing more than a milk chocolate bar. Imagine my surprise when it turned out to have a creme brule center. That was the kind of unexpected good fortune that cements a high rating in the snack competition. Another surprise, without the same result, garnered the middle of this trio the weirdest snack title.

If you look closely you can see a dark spot in the center. The outside of this was like a cross between a jellied candy and a gummy worm and in the center was a viscous liquid artificially flavored core. There were a mix of flavors and none were bad per se but just an odd combination of textures and flavors. No the only bad snack was the hands down winner of the worst snack moniker.

I had mixed feelings going into this trial. When I saw the flavor was meat jelly I recalled the Russian snack that was meat jelly flavored and how unappealing that was. On the other hand I was hoping the novelty of the potato planks and horseradish might redeem it. My hope was for naught. These smelled disgusting as soon as the package was opened and the flavor was every bit as noxious as the Russian snack had been. It left a foul aftertaste and gave me heartburn even though I only powered through a couple of the chips.

There was another box of chips with dill and sour cream flavor and they at least redeemed the company’s name and let me enjoy the unique chip. I have to say I was digging the packaging and long slender potato crisps. They were kind of like Pringles in texture but a touch thinner. Very little wasted space unlike our 1/3 filled bags of chips.

Other snacks in the box included french fry shaped snacks made from corn with potato flakes added. Two varieties were included, one onion and one veal and adjka flavored. There was a pack of really nice caramels with a great dairy taste. For breakfast one morning I had the ham and mustard corn puffs. Aside from the little candies there was a big bar of dark chocolate with bits of dried fruit stuck to the outside.

Overall the box was a winner in spite of the meat jelly assault. I can’t wait to see what’s in the April box from Israel.

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