Universal Yums! August 2015

Universal Yums! August 2015

We have been subscribing to the Universal Yums! snack box for several months now.  We are still a little behind in our reviews of our boxes but have finally gotten the August review post published!  The August box featured snacks from India.  Based on last month’s clues, we had figured this out prior to the box arriving.  We were excited to try snacks from India, since we had never had any before.  The box ships mid-month and usually arrives a couple of days after being shipped.  This month’s box included a new feature, a playlist of songs from the country that you can listen to while enjoying the snacks.


This box included the usual variety of sweet and salty snacks.  There were two varieties of Kurkure snacks.  The Chili Chatka Kurkures were spicy, as the name and chili pepper pictured on the front of the bag suggest.  The Naughty Tomato flavor Kurkure is described on the information card as “a snack that tastes like tomatoes, but these have a hint of spice with a sweeter, almost cinnamon aftertaste.”  I found these to be spicy as well and didn’t enjoy this variety either.  The Weekend Chef enjoyed them both so they got eaten.  The kids didn’t bother trying either when they heard they were on the spicy side.


Also included were Parle Kreams Bourbon (2.65 oz).  There were eight cookies in the package.  These were chocolate sandwich cookies with tiny sugar crystals on top of the cookies.  There was nothing extraordinary about these cookies and they tasted like cookies that we could get locally in the supermarket.  However, we all enjoyed them.  The Weekend Chef gets annoyed that the wrapper notes that there is one serving per container, with a serving size being 6 pieces.  However, there are eight cookies in the package.

The Brittannia Treat Mango Cremes (1.3 oz) were a sugar cookie filled with a mango crème filling.  There were four cookies in the package.  This was another snack that we all enjoyed.  The information card noted that In 2013 the Girl Scouts sold Mango Cream cookies which tasted very similar to these cookies.  Unfortunately, our Girl Scouts did not sell these, so we missed out!

The Nestle Smarties are like large M&Ms.  Although the chocolate discs had different colored candy coatings, they all tasted the same…..except for the orange colored coated candy that tasted like oranges.  This was another winner.

Universal Yums! India

The picture below shows Britannia Date Rolls.  This 3.17 oz. package included eight cookies.  The cookies were similar to a fig newton but had a harder, crumblier cookie.  The filling was only a very thin layer that was not too sweet.  The Weekend Chef called these the “not fig newtons.”  He normally doesn’t like dates but enjoyed these cookies.  Everyone but our daughter liked these cookies.

In the green bag were Candyland Jelly Amrood.  There were about ten pieces of pear and/or guava shaped gummy candies in the bag.  The gummies had little flecks of pepper and had a “sour, sweet, and pepper” flavor.  Our son ended up eating most of these.

One of my favorite snacks in the box was the Best Value Bansi Peanut Chikki (3.5 oz).  This was peanut brittle. Good peanut brittle!  Nothing stood out to us that made it an “Indian” snack.  However, the card noted that this brittle is made with jaggery, a non-centrifugal cane sugar that is eaten in Asia and Africa.

Universal Yums India


The box also had a 0.88 oz. bag of  Snack City Chillz Spicy Potato Sticks.  These were spicy as well and only the Weekend Chef at them.

There were four pieces of Mango Moody Candy.  These hard candies are made from mango pulp.  These weren’t my fave, but the kids liked these.



Finally, there was a bag of Lay’s Masala Magic flavored potato chips.   These were ruffled potato chips with a spicy seasoning blend.  They were a little spicy for me and the kids, but again, good thing the Weekend Chef likes spicy snacks!

Lays Masala Magic

Overall, we were happy with the variety of snacks in the India box.  There were several snacks that the family couldn’t enjoy because they were too spicy.   However, it’s always fun to try snacks from a different country!





Universal Yums! July 2015

So we are way behind on our Universal Yums! subscription box reviews.  The August box arrived while we were in Disney and we haven’t even opened it yet!  But here is a review of July’s box.  The country for July was Japan.  We still love how the featured country’s flag is represented by the tissue paper that the snacks are wrapped in.

Universal Yums! July 2015 box

This box included a variety of snacks including candy and salty/crunchy type snacks.


Karl Cheese Flavor Ji-Il (2.53 oz)  – This was a decent size bag, large enough to share amongst the four of us.  These were comparable to our cheese doodles in the United States, but with a milder cheese flavor that had a slight hint of sweet.  We all liked these.


Calbee Saya Snow Pea Crisps (2.47 oz) – This was also a fairly large size bag of snacks.  They have the look of a green cheese doodle.  We found it interesting that the list of ingredients included tuna extract and natural flavors including rendered beef fat.  We thought that these were just okay.


Nestle Japan Aero Matcha Green Tea Milk Chocolate (2 pieces) – To be fair, we kind of forgot about this candy until recently and didn’t realize it was chocolate.  So, a month or so later and it was squished and not in the best condition when we tried it.  While Nestle makes this chocolate in a bunch of different flavors, we received the green tea variety. (I normally love the flavor of green tea and the Haagen-Dazs ice cream green tea is one of my favorite ice creams!)  The Aero chocolate bar is supposed to have a “bubbly texture” that according to the Nestle website, “the bubbles collapse and then melt on your tongue to create a deliciously smooth chocolate sensation.”  We did not experience this “chocolate sensation” possibly due to the dry, crumbled chocolate we had.  This was just okay for us.

Botan Rice Candy (3/4 oz) – This box had six pieces of rice candy inside, as well as a sticker.  I didn’t realize until I couldn’t get the second wrapper off the candy that it was edible.  It was weird since it was plastic-like but when you put it in your mouth, it melted.  The wrapper encased a lemon-orange gummy candy.  These were definitely different.

Morinaga Hi-Chew Mango Fruit Chews (1.76 oz) – There were 10 pieces of candy in this package.  While the package and squares of candy looked like a Starburst candy, they were much chewier.

Kasugai Gummies (4 pieces) – The box had four pieces of this candy including melon, lychee, ramune and kiwi fruit flavored.  I tried the ramune flavor, which was supposed to be similar to a lemonade flavor.  My daughter noted that it smelled like lemon cleaner, and she was in fact not wrong!  I did not like or finish eating this candy.


Glico Pocky in Cookies & Cream (2.47 oz) – This box of cookie sticks covered in a white chocolate and cookie coating is actually a product of Thailand, according to the package.  We’ve had Pocky before and like it.  I wasn’t a big fan of the cookies and cream flavor but the kids loved it.

Kasugai Kuro Ame Brown Sugar Candy (4 pieces) – These black wrapped candies were one of my favorites in the box.  The brown sugar candy was a piece of hard candy with a molasses flavor that reminded me of the classic yellow-wrapped Mary Janes.

Kasugai Flower Kiss Candy (4 pieces) – These were hard, sweet pieces of candy.  Although the candies had different flower wrappers, according to the information card, they allegedly all tasted the same.  There wasn’t anything too special or different about these candies.

Bourbon BaumRoll (4 pieces) – The box had 4 of these BaumRolls. They were a lemon-flavored cake covered in a light layer of icing.  The cake was a bit dry and sweet, but overall not bad.


Meiji Hello Panda (2.0 0z) – These biscuits with choco cream are actually products of Singapore, according to the package.  Each of these cookies, shaped in circles or panda heads, has a picture of a panda engaged in various sports including soccer, kayaking, skateboarding and more.  The cookie reminded me of a Nilla wafer with a chocolate filling.  We all enjoyed these.

Overall, this box was a win.  This box had a variety of treats that we could all eat and enjoy.  Nothing was too spicy or “out there.”  We can even probably stock up on many of these treats if at our local Asian grocery store.  Look for August’s Universal Yums! box review coming soon!  We are still finishing up the treats in the box and our September box just arrived!

Universal Yums! June 2015 Snack Box Review





This is a VERY late review on our June 2015 Universal Yums! snack box review.  This month’s snack box was from Mexico and featured a variety of snacks and candy.  I love that the flag of each month’s featured country is represented by colored tissue paper when you open the box.  However, although this was only our second Universal Yums! snack box, we were a bit disappointed this month.  Let’s review what was in this month’s box:


Barcel Chili Pepper & Lime Peanuts  (3.2 0z) – This was a snack that the Weekend Chef got to take to work with him.  “Hot” is right on the package and look at all that chili powder on those peanuts.  Yes, these were indeed hot and not liked by the rest of us.


Takis Fuego (4 oz) Hot Chili Pepper & Lime flavor – this snack reminded of us rolled corn chips.  They had a bitter and spicy flavor.  The Weekend Chef was the only one who liked these and he got to take these to work as well.


Sabritas (Adobadas flavor) (1.59 oz) – These were “marinated flavor potato chips.”  Sabritas is the brand that PepsiCo sells its Frito-Lay products in Mexico, thus the similar looking logo.  These chips weren’t bad.  They were a bit salty but not spicy, despite that red chili pepper on the front of the bag.


Pulparindo (0.49 oz) – We received two of these in the box.  These are “hot and salted tamarind pulp candy.”  Sounds real appetizing, right?!   These were bitter with a lingering spicy heat.  Needless to say, we were not fans.

Glorias Dulce de leche – We received two of these red wrapped candies.  They were nutty and caramel-like.  I found them to be very sweet but the kids liked them.

de la Rosa (1.0 oz) – We received two of these in the box as well.  These are peanut mazapan that were very crumbly and dry.  Our daughter liked these.

Canel’s Gum – We received four packages of this gum in different flavors including banana, apple, strawberry and “fruit” flavor.  Each package contained four pieces.  The kids ended up eating most of these.

Vero Mango (0.56 oz) – We received two of these in the box.  These are mango lollipops covered in a spicy chili powder.  Unfortunately, we couldn’t get down to the mango lollipop because the chili powder was just too much for us.



Paleta Payaso  (1.59 oz) – This clown wrapped candy was cute and kid-friendly.  It was a “marshmallow with chocolate flavored coating.”  Yes, not chocolate, but a chocolate flavored coating.  There were also gummy drop eyes and a mouth.  The kids enjoyed this one.


Salsagheti (0.85 oz) – This was an interesting candy.  We received watermelon flavor but discovered it also comes in a mango flavor as well.  These are sour licorice-like strings of candy. What makes this snack unusual is that is comes with a packet of sauce that you’re supposed to pour on top of the candy.  Well, the sauce is tamarind flavor.  Not a fan!  However, by themselves, the candy strings weren’t bad.


Ricolino Chocoretas (1.41 oz) – According to the enclosed information card, this candy is considered to be the “M&M’s of Mexico.”  These were chocolate and artificial mint flavored balls whose flavor reminded me of Andes mints.  These were another candy that the kids liked.

Ricolino Kranky (1.41 oz) – These were cornflakes coated with an artificially flavored chocolate.  I liked the crunch of this candy but found the artificial chocolate flavor off-putting.


Bubu Lubu (1.23 oz) – This was a strawberry flavored jelly and marshmallow candy bar with a chocolate flavored coating.  I do not really like jelly candies so I was the only one who really disliked this candy.  Of course, we forgot to freeze this before eating, like the information card recommended.  However, I don’t think that would have changed my dislike for it.  Everyone else enjoyed it though.

Rockaleta (0.84 oz) – This was a bonus item that wasn’t on the information card.  It’s a lollipop with four chili layers.  I took one lick and the Weekend Chef tried to eat it but couldn’t get past the first layer.  We found it to be more bitter than spicy.  But like I mentioned, we didn’t get past layer one.

Duvalin (0.53 oz) – We received two of these hazelnut/strawberry flavored candies in the box.  I found it to be super sweet and the taste reminded me of the inside crème filling of cheap Valentine’s Day chocolates.  Not a fan!  Of course the kids liked it though.

Overall, we were a bit disappointed with the June Mexico snack box. There was a variety of snacks and candy though and I think we got a good representation of what snacks are enjoyed in the country.  We just didn’t really like most of them!  It appears that Mexico really likes hot & spicy, tamarind and artificially flavored chocolate.  This confuses the Weekend Chef since the cacao bean was taken from the Aztecs…..We had a lot of fun though trying the snacks and the kids loved to watch us and see if the Weekend Chef and I would be able to eat the hot and spicy ones (me, not so much!).

We are eating our way through the July snack box and will have a review up soon!  Check out the Universal Yums! site to get more information.

*This subscription box was purchased by NY Foodie Family. 







Universal Yums! May 2015


There’s something fun about getting a surprise package in the mail!  After waiting for months, I finally got off the wait list for ipsy and was receiving make-up bags each month.  The Weekend Chef was getting a monthly subscription to Birchbox for Men.  However, as fun as these boxes were to get every month, there’s only so many male grooming products out there that the Weekend Chef could use.  For myself, I just don’t wear make-up very often, so most of the products went unused in the cute bags I received each month.  We decided to cancel our subscriptions and find something the whole family could enjoy.

As food lovers, what a better subscription for our family to enjoy than a food-themed one?!!!  But, there are so many different ones out there to choose from.  Well, we decided to try Universal Yums!  This is an international snack subscription box that started in December of 2014.  Each month they send a selection of snacks from one particular country.  Previous countries include Scandinavia, China, Italy, Brazil and Germany.  Unfortunately, you cannot currently order a previous month’s box.  The selection includes a mix of salty, sweet, spicy and more.  You can choose between either The Yum Box (6 or more snacks in each box) for $13 or The Yum Yum Box (13+ snacks each month) for $25.  Of course we decided to opt for the larger, Yum Yum Box.

I received an e-mail on a Wednesday that my May box had shipped and the box arrived on Friday, shipped 2-day priority mail.  May’s snack box theme was Israel.


When you first open the box, the snacks are wrapped in tissue paper that looks like the flag of the country.  an information card is enclosed that provides facts about the featured country as well as a run-down of the products included in the box.

So what was included in the box?

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1.  Original Bamba – This was a 1 ounce bag of Bamba peanut snacks.  These have the appearance of a puffed cheese doodle with a peanut butter flavor.  They only have four ingredients, peanuts, corn, palm oil and salt.  The adults thought these were okay, the kids liked them a lot.


2.  Bamba with Hazelnut Crème Filling – This was a 2.1 ounce bag of Bamba snacks that are similar to the original, but include a hazelnut filling.  The flavor reminded the Weekend Chef of Reese’s Puffs cereal, with a hint of chocolate and the shape reminded him of Combos.  We all enjoyed these and this was my daughter’s favorite snack in the box!

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3.  Elite Popping Milk Chocolate – This was a 3 ounce chocolate bar and definitely won has most fun item in the box.  This is a chocolate bar that contains Pop Rocks so with every sweet bite you get a popping party in your mouth!  This was the Weekend Chef’s favorite snack in the box!

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4. – 7.  Toffee Fruit Chews  – The box contained four of these fruit chews – 2 strawberry, one peach and one green apple.  We all got to have one.  The kids liked these, the Weekend Chef and I thought they were okay.  They tasted like fruit toffee and were okay.  This was my son’s favorite snack in the box!

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8. Falafel Bissli – This was a 2.5 ounce bag of super crunchy little falafel-flavored sticks.  Prior to eating these, I made falafel so the kids would be familiar with the flavor.  Although they weren’t the biggest fans of these, these were my favorite snack from the box.  I love falafel and thought these snacks were flavorful.


9. Pinuki Cola Dragees – This roll included 12 pieces of cola-flavored candy.  Our son really liked these, but no one else did.  I’m a big soda fan and to me, these had an “off” type flavor that didn’t remind me of the alleged cola flavor.


10. Achva Marble Sesame Halva Bar – This 2.45 ounce bar was the family’s least favorite snack in the box.  From the wrapper, our daughter thought it would have a chocolatey-flavor.  Boy was she disappointed!  This bar was chalky and dry with a sweet flavor that none of us liked.

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11. Pesekzman Elite Classic Chocolate Bar – This 1.59 ounce milk chocolate bar consisted of five squares that had a wafer-like hazelnut filling.  This was one of my favorite candy’s in the box  The wafer filling reminded me of the inside of a Ferrero Rocher chocolate.  The Weekend Chef wasn’t a big fan of this one, but that meant one square for everyone else and two squares for me!

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12.  B&B Pretzels Mega Sesame Sticks – This was a 5.3 ounce bag of pretzel sticks.  These sticks are baked, not fried and are covered in sesame seeds.  They are pretzels…….nothing special, but a decent size portion of the snack.

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13. Kif Kef Chocolate Bar – This 0.65 ounce candy bar was about the size of a snack size Kit Kat bar.  Even the name Kif Kef sounds like Kit Kat.  It tasted like a Kit Kat bar to us.  This was a “snack size” serving so we each only got a bite.

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14.  Mini Elite Hazelnut Chocolate Bar – This 0.63 ounce chocolate bar was the size of a Snicker’s snack size candy bar.  Again, we each only got  a small taste of this candy bar.  This had a nougat-like filling with hazelnuts.  The Weekend Chef thought this was similar to a Snickers bar, which the info card compared it to (and he didn’t look at the card!).  I didn’t think it tasted like a Snickers and it wasn’t my favorite.


15.  Bissli Smokey snacks – This 2.5 ounce bag of crunchy wheat snacks had a smoky flavor to them.  My son thought they had a “bacon-y” flavor and liked them, where my daughter thought they were just okay.  I love salty, crunchy snacks, so I enjoyed these a lot.  While the bag notes that it’s 2 1/2 servings, if I was eating these out of the bag, I’d eat the whole thing in a sitting!

This was a fun box of snacks!  Although we didn’t love everything, it was a great experience getting to try new snacks from another country.  There was a great mix of sweet and savory.  Size-wise, the majority of the snacks were shareable for our family of four where we each got a decent taste of each snack.  Although, we literally each only got a bite of the couple of snack-size chocolate candy bars.   We paced ourselves to try about one snack a day, so the fun of our box lasted for quite a bit of time.   Although now I can’t find it, I thought that I had read somewhere that Universal Yums! was not going to be sending chocolate items during the summer months (probably so you don’t have a melty chocolate mess!).

While this box is fun and tasty, as a former teacher, I feel like this box is a great teaching tool as well.    Although this was only our first box, we enjoyed it a lot and the Weekend Chef and I think it’s a fun way for the family to experience a new culture together!  Be sure to check out tomorrow’s Armchair Travel:  Israel post on how we extended our learning about Israel after receiving our snack box!

*We purchased this box.