Years ago, I put a subscription to Universal Yums on my Christmas wish list. I didn’t figure anyone would ever gift it to me, but the idea of a food-based subscription box was intriguing and I wanted to remember to get it at some point. Then this past Christmas, Jason bought me a year’s subscription – ironically now that the kids are gone, and we’ll be going through each months’ snacks alone!
Every month, Universal Yums features snacks from different countries around the world. I’ve now gone through four boxes/countries (with a fifth that just arrived), so I thought I should take time to do a little review. Jason chose the medium-sized box from the three available, which costs ~$25/mo and includes about a dozen snacks. He got to chose the country for the first box, and after that, it’s a mystery until it arrives. That first month, he chose India, and since then we’ve received boxes featuring Austria, Brazil, the Netherlands, and Belgium. (The box from Belgium is our most recent arrival, so won’t be included in this review, though see a note about it at the end of this post.)
First: I’m a little annoyed by how much Europe has been featured so far. I really hope that further boxes will go further afield, and let us try more variety. Many of the European boxes have been really similar in terms of content.
Second: The boxes consist of about 75% sweets, 25% salty snacks. India was the one exception so far, featuring about 50/50 ratio. I’m sure that’s what sells better, but I do hope we get a few more salty/savory snacks in future boxes!
Third: There is a really good variety of chocolate and non-chocolate sweet items. It makes for a decent mix that both Jason and I enjoy. There has rarely been an item that neither of us enjoy, or that neither of us can eat due to allergies (etc).
Fourth: So far, my favorite box has been the one from Austria, my favorite item has come from the Brazil box, and the box I could eat the least from was India. (I’m not a big fan of Indian sweets. As for the savory items, I loved the flavors – especially the Tikka Masala chips – but I’m allergic to peppers, so I could only eat a tiny bit of anything that used dried peppers before my mouth was ripped to shreds. Boo.)
Fifth: From each month, my favorite items have been:
- India (excluding the aforementioned chips since I could only eat a couple): Frooti apricot hard candies, which had a delightful little zing and fizz
- Austria: Hauswirth chocolates with apricot filling (like an apricot jelly coated in chocolate)
- Brazil: Pit Stop provolone crackers – These tasted almost exactly like the old Nabisco bacon crackers that were discontinued ages ago, and I’ve been craving them ever since! Definitely my very favorite item so far.
- Netherlands: Max & Alex stroopwafel, which I softened over coffee. I’ve had a stroopwafel before but it was awful, crunchy and overly sweet, so it must have been American. This one was so much better!! Not too sweet, and I could taste the richness of the spices and caramel. I dunked it in my coffee bite by bite!
I’m looking forward to seeing what further boxes we get! Hopefully soon, we can travel to wider variety of cultures and snack choices.
Note on Belgium: I’m not sure what was up with this box, but several of the items came melted into a giant mush, and others smell and taste long past expiration. We haven’t tried everything, but there have been multiple items that have been flat-out inedible, and we’ve contacted customer service to see what’s up with this.