Universal Yums Subscription Box Review – March 2017
Universal Yums is a snack subscription box that sends out snacks and candies from a different country each month.
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
This review is of the Yum Yum, $25 a month, box.
The Subscription Box: Universal Yums
The Cost: $14.00/month for the Yum Box, $25/month for the Yum Yum Box. Free shipping to the U.S.
The Products: “The contents of the boxes change each month as we try to highlight the best snacks from each featured country. However, you can always expect a mix of flavors: salty, sweet, spicy, fruity, and more. Only authentic snacks from the featured country.”
Ships to: U.S., Canada, U.K., and Israel
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
This month, the featured country is… Israel! I haven’t yet seen Israel featured in a food box—I think its food culture gets overlooked for well-known (think Italy) or famously distinctive (think Japan) cuisines. But I’m really curious to explore what this less-talked-about food scene has to offer!
The booklet inside the box introduces the country and the products in the box. This note touches on the fact that Israel has been a nation in conflict for years now. From a distance, that conflict might be all a person sees—what I like about boxes like this is that they help you zoom in and see the very human, day-to-day aspects of a culture. It seems so small in a way, but when I enjoy a snack from a totally different place in the world, I feel a little connection to that place. It’s like, even if we seem totally different, we both enjoy the yummy flavor of ____. It’s a tiny step, but it’s still a step to building bridges of empathy and understanding between cultures.
The booklet also includes some fun trivia!
Universal Yums does a great job explaining each product and why they chose it for the box.
Reading through this booklet, I was so excited to start trying these snacks. There’s so much chocolate in this box! As a chocolate lover, my sweet tooth was thrilled.
There’s a bonus item in the box, too—a dreidel!
Here are all the details on how to play with this traditional toy.
This page talks about some of the greatest non-snack items that have come out of Israel. I had no idea that Guess Who? was invented in Israel! Awesome!
The booklet shares some of Israel’s notable landmarks, which include a multitude of sacred spaces.
I love when food boxes include a playlist! Experience the culture through taste and sound!
The box also includes this “scorecard.” I usually just munch on these snacks myself, but I think this scorecard could be really fun to complete with your family or friends. I can imagine having fun debates over which snack ranks the highest!
Here’s a combination I would never have imagined! This chocolate bar looks innocent enough, but after you’ve nibbled up the silky, creamy milk chocolate, you’re left with a mouthful of fireworks! It’s essentially the same sparkly sugar sensation as Pop Rocks but buried within delicious chocolate.
The popping candy doesn’t impact the flavor of the chocolate—if anything, it just adds a little bit of a sugar-crystal crunch. I thought the popping was fun and surprising on the first few bites, but I’ll admit that after awhile, it was sort of a pesky distraction as I tried to indulge in the really really tasty milk chocolate!
These snacks are hearty in texture and flavor! The bag has a jumble of shapes reminiscent of pasta—Osem, the manufacturer, is former pasta company! I can’t tell you how satisfying the crunch is on these. It’s sturdier than a corn snack or potato chip would be, but it’s not tough or gritty, either.
The bag says the snacks have a smoky, barbecue flavor. It’s not the kind of sweet barbecue taste that I know from chips in the states, though. The best way I can describe it is almost like a smokey ramen broth. It’s very satisfying and very addictive.
Chocolate Gelt – Value $0.49
My step-family is Jewish, and I attended preschool at a Jewish temple when I was little. I’ve celebrated a few Hanukkahs in my day, and gelt is one of my favorite parts of the holiday.
These simple chocolate coins can be used in the dreidel game, or just to satisfy a chocolate craving! I’ve mostly had milk chocolate gelt, but these coins had the bittersweetness of a chocolate morsel. Love that! The shiny foil makes these little chocolates feel very special, and their size makes for the perfect two-bite treat.
Bamba Spinz, 2.8 oz. – Value $2.79
These bite-sized puffs combine one of my favorite flavors with the light, fluffy texture of a corn snack.
The puffs are little disks with a bit of rise to them. I thought it was neat that the peanut flavor isn’t too overwhelming and isn’t sweet at all, as many peanut flavors in the states tend to be. After a crunch or two, these snacks melt in your mouth. Super unique!
Abadi Falafel Mini Bagels, 1.4 oz. – Value $0.67?
I couldn’t find this specific sized package or flavor priced online, so I linked to a larger version of this snack in a barbecue flavor. These “bagels” are so tasty! They’re bite-sized circles with a breadstick-like texture, and they really do taste like falafel!
I love the idea of going for a salty snack and getting to enjoy the unique, earthy flavor of falafel, which is one of my favorite foods.
Yay! More chocolate! According to the info booklet, the magic behind these unique chocolate bars is a closely guarded secret.
That’s because what makes these bars unique is not just the recipe behind their chocolate, but the fact that the chocolate is made of paper-thin layers twisted and rolled so that each bar literally looks like a log. Even the center of these bars has a light, airy texture that melts almost instantly on your tongue. I’ve never really thought about it before, but I guess I prefer a smooth, solid chocolate bar. That said, this textural experience seems very gourmet and special, despite it being just a simple convenience store snack.
Gesher Snowflakes, 0.75 oz. – Value $0.39
How cute are these bite-sized snacks? To me, they look more like suns than snowflakes, but maybe that’s just me looking forward to spring!
These snowflakes seem like puffier versions of oyster crackers. They have a nice crunch and the underlying flavor of Pringles. But the thing that comes through the most is the onion seasoning—and by “comes through” I mean jumps up and bops you in the face! These are super salty, to the point that it’s hard to eat too many without reaching for something to sip. If you’re craving that classic sour cream and onion flavor you find in potato chips, just a few of these little snowflakes should leave you more than satisfied!
I’d never heard of this unique treat before, but it’s apparently a staple in Israeli homes.
Made from sesame tahini, table sugar, and glucose, this snack seems like fudge at first glance, but in fact has a grainy, yet remarkably light consistency. The walnut part of the flavor has a very nutty, almost aromatic impact on the flavor, and the vanilla brings a bit of depth to the sugar sweetness. It’s just short of chewy (you get about halfway through a bite, and things start to dissolve) and just a bit crumbly once you start to break into each bar. It’s totally unlike anything I’ve ever tried before!
Klik Kariot Pillows, 1.06 oz. – Value $1.09
I loved these little snacks! Kariot is a type of corn cereal typical in Israel. According to the booklet, these candies see Kariot both coated in chocolate and filled with a bit of chocolate cream.
The “filling” is really more like an interior coating of chocolate, but that didn’t shortchange the experience. These are crispy and crunchy, and the milk chocolate flavor is both sweet and deliciously rich. I love crisped rice chocolate bars, and these treats condensed that experience down into single bites. Yum!
If I’d opened this box and all it had inside it was a loaf of challah bread, I would’ve been happy. I love this dreamy, sweet, soft traditional Jewish bread so much that it almost feels like a dessert in and of itself. While challah bread didn’t make it into the box, this challah-shaped marzipan bar is here to represent!
This dense, weighty candy bar is made of marzipan—imagine a whole candy bar made of the sugary, lusciously thick filling of an almond croissant. It’s almost too rich to eat all by myself. Like a tasty loaf of challah, this bar is probably best shared with friends!
Meyer Bakery Everything Bagel Pretzel Chips, 5 oz. – Value $1.29
Oh wow, these snacks are so good! These two-bite circles have the bready crispness of a bagel chip and all the satisfying saltiness of a pretzel.
The real wow factor, though, is the kick of rosemary included in the “everything” seasoning. I definitely didn’t expect it, but it added a deliciously savory note to each bite. According to the info booklet, pretzels are a big deal in Israel. Going by this tasty snack, I can see why!
There’s one more chocolate bar left to go! The info booklet describes this bar as if “a Snickers, Milky Way, and Crunch bar all had a baby.” I think that’s dead on, actually! This is such a unique mix of creaminess, crunchiness, and tasty, tasty, tasty chocolate.
The bar has crisped rice, a creamy chocolate filling, a layer of wafer, a pinch of caramel… it’s a mash-up of so many candy staples in one. I liked this chocolate adventure, though I wasn’t as big of a fan of the caramel-coated wafer, which did that tricky stick-to-your-teeth thing that Butterfinger layers tend to do.
Bonus Item: Toy Dreidel – Value $0.45?
I wasn’t sure what company was behind this wooden dreidel, so I linked to what looked like a similar style. This dreidel is adorably small (it’s only a little over an inch long) so that you can easily pop it in a pocket and take it to a Hanukkah party. It’s also really fun to spin while I sit at my desk!
Verdict: This Universal Yums box was awesome! I loved the out-of-the-ordinary country, and I was delighted by how many treats I enjoyed. The crunchy treats and uncommon chocolates fit perfectly with my palette. My only gripe is that the value of these items altogether, even counting the bonus dreidel, is only about $16.00. That’s way less than the $25.00 price of the box. I do appreciate how much curation goes into the box and all of the great information they provide about the featured country. But I would like if there was something more in the box to bump up that tangible value.
Which Universal Yums snacks are you most curious about?