Universal Yums Subscription Box Review – February 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 Italy.
The glossy booklet describes each item inside…
… plus some trivia and other cultural goodies focused on Italy.
Universal Yum also includes a scorecard, so you can rate the included snacks for a chance to win more snacks!
Like our last box, this box included a selection of small candies:
Monardo Gianduiotto Chocolates – Value $4
These are bite-sized, super creamy, melt-in-your-mouth hazelnut chocolates. Imagine eating a spoonful of Nutella, only better! These disappeared really fast.
Monardo Chocolate Pralines – Value $1.95
I’ve always thought “pralines” were exclusively big chunks of nuts (usually pecans) covered in chocolate. These are apparently Belgian-style pralines, which I’d normally call truffles or bon bons: a creamy interior coated in a more solid ball of chocolate.
The booklet notes that subscribers could get some of seven different varieties. We received a few Milk & Cereal and one Coconut. Both were really decadent and sampling just a half of each was enough for me!
After these first two candies, Monardo is definitely a chocolate brand I would be happy to sample again in the future.
The booklet notes this candy is similar to what we think Romans may have sampled back in 23 AD, which is crazy to think about! I’m a fan of anise flavors so I wasn’t too surprised that I really liked these. They’re intended as an after-dinner candy, similar to having a ginger chew for digestion.
After all that, I had to take a break with something savory:
Gran Art Rosemary Stuzzichina Toscana (couldn’t find these online)
These are bite sized rosemary crackers! They were delicious on their own, but since they’re small and puffy they’d be perfect as croutons in a salad or a soup. This was enough for a single serving
Amica Cheese & Pepper Balls (couldn’t find these online)
The info booklet apologizes for these, saying “after you try them, you’ll never be satisfied with regular cheese puffs ever again.” They are right!
I honestly don’t like cheese puffs and never buy them, but these are delicious – they taste like real cheese and not fake orange stuff. The cheese is very rich and the pepper adds a nice bite, so they’re easy to savor one at a time.
Lauriere Orange Froletti Cookies (couldn’t find these online)
These little bite size cookies are crumbly and shortbread-like with a faint orange flavor. They didn’t stick out as being totally amazing (I’m still thinking about you, cheese puffs) but were still quite good.
Terre di Puglia Coffeeralli – Value $1.59 USD
These were certainly interesting! These are small donut-shaped cookies, about the size of a half dollar coin. They are made with coffee, olive oil, and white wine. Definitely not a combination I’ve seen elsewhere!
I generally like coffee flavors but found these to be a little bland and dry, and felt too much like I was eating coffee grounds. (My husband enjoyed them dunked into his coffee the next morning, though.)
Amica Lemon Chips (couldn’t find these online)
Lemon chips seem absolutely tame compared to some of the crazier varieties (ie, Lay’s Cappuccino Chips) I’ve seen in local stores in the last few years, but this was still an unusual combination.
The lemon was very light and added some acidity, which I liked – they reminded me of salt and vinegar chips but with less of a bite.
Cantuccini (Biscotti) (couldn’t find these online)
I’d be very surprised if a snack box themed around Italy did not include biscotti! These are small, maybe half the size of the kind you can buy at Starbucks, and are the traditional almond flavor.
More hazelnuts, but I’m not complaining! These little wafer cookies were good. They do have some cocoa, but the filling was heavier on the hazelnut and not too sweet.
Amaretti di Saronno Lazzaroni Cookies – Value $7.45
I recognized amaretto as another traditional Italian flavor right away, but I learned something new thanks to Universal Yums: it’s made with apricot pits! (I always thought it was almonds for some reason.)
As you can see, these cookies are wrapped in their traditional paper wrapping, and the first cookie I sampled was overly dry. I gave it another shot and the next one was perfectly moist and chewy in the center, with a rich and sweet amaretto taste.
For Valentine’s Day, the booklet explains how these little pairs of cookies are wrapped in pairs to symbolize a young couple in love. This was a big box, too, which makes it perfect for sharing with your sweetie.
I saved the best for last:
Zagis il Tiramisu (couldn’t find this online)
This is a single serving tiramisu! I’ve never seen such a thing and I was a little intimidated to try it. I know tiramisu is usually soaked in alcohol which must help make it shelf stable, but I really couldn’t wrap my mind around it. Here it is opened up:
We sampled this chilled out of the fridge and it was a surprisingly good treat. Definitely not as good as fresh, but way better than I expected!
Like all tiramisu, it was very rich and even split between two people it felt like more than enough. I may not specifically seek this out this again, but it was definitely a fun way to top off our Italy tasting!
Verdict: February’s Universal Yums was a hit in our house! They managed to hit on all the flavors I associate with Italy, all the way from coffee and hazelnuts to rosemary and citrus. With 10 snacks and 3 types of candies, the box breaks down to under $2 per item, which seems really reasonable – especially considering the adventurous inclusion of tiramisu, and the generous size of the amaretti, cheese puffs, and coffee cookies. I also liked that I couldn’t easily find all these items online; it adds to the adventure for me!
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