Universal Yums “France” Subscription Box Review – February 2018
Note from Liz: I’m so happy to introduce our newest reviewer to the MSA team! Welcome, Kim!
Universal Yums is a snack subscription box that sends out snacks and candies from a different country each month. Choose between the Yum Box for $14 a month or the Yum Yum Box for $25 a month.
This month’s box takes us to France!
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 box, which is $25 a month.
About Universal Yums
The Subscription Box: Universal Yums
The Cost: $25 a month + free US shipping
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
Universal Yums “France” February 2018 Review
Upon opening your box, a cover sheet insert of the country’s flag is directly on top with a note “Welcome to France!”. The flipside of the insert provides a scoring sheet for you to decide which products were “Best Yum”, “Runner Up”, “Worst Yum”, and “Most Unusual”. They encourage their subscribers to upload their completed ballot to social media and tag @universalyums to help them refine their selections.
The booklet is a nice touch as it gives specific details and background information on each product included in the box. They also have a fun trivia section and fun facts about the country. You can even find a French-inspired Valentine’s Day playlist at universalyums.com/tunes.
Let’s see what’s inside!
Bret’s Crème Fraiche and Herb Chips, 50g
These potato chips have such a unique flavor that lingers on the palate (in a good way!). The rippled texture provides a solid crunch and allows your taste buds to take it all in. They have a really interesting flavor combination of sour cream (aka: Crème Fraiche’), salt, dill, and chives, with the perfect hint of garlic. I am definitely a fan of these potato chips!
Roullier Raspberry Madeleines – Buy a 250g box of a similar snack for $6.99
Donning its signature shell shape, this light and fluffy pastry is exploding with flavor. Raspberries are folded into the batter during the mixing process, allowing the sugary sweetness to expand to all area of the cake. You know you’re in for a treat when the oldest artisanal bakery in France, Roullier, is baking your madeleines! I couldn’t find this exact product online, so I linked to something similar.
Klaus Caramels with Chestnut Cream, 4 pieces – Buy a 1lb bag of a similar candy for $16.99
This little treat has a thin layer of caramel surrounding a thick, nougat-like chestnut cream filling. The caramel is very sticky, taking longer than normal to chew, and isn’t really helped much by filling. I didn’t get much satisfaction from this candy as neither of the flavors really blended well together. I’ve linked to something similar.
Kubli Verbena Candy, 4 pieces
This bright green candy has a soft lemon flavor and a smooth texture. I can certainly taste a floral undertone but it’s not overpowering. I wouldn’t mind keeping a few of these as after-dinner treats to help curb those sweet cravings.
Kubli Fruit Filled Hearts, 4 pieces
Sticking with the Valentine’s Day theme, the booklet tells us that the crunchy candies are the same colors as the French’s roses: white, pink, and red. The candy shell is a zesty apple flavor with a perfectly sweet fruit jam in the center. These are individually wrapped and would be a nice treat to keep in a candy dish.
For me, this wins the ‘most interesting’ snack award! I was kind of put-off when I opened the packaging and was hit with a pungent scent, but I’m really happy I kept an open mind when tasting them. According to the pamphlet, this thin, crispy pastry shell originally comes from a batch of burnt crepes back in 1882. Instead of throwing them away, the shop owner rolled them, stuffed them, and served them to her customers – they were a hit! These “lace crepes” are stuffed with a robust basil pesto filling that gives it a tremendous flavor. I’m definitely a big fan of this snack.
Bool Strawberry Bon Bons, 250g – Retail Value $7.49
This little candy hits all the high points for me. It has a light sugary coating, strawberry flavoring, and perfect level of chewiness. It’s not sticky and holds its flavor throughout. These candies are made by the largest family-owned candy company in France, Verquin Confiseur, spanning more than a century of perfecting their craft. These are 100% my fave!
These crunchy cookies have a creamy but subtle buttery taste with the perfect hint of salt at the end. The butter used in this recipe is 100% pure French butter made from fresh cow’s milk. They have a crumbly texture but certainly held their shape while eating them. I wouldn’t mind pairing this little treat with my afternoon coffee. I’ve linked a similar product in the title.
Sibell Snack Tube with Cheese, 3.5oz
This hollow, tube-shaped snack delivers an airy crunch but is lacking any substantial flavor. The insert references it being made from Germain Epoisses, a cheese known for its strong odor and creamy texture, but I’m not experiencing much outside of the crunchiness of the snack itself. It’s one of the few snacks in this box that aren’t up my alley.
Roullier Almond Financiers – Buy a similar box of pastry for $10.14
Another fantastic pastry from the Roullier bakers! If you’re a fan of almond flavoring, this should be on your must-try list. This sweet treat has a complex texture of crispy edges coupled with a dense cake that’s filled with soft, ground nuts throughout. Is ‘incredibly impressed’ a category for voting? It should be! Fun fact: the monthly booklet tells us these were baked in the shape of bars of gold to appeal to the baker’s wealthy financier friends (bankers). Rich name = rich flavor. I’ve linked a similar product in the title.
Klaus Violet Dark Chocolate Bar, 100g – Retail Value $3.99
Dark chocolate is known for being bitter, but in this case, the floral undertone really lends to the sweeter side of the chocolate spectrum. The chocolate bar has little nodules of violet sprinkled throughout, adding a sugary crunch to each bite. I would rank this as one the better dark chocolate bars I’ve tasted.
I am generally not the biggest fan of truffle flavoring, but these chips are doing it right! The chips themselves are thin, light and crispy, and they’ve found the perfect way to moderate the intensity of the mushroom. They have a distinct, non-overpowering truffle flavor that’s perfectly complemented by the level of saltiness.
The Verdict: My favorite part of this Universal Yums box was being able to learn more about each snack and candy as I tasted them. The information pamphlet allowed me to dig into the history of how they were made, learn how long they’ve been around, and understand any interesting nuances. This gave me access to understanding why French bakeries are considered incredibly popular – and for good reason! I think this box provides a really great value by providing delicious snacks and rich history at a very reasonable price. Two thumbs up!
To Wrap Up:
Can I still get this box if I sign up today? No, you will receive the March box, which will ship on 3/15.
Value Breakdown: This box is $25.00 a month (including shipping). I received 12 unique snacking which averages $2.08 per item.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
Which Universal Yums snack would you most like to try?