Universal Yums “The Philippines” Subscription Box Review – May 2018
Universal Yums is a snack subscription box that sends out sacks and candies from a different country each month. Choose from the Yum Box for $14 a month, the Yum Yum Box for $25 a month, or the Super Yum Box for $39 a month. This month’s box takes us to the Philippines!
This review is of the Yum Yum box, which is $25 a 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.)
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 they 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 “The Philippines” May 2018 Review
This is my first box from Universal Yums, and I was excited to see what country they were featuring this month. I admittedly don’t know much about the Philippines, so I was pleased when I opened the box and saw the flag!
When you flip the flag over, there is a fun little grid that features all of the products and gives you the ability to gamify your tasting a bit – awarding the snacks in different categories. There’s a social media challenge asking you to upload your ballot on social media tagging @universalyums for a chance to win a box full of goodies!
A great info guide is included in the box – with a write up (including ingredient list!) of each of the items. I thought it was really interesting to learn a little about each snack as I enjoyed it, especially the ones that I found a bit unusual – but more on that in a bit!
Now – let’s snack!
In the Philippines, potatoes are considered a “dessert” item and often are used in cakes, custards, candy, and ice cream. When I unpacked this box I noticed several “ube” flavored items – and upon further research, I learned that this is a purple variety of yam used often by the Filipinos.
These little crispy cookies reminded me of the Krave cereal sold in the US. I could definitely see myself munching on these regularly if they were easily available to me! They had a wonderful crunch and a sweet, nutty flavor. I really enjoyed them!
Goldilocks Pinipig Polvoron, 1 oz. – Buy 60 assorted pieces for $34.00 + shipping
Goldilocks Ube Polvoron, 1 oz. – Buy 60 assorted pieces for $34.00 + shipping
These individually wrapped treats most closely resemble shortbread cookies. Pinipig is a toasted, sticky rice and Ube, as noted above is a variety of yam. I thought that both of these cookies were really tasty, super sweet, and left you with the same velvety mouthfeel you get when eating a shortbread cookie. My preference was the Pinipig – and since it was so sweet, it went great with a cup of black coffee!
Rebisco Extreme Ultimate Choco – Buy 10 pieces for $0.97 USD
This was the first item I grabbed to try – the words “extreme” and “choco” on the same label are my favorite things to see on a snack! The texture was more of a biscuit than a cookie – and I expected it to be really sweet. It wasn’t! It had a delicious chocolate flavor without the candy-like sweetness that I was expecting.
Leslie’s Cheezy Corn Crunch, 0.85 oz. – Buy a 70g bag for $1.32
I had a really hard time finding any US websites that sold this delicious snack! I typically don’t like hot peppers, but I loved that these cheddar jalapeno cheese puffs had a pepper flavor without much heat! My 3-year-old son LOVED these and ate most of the bag himself. I am going to grab a bag of the Cheeto version the next time I’m at the grocery store, as I expect them to be really similar to this product.
Boy Bawang Barbecue Corn Nuts, 1.76 oz. – Buy 3, 100g bags for $9.97
Corn nuts are some of my favorite snacks! I love the crunch that they pack, and these were no exception. Corn nuts are some of the most popular snacks in the Philippines, and I was pleased to find there are several varieties of this brand sold on Amazon. I really liked the texture of this bite – it was crunch but not “break your teeth” hard. I received the BBQ version, which I thought was delish – but I admit I’m really curious to try the garlic!
Another Ube treat! I liked the first two Ube favored snacks, and I love cupcakes, so I was happy to try this packaged cake. Unfortunately, it was a big miss for me. I thought it was dry and could really use icing. I also thought it generally looked unappetizing – the purple and brown scheme just didn’t do it for me.
Hey, I’m from Pittsburgh (read: home of Heinz ketchup) – so you know, I know ketchup. As someone who firmly believes that if you add either bacon, peanut butter, or ketchup to any food you can make it better – I was excited to try these! One bite – and – yuck. Not for me.
I was surprised that I didn’t like these – and I learned from reading the insert that unlike Western tomato ketchup, this traditional Filipino condiment is made from bananas. The fruit is smashed, and then vinegar sugar and spices are added to mimic the iconic taste of tomato ketchup. I’m not sure if that’s the reason that these didn’t hit the spot – but, regardless, it was fun to try something different – even if it was a miss for my taste buds!
Leslie’s Clover Chips, 0.85 oz. – Buy a pack of 25 for $52.95
Wow, what a crunch! The clover shape is perfect for dipping, and the flavor was bold! They are a little spicy for my tastes, but I think if I would have received a BBQ or cheese flavor instead of the chili cheese version I would absolutely love this treat!
Assorted Mr. Candies
These assorted candies are traditional and locally inspired chewy candies with a center cream filling. I received 3 different varieties – and out of all of the snacks, I thought that these were the most unique! I can’t say that I loved all of them – but I can say that I enjoyed the opportunity to try each one.
- Mr. Buko – Buko Pandan Chewy Candy with Milk Filling: The pandan is a spiky green plant found exclusively in Southeast Asia. I had never heard of, nor eaten it before, and I actually really liked this odd little treat. It was a bit tart and paired really nicely with the sweetened milk flavored cream filling.
- Mr. Keso – Chewy Cheese Candy with Cheese Filling: Have you ever had queso? Have you ever had a tootsie roll? Imagine combining the two of those – that’s what you have here! The insert says “some people say it tastes like cheesecake, some say it tastes like a nightmare” – and I can totally understand that. It’s very much love or hate! In my house, we weren’t big fans – but I can see how some people would think these were totally crave-worthy!
- Mr. Mais – Chewy Sweet Corn Candy with Butter Filling: Hands down, the most unusual thing that I’ve ever put in my mouth. This tasted like chewy creamed corn – with a hint of artificial buttercream. It was very, very odd to me – but I can’t say I hated it! I actually thought it was pretty neat!
The Verdict: Wow, what a fun box! Universal Yums is one of my favorite international snack boxes! I loved the varieties of flavors and textures featured, and I thought that it was a great value. For $25 I received a ton of different snacks. I also love the playfulness of the curation, especially since they included the “Mr. Candy” line – which I believe was intentionally for a love/hate reaction!
If I were to fill out the scorecard from above I would say that in my opinion:
- Best Yum: Leslie’s Cheezy Corn Crunch
- Runner-Up: Oishi Pillows Ube-Filled Crackers
- Worst Yum: Cupp Keyk in Coco Ube
- Most Unusual: Mr. Mais – Chewy Sweet Corn Candy with Butter Filling
To Wrap Up:
Can I still get this box if I sign up today? No, you will receive the July box, which ships 7/15.
Value Breakdown: This box is $25.00 a month (including shipping). I received 22 individual snacks, which averages out to $1.14 per item.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
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