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Universal Yums “Holiday” Review – December 2019

Becca Peterson
ByBecca PetersonDec 17, 2019 | 20 comments

Universal Yums
4.3 overall rating
39 Ratings | 29 Reviews

Universal Yums is a snack subscription box that sends out snacks and candies from a different country each month. Choose from the Yum Box for $15 a month, the Yum Yum Box for $25 a month, or the Super Yum Box for $39 a month.

This review is of the Yum Yum box, which is $25 a month.

This month’s box takes us everywhere! The holiday box features delicious treats from thirteen different countries!

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

COUPON: Expiring Soon! Free box with 6 or 12-month gift or subscription (choose Turkey or Taiwan). No coupon needed - just use this link.

The Products: The contents of the boxes change each month as they 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: The U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia, and Israel

Universal Yums “Holiday” December 2019 Review

Universal Yums is so much fun! I love how this is such a hands-on experience for my family. Not only do we get to eat new and fun treats, but we also get to learn about a new country. We adore this box and look forward to it arriving each and every month!

Upon opening the box, you are greeted with a fun, animated sheet that welcomes us to “the most ‘Yum-derful’ time of the year,” as well as trivia on different holiday traditions! This has taken the place of the usual map of the country we visit since this box features items from 13 different countries! On the backside, they include “The Official Yum Awards.” This ballot is where you can cast your vote for your favorite and not so favorite snacks in the box. If you post your ballot on social media, you could win more of your favorite snacks! In December, they have also included a 2019 recap of the countries that were visited over the past year!


Next, we have a detailed pamphlet that adheres perfectly to the holiday theme, including all of this month’s snacks, ingredient lists, fun trivia, a recipe, and a clue to next month’s box!


Snackgold Raspberry Potato Crisps

Raspberry potato chips? While this isn’t a combination that I would normally seek out, I have to admit these crisps from Spain are pretty dang delicious. The crunchy, salty potato chip tastes a lot like a Lay’s original chip but has just a slight sweet raspberry flavoring for an unexpected twist. I found myself reaching for more, and my kids absolutely loved this pairing!


Alfajorcito Nubelate Crema Americana

The next snack was a chocolate-coated biscuit with cream filling from Uruguay. This delicious little cookie was the perfect amount of sweet, crunchy, and fluffy all in one. It slightly reminded me of a whoopie pie, but with a bit more crunch. My boys were very excited to get their hands on this little treat, and because there was only one, we each were allowed only one bit. We definitely could have gone for an entire box of these!


Bundner Nusstortli Alpine Nut Cake

Why was there only one of these?! This perfectly round little cake was filled with walnuts and honey and came from Switzerland. The cake itself was deliciously crumbly and filled to the brim with caramelized walnuts. It slightly reminded me of a pecan pie cookie, but with walnuts instead of pecans. Not only did it taste good, but I found it visually attractive as well. My kids gave it 2 thumbs up, but were sad that we only received one!


Taralli con Semi di Finocchio

Aren’t these little rings adorable? These little wheat snacks taste as good as they look! This Italian snack was seasoned with fennel seeds for a very flavorful bite! They are extremely crunchy and the fennel flavoring really packs a punch. I think these would be amazing dipped in a cheese-sausage chip dip! While I enjoyed them by themselves, my kids found the fennel to be a bit too much for their palates. I’m not complaining – more for me!


Shokomonk Roasted Almond Bar

Chocolate + Almond = Delicious! Not only do I love the snowflake clipart on this limited edition winter milk chocolate bar, but the smoothness and crunch of this German masterpiece was amazing! You really could tell that the almonds were roasted, and it gave this bar a deeper flavoring than a traditional Hershey’s with almonds. Since there were 6 sections, my kids and I were each allotted 2 pieces, and everyone was happy about that!


Goldilocks Ube Polvoron – Buy a similar product in a 10 oz package here for $9.71

I have to say, this item scared me a little this month. While I am all for fun colored foods, the color, shape, and texture reminded me a lot of a bath bomb! My kids were convinced it was going to be super sugary and were a little apprehensive to try it. After performing a routine “sniff” test, I decided to go for it and gave it a shot. This Philippine Ube shortbread cookie is made with a sweet purple yam and has a very crumbly texture. I found it to be decently flavored and not too sweet. I am glad I gave it a whirl, and while it wasn’t my absolute favorite, I found myself slightly enjoying it!


Sibell Poulet Braise Chips

I was very intrigued when I read that these French potato chips were roasted chicken flavored, as I have a passion for roasted chicken. Every month we head to town to order a broasted chicken dinner with homemade fries and the best creamy garlic dipping sauce you can imagine. These chips taste JUST like the broasted chicken. My son even commented on it before I did. They seriously are so good! They have the perfect amount of chicken and salt flavoring- but what really puts them over the top is dipping them in “Top the Tator” (a Midwest chive/onion dip for those of you who haven’t heard of it.) I have to find these to purchase!


Jabri Mixed Baklava

I think this box of mixed baklava is the most beautiful item in the December box. Just look at the box and the intricate packaging! We received 10 individual pieces of baklava with 9 traditional cashew versions and a stringy pistachio-filled vermicelli style one. While I preferred the cashew ones, I could appreciate the delicacy of the stringy one as well. I loved the way they were cut into rhombus shapes instead of plain squares, and the syrupy nut filling and layers of flaky dough were exactly the perfect ratio. If I would have been able to resist this would have made a great gift, but I just had to try them out! I will definitely be on the lookout for more!


Auer Tortenecken a la Wiener Apfelstrudel

This Austrian treat is another beauty and features triangular wafers with apple strudel cream filling. While I am the not biggest fan of apple strudel, my kids were all over these, describing them as a lot similar to apple pie! They feature the perfect amount of wafer and are complemented by a sweet and tart apple cream. I appreciated the size of the sample, as there was enough for the entire family to get a substantial taste. While I may not go searching for these in the future, I am happy to have given them a whirl, and might like them a little more if I would have served them with vanilla ice cream!


Koestlin Garlic Saltas

If you decide to try these, you better like garlic because they are POTENT! I love me a pretzel, and I love garlic so this seemed like it would be the perfect snack for me. These wheat sticks with garlic filling came from Croatia and are super crunchy. The initial bite gives a salty and slightly garlic flavor, but after a moment or so, the garlic flavor escalates and is almost slightly spicy. While they are quite enjoyable, I suggest brushing your teeth about 100 times after eating these to tame the garlic breath you will automatically acquire! All surrounding parties will appreciate it!


White Cinnamon Cookie Belgian Chocolate

Cinnamon is a Christmas staple in our house, and I am addicted to white chocolate so this had to be a win for me! I really loved the size of this bar, and how many squares of it we received. Check out the adorable corn cob engravings on each individual square- it really makes the chocolate look fancy! I truly enjoyed the cinnamon flavoring and cookies pieces and felt they were a perfect balance. While it was very sweet, I found it really shone when paired with a saltier snack like pretzels to give its true glory. My kids thought the cinnamon was a little overpowering, but I thought it was just right.


Mr. Ito Pretzel Sand Almond Caramel – Retail Value $4.94

Yippee! Look at the size of this box! I love large snacks, especially when they involve pretzels, almond, and caramel because they are pretty much my favorite things ever. This box included 12 cookies in packs of 2 which was awesome to prevent the entire box from going stale too quickly (If you are able to resist eating all of these at once!) I found these pretzel cookies with caramel almond filling to taste almost like a caramel cappuccino. This thin cookies and their perfect dollop of filling had the perfect ratio that left me wanting more. These Japanese goodies are definitely one of my favorite items in this month’s box!


Kopernik Serca Torunskie

Uffda! These Polish gingerbread hearts with black currant icing really are packed with spices! While they are absolutely beautiful, (my 4-year-old commented that they remind him of pinecones) they truly are a bit too bitter for me. I am not a big fan of gingerbread to begin win, but paired with the black currant icing just didn’t hit the spot for me. Sadly to say, my kids found them so spicy they had to spit them out. Not to worry, my grandma who adores gingerbread found them to be amazing, and scarfed down an entire heart in minutes!

The Verdict: We really love Universal Yums, especially this month! Each month they really do a great job curating the box. The information booklet they send is packed with fun information, and really adds to the entire experience of this box! Our family had a really great time experiencing 13 countries this month, and love the opportunity to try new foods from different cultures and places. Not only do we learn from this process, but we also have a ton of fun! And while we didn’t love all of the contents of this box, most of them were hits which was really exciting! I can’t wait to see where the January box will come from. The clue included in this month’s pamphlet states: Our next destination is full of fairy-tale splendor, a huge castle, crooked forest, and a mermaid defender! The Yums, too, are enchanting – you’ll be totally transfixed, by dark chocolate marshmallows and poppy seed sticks!

Scorecard picks:

  • Best Yum: Jabri Mixed Baklava
  • Runner-up: Mr. Ito Pretzel Sand Almond Caramel
  • Worst Yum: Kopernik Serca Torunskie
  • Most Unusual: Snackgold Raspberry Potato Chips

To Wrap Up:

Can I still get this box if I sign up today? No. Each month they ship your box no later than the 15th day of the month. The first month you will receive a box varies based on availability and may depend on the size that you order.

COUPON: Expiring Soon! Free box with 6 or 12-month gift or subscription (choose Turkey or Taiwan). No coupon needed - just use this link.

Value Breakdown: This box is $25.00 a month (including shipping). I received 13 individually wrapped snacks, which averages out to $1.92 per item.

Check out all of our Universal Yums reviews and the best snack subscription boxes!

Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!

Which Universal Yums snack would you most like to try? 

Universal Yums is a monthly snack subscription box that delivers a variety of international snacks from all around the world. Each delivery brings an unforgettable experience that mixes the fun of food, travel, and learning in one tasty box!

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Becca Peterson
Becca Peterson
While I am taking a time-out from being a Clinical Laboratory Scientist, I am currently staying at home with my 2 sweet boys! My first subscription was Julep thanks to happening upon the MSA website, and it all went downhill from there! I have subscribed to Ipsy, Boxycharm, Degustabox, Julep, Graze, Bluum, Walmart, and more because I love a good surprise! I truly am a subscription addict!

Becca Peterson
Becca Peterson
While I am taking a time-out from being a Clinical Laboratory Scientist, I am currently staying at home with my 2 sweet boys! My first subscription was Julep thanks to happening upon the MSA website, and it all went downhill from there! I have subscribed to Ipsy, Boxycharm, Degustabox, Julep, Graze, Bluum, Walmart, and more because I love a good surprise! I truly am a subscription addict!
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Elizabeth Andrews

I know this is a pretty old post, but I just had to comment. We’ve been getting Universal Yums for, probably at least three years now. Those darn gingerbread hearts are my absolute FAVORITE thing from any of the boxes! I don’t like gingerbread at all either, but I’ve been searching all over for those things ever since we got them. I actually found your blog while trying again to find them =) I can’t get over how none of you liked them but I think they’re the best!


That’s a cacao bean pod on the chocolate bar, not a corn cob.


Does anyone know where we can order the chips from?


Universal Yuma has just opened an online store where you can buy them. They are delicious!

Becca Peterson

If you find out please let me know! I need more of them in my life! Thanks for commenting Hillary!

Calico Cat

The friend that I share this box with and I could not keep the purple yam treat in our mouths. It felt like a big lump of pixie stix candy just sitting there. I also loved the roasted chicken potato xhips5.

Becca Peterson

I found that purple yam treat so strange. My kids were seriously terrified! It’s so much fun to try new treats though! Thanks for commenting Calico Cat!

Joy B.

While I’m with you on the taste of the hearts I do think they are the most beautiful snack food I have ever seen!! When I saw the first picture in the review I thought they had included two vintage ornaments for Christmas!! Love it! Thanks for the awesome review. You make this box seem like so much fun and it really emphasizes how much subscription boxes are so much more of an experience than simply what did I get for my money actual retail value wise. So great! 😍


You’re such a great reviewer, Becca!!


Awe! Thank you! Ashley you are so sweet!! 😊


Loved those mr. Ito cookies. Those were my fav from this box


Those were delicious weren’t they? I was really happy to have all those individual packages!

Amanda Raquel

What’s a broasted chicken dinner? Lol, I’m so sorry I couldn’t help myself. I enjoy your reviews.


Oh man Amanda! Broasted chicken is soooo good! Our local restaurant makes it and it’s so juicy with the most perfectly crisp outside! You’ll have to come to Northern Minnesota for a taste! 😊

Amanda Raquel

Oh okay, I kept thinking it was a typo. I’m in California and so far have not heard of broasted chicken. Lol, however it sound really good.


Warsaw has a mermaid defender as it’s city symbol, there’s a crooked forest in rural west Poland and Krakow has a pretty huge castle, so I’m guessing you get polish snacks next month :p lots of mushroom savories


It’s actually a real thing, not a typo. A special pressure fryer is used to cook the chicken. I remember it being a “big thing” in the early 90s.

Our reviewers research, test, and recommend the best subscriptions and products independently; click to learn more about our editorial guidelines. We may receive commissions on purchases made through links on our site.