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Universal Yums “Russia” Review – October 2020

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 to Russia! Let’s dive in and discover this month’s Yums!

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 U.S. shipping

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 are included in this box.

Ships to: The U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia, and Israel

Universal Yums “Russia” October 2020 Review

To my family, Universal Yums is more than a box, it’s an entire experience. When we see this box on our doorstep, we are jumping for joy! Unlike the last two months, we didn’t have any visitors to share our box with, so it was just the boys and I that headed to Russia via these treats. See how they fared below.


Each month we receive a brightly animated map detailing the country our Yums are coming from. Our map of Russia was wonderfully illustrated and contained facts and trivia about the country… my kids now want to visit Lake Baikal to see the world’s largest, deepest, and oldest freshwater lake! On the opposite side, we have the “Yum Scoreboard” which includes a list of the box’s contents and an area for you to rate each item. Not only is this a scorecard, but it also lists snacks that were rejected from the box, along with the chance to vote on an upcoming box. I am totally voting for Jordan this time!


Here we have the detailed pamphlet that includes tons of information about Russia itself and the treats they sent this month. This component is packed with fun history and trivia! This month, we received a recipe for beef stroganoff and learned that the longest railway in the world, the Trans-Siberian Railroad, stretches across 5,772 miles and 8 time zones – to travel the whole thing, you would need to spend a week on a train! We also learned that in celebration of six years in the business, they officially opened The Yum Shop!


Boiled Milk & Chocolate Cake -Buy a 6 pack for $5.40

I’m not sure what I expected boiled milk and chocolate cake to taste like, but I am finding this combination to taste similar to a Little Debbie chocolate cake treat. While I appreciate the vintage packaging, the rich wafer cake is very sweet with a sweetened condensed milk caramel layer. I discovered a few deeper notes of flavor while munching but just didn’t fall in love with the almost spongey texture. The kids weren’t sold on this cake either, but my husband thought it was pretty tasty so it didn’t go to waste.


Ripe Pear Milk Chocolate – Buy a pack of 4 for $4.80

I was a little apprehensive about the combination of ripe pear and milk chocolate as I read this description, especially when it included the words “ooey-gooey.” I mean, I’m all for fruit and chocolate… but pear filling? Well, folks, I gotta say not only was the packaging exquisite, but the embossed squares looked equally impressive… and the flavor you ask? FANTASTIC! Russia is home to the extra-sweet, highly sought-after pear known “krazulya” and this milk chocolate is stuffed with krazulya filling. It is sweet with a slight bite from the pear and pairs perfectly (see what I did there?) This might have been a bit too sophisticated for my boys’ palettes, but it sure was fun and I will definitely buy more for myself!


Sovietsky Cheese Potato Chips – Buy a 3 pack for $4.50

Upon the first bite of these crispy chips, I noticed they weren’t overly salty, but actually almost sweet! The Sovietsky cheese was, as they promised, addictive, and left me wanting more. All of these components made for a really great chip that our entire family enjoyed.


White Chocolate & Hazelnut Cream Wafer – Buy a pack of 6 for $4.20

Oh hazelnuts, how I love thee! If you have read my previous reviews you know by now that I have a weakness for hazelnuts, especially when combined with chocolate. White chocolate happens to be my favorite, and the white chocolate, hazelnut cream, and wafer combo is the trifecta in my eyes. These light wafer cookies are filled with the most decadent hazelnut cream and white chocolate for a dessert that literally melts in your mouth. I hate to admit it, but I tried this treat on the DL and I didn’t even save a bite for my kids… it was THAT good.


Exotic Fruit Jellies

We enjoy our fair share of fruit snacks in this household, but I can definitely say the Mott’s version we purchase are definitely not as exotic as these mango, blackcurrant-mint, and strawberry-pepper flavored jellies! The initial bite into these chews was a little grainy and very sweet. Depending on the flavor you chose, you are welcomed with a strong fruit flavor followed by a more subtle mint or pepper taste. I noticed they are easy to chew through and seem to be a little juicier than a traditional fruit snack, but they were a bit too strong-tasting for my preference.


Coconut & White Chocolate Hazelnut Balls

How pretty are these precious little coconut & white chocolate hazelnut balls? I love everything from the packaging to the pretty little snowball like candies! To me, they tasted like a coconut macaroon with a white chocolate and hazelnut twist for a tasty dessert. I’m sure glad they sent two because one just wasn’t enough!


Bolete Mushroom Bread Bites – Buy a pack of 4 for $4.00

Wowzer are these Mushroom Bread Bites salty and potent! I tend to enjoy mushroom flavoring, but dislike the slippery texture mushrooms themselves take on, so these bread bites were a good way for me to enjoy them. Being extra crispy and quite large in size, I definitely feel these would be a good dipping choice with some artichoke dip, but would also be great on a salad as a crouton. While I did enjoy them by themselves, they were strongly flavored and might benefit from being mixed with some subtle greens.


Nuts & Milk Chocolate Wafer –  Buy a pack of 10 for $6.00

Not only was this soft, nutty, cake wafer beautiful, but it was delicious too. Layers of soft wafer, filled with hazelnut-cocoa cream, crushed peanuts, and topped with a chocolate glaze… it was the perfect combination that left us all wanting more. While similar to the white chocolate and hazelnut cream wafer, this treat offered its own unique flavor, and just looked so fancy on the plate. To the Yum Shop I go for more!


Orange Marmalade & Cinnamon Pryanik – (out of stock)

To be honest, we have received gingerbread treats in previous boxes and I have not enjoyed a single one, so I saved this giant gingerbread with candied orange jam until dead last because frankly, I had no hope for it. To my surprise, I thoroughly enjoyed it! The subtle gingerbread flavor paired with the cinnamon and candied orange jam was a perfect combo that was fantastic with a cup of coffee. The beautiful stamped design on the outside made it look really special, and the size of it was impressive, too. My husband loves gingerbread, and he was such a fan of this that he asked if we could save the rest for him for his breakfast with his morning coffee – it goes to show you never know what new treats you might discover that you like!


Almond White Chocolate Bar – Buy a 2 pack for $6.00

Hooray for another O’Zera-brand bar! This “fancy” looking white chocolate bar is studded with whole almonds, and has perforated sections for portion control, although it does feature a large leaf-embossed portion that is more my style… I was a bit worried it would be too strongly almond-flavored but found the decadent white chocolate to hold it’s own with the crunchy almonds. I also want to comment that Hershey’s should take note of the number of almonds this company uses – the more nuts the better!


BBQ Kebab Potato Crisps – Buy a pack of 4 for $5.20

When my kids saw the kebab clipart on the package they just had to dive into this bag of fresh Russian BBQ-flavored potato chips. These uniquely shaped crisps were the perfect crispy texture and were just salty enough to really bring the BBQ flavor to life. They were a bit thicker than traditional Lay’s BBQ chips, and my kids actually preferred these, gobbling them up faster than I could slip my hand in the bag!


Strawberry, Caramel, & Vanilla Gummies – Buy a pack of 3 for $5.70

In every box we get, the kids always seem to gravitate towards the brightly-colored packages, especially when they see gummies on the packaging. This mix of strawberry, caramel, and vanilla gummies was no expectation, especially when they noticed the pony clipart on the front. How did we feel about this interesting combination of flavors? Well, our feelings were mixed. All of the gummies were extremely chewy and you weren’t able to bite through them like the Exotic Fruit Chews, but the flavors were a bit more subdued. The strawberry and vanilla were our favorites, while the caramel was just too weird for my brain to wrap around – in my mind caramel should be soft and chewy and milky. These were okay but weren’t our favorite.


Orange & Vanilla Biscuits – Buy a 2 pack for $4.40

The last item in our box was this big box of orange and vanilla biscuits. I am a fan of orange and vanilla in general, so I had high hopes for these, especially since we received such a large quantity. Thankfully they did not disappoint and the thinness and crispness mixed with the touch of vanilla and orange flavor made for the perfect snack that wasn’t too much, but a perfect match for a cup of tea. Plus who doesn’t love the cute flower shape?

The Verdict: We love Universal Yums and after last month’s re-visit to Colombia so soon, we couldn’t wait to give some new treats a try. I have to say Russia was a hit and we enjoyed most of the treats, and were even surprised to love some we were positive would be not so good. This box is always a fun experience as we learn new things about faraway places and create an entire experience out of it. With the pandemic hitting closer and closer to home every single day, we look forward to receiving this box to bring some normalcy back into our lives and take away a bit of the anxiety we are facing. We can’t wait to see what country we get to visit next month! 

Scorecard Picks:

  • Best Yum: White Chocolate & Hazelnut Cream Wafer
  • Runner-up: Ripe Pear Milk Chocolate
  • Worst Yum: Strawberry, Caramel, & Vanilla Gummies
  • Most Unusual: Orange Marmalade & Cinnamon Pryanik

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this box if you 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.

Value Breakdown: This box is $25.00 a month (including shipping). I received 17 individually wrapped snacks which average out to $1.47 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 sends snacks and candies from around the world directly to your door, creating an unforgettable experience that mixes the fun of food, travel, and learning in one tasty box! Starting at $16 a month, our boxes provide customers a unique and interactive way to explore the world.
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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Tara W

Russia was my favorite box so far! The pear milk chocolate was divine! Almost everything was a hit. The only thing I truly didn’t care for was the gummies in the pink package. They looked like they would be amazing. But, nah. I really recommend this box, especially for families to try together because of the added trivia/learning component.

Beth O'Grady

Russia was by far my favorite box! I loved the gingerbread (I’m a gingerbread aficionado and as soon as I saw it I knew that would be the treat for me), my husband loved the kebab crisps so much that I’m going to order some from the store, and as always my son liked the gummies. The only item we didn’t like was the mushroom croutons. FYI, I’m going to gift a subscription to my parents for Christmas, so I contacted Universal Yums about timing and they told me I should wait until Thanksgiving weekend to buy their subscription because there would be a good sale.


Shouldn’t a box like this be packed with true traditional regional favorites? I don’t know what half of this stuff is.

Also “boiled milk” is actually dulce de leche. Did universal Yums provide that awkward unappetizing description?

Becca Peterson

Thanks for commenting Lana! Boiled milk was in the description and name of that treat. I prefer dulce de leche much more! Thanks for sharing <3


As a Russian from Moscow, I might say that only half of that’s sweets are popular in Russia and half of it never saw in my life. We have lot of traditional and popular sweets and snacks that should be in box like that instead of unknown things from unknown brands 🙁

Kate N.

We have the same tastes, apparently, because your review is pretty much spot on with my thoughts regarding this box!


Well, I reached my limit with Universal Yums. I originally enjoyed the subscription and shared it with my son. He’s moved now and it’s just me. The last few boxes haven’t been hitting the mark and there’s coconut in every box. Seriously? Every country in the world likes coconut? It’s such a divisive taste and an allergen for a lot of people on top of it.

I thought Russia was too heavy on the sweets and didn’t enjoy most of them. After the repeats in Columbia and the disappointing Russia box, the final nail in the coffin was getting the news that we would be billed a week early for the next box, which didn’t work for me. I cancelled. Too many uneaten treats, which are headed to stuff some stockings this Christmas in the hopes someone else will enjoy them.

I have liked learning about the different countries but can’t justify the cost anymore. Maybe in the future?


I was excited to be billed early and getting my Nov box soon as I need them for Christmas stocking stuffers for my husband.

We both love every box.. Also either of us are picky.

I usually eat lean all month, kale and fish. Been skipping out on going out to eat to.. So this box comes and its a fat fest. (Treat) I rarely eat chips or sweets.. I’ve had this box 3 times and its been the most chips I’ve eaten in 4 years!!

My husband just loves all of it.. Sweets are is favorite. 😄✨

Becca Peterson

That’s such a bummer Victoria! I agree on the excessive amount of coconut in the boxes, and while I like it to a point, it’s not my favorite either. Thanks for commenting!


I subscribe for my brother in law and sister and they thought Russia was the best box in months. They loved it!

Becca Peterson

I’m glad they enjoyed it Mellissa! I enjoyed this month’s a lot more than last month’s, so I’m excited what November will bring!


You have the orange marmalade ginger bread marked as the worst even though you said you all enjoyed it even though you weren’t expecting to. Did you mean that to be the most unusual and the worst to be the gummies?

Becca Peterson

Whoops! Thanks for catching that Logan, I did mean to put the gingerbread as the most unusual and the gummies as the worst – I’ve updated that mistake. Thanks for commenting!


I was just about to comment on this too. Super confusing.


This was one of our favorite boxes so far. Everything was a hit with someone, although I wasn’t a huge fan of the gingerbread and the chocolate with the pear center.

We’ve already received our next box, and it looks like it was smashed at the post office. Wrapped with extra tape, and there is no front sticker on with a hint about the place either. We haven’t opened it yet so I don’t know how the contents fared, but did anyone else get a beat up box?


Mary, it seems they have stopped putting the location sticker on the box – for my past two boxes, I got a location sticker inside the box with the other usual materials. (Thankfully my box arrived in good shape, sorry yours did not).


Oh, that’s a bummer if they are getting rid of the sticker. My kids always like to guess based on what it says.


Russia was out least favorite box to date. (Colombia knocked it out of thr park for us!) It was still so much fun to taste, but we didn’t want more of anything…Usually I look to buy more on the website. We did like the hazelnut wafers quite a but though! And my husband shocked me by liking the mushroom croutons… 6 years of marriage and I’ve only ever known him to avoid eating mushrooms, then he says he loves these?! My 3 year old liked the cheese chips a lot and my 5 year old liked the bbq chips… it’s so interesting to see what their reactions are! Foods I’m sure they will love, they dont care for, and foods I’m sure they will hate they devour!

Becca Peterson

It’s so fun to hear about other people’s opinions of the boxes. I love seeing how different all of our palates are! That’s hilarious about your husband liking the mushroom croutons! Thanks for sharing your stories and commenting <3

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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.