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Universal Yums “Taiwan” August 2021 Review

Becca Peterson
ByBecca PetersonAug 20, 2021 | 4 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. 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. Choose from the Yum Box for $16.00 per month, the Yum Yum Box for $27.00 per month, or the Super Yum Box for $41.00 per month.

This review is of the Yum Yum box, which is $27.00 per 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 month’s box takes us to Taiwan! Let’s dive in and discover this month’s Yums!

First Impressions

Looking back on my past reviews, I do believe this is the first time I have received a Universal Yums box from Taiwan, so our family was quite excited. It looks like the last time a box came from the “Kingdom of Butterflies”, was in 2018, which is an entire year past their usual cycle of countries. As a snack and butterfly enthusiast, (we raise Monarch caterpillars to butterflies at our home in the summer) we couldn’t wait to check out totally new treats and learn new facts this month. Read below to see what we discovered.

What’s Inside The Box

 

Every month we receive a brightly illustrated map that usually shows where our Yums are coming from. This month’s map of Taiwan included fun facts and trivia about Taoyuan, Taipei, Nantou, Kaohsiung, and Tainan. Did you know that Kaohsiung is the home of the world’s largest work of glass art, made of 4,500 glass panels?! On the opposing side, we have the “Yum Scoreboard,” which includes a list of the box’s treats and an area for you to score each of them. We also received some info suggesting Yums from the Yum Shop based on items you may have loved from this box. I’m a little bummed that they have seemed to forgo the clue to the following month’s box, but the kids have been enjoying the scavenger hunt, and really that’s all that matters right?

 

So obviously I am here for the snacks, but one of my favorite parts of this subscription is the trivia-packed booklet we receive every month. Included are necessary items like nutritional information, allergy warnings, and ingredient lists, but they also add in real-life photographs, authentic recipes, and even a tangram! This piece of literature may be small, but it does a wonderful job at guiding us through the snacks in our box and gives us a little glimpse of Taiwan at the same time.

Bubble Tea Popcorn – Buy a pack of 2 for $4.80

 

Movie nights are one of my favorite past times and in my opinion, there is no better movie snack than popcorn. Usually opting for that of the buttery microwave variety, it was a special treat to try this “Bubble Tea” version. Slightly similar to caramel corn, the voluptuous kernels in this bag were sweet, crunchy, and left a slight tea aftertaste which was surprisingly delicious and addicting! I wasn’t sure how the kids would react to the earthy endnotes of this corn, but they didn’t seem to mind as they polished off the entire bag before the beginning credits of “Field of Dreams” were even over.

Kimchi & Soy Sauce Crackers – Buy a pack of 6 for $4.80

 

I am all for the sweet snacks but pass me a cracker smothered in a little bit of spice and I am here for it. After reading the description, I was a little leery to try these spicy pickled cabbage crackers as cabbage happens to be one of my least favorite foods, but it turns out I like it much better in the form of a crispy cracker! I was definitely welcomed by the saltiness of the soy sauce in the initial taste, but after a moment it turned into a warm and sweet flavor that was utterly delicious. Not being too hot, Hank and Charlie liked these just as much as I did so we already have the 6 pack added to our Yum Shop cart.

Lemon & Pink Himalayan Salt Pea Crackers – Buy a pack of 2 for $5.80

 

At first glance, I was completely expecting this beautifully pink package to contain some sort of candy or gummy, but to my surprise, I opened it to find pea crackers. And not just any pea crackers mind you, but lemon and pink Himalayan salt flavored ones. Talk about an interesting combo that was surprisingly addicting! I was a little apprehensive at first and tried one, but after a couple, the flavors really melded together creating this salty, savory, and sweet combo that I just couldn’t resist. Next thing I knew the bag was gone and the kids didn’t even get to try them. Whoopsie!

Yuzu Sponge Cake – Buy a pack of 12 for $9.60

 

While I have heard of yuzu before, I didn’t realize that it is a citrus fruit with a taste somewhere between a lemon, mandarin, and grapefruit. I like two out of those three okay, so I was interested to give this sponge cake a try. The cake itself was a little dense but not overly dry. It wasn’t too sweet and paired decently with the soft jam-like filling, but I did find the yuzu tasting a lot more grapefruity than the other two citruses, and sadly that is my least favorite of the three. This yum wasn’t my favorite, but it wasn’t terrible either. The kids agreed that it was eatable, but just not something they wanted seconds of.

Black Truffle Potato Fries – Buy a pack of 3 for $4.80

 

In the past, we have found truffle-flavored snacks to either taste very gourmet or sort of like dirt. Thankfully, these black truffle potato fries were of the delicious variety. Presenting very similarly to a stale Mcdonald’s fry (meaning that as a compliment), the truffle flavoring was earthy and natural, yet deep and complex. Having just the right crispiness to them, and with the perfect addition of salt, this was another winner for our family!

Taro Cream Wafers – Buy a pack of 6 for $4.20

 

If you have read any of my past reviews, you probably know by now that I love wafers. I’m not sure if it’s the nostalgia of my grandma or how fun and messy these little sticks are, but I just can’t get enough of them. This particular version is made with taro, which surprisingly enough is the potato’s tropical, purple-flecked cousin. Now biting into this cream wafer I picked up absolutely no note of potato and just enjoyed a pretty standard wafer, which I am 100% okay with.

Chocolatey Mochi with Peanut Cream – Buy a pack of 2 for $4.20

 

I am a sucker for “fancy” packaging, so when I saw this box I couldn’t wait to open it. Divided into four individual wells, these choco balls look similar to truffles, but with a surprise inside: sticky glutinous rice and peanut butter. I have never had a morsel quite like this, and as I adore peanut butter quite enjoyed it. Charlie was very excited about the looks of these chocolates and took a large bite not realizing what it was filled with. He sweetly finished his bite and told his daddy: “here dad, I saved half of it for you!” before chugging an entire glass of water. Needless to say, Charlie, while very thoughtful, did not like this treat at all and was looking for a way to rid his plate of it.

Cherry Blossom Wafer Rolls – Buy a pack of 3 for $5.70

 

Another fancy box AND it contains wafers? What a day! Now I kind of said above that I pretty much haven’t met a wafer I didn’t like, but that has now been changed. Beautiful, delicate, and unique, these wafers definitely have a floral flavor to them that is just too much for me. Honestly, these remind me of the days when the Bath and Body Works Japanese Cherry Blossom fragrance mist first came out. I was really obsessed with it and would basically put it on so thick that I would taste it, and this was a lot like that, and not in a good way.

Black Sesame & Cinnamon Umbrella Cookies – Buy a pack of 8 for $6.40

 

This small orange package happened to be the first package Charlie wanted to try this month because he read “cookie” on the front and saw the swirls which must mean something tasty right? Come to find out, these black sesame and cinnamon umbrella cookies were a little more on the savory side than the sweet side which he found disappointing. Extremely crisp and maybe a bit bland at first, I did catch the notes of anise, clove, pepper, and cinnamon a few moments into it. Another snack that was okay but not our favorite.

Black Sesame Brittle Bar – Buy a pack of 2 for $4.60

 

Also mentioned in past reviews is my love for seeds and nuts, so this last snack was really a treat. Though this bar may not be the prettiest, it sure was one of the tastiest as it combines deliciously toasted black sesame seeds with crispy sugar to form a sticky, almost caramel-like mixture with a consistency similar to a ground-up popcorn ball. It is quite hard so the kids had to work to bite into it, but once they gave it a try they decided it was pretty good. I was secretly hoping they wouldn’t like it so I could have the entire thing, but I was kind and I shared. Looks like I found another item to add to my Yum Shop cart!

The Verdict

The Taiwan Universal Yums box was a fun change of pace. All of the items were new to us as we have never visited this country before and we encountered a lot of good surprises. Again we received only 10 items, which seems to be the new norm, but two of them were quite large so I am okay with that. I did miss the inclusion of the Yum Yum bag of goodies this month and hope we see it again next month. Speaking of next month, where do you think we will be heading? 

Scorecard Picks:

  • Best Yum: Kimchip & Soy Sauce Crackers
  • Runner-up: Bubble Tea Popcorn
  • Worst Yum: Cherry Blossom Wafer Rolls
  • Most Unusual: Lemon & Pink Himalayan Salt Pea Crackers

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

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Yes, sign up now and choose to start with either the Taiwan, Greece, South Korea, or Turkey box.

Value Breakdown: This box is $27.00 per month (including shipping). I received 10 individually wrapped snacks which average out to $2.70 per item.

Which Universal Yums snack would you most like to try? 

"Universal Yums! is a food subscription service that brings you snacks from a different country each month. For example, we have reviewed boxes from countries such as the Netherlands, Egypt, Brazil, and many many more - check them out below! Their goal is to send subscribers boxes that allow them to... read more.
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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4 comments

Danielle

It’s interesting that they included kimchi crackers in a Taiwan box, since kimchi is the national food of Korea. I highly recommend trying out real kimchi at a Korean restaurant sometime, it might change your mind about cabbage! (Source: I’m Korean haha).

Becca

Thank you so much for commenting Danielle! I am going to have to give kimchi a try. I would LOVE to change my mind about cabbage! Growing up, my dad was extremely picky, so we had the same rotation of meals, which in turn has turned me into a bit of a picky eater….and I’m hoping to change that. Thanks for sharing!

Mary K

This was my least favorite box ever. I liked only one thing and threw out several. I might be done with this sub unless the next couple boxes are winners.

Becca

I’m so sorry to hear that Mary K. I believe the next box is coming from the Czech Republic, so I’m hoping you have better luck with that box! I’m hoping now that the weathers cooling down, we get some chocolate sent our way!

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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.