Universal Yums Japan 2015

Universal Yums is a monthly snack subscription that features treats from a different country every month. Each box will consist of a mix of flavors from salty, sweet, spicy, fruity, and more. Only authentic snacks from the country are featured. You can subscribe for the “Yum Box” which consists of 6 or more snacks for a cost of $13 a month, or the “Yum Yum Box” which consists of 13 or more snacks for $25 a month. They offer free shipping within the States. The Yum Box is $2.50 to ship to Canada, and the Yum Yum Box is $5 for shipping.

 

Every month they use tissue paper to show the featured country’s flag. This month is Japan!

IMG_0926

First look didn’t tell me much since there were two big bags right on top. I couldn’t wait to dig in and see what was under them!

The Goods

IMG_0927

Karl Cheese–In 1968 there were no chips, cheetos, or pretzels on the market in Japan, so candy company Meiji set out to make the first. Originally it was sold in two flavors: curry and cheese. We received them in cheese. I love these! They are very similar to the Cheetos Puffs, but are smaller and have a tighter curl. I’d say they also have a more natural cheese flavor.

IMG_0928

Wasabi Shrimp Chips–Yup, these are made from shrimp. The information sheet claimed that they don’t taste fishy and that the subtle hint of wasabi makes them a mild, easy-to-eat delight. I’ll be honest, I haven’t tried these yet. I don’t know if I will. Shrimp and wasabi are so far down on my list of appealing food.

IMG_0929

Snowpea Crisps–This is a light, airy, melt-in-your mouth snack. I really like snow peas, so I was curious how baked ones tasted. They weren’t bad. They were definitely a chip like consistency. They also have a bit of a soy sauce flavor, which I find really weird. I’m definitely undecided on these.

IMG_0930

Hello Panda–This has a shortbread cookie on the outside and a creamy chocolate inside. I’ve had these before and love them. The chocolate is similar to the icing found in Dunkaroos. Definitely a great snack!

IMG_0931

Cookies & Cream Pocky–This is a world famous Japanese snacks and I’ve been seeing them around here for many years. There are over 20 different flavors available, so they picked Cookies & Cream. Traditionally Pocky is served with a tall glass of water at bars in Japan. Even though we have these, I had never actually tried them. LOVE! I’m a huge Cookies & Cream fan to begin with, but everything about these is delicious. We don’t have very many flavors here, but I’ll likely buy them from time to time now.

IMG_0932

Baum Roll–This is a frosted lemon moist cake. They warned that these are very addicting, so obviously I had to find out for myself! I did successfully limit myself, but man these are good! The middle was actually hollow, so it was kind of like a roll. The texture was almost like dry icing, but it was really soft. I could pick up a slight lemon flavor, but it wasn’t overwhelming. I want more!

IMG_0933

Kuro Ame Brown Sugar Candy–This is made from brown sugar and is one of Japan’s oldest candies. People as far back as the 1860’s ate this!

Kasugai Gummies–These are a soft, fresh and flavorful candy. They say they included four flavors, it seems that the green are two different flavors. There is melon, lychee (a common fruit in Japan), ramune (a lemonade type of soda from Japan) and kiwi. The kiwi flavor even has seeds inside of it! Kiwi was deifnitely my favorite flavor, but the others were pretty good too. They were very soft and chewy.

IMG_0934

Mango Hi-Chew–It’s rude to take food out of your mouth in Japan, so chewing gum was always a problem. That’s why Hi-Chew was invented! I’ve had this before and it definitely has a gum like consistency. I also love that the flavor is so evident!

Botan Rice Candy–This has chewy lemon-orange gummies, and edible rice paper! You just peel off the first wrapper and pop the second, along with the candy, in your mouth. The wrapper will melt on your tongue and apparently that makes it taste even better. Oh, and it comes with a sticker! It felt really weird to put the candy in my mouth along with the wrapper. It did melt though, and got a bit gooey. The candy was soft, but I didn’t get any lemon from it, definitely a lot of orange though! It also ends up having a gum like consistency as you chew it.

IMG_0935

Flower Kiss Candy–They don’t taste like flowers so they aren’t sure where the name comes from. All candies taste the same regardless of the color of wrapper. No one is quite sure what flavor it is. Some taste peach, others taste plums, apricots, or condensed milk. I’m really not sure what flavor I pick up, but I’m fairly neutral towards this item. I don’t hate it, but I don’t live it. It’s just there.

Nestle Aero Matcha–This bar is filled with matcha, which is green tea, and is one of Japan’s most popular candy flavorings. We have a few different flavors of Aero here, but definitely not matcha! I’ve actually had matcha Kit-Kat’s before and surprisingly enjoyed them. I’m not a fan of green tea, so that was surprising to me. I was happy to get an Aero version of this because it seems to be fairly common to get Kit Kat’s. They tasted pretty much how a Kit-Kat tastes, just with an Aero texture.

Final Thoughts

I’m so excited by this box. I’ve gotten Japanese snack boxes before, so I knew I’d enjoy this theme.

I forgot to take a picture, but on the information card they give a clue to the country featured in the following month. The clue this time was:

“Bursting with exotic tastes.
It’s the cradle of the human race. 
There’s hundreds of spices, and 29 States.
But you’ll never find a bite of steak.”

Before I had received this box, the theme was revealed on their FB page. The next stop will be India! I’ve really never given much thought into the different snacks that each country has, outside of Canada/US anyway. I’m really excited to continue subbing to this and see what crazy kinds of snacks I get!