Universal Yums March 2016 Subscription Box Review – The Philippines

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Universal Yums March 2016 box

Mabuhay!  Universal Yums is a monthly international snack subscription box.  Every month you’ll take a trip to a new country and munch on brand new snacks. Yum Yum! There are two sizes of box, the Yum ($13) and the Yum Yum ($25). This is the Yum Yum box, and it’s a really solid subscription that shines each and every month.

Universal Yums March 2016 unboxing

This month we were treated to some true delicacies from the tropical country of the Philippines.  The beautiful information booklet provides some extra insight into the featured culture.  The box always has a tissue paper flag inside, too.  It’s a cool touch that sets the stage for you culinary exploration of culture. They just missed adding the sun and the stars in the flag, though.

Universal Yums March 2016 (1)

The new and improved booklet really enhances the experience.  It includes a cultural note, trivia, and even a Filipino folk tale!

Universal Yums March 2016 (4)

Plus, there was a guide to animals native to the Philippines and a recipe to make at home.

Universal Yums March 2016 (2)

The booklet takes the place of an info card, providing in-depth description and background on all the items.

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It has a handy ingredient/potential allergen breakdown on it, and the snack descriptions have gotten to be quite detailed.

Universal Yums March 2016 unboxed

The Yum Yum box is filled to the top with goodies after goodies.

Universal Yums March 2016 unboxed (2)

Yes, there’s a lot more at the bottom of it.  The bottom layer arrived looking like this — the box was so full that the tiny items didn’t move from where they were placed.

Universal Yums March 2016 review

All the Yums in the March Yum Yum box.  One of the great things about Universal Yums, particularly the Yum Yum box, is the experience of uncovering layer after layer of goodies.  I also love that there are very generous serving size bags of some of the selections in each box.

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Goldilocks Ube Polvoron & Goldilocks Cookies and Cream Polvoron:  Goldilocks is a popular bakeshop chain in the Philippines, and their pastries ranges from cakes to shortbreads.  Polvoron, or the Manila shortbread, is one of Goldilocks’ best-sellers, which is no wonder why it was included in the box.  The Ube flavor is really tasty in this style of shortbread, which is crumbly and powdery.  The Cookies & Cream was good too, but I probably would have had trouble identifying the flavor just by taste.

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Jack & Jill X.O. Coffee Candy – These hard candies have a very concentrated coffee flavor, like coffee that is cooked down rather than dark roasted.

Starr Melon Dew Menthol Candy – It’s sweet, but has coolness of menthol.  An unusual combination of flavors that somehow coexist quite well.

Lipps Color Burst Mango Candy – If you want to end up having yellow-tinted lips, then you should try these candies. Lipps Color Burst also comes in strawberry, green apple, grape, and tamarind.  That’s red, green, violet, and brown colored lips for you after!
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King Choc Nut:  Among the items in the box, Choc Nut is my favorite.  It’s just the right combination of sweet and nutty.  I just hoped there was more in the box (I can eat more than five in one sitting — a guilty pleasure of mine).
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Regent Pandan Cake:  I remember having Pandan cake while we were in Singapore, and I’m glad to see a version of this green cake from the Philippines in this month’s Yum Yum goodies. The cake is light and fluffy, and has a delicate pandan flavor to transforms the cake in the way vanilla does.  Besides Pandan, Regent cakes are also available in custard, cheese, chocolate, mocha, lemon, melon, ube, and strawberry.  These are very common school snacks in the Philippines — they are modestly sized and come in enough variety to never get old.

Pinky’s Goodies Chocolate Butterscotch Bars:  A popular souvenir among those traveling to Manila, these little cubes are more solid and drier than a brownie.  They come in a variety of tropical fruit and nut flavors, as well as chocolate and coffee.  I could only compare the chocolate variety to a brownie — wish we had gotten the cashew or green mango to try.

Universal Yums March 2016 (10)

Fita Lemon Flavored Cracker Sandwich:  Fita is the Philippines’ version of Ritz, but it has a more traditional cracker taste, lacking the butter flavoring of a Ritz.  The sweet lemon creme is a bit of an unusual, but fairly tasty pairing for a cracker that usually goes with savory toppings.  Fita is also available in other flavors, like tuna and bacon — these flavors pair well with Ritz, but my palate is having a hard time contemplating a sweet creme version of them!

Oishi Salt & Vinegar Ribbed Cracklings:  These cracklings are often paired with beers, but still tastes great no matter what drink you pair it with.  As the picture indicates, these are usually dipped in white vinegar.

Universal Yums March 2016 (11)

Golden Sweet Corn Snack – Corn snacks are definitely popular in the Philippines.  Sweet corn is usually sold in the streets, but if there’s none available, this puff snack is a great alternative.

Boy Bawang Hot & Spicy Cornick – Another corn snack, but unlike the puffy and sweet Golden Sweet Corn, Boy Bawang (Garlic Boy in English) is crunchy and salty.  This is often eaten as a side appetizer to beer or other alcoholic drinks in the Philippines.

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Can you guess which country is featured next?

Here’s a hint:  the country’s flag is the Polish flag, and they are famous for Polish sausage and Polish vodka.

Universal Yums is always lots of fun.  Because the snacks are sourced from the featured country, even familiar types of candy have a unique style and interesting packaging.  The snacks are always delicious, unique, and authentic.

Visit Universal Yums to subscribe or find out more.

The Subscription: Universal Yums
The Description: Each month, you’ll receive a box of unique, delicious snacks from a different country delivered right to your door. No repeats! 0% Yuck, 100% Yum.
The Price: Cost: $13 (Yum Box) $25 (Yum Yum Box) per month.
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The Reviews: See all our Universal Yums Reviews.


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  • Kelsie

    I finally received my first yum box today! I’ve been following your review ever since I ordered and it’s really fun to see what is in the yum box vs your yum yum box. I will definitely upgrade when my budget allows. 🙂
    So far I’ve only tried three things: the Ube shortbread (sooo good), the choco-nut and one of mine had broken and crumbled, and the star menthol melon candy (surprisingly refreshing). I see your booklet has a bit more info than mine. I didn’t get the page on animals or the folk tale. Perks of the yum yum box I guess.
    Anyways thans for the great and through reviews. Can’t wait for Poland!

    • Brandy

      this is all super helpful to hear about! choco-nut is crumbly all on its own, but how else are you supposed to have chocolate in the philippines?! 🙂

  • Susan Burge (@georgiarealist)

    Loved the Fita things – but I love nearly anything lemon. I haven’t tried everything, but it’s an interesting assortment. I was a little confused because the booklet says we were supposed to get 2 flavors of the butterscotch bars, but I got 2 white chocolate ones (not that I could tell you that they had any taste of white chocolate, or very much butterscotch either). I see you got 2 of one flavor as well, so I’m guessing they just made an error in the booklet. It’s a shame – I’d have been interested in one of the other flavors, too. The texture of the choco nut things reminds me of the Mexican peanut version of marzipan. It was very crumbly for a chocolate thing.