Universal Yums: June 2022 Review
Posted on July 5, 2022 Posted by Athena Scalzi 12 Comments
Now that I’ve been back from LA for a week, I’ve had time to rest and relax and catch up on important stuff, like last month’s snack box. I finally got around to cracking open the June Universal Yums box, and found Thailand inside!
Other than Thai iced tea, I can honestly say I haven’t encountered that much Thai food in my life, so I was excited to try all the different snacks and variety of flavors before me. To my disappointment, a few of the snacks were spicy flavored, and I do not handle spice well, so I knew my reviews of said snacks would be biased coming from someone that despises anything spicy. So I enlisted the help of a friend that is not a wimp about spice!
Come along with us through twelve different snacks and see what Thailand had to offer!
(Also, if you don’t know how the Universal Yums subscription works, or are curious about the different plans/prices, you can check out my first post over them, where I include all that info!)
First up, we had these Chicken Larb Flavored Seaweed Chips:
My friend had never heard of larb before, and honestly the only time I had heard of it was in Spider-Man: Homecoming, so neither of us were totally sure of what it was. How accurately did these chips convey the larbiness or larb? We couldn’t say. But what we can say is that they packed a hell of a punch flavor-wise. They were so strongly seasoned, and strangely acidic, that every time I ate one it made me cough just a tiny bit. They were superbly crunchy, though, and the aftertaste was pure seaweed. For as big as the bag was, there were barely any chips inside. We both settled on a 7/10.
Up next, we went for another chip-type snack, these Caramel & Garlic Chips:
Upon opening the bag, we were hit with a super strong smell, one that was not particularly pleasant. It was definitely the smell of garlic, but like, stinky-er. Reluctant to try, but determined to find out how well garlic and caramel mixed, we popped some in and had at it. The sweetness is what you’ll taste first, much like how it feels to eat caramel corn. Then the garlic flavor is strong at the end once you get past the outer layer of caramel coating. They weren’t exactly crunchy chips, more like crispy. And they were strangely addicting, though not actually all that good. We both went for a 5/10 on this one.
Sticking with savory, we went for this Mala Seaweed Roll:
I like seaweed, so I thought a big roll of it would be pretty good, even if it was a little on the spicy side. But I was wrong. This seaweed roll was terrible. It was insanely fishy, painfully spicy, all around yucky and unpleasant. I almost couldn’t finish chewing the bite that was in my mouth. It ended up being the worst thing in the box by a landslide. I gave it a 1/10, while my friend so generously gave it a 2/10.
Onto another spicy snack (I figured I’d just get a glass of milk and go through them all at once to minimize my suffering), we tried these Hot & Spicy Chicken Wing Rings:
Now here was a good spicy snack. These wing rings were crunchy, and weren’t overwhelming at all. They were on the mild side, and I didn’t even have to drink any milk with it. I would gladly have more, even. These were a perfectly decent snack. I gave it a 6/10, and my friend deemed it an 8/10.
For the last spicy snack, we had these Sweet & Spicy Sausage Flavored Rings:
Unlike the previous rings, these ones were itty bitty things, which make them extra easy to just keep eating. They boasted a sausage flavor, but there was only a brief glimpse of sausage in these rings. They mostly just tasted like potato chips, save for the first second in your mouth where you feel like you really did just bite into a sausage. So, accurate flavor, but short lived. Also not even remotely spicy at all. Another 6/10 for me, and 8/10 from my friend.
Finally, we dove into some sweeter snacks, starting with these Chocolate Coconut Chips:
When we opened this bag we were greeted with the wonderful fragrance of chocolatey goodness. If you like coconut, and like chocolate, these are definitely for you. These were perfectly crispy flakes of coconut accompanied by coconut’s best friend, chocolate. It was like eating an Almond Joy without the shitty almond. They were simplistic and delicious, and deserving of a 10/10 from both of us.
Another chocolatey sweet, we tried these Chocolatey Caramel Cookies:
The name does not lie. This was a very standard shortbread type cookie, with a thin layer of caramel (much thinner than the package would lead you to believe), and topped with a thicker layer of chocolate. It was about as good as any caramel-chocolate-cookie-combination is, which is very. They actually tasted super close to Keebler’s Fudge Stripe cookies, and who doesn’t love those? They were basic, but in a classic, timeless kind of way, where simplicity is a plus and not a negative. Another 10/10 from both.
Onto a stranger sweet, this Dutch Cheesy Wafer Cookie was up next:
They smelled funky and pungent, just like a strong cheese, but the taste didn’t reflect that. They were rather sweet for how they smelled, and didn’t taste much like cheese at all. They were crunchy in that way that wafers always are, where they leave a million and two crumbs behind, but were quite delicious nonetheless. The cheesy wafers were a solid 9/10 from both of us.
Back to a classic, do these Cookies & Cream Sandwich Cookies look familiar?
Yep, it was basically an Oreo. But these were actually a little softer than an Oreo, and had less cream filling, meaning the taste was mostly just cookie. So if you like the cookie part of an Oreo better than the cream part, these would be perfect for you (y’all are crazy for that one, you know I be getting Double Stuf). So, yeah, these were perfectly good chocolatey cookies, earning an 8/10 from me, and a 9/10 from my friend.
Surprised to see yet another wafer in the box, we tried the Thai Iced Tea Wafer Cookies:
(I know it looks like I reused the same wafer picture, but I promise they just look really similar.)
If you saw my post from Santa Monica about Thai iced tea, you know I’m an absolute fiend for it, so I was extra excited to try this wafer. But I was disappointed when I found that it didn’t taste much like Thai iced tea at all. It was still a perfectly tasty snack, it just didn’t taste like it claimed it did. At least to me, anyway, since my friend said “wow, this tastes just like Thai tea, but in a crispy wafer!”. So, I’m not sure what to make of that. I drink Thai tea more regularly than them, so I trust my taste buds a little more in this case, but who knows. We both decided the cheese wafer was actually better than this one, and I gave it a 6/10, while my friend gave it 7/10.
Finally, we got into the “Yum Bag”, which in my experience always has two types of candy in it. First up were these Milky Chews:
Oh my lord, these were so good. They were chewy, like a soft caramel, and tasted so sweet and vanilla-y. They were like a perfect scoop of vanilla ice cream in just one tiny bite. These were a total 10/10 from both of us, and ultimately our favorite thing in the box. I wish we had ended on these, but alas we finished on the next candy. (Funny enough, this was the only one I forgot to get a picture of outside of its package.)
The final snack were these Dynamite Chocolatey Mint Candies:
Just like an after-dinner mint, these super minty hard candies ended up lasting a while before we cracked them open and released the chocolatey filling. Which ended up tasting like and having the same consistency as a chocolate flavored toothpaste my dentist used to use in my cleanings when I was a child. It was unpleasant. It wasn’t terrible, though, so I gave it a 5/10, my friend hated it more than I did and went with a 3/10.
Overall, this box was a lot of fun, and I’m glad I got to try such a wide array of flavors, from super spicy to super sweet. I can’t wait to see where they choose to feature for July!
Which snack looks the best to you? Is there any you wouldn’t try? Let me know in the comments, and have a great day!
I love these posts.
An Almond Joy without almonds is a Mounds.
“ It was like eating an Almond Joy without the shitty almond.”
Do you know what they call an Almond Joy without the almond? MOUNDS!!!
Had to laugh that the first two comments say my first thought after reading….
I blame age and TV – the Almond Joy and Mounds bars commercial was combined for us.. “Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t. Almond Joy’s got nuts, Mounds’ don’t….”
Outside of the bit of tv nostalgia – that did look like a fun box. I like weird spicy and, yes, fishy seaweed so I think i’d enjoy some of those early options.
Looking forward to July’s.
First, thank you for taking your own pictures of the snacks. I like knowing what the snacks looked like to you, not just what they look like in general. I understand that such pictures aren’t always possible, but I want you to know that they’re appreciated when you do them.
Second, I enjoy these posts of yours a lot. They’re fun and they brighten my day.
Third, I have a couple of questions: would you ever give a savory snack a 10/10? (Do you know of any savory snacks that are 10/10 for you?) Will you always rate sweet snacks a couple points higher than savory ones?
I enjoyed this review the most! This box had a great mix of appealing, odd, and alarming flavors. The scores were all over the place! And I always like when you have a co-taster. Maybe because I am always reading along wondering how I’d like and score the snacks.
I don’t think there’s anything in a snack box I wouldn’t try. Oh wait, I don’t need the subjunctive because I should be getting the same box this month—there isn’t anything in that box I won’t try.
That said, I might be spitting out the seafood flavored thing. Seafood was some of the nastiest things in the Sakuraco boxes.
And while I don’t mind spicy, I absolutely hate when they say “spicy” and what they mean is “peppery”. I abhor pepper. If you opened the common table pepper in the same room, that was too much pepper. Some of the other peppers are okay, such as chilis if you rinsed out the seeds. Paprika (I’m thinkin’ it’s a pepper?) is delicious.
A Thai restaurant near here has a bowl of after dinner “mints” at the checkout. I put “mints” in quotes because they are absolutely not mint flavored. I don’t know what flavor they are supposed to be, not being able to read Asian script. Durian maybe. They kind of look like these:
They are hands down the most disgusting things I ever put in my mouth. I shot it out of my mouth like an air rifle. They taste like onions soaked in gasoline with a hard candy shell.
@David & @Ken,
Sorry, I have to jump in on the Almond Joy / Mounds bit:
Mounds are -dark- chocolate while Almond Joys are -milk- chocolate. It’s not just the “sometimes you feel like a nut” difference.
/s/ A dark chocolate lover
It was like eating an Almond Joy without the shitty almond.
This line made me laugh out loud. When I was a kid (I’m your dad’s age) there was a whole ad campaign about how “Almond Joy has nuts, Mounds don’t” I wonder if they still make Mounds candy bars. Because if you like Almond Joy but without the shitty almonds, it’s the candy for you.
Your tastes seem to run to “very bland and extremely sugary” but, if you’d like to pass me the ones with seaweed and/or spices, I’m interested.
As an Almond Joy fan I would’ve gone for the chocolate coconut chips!
Great review! Thank you! It’s always interesting to read along, wondering how I would have liked them.