Universal Yums: August 2022 Review

Athena ScalziHello again, everyone! Today I’m back with another Universal Yums review. This time it’s the August box, so I’m just barely fitting it in before the end of the month. Hard to believe it’s almost September already!

In case you haven’t seen my other posts over Universal Yums, it is a subscription box company that sends you snacks from other countries, and each month is a different country. This month, I was surprised to open the box, and find that the location was an entire continent, rather than just one country.

Behold, the South American box!

The Universal Yums box, the assortment of snacks arranged so that everything is visible. The map of South America that was included in the box is the background, behind the snacks.

This box came with eleven different snacks.

All of the snacks from the box, laid out in three rows on the table.

In the booklet that describes each snack and whatnot, it told you which country in South America each individual snack was from, but still I found it odd, as I’ve never seen them do a whole continent before.

Anyways, I got my dad to help me out with this one, and we took turns picking which snack to try. First up was this package of Fried Corn Snacks:

A white and brown package with the word INKA on the front in black. A small purple circle in the bottom right hand corner contains the words

The corn snack spilling out of the bag onto the table.

Upon first glance, these look a lot like unpopped popcorn kernels, but bigger. Because of this, I expected them to be very hard, but they were actually much softer than anticipated, and my dad said they were softer than regular corn nuts. They ended up tasting super similar to plain popcorn as well, and even looked like unexploded popcorn on the inside. They were awfully dry, and eating too many definitely required some water to go with it, but my dad and I agreed they’d be a fine addition to something like a party mix or bar mix. However, we also decided we wouldn’t really go out of way to eat them, as they are fairly meh. I gave these a 6/10, and my dad settled on a 6.5/10.

Switching to something sweet, we tried this Yogurt Flavored Plum Cake:

A light blue rectangular package with the words

The cake, removed from its package but sitting on top of it. It is in a cupcake liner type thingy, and is unimpressive in appearance, just a small light brown cake.

Our immediate thoughts were “this doesn’t taste like plum at all”. Not only was no plum detectable, but it really didn’t taste much like anything at all. It wasn’t bad, but it was just a very standard little sponge cake. It was like a plain angel food cake you buy at the store before you take it home and add strawberries and whipped cream. Confused by the lack of plum, we looked at the ingredients and found out that there truly was no plum at all in it. No plum flavoring, plum extract, or mention of plum at all. Perhaps it’s like how we call our cakes sponge cakes, but there is no sponge actually in the sponge cake? Anyways, it was pretty simple, but tasty, so we both gave it a 7.5/10.

Next, we tried these Lemon Plantain Chips:

A white chip-bag type package with black letters that read

The plantain chips spilling out of the bag onto the table. Most are broken in half or pieces rather than whole chips.

Holy MOLY y’all, these things were like a punch in the face. Putting one on your tongue was like battery acid. There was no actual taste of lemon, just a pure shot of citric acid. Now this isn’t to say that they’re bad, though, in fact I think they’re pretty good, and they’re definitely addicting despite the discomfort that is sure to ensure upon eating more than like, two of them. They’re pleasantly crunchy and not really as hard as banana chips tend to be. We recommend that you don’t put these flat on your tongue or let it sit too long without chewing it, cuz that zing of acid is no joke. I went with a 7.5/10 for these, and my dad rated them a 7/10.

Back to sweet, we have these Candy Coated Cookie Clusters:

A light blue bag that reads

The cookie clusters, spilling out of the bag onto the table. They are off-white and black.

Now here was a totally bomb snack. These little clusters were the perfect mix of crunchy cookie and creamy candy coating. They were just like an Oreo, but more chaotic. My dad said they were like a frosted animal cracker that had a transporter accident. And he was right, they did taste a lot like frosted animal crackers, but definitely have more of the appearance of an Oreo. Whatever they resembled, they were delicious, and got an 8/10 from both of us.

Trying out something spicy, we went for these Chili Pepper Flavored Bites:

A small shiny green bag that reads

The small snacks spilling out of the bag and onto the table.

I was afraid that these would be fiery hot, but they were pretty mild, enough so that they didn’t hurt me, anyway. They were actually very light little airy things, with the texture of Goldfish crackers. They were also very forward with the heat, so you didn’t get that sort of kick on the back end that spicy snacks usually have. I liked them well enough that I would be very interested in trying the other flavors they come in. For me, these earned a 7/10, and my dad gave them a 7.5/10.

Up next was this Coconut Rice Crispy Bar:

A rectangular granola-bar looking thing with a dark green package and bright yellow lettering.

The bar, tilted to show the camera the candy coating on the bottom.

Imagine a Nature Valley bar but way better and without the insane mess. This coconut bar is very coconut-y, and pleasantly sweet. So if you don’t like coconut, definitely don’t try this. It looked crunchy, but it was pretty soft! It was nice, and I could totally eat one of these like every day. The candy coating on the bottom was a surprise, but only added to the yumminess. I gave this bad boy a 9/10, and my dad went for an 8/10.

Here we have another snack from the cookie cluster company, but this time it’s White Chocolate Covered Peanuts:

A purple package that depicts peanuts being dunked into a puddle of white chocolate, causing a splash.

The peanuts, white little ovals, spilling out of the bag onto the table. They have a strange pattern on them.

Okay can we just talk about the strange pattern on the outside? They look like dinosaur eggs or something. That wasn’t the only unexpected thing about these peanuts though. My dad and I were imagining something along the lines of a peanut M&M, but they were totally different. They weren’t waxy like the M&Ms are, and the peanuts were strangely crispy instead of chalky. In fact, on the ingredients list, it specifically says “crispy peanuts”. Not sure what that means, but you can definitely tell the difference. Overall, it was an 8/10 from both of us.

Going into fruity territory, we have these Fruit Flavored Gummies:

A multi colored bag of gummy candies.

The multi colored gummy candies spilling out of the bag onto the table.

These gummies were chewy like a Sour Patch Kid, but they were covered in sugar instead of citric acid, making them an extra sweet treat and offering some contrast to the gumminess of the candy itself. There were three flavors: orange strawberry, cherry pineapple, and cherry strawberry. After tasting all three individually, we decided that the orange strawberry was the best one. I could definitely polish off this whole bag if left unchecked, though. It earned a 7.5/10 from me, and a solid 8/10 from my dad.

For the last of the regular snacks, we had these Lemon Cookies:

An off white package of light brown shortbread cookies, lemon flavored ones more specifically.

Three of the shortbread cookies laid out in front of the bag of cookies.

It doesn’t get much simpler than these cookies right here. Lemon, shortbread, what could be better? These cookies were simple, classic, lemony goodness shortbread with not much else going on. Have them at tea time! Or don’t, I’m not your mother. They got an 8/10 from me and an 8.5/10 from my dad.

Moving onto the candies of the box, first up was this Coffee Flavored Chew:

A small piece of candy wrapped in shiny red and gold wrapping paper.

A small square of brown candy laying inside its shiny wrapper.

As someone who normally doesn’t really like coffee, this candy was pretty damn good. Even my dad thought so, and he likes coffee even less than I do. It tasted like coffee but if the coffee had tons of creams and sugars in it. It wasn’t too strong of a coffee flavor at all, honestly, and it was quite good. I would definitely love to have a bowl of these around the house. It got an 8.5/10 from me, and an 8/10 from my dad.

Finally, we tried the Passion Fruit Bubblegum Lollipops:

A lollipop wrapped in yellow and orange paper.

Two lollipops, unwrapped, both are yellow and orange and have black seeds throughout them.

Listen, I like lollipops as much as the next person, but these lollipops were next level. I’m talkin’ one of the best ‘pops you’ve ever had. It was so fruity, like eating the real deal, and perfectly sweet. And it lasted a while, too! Sadly, the bubblegum at the center was not very good, just a sad little wad of mediocre gum, but honestly who even cares about that part. 8.5/10 from both of us.

As you can see, this box was a total hit. The lowest thing on our list was the corn snacks, and those only got a 6, nothing in this box was even a 5 or below. This box did not miss. We really enjoyed each snack, as well as how much variety there was between the snacks. Although there was nothing that was a 10/10, this box was what we’d consider a jack of all trades box.

What looks the best to you? Have you ever been anywhere in South America? Let me know in the comments, and have a great day!


13 Comments on “Universal Yums: August 2022 Review”

  1. Athena, I’ve been meaning to ask this for a while now: How long does it take you to go through a box? Is this a sit-down, eat-em-all in 20 minutes type situation? Or is are you savoring the box over a few hours/days/weeks and just posting as if it was all done at once?

  2. These Universal Yums seems like a worthwhile investment, for a snack/treat enjoyer, i am going to have research this. I enjoy your reviews of these.

  3. “Plum Cake” could be the brand or manufacturer…

    …none of the “Apple” computers ‘n phones contain actual fruit

    alternatively a cultural legacy reflecting a city or town famed for a particular foodstuff… “Champagne” region producing sparkling wine…

  4. Love these reviews Athena. For the snacks you and your dad find to be the best, have you ever looked into finding a source to order them from in bulk? Does UY give you info for each of the companies so you could order more?

  5. For once I had this box before you reviewed it.
    I found the Coconut Rice Crispy Bar the best thing in the box, though the Passion Fruit Bubblegum Lollipops might have been best if they’d left out the gum.
    The Chili Pepper Flavored Bites were much milder than the things in the India box that BURNED. Not so mild that I didn’t whiny-baby about them, but not so hot that I didn’t keep eating them.
    The Candy Coated Cookie Clusters started out okay, but then had a surprisingly awful aftertaste. It’s not just because the “white chocolate” in the ingredients list was in fact NOT chocolate, because some white candy confections are very tasty. The White Chocolate Covered Peanuts from the same company were, in fact, coated with actual white chocolate, though not a particularly good white chocolate, and these did not have the same awful aftertaste.
    To me, the Lemon Plantain Chips had a great taste of lemon and I could eat a ton of those if they weren’t so very salty.
    I agree that the Yogurt Flavored Plum Cake had no flavor—neither plum, nor yogurt, nor anything.
    The first time I had the Fried Corn Snacks, I said they tasted like salt and dust! On subsequent snackings, I could MAYBE taste some corn? My dog loves those. If I weren’t afraid the salt would be unhealthy for him, I would have let him eat the whole bag already.

  6. Interesting that most everything was packaged with English labeling. They must sell this stuff in the US?

  7. Plum cake is one of those things that was lost in translation a century ago. Post wars European immigrants brought plum pudding, pound cake, and other such things to South America, but plums don’t grow well in tropical areas, so gradually the fruit was lost and just the cake survived, but it’s still called plum cake. Fun fact 😆

  8. I have been to South America, and hope you get a chance to try alfajores, which are chocolate-covered two-layer cookies with caramel in between and really good. It’s strange they chose to highlight a whole continent, since you could cram a box full of snacks from just Brazil or a specific region of Brazil. Surprised there was no jerky or other dried meat. Beef is a major food group in the Southern Cone.

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