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Athena Scalzi

Universal Yums: September 2022 Review

Hey, everyone! Welcome back to another installment of me eating snacks. More specifically, the snacks I’m eating are from the Universal Yums September box! This month is South Korea, and here’s the lineup:

Today, I had the pleasure of sharing these snacks with my friend that is visiting from Columbus, so her input will be accounted for, as well.

Oh, before we begin, on all my snack box posts I keep getting the question, “do you eat all the snacks in one sitting?” Yes! This has been true for every snack box I’ve ever had, I try each snack all in one go. I don’t finish everything in one sitting, usually, but I sample everything at one time. A few chips, one piece of the candy, split the smaller cakes in half, that’s usually how it goes. Though, occasionally, I do totally smash a box and eat it all.

Anyways, let’s just get right into it with this Bulgogi Flavored Noodle Snack!

The package and the booklet both made sure to let you know you’re not supposed to boil this ramen block. The instructions said to open the package very slightly, pull out the seasoning packet, smash the block of noodles, pour the seasoning packet in, close it up, and shake it. This was the result:

As you can imagine if you’ve ever tried uncooked ramen, these little bites were super crunchy! My friend and I were pleasantly surprised at how well the seasoning stuck to the noodles. We figured the seasoning would just kind of sift to the bottom, but each bite was super flavorful, some more so than others depending on how much seasoning had stuck to that piece. It was really tasty, and we ate the whole bowl. If you like extra crunchy savory items, these are totally for you. We both gave it an 8/10!

Following the strong, savory start, we switched to these Cinnamon Sugar Churroz:

Another incredibly crunchy snack! And another total banger. These were perfectly sweet, perfectly cinnamon-y, and just a little bit maple-y. Texturally impeccable, super addicting fun bite size, and way tastier than I would’ve ever expected. I would totally buy these again and again. These earned a 9/10 from both of us.

Switching back to savory, we’ve got these Shrimp Chips:

I don’t know that many people that like shrimp chips, but I’m actually a big fan! They always smell terrible, but taste great. These ones were super airy and crispy, definitely a lighter snack. The shrimp flavor punches you in the face, so if you like shrimp, great! If you don’t, you probably wouldn’t be a big fan of these chips because literally the only flavor they convey is SHROMP. They were definitely good, and we finished the bag. I gave them an 8.5/10. My friend is an even bigger fan of shrimp chips than I am, and gave these bad boys a 10/10!

Next up was this Marshmallow Choco Pie:

I tried to break it in half to share with my friend, but the marshmallow made it difficult and I ended up just kind of smushing/breaking it:

Of course, our first thoughts when seeing this is that it’s basically just a Moon Pie. And we were right! And we love Moon Pies! So this ended up being a good snack. It was simple. Yummy chocolate and gooey marshmallow and sweet goodness all around. No complaints here. It was an 8/10 for me, and my friend gave it an 8.5/10.

Fifthly, we have these Mascarpone Filled Shortbread Cookies:

Though there were only nine of these in the box, I could’ve eaten a hundred, they were so good. This snack absolutely smacked. The shortbread was the perfect level of softness, and it kind of tasted almost like a s’more. My friend said they tasted like a Golden Oreo but less processed/chemically. I ended up having a second one of these because it was so damn good. Total 10/10 from me, and a 9/10 from my friend.

I had to try the spicy snack sooner or later, so I decided to go ahead and get it over with. Here is the Spicy Chicken Flavored Corn Puffs:

These were MAD crunchy, y’all. I totally loved the crunch, so the first half second of eating these was great. And then came the HEAT. These bites were spicy, and they weren’t shy about it. There’s no like “heat on the back” of it. It’s all heat. Heat in the front, heat on the back, hot through and through. The worst part about these is that the flavor is actually good, and I am capable of recognizing that through the heat. So while I did like the flavor, and wanted to eat more of them, the heat was too much for me. Of course, I am a baby about spice, and my friend is not, so she totally loved these. I dubbed these a 7/10, while my friend went with a 9/10.

After a palette cleanser, we dove into these Peach Flavored Gummies:

As someone who is both a gummy lover and a peach lover, these were pretty meh. Largely unimpressive, but not bad. There’s better peach candy in the world, but again these were fine. They had a subtle peach flavor, and the texture of the gummy felt more like a gummy vitamin than a candy. Cute presentation, though. It was a 6/10 from both of us.

Next up, we had what I immediately deemed as Pocky, but is actually Cookies and Cream Pepero:

Okay, these were painfully disappointing. The sticks weren’t crunchy, the coating was waxy, and honestly they fell short in both flavor and texture. These were mid. 5/10 from both of us.

Upon opening this package, the cake completely fell apart and spilled everywhere. That’s partially on me, but also the cake was just super duper crumbly.

Okay, so, obviously it’s a huge mess, but as you can see, it’s basically just a Hostess snack cake. It was just like a Ding Dong, but worse. As my friend put it, it was a “Hostess without the mostest”. It was just a sad, disappointing little cake. I gave it a 4/10, and my friend settled on a 3/10.

Finally, we finished with these Sweet and Sour Grape Flavored Chews:

I was afraid that like all “chewy” candy, this piece would be tooth-breakingly hard, but it was actually soft and chewy! So chewy that it was almost gum-like. Normally, I hate grape flavored stuff, but this was pretty decent. It wasn’t overly sweet, and it was actually a little tart. It reminded me of a Starburst. I would like to try other flavors of this candy, because again, grape isn’t a stellar choice for me. I gave it a 6/10, and my friend gave it a 7/10.

Overall, this box was totally awesome! I really enjoyed this one. And it was my friend’s first time ever trying a snack box like this, so I’m glad I could introduce her to my shenanigans of eating foreign snacks. I definitely want to see if I can order some of these snacks in bulk because they were so good. Others, not so much.

Which snack looks the best to you? If you got this box, what was your favorite item? Let me know in the comments, and have a great day!

(Oh. also, I replied to more comments on my last post! Two for two so far! Well, more like two out of the past five hundred, but who’s counting?)

-AMS

By Athena Scalzi

Twenty three year old girl living life.

13 replies on “Universal Yums: September 2022 Review”

I fricken love shrimp chips. I forget the name, but there’s a super spicy Korean shrimp chip brand that I discovered in Japan, long ago. I like spicy foods, and I have vainly searched across our great nation for them. I am vaguely disappointed that they weren’t in your box, because I am curious how you would deal😁. But I am pumped that you are a fellow shrimp chip fan. Power!

We have eaten at Korean restaurants at a not too far away town with an Army base. Lots of restaurants, I suspect Army wives moving to the US when hubby gets transferred back to the States.

Anyway, Korean food can be pretty good. For a while there was a Korean managed sushi place near Charleston, and amusingly they had both a Hiroshima Roll, and a Nagasaki Roll — best of all kinds… also a Douglas MacArthur roll. No love lost between S Korea and Japan, even culturally. And who can blame them

Seeing your posts — some with just your initials AMS — I am curious about what the M in the middle stands for? Never mind if that too nosy.

I had the opposite reaction to the Marshmallow Choco Pie and the Chocolatey Snack Cake. The former was awful, though that didn’t stop me eating it. I agree it was basically a Moon Pie (but feel those are also awful). The latter was a very nice whoopie pie. I should mention that mine didn’t fall apart on me, so maybe yours had unique issues?
The Cookies and Cream Pepero struck me as basically a sweet pretzel, so okay. But then I had to downgrade them for nasty aftertaste.
I tossed the Spicy Chicken Flavored Corn Puffs in the compost for burn!burn!burn! And like you I could tell there was an excellent flavor somewhere under the burn, but so not worth it.
I tasted the spice pack of the Bulgogi Flavored Noodle Snack and tossed that for burn, so I basically had a snack of—I didn’t even bother to smash them—uncooked ramen noodles … which I’ve enjoyed before … but I may not be normal.
I thought the flavor of the Peach Gummies was strong and great, but I downgraded that snack for texture like a wad of gristle.
Those Cinnamon Sugar Churros were the best churros I’ve ever had, because I’d never had a completely non-soggy churro before. They were the third best item in my 16 item box.
My second best item was the Mascarpone Filled Shortbread Cookies.
My favorite item wasn’t in your box, it was Maple Flavored Corn Puffs. I’m thinking you-all probably have both more money than me, and more people to share the calories. Go ahead, splurge on the bigger box. You would have also gotten strawberry flavored chews like the grape ones, but been stuck with a grape soft drink with “chewy pieces of coconut jelly” which I imagine resemble the chunks in bubble tea, which I’ve never had.

Also, also, I totally love your reviews, even though I am certain we are both “being wrong on the internet”. :)

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