Universal Yums: October 2022 Review

Athena ScalziHello, everyone, and welcome back to another Universal Yums review! If you’ve missed my other reviews, Universal Yums is a snack box company that features snacks from a different country every month. This month, we have Spain, which is actually the first country I ever got back when I used to get Universal Yums in 2019 for a few months.

I was interested to see if they had any repeats from the first Spain box I got, but it didn’t appear so. Some similar items, perhaps, but none that were like the same brand or flavor, I’m pretty sure.

Of course, I had to have a companion to snack with, so you’ll be getting my opinion, and theirs! So let’s just get right to it.

I was most curious about the Fried Egg & Sea Salt Chips:

A black chip bag with an image of a fried egg on the front, alongside an image of a couple of potato chips. The words on the front read

Several potato chips spilling out of the bag, onto the table. They look like kettle chips and several are folded over themselves.

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from these chips, but they absolutely nailed the flavor. It tasted just like an egg, more specifically it had a very yolky flavor. I was surprised how accurate it was to its intended flavor, but I suppose all things are possible through science (or magic). These chips were definitely on the extra crunchy side, much like a kettle chip. I really enjoyed these, and gave them an 8.5/10, because while they’re definitely good there’s almost always room for improvement. And my friend gave them an 8/10.

I wanted something a little less intense after that eggy punch, so I opted to try these Honey Butter Corn Puffs:

A blue and orange package of corn puffs with a giant M on the front.

Pale yellow, almost white, corn puffs spilling out of the bag onto the table.

I am a huge fan of honey butter flavored things, so much so that my favorite chips in the world are the Haitai Honey Butter Chips from Korea. So I was excited to try these, but they were a bit underwhelming (why isn’t anyone ever just whelmed?). They had the consistency of a cheese puff, and the flavor of movie theater buttered popcorn. I was expecting a bit of a sweeter flavor from the honey, but it was mostly just butter flavored and lacked that honey aspect. They weren’t bad but they weren’t particularly good, definitely on the meh side, so they earned a 6.5/10 from me, and a 6/10 from my friend.

Switching to a fruity vibe, these Sour Kiwi Gummies were up next:

A green bag with the words

Three kiwi slice gummies outside of the bag sitting on the table. They are covered in the sour sugar.

Other countries always seem to have less intense versions of what the US has when it comes to things like sweets, or in this case sours. Unlike Warheads or Sour Patch Kids, these kiwi slices were subtly sour, and barely made us pucker. I honestly prefer weaker sour candy because I like my tongue to be intact when I finish eating something. These were really tasty in terms of fruitiness, and it didn’t taste super artificial or chemical at all. My only complaint with these is that their gumminess had a bit too much chew to it and was more along the lines of leathery. Fruit leather is good, too, but very different from gummy. Overall, these were an 8/10 for me, and a 9.5/10 for my sour candy fiend friend.

After something sour, you gotta go for something sweet, so we had these Cocoa Dusted Salted Caramel Truffles:

A white box of truffles, showcasing the truffles on the front of the box alongside images of caramel squares.

The chocolate, shaped like a big Hershey kiss, dusted in cocoa powder.

These chocolates honestly just look like big Hershey kisses, but they have a way better mouth-feel and flavor. They were softer than I expected when I bit into one, and it sort of melted in your mouth right away. I thought the salted caramel flavor was pretty prevalent from the get-go, but my friend said it mostly just tasted like chocolate. It wasn’t overly sweet like a lot of salted caramel flavored things are, and there were a ton in the box. This was a great snack, and I deemed this one a 9.5/10, while my friend gave it an 8/10.

Back to something with a crunch factor, we tried the Lemon Pepper Chips:

A white and yellow chip bag that reads

Potato chips spilling out of the bag onto the table. You can see the flecks of pepper on each chip.

I’m a sucker for citrus flavors in things that are not usually citrus flavored, like chips! And these were definitely lemony! To me, at least. My friend said they weren’t really getting that lemon flavor, maybe on the back end but certainly not upon eating. I totally disagreed, I thought they were quite lemony. They did have an odd aftertaste, though, so that made me want to not eat them as much. They were the same brand as the egg ones from earlier, so they still had that almost kettle chip type of crunch to them. These were a bit of a miss for me, so they only got a 5/10, and a 6/10 from my friend. I think the Limon Lays are much better if you like citrus chips.

Onto the things I feared most in the box, the Spicy Mango Gummies:

A red candy bag with big orange letters that say

A few of the orange slices of mango candy spilling out of the bag onto the table.

I knew I was getting myself into trouble with these guys since the word “spicy” was literally the first word in this candy’s name. Usually things like this have a slow burn, or heat on the back end, but these were immediately hot, and they did not come to play. They were hot; surprisingly so for one tiny little slice of mango candy! I will say that they tasted exactly like a ripe mango, so these were totally on par in terms of fruity flavor, but it was hard to appreciate that yummy mango goodness with my mouth on fire. Of course, I’m a total baby about spice, so if you actually like spice, you would probably enjoy these. These are good enough that I can recognize that if it weren’t for my spicy bias, I’d really like them, so I gave them a 6.5/10, because I can tell that there is good stuff goin on there, I just can’t handle the heat. My friend is much more spicy inclined than I am, and rated them an 8/10.

A yellow cylindrical tube with the word

Six orange discs of the circular candy coming out of the tube. They say Gold in black letters on them.

Okay, first off, these look just like those Advil pills that have that grossly sweet shiny coating on the outside that they warn not to give to kids because they’ll think its candy. This felt forbidden to eat. Aside from the appearance, they were a lot like harder M&Ms, specifically the white chocolate M&Ms. These had a strong caramel flavor and were extremely sweet. The tube also reminded me of the tubes that the Fun Size M&Ms come in with the pop-lid , so that was a fun packaging choice. These were pretty good, nothing special but a decent enough candy, earning them an 8/10 from both of us.

Continuing on with the candy trend, we tried this Milk Chocolate Peanut Cream Wafer:

An orange and yellow candy bar package that says

The candy bar laid out on the table. It is one bar consisting of four individual bite sized sections. The candy bar is drizzled with a darker colored chocolate than what the candy is covered in.

The bar broken in half so you can see the cross section. The middle is filled with the peanut cream.

I expected this to be a lot like a Reese’s, but was surprised by the crispiness the wafer brought to the table. The contrast in textures between the peanut cream and chocolate vs the crispy wafer was really nice, and it wasn’t overly sweet. It didn’t exactly have a peanut butter flavor, since it was peanut cream instead of peanut butter it had a bit of a different taste to it, but it was quite good. I gave this wafer an 8.5/10, and my friend gave it a 9/10. I would probably buy this at a gas station if I saw it on the shelves.

Moving on to yet another piece of candy, we have this Chocolate Pine Nut Candy:

A hard candy wrapped in a beige striped foil wrapper.

The candy unwrapped. It is just a small brown blob that looks like a deformed square of chocolate.

While this is definitely a piece of candy, it tastes like something that should not be candy. Like, the flavor did not exactly say “candy” to me. It wasn’t sweet, and the flavor was so off, like it was expired or something. It didn’t taste like chocolate, and it didn’t taste like pine nuts, so I’m not sure exactly what it did taste like, but it wasn’t good. It was hard at first, and then after some chewing and really working it around, it softened up quite a bit and made sure to stick in your teeth. It was a 3/10 from both of us.

Finally, these Pistachio Toffees:

A piece of candy wrapped in gold colored foil.

The piece of candy unwrapped. It's a small light brown square, resembling a piece of caramel.

Okay, whoever made these has clearly never tasted a pistachio before, because this tasted like cherry cough syrup. Not even in a subtle way, just like straight up medicine. This was such a nasty candy, with that same hard to chewy consistency that the previous candy had. My friend couldn’t even finish it, and just ended up spitting it out and drinking water immediately after. It was super unpleasant, and I hope to never eat one of these again. 1.5/10 from both of us. It was almost a 1, but there’s definitely worse we’ve tried. But, yeah, this was icky.

All in all, this box was pretty decent! Nothing super stellar but it had such a great variety of flavors and textures. Lots of candy, lots of chips, both of which I love, so I can’t complain too much on this box. Not my favorite, but still good. I can’t wait to see what next month’s box has in store!

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


9 Comments on “Universal Yums: October 2022 Review”

  1. Athena, I really enjoyed your descriptions of the various candies you got and your low key humor I could almost imagine the tastes.

  2. I couldn’t eat the Spicy Mango for BURN, and my sister couldn’t eat them for gelatin, and although the dog would’ve eaten all of them I didn’t think that was a good idea so they mostly got composted.
    I liked the LaCasitos, but if you have a vegetarian propensity, be ware they had a hidden-to-me dead animal ‘carmine’ which I was informed was dead bugs. Dead bugs might be delicious.
    I didn’t MIND the Chocolate Pine Nut, but I much preferred the Pistachio, which tasted plenty pistachio and not a bit cherry medicine to me.
    I was surprised to be able to eat the Lemon Pepper chips, because apparently the strong lemon made the pepper worth it, but OMG the surprise winner was the Fried Egg Chips. I’m really not a big chip fan, but I could have eaten a much bigger bag of those!
    Really enjoying our differences of opinions. :)

  3. “Would I buy this from a gas station” sounds like an excellent metric to apply to all of these snacks.

  4. Fun! I enjoy reading these pieces. As a New Zealander I am intrigued about Kiwi sour gummies being a Spanish thing…
    As an adide, apparently one could be “whelmed”, but the word has fallen out of fashion. And I confess I didn’t know it was a word until your post prompted me to loom it up. So thanks for that too!

  5. When I saw the spicy mango I thought it looked something like a candy I saw in my supermarket’s bulk section. (My supermarket has a terrific bulk section.) I was there tonight and sure enough, Vidal brand. I tried them once: I don’t mind spice, but am also not a huge fan of mango, so that sort of balanced out and I have not bought them again.

  6. Thanks for the review, might look out for some of these next time I am over there.
    I fell in love with spain when we first visited with the kids about 10 years ago, 15km up in the mountains aboce Torre del Mar on the southern coast – it’s resort very popular with the Spanish, and we have visited the region 4/5 times.
    This summer we went to visit a friend on the SE coast, Torrevieja / Cabo Roig and it was awful, full of brit expats, and English/Irish bars. I don’t understand why, if you re visiting a foreign country, you wouldn’t want to see what it is actually like. Instead, they seem to have created Doncaster, only warmer.

  7. You do a great job of describing really odd food flavors, which is surprisingly difficult, as we don’t have words for tastes other than to compare things to tastes that we all know, like ketchup or kiwis.

    Thanks for sharing the review. I do like spicy foods, Thai, Mexican, Korean, all of that. I travel with a little bottle of Tabasco, for example.

    Imagine my dismay when a doctor told me to lay off all that stuff. Turns out his initial diagnosis was off, so never mind… whew, what a relief!!

  8. In Jack Vance’s Gean Reach books, the Connatic’s (person in charge, not quite an emperor though) police force is called the “Whelm”.

  9. Did Universal Yums say the corn things were honey butter flavored? The packaging says roasted corn flavored, so you may have been misled. Maybe they would have tasted better if you hadn’t been expecting something different…