It’s the beginning of a new month which means that it’s time for another Universal Yums subscription box review. For the month of March we headed out on a journey to Poland to try treats ranging from chocolate covered plums to lobster tail candies among other traditional goodies. Though there are quite a few downs in Polish history ranging from second World War which claimed the lives of 20% of the civilian population and the fact that the country fell under the communist rule after the war, Poland has proved to be a resilient country through it all. The country has emerged as a prosperous nation which has left its own unique mark on Europe as well as the world’s culture. Poland can be thanked for such inventions as movies with sound as well as the discovery of the sun in the center of our solar system. They’re also well known for their delicious food which we will be trying today so let’s get right into it.
Tapsy Cheese and Onion Chips
There’s no hiding it, Poland loves everything and anything to do with potatoes, so much so that there are multiple festivals and events associated with the vegetable that are put on throughout Poland including the Potato Day Festival in Monki, Poland where contestants compete to see who can eat the most pieces of potato bread in 60 seconds. Though we won’t be trying potato bread this time around, we are getting the chance to try these cheese and onion chips. These chips aren’t your typical potato chips however, both in taste and in appearance. The chips get their texture from the fluffy rice flour found inside the mixture and the cheese and onion flavoring is also distinctly Polish and can often be found inside pierogis and pies.
These chips were really quite different texture wise than what I was expecting them to be and they were much lighter and less crunchy than the chips that we have around here. Though I didn’t find them to be anything to go crazy over, the flavor was still pretty decent and enjoyable nonetheless.
In Poland, sweetened condensed milk is sold in tubes and is extremely popular among the younger generations so it was a no brainer that it would be included in this month’s Universal Yums box. The Polish squeeze these milk tubes onto just about everything from ice cream, cakes, fruit, coffee, or simply directly into their mouths. We’ll be trying this creation in the form of a chocolate bar with a thick layer of creamy milk chocolate surrounding the smooth milky center.
I’m not usually a fan of chocolate like most people but I really liked this chocolate bar. The chocolate was really creamy and didn’t taste cheap like some chocolate bars tend to and the milky center was also very good and smooth.
Dobosz Chocolate Plum
For centuries chocolate covered plums have been considered a delicacy in Poland and are still as popular as ever today being found in virtually every candy shop across the country. There are also a range of different varieties of the treat but the one that we’ll be taste testing this time around is made by the Dubosz confectioner, a family run business that has been around for the past 20 years. They take dried up plums which are then covered with a cocoa filling and then dipped into smooth, dark chocolate.
I found that the chocolate covered plums were quite different than anything I’ve ever had before and they’re definitely not something that you can find easily around here, but I wasn’t a huge fan of them regardless. The taste was a bit too bitter for my liking and not something that I would go out of my way to eat again.
Kopernik Pierniczki with Rose Filling
Known as ‘pierniczki’ or gingerbread cookies, these cookies are famous across the entire country of Poland and are made in Turon, one of the oldest cities in the country. The company that makes these delectable treats has been around since 1763 but much like the rest of the country, they were hit hard during the war and the communist ruling. The factory where these cookies were made was completely destroyed and the baking equipment was sent to Germany to use as military parts. In 1982 however, the company was given back to the original owners and these soft, spiced gingerbread cookies with the sweet rose filling continued to be made and loved by many.
As popular as these cookies may be in Poland, for me they weren’t a hit whatsoever. I’m not normally a huge fan of gingerbread but I’m even less of a fan of rose flavoring so it’s safe to say that I won’t be snacking on these while binge watching episodes of the Office on Netflix. My boyfriend who normally eats just about anything also wasn’t a fan of these and so personally I found that these were the worst treats this time around.
Aksam Peanuts with Paprika
Made from dried bell peppers, paprika is one of Poland’s favorite spices and is used to flavor and add color to foods such as cheese, meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, and of course peanuts which we will be tasting today. The peanuts are heavily dusted with the spice and even better, underneath the paprika is a crispy cracker type coating which delivers an extra little crunch into each bite.
Though these peanuts were heavily coated in paprika, I found that they tasted more so like BBQ peanuts than anything but I still enjoyed them quite a bit regardless. The crispy outer shell covering the peanut was also quite good and complimented the peanuts well.
Krowki Milky Cream Fudge
These chewy candies known in Poland as krowki or ‘little cows’ have become one of the most popular candies in the country and for good reason. The traditional recipe of these candies dates back to the early twentieth century and all started in a small village where a young man learned the art of fudge making from his uncle. The passion of making these candies was turned into a business and he began producing the sweets on an industrial scale but the recipe and packaging has remained almost identical to how it was almost 100 years ago. The chewy candies are made with a creamy milk, butter, and sugar mix with a crispy outer shell and soft center. Even better though is that these candies were created specifically not to get stuck to your teeth or to the roof of your mouth while eating them.
These creamy fudge candies were hands down one of the best items from this month’s box and were a huge hit. The texture was really creamy and smooth and the flavor was also very good without being too sickly sweet. The best part though was the fact the candy didn’t get stuck to my teeth which I hate so that was an added bonus.
Miesanka Fruit Jellies
Jelly has been a part of Polish cuisine for centuries with the very first jelly dating back to the year 1518 when it was served at the royal wedding of the King of Poland. Nowadays there are many different types of jellies that are found throughout homes and restaurants ranging from pork jelly, chicken jelly, fish jelly, and so on. Though it may sound a bit odd, meat jelly or aspic as it’s known in Poland is extremely popular and is made by simmering different types of meats in gelatin and then adding herbs and vegetables to the mix. The ones that we will trying out this time around contain no meat and are fruit jellies instead. These jellies come in four different flavors including red raspberry, sour orange, lemon, and pineapple and are covered in a thin layer of dark chocolate.
I had high hopes for these candies when I first saw them in the box but unfortunately they didn’t quite live up to my expectations due mainly to the texture which threw me off. I ended up only trying the raspberry fruit jelly and while the flavor was good, I could’ve done without the chocolate coating.
Soleo Caramel Pretzels
Pretzels are one of the most popular and favorite snacks in Poland so much so that in some cities you can’t walk more than 100 feet without coming up on a pretzel stand and in most Polish homes you can always find a bowl of pretzels laid out for hungry visitors. These pretzel sticks not only combine Poland’s delicious thin, stick pretzels but it also comes coated in a sweet, milky fudge to create the perfect combination of salty and sweet.
My mouth is watering just thinking about these pretzel sticks so I think it’s safe to say that these were amazing. I would even go so far as to say that these are one of the best snacks that I’ve received so far from any Universal Yums box. As mentioned they had the perfect combination of salty and sweet which I love and the caramel like fudge that coated the pretzels was amazing.
Wawel Tiki Taki
What’s better than a chocolate bar? How about a chocolate bar with not only one filling but two? The tiki taki bar is just that with a combination of silky coconut fondant smothered in a toasty peanut spread and covered in a rich dark chocolate to bring it all together for what may seem like an odd combination but is actually perfection.
First off, this chocolate bar truly is unique and different and is really unlike anything that you can buy around here. That being said though, I found that the dark chocolate kind of overpowered everything and it was a bit difficult to distinguish the coconut flavor. I’m also not a fan of dark chocolate so I think it would’ve been much more enjoyable had it been coated in milk chocolate instead.
Dobosz Rainbow Marshmallow
Packed with a vanilla marshmallow cream with speckles of different colored fruit jellies and then coated in a thin layer of dark chocolate, you may be thinking that the company who created this treat went a little crazy but in reality they actually just innovated on a unique Polish dessert known as ‘teczowe mleczko.’ The well loved dessert is made from several different layers of brightly colored marshmallow jelly and is then topped with chocolate flakes and is most commonly eaten ice cold on a hot summer day.
The taste of this treat is somewhat enjoyable but not necessarily something that I would gravitate towards and much like the fruit jellies we tried, the texture of this treat threw me off. I still must admit though that it was quite odd and unique regardless.
Raczki Lobster Tails
Though the name might throw you off, there is actually no seafood let alone any lobster found in these candies rather getting their name from their pink and white outer shell. Instead these candies actually consist of a crunchy minty shell with a peanut butter brittle center and a hint of pungent rum flavoring. The unique combination is a huge hit in Poland but is definitely a taste to be acquired.
Though I didn’t enjoy these candies very much, they were still unlike anything I’ve ever tried before. The candy starts off fine and enjoyable for the most part with only a slight mint flavor but the peanut and strong rum flavor in the middle wasn’t my thing.
Meringue Cookies with Lemon Cream
Meringues are one of the most delicate and light cookies in the world and are created using a simple blend of egg whites and sugar. The process to make these is quite the task and involves adding the sugar to the mixture very slowly while whisking at high speeds to create the light airy foam that meringues are most well known for. These meringues take on a whole new level with not only their light fluffy texture but also the smooth lemon cream filling that makes these cookies so divine.
For some reason I wasn’t expecting to love these cookies that much but they were absolutely amazing. The texture was very fluffy and creamy with just the right amount of lemon flavoring and were melt in your mouth incredible. Hands down one of the best snacks this time around.
Be sure to stay tuned for next month where our taste buds will be departing on a journey to the sunny country of Spain. In the meantime feel free to check out the previous Universal Yums subscription box reviews that I’ve done on my blog in the past few months.