The birthplace of Gangam style, popular boy band BTS, and one of the world’s first ‘smart cities’, South Korea is a hub for culture and architectural wonder. Known officially as the Republic of South Korea, the country was formed in 1984 and has only continued to thrive and blossom since then, creating an enormous global influence along the way. The high tech nation is the birthplace of many famous electronic brands such as Samsung and LG but is also a mecca for nature lovers and adventurers with rugged mountaintops and densely forested national parks to discover. What makes this country so unique however, is their Asian cuisine. South Korea is world famous for dishes such as ‘kimchi’ and ‘bulgogi’ as well as their snacks which we will be taste testing this month. From headline grabbing chocolate pies, soy sauce flavored treats, and the famous bright red snack ‘tteokbokki’, it is clear to see why food is such an important part of South Korea’s culture.
A site of some of the earliest human civilization and a country that has only been independent for 71 years, Israel is our next destination with Universal Yums. Israel is not only an extremely old country, it is also one of the holiest places on Earth, specifically for Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Jerusalem, a tiny city 100 times smaller than Disney World, is the site of two of these important places, both the site in which Jesus Christ was crucified as well as his resting place, and is one of the most popular places in Israel for tourists as well as for religious pilgrimages. Since 1948, the Israeli citizens have been working hard to establish their country and to create their own unique traditions, pastimes, landmarks, and food, after having been ruled by multiple different empires throughout history. Lucky for us, we’ll be getting the chance to try some of their snack food inventions this month, including the popping chocolate bar which is one of the newest creations to halva and baklava, treats that have been around for ages.
Ukraine, a country I never thought I would be trying snacks from, yet here we are. For the month of March, we’ll be heading off on a journey through Ukraine with Universal Yums where we’ll be taste testing things such as cheese and chocolate wafers as well as meat jelly flavored chips and fruit filled caramels. A bit of a backstory on this country before we hop into the snacks, the Ukraine has been ruled by many different nations throughout it’s existence as a country. First it was Poland who had control of this country followed by Austria-Hungary and then fell under the control of the USSR in 1912. Seventy years passed while Ukraine was powered by the Soviet Union until the USSR collapsed in 1991 and Ukraine finally gained its independence. While this resilient country has changed hands quite a few times throughout history, one thing that has remained is their way of life, with traditional celebrations and their one of a kind cuisine still remaining huge focal points about the country today.
From the leaning tower of Pisa and the Roman ruins that offer a step back into history to the watery canals of Venise, Italy is a place known for both it’s beautiful architecture and its delicious food. It is also a country that has heavily influenced the rest of the world not only due to the talented fashion designers such as Gucci and Versace but also for incredible artists like Leonardo da Vinci who paved for the way for the future of fine art. Food is also a huge thing that we can appreciate about Italy, think spaghetti and meatballs and pepperoni pizza, but this European country is also known for many other popular snacks ranging from black truffle chips and lemon pepper crackers to orange-carrot cake and a chocolate bar made only for the richest of the rich, all of which we’ll be getting a taste of this month.
Germany, a country known for it’s charming half-timbered houses, castles galore, and of course their beer, is the country we’ll be starting the new year off with, with Universal Yums. While the holiday season may be over and done with and you’ve finally put away all of those lingering Christmas decorations, the most festive time of year is just beginning in Germany. All across the country, people are getting prepared for the biggest celebration of the year known as ‘karneval.’ This special occasion starts the new year off on the right foot and involves parades, music, dancing, costumes, and of course, yummy food. While there isn’t a plane ticket to Germany to attend the karneval included in this month’s box, there are some of the special treats that are enjoyed during this celebration that will have us feeling like we’re right there celebrating along with the locals.
With the holidays surrounding us in full force, this month with Universal Yums things will be a little different than usual. Normally we get the chance to try snacks from a different country every month but this time around, in celebration of the festive season, we will be trying goodies from 12 different countries. Ranging from champagne candy to mustard chips, these snacks are foods that are traditionally eaten during the holidays in their respective countries.
Home to colorful windmills blowing in the wind and winding canals surrounded by fields of brightly, colored tulips, the Netherlands is a beautiful country set in northwestern Europe. Over 17 million people call this country their home and because of this, is known as one of the most densely populated countries in the world. While it may be a popular place to live, it is also a popular place to visit with the country seeing hundreds of thousands of tourists each year most likely going to visit popular monuments and landmarks throughout the Netherlands such as the Keukenhof garden, the largest public flower garden in the world or the Anne Frank house, the home in which Anne and her family hid to escape the horrors of the Second World War. The most important thing about this country though, and the reason that we’re here right now, is their delicious food. In this month’s Universal Yums box, we will trying some extremely tasty snacks from chocolate stroopwafels, black licorice candy, and cheese and raspberry biscuits making for a unique range of options as unique as the country itself.