Consisting of over 17,000 islands, six official languages, and the most unique landscapes in the world, it’s no surprise that Indonesia is one of the most diverse countries out there. Located along the equator between Malaysia and Australia, Indonesia is a populous country with over 250 million inhabitants calling it their home. The country also has historic ties to other countries such as the Netherlands, Portugal, and India making it the culturally diverse place that it is today. With different religions and customs comes different cuisines, something that Indonesia is known for, with lots of the local dishes being influenced by food from many different countries, such as India. From grilled beef snacks and cheese wafers to sweeter options like milk gummies and cola burger candies, we’ll be getting a taste of just how different and unique the food and snacks are in beautiful Indonesia.
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.
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.
The home to the famous St Basil’s Cathedral, the inventors of Tetris, and the creators of the delicious snacks we get to try this month, Russia is home to almost 150 million people and is considered to be the world’s largest nation. Though this country has had its fair share of problems with countries such as the United States, this month we’ll only be scratching the surface of this complex country and rather exploring the positives that can be found rather than showcasing what’s already on the news. Aside from being the birthplace of multiple talented individuals each with their own unique story, Russia is also crawling with delicious and unique cuisine. From blackcurrant marshmallows and grapefruit chocolate to shish kabob chips and salmon flavored bread sticks, this month’s yums are as interesting and intriguing as the country they come from.
Though there’s certainly a lot of confusion over whether Taiwan is an actual stand alone country, one thing’s for certain is that their food is both unique and delicious. Taiwan’s cuisine is an intriguing mix between Chinese and Japanese influence and delivers dishes such as smoked plums, peanut butter mochi, and five spice crackers. Starting in the 17th century all the way until the 19th century, Taiwan was considered to be an official part of China. In the late 1800’s however, the island was ceded to Japan and then given back to China again fifty years later. The issue still hasn’t been resolved to this day and there is still much confusion surrounding the status of Taiwan, with many nations including the United States recognizing Taiwan as a part of China while the people of Taiwan have different views and consider themselves their own separate country.
With a brand new month in front of us, we also have a brand new Universal Yums box to go through together. For the month of June, we headed off on a journey to Brazil, a South American country filled with sprawling citrus orchards, palm tree lined coasts, and huge bustling cities. As unique as this country is, the cuisine is even more unique pulling inspiration from Portuguese, African, Italian, and native influences to create food that is unlike anything else in the world. From spicy Brazilian peppers to sweet honey-infused bread, there are no limits to the different types of treats you can find in Brazil.
Another month, another box filled with yummy snacks from Universal Yums for us to try. This month we ventured all the way to the Philippines to indulge in snacks such as ube cookies, barbecue corn nuts, and cheese filled candies. This Southeast Asian country is home to over 7,000 islands and is often referred to as the ‘ring of fire’ due to the many volcanoes found in the country, 355 of them to be exact. When it comes to the Philippines, they have a strong cultural emphasis on food and their cuisine is truly unlike anything else. Filipino cuisine is influenced by Chinese, American, and Spanish traditions and also combines Eastern and Western ideas. So without further ado let’s hop right into what we’re all here for and get to trying these unique treats that await us.