October’s Universal Yums shipment was from Russia. An improvement on the Thailand box with a nice mixture of sweets, chocolates and chips.
The first item was Holodets and Horseradish Husks
Holdets is Russian for cold meat jelly sort of a gelatin based snack. These rye sticks do not contain gelatin but are crunchy bread sticks with a horseradish flavor. I very much enjoyed them but Alex thought the flavor was a little strong. My score 8 out of 10 Alex scored it a 6.
Next up was Tula Pryanik a gingerbread flavored with honey.
Neither Alex or I thought this was very good. The cake was somewhat dry and crumbly with a not very pronounced gingerbread flavor. This is one of Russia’s oldest and well loved treats and I think that I would very much enjoy a home cooked example of the cake but this packaged version left much to be desired. Joe – 5. Alex – 5.
The Red October Krepysch is a soft toffee peanut bar.
Alex and I both liked the bar, it was chewy with a good amount of peanuts. Tasty but not spectacular snack.
Blackcurrant Kefir is a chocolate covered blackcurrant marshmallow. The soft gooey center covered with a nice chocolate is similar to the malo type bars sold in American supermarkets. Alex and Rita both gave the treat an 8 while I scored it a 7.
Shashlik Potato Chips are shish kabob flavored potato chips.
This is the second box in a row with “meat flavored” chips as last month’s Thailand box also had a hot dog flavored potato snack. These do have a distinct meat taste. In my opinion these are two flavors that do not go together. Joe – 5. Alex – 5.
Korovka Fairy Tale Roll Cake
These baked milk cakes are a rolled cake with a cream filling and decorated top. The cakes were tasty and again I would have to say that if I tasted a home cooked version I would quite like it. As for the packaged version Alex, Rita and I all scored it 7 out of 10.
Next are the package of Grilled Potato and Shallots snack.
This was closest to an American style potato snack. These crunchy potato-wheat waffle cut snacks had a nice but not overpowering onion flavor. Joe – 9. Alex 10.
The Grapefruit Chocolate Bar is a pleasant dark chocolate bar with a sweet grapefruit flavored filling. Decent chocolate flavor covering the gooey grapefruit filling. Joe – 6. Alex 7.
The Salmon and Cheese Husks are another set of crunchy breadsticks.
The sticks had a savory flavor with cheese predominant. Alex and Rita both rated it a 5 while I gave them a 7.
Korovka Baked Milk Biscuits
These were great chocolate filled cookies with the tradition Russian baked milk flavor. Alex scored them a 10 and I gave them a 9.
Strawberry Popcorn is popcorn covered in a sweet strawberry glaze. I am not a fan of sweet popcorn and found the strawberry flavor to be very artificial and overly sweet. Joe – 5. Alex – 6.
The Cinnamon Chocolate Bar was very good dark chocolate with a barely hint of cinnamon flavor. High quality chocolate. Joe – 9. Rita – 9. Alex – 8.
Next was a package of Mushroom Croutons.
As you can see from Alex’s face he was not a fan. These wheat crackers had a savory if not very pronounced mushroom flavor. Joe – 6. Alex – 4.
One of the box’s highlights was the Red October Southern Nuts.
The cocoa powder coated nut nougats were delicious. The sweet creamy nut flavored filling covered in a quite tasty cocoa powder had a grainy texture and quality chocolate hit. Joe – 10. Alex – 10. Rita – 8.
Marma Berries and Cream Gummies.
These are the best tasting dummies you will find with a pleasant liquid center which explodes in your mouth as you bite into them. Joe 10. Alex 9.
Pickled Cucumber Corn Balls
This turned out to be my favorite snack in the box. At first taste I thought they were good but with each additional tasting the taste grew on me. I found myself munching on them while watching TV and quickly ran out wanting more. Joe – 10. Alex – 7.
Caramel Dream Candy
Lemon flavored caramel candies which are similar to American candies of the same type. Joe – 7. Alex – 2.
Forest Fairy Honey Peanut Delight.
Peanut candy covered in chocolate, not my personal favorite. Joe – 3. Alex – 10.
Juicy Light Peach & Apricot Jellies
A jelly fruit flavored candy. Joe – 5. Alex – 6.
Another great chocolate snack from Russia. This soft toffee is covered in chocolate and is a pleasant sweat treat.
I was very impressed with Russian chocolate and most of the chocolate based snacks were of high quality. I was again disappointed with most of the savory snacks as many of them did not satisfy my American taste pallet.
Joe Average Score – 7.2
Alex Average Score – 6.9
Joe’s Favorite – Red October Southern Nuts, Marma Gummies, Pickled Cucumber Corn Balls (10)
Alex’s Favorite – Grilled Potatoes and Shallots, Korovka Baked Milk Biscuits, Red October Southern Nuts, Forest Fairy Delight (10)
Joe’s Least Favorite – Forest Fairy Honey Peanut Delight (3)
Alex’s Least Favorite – Caramel Dreams (2)