Hi I'm Sue and I'm delighted to have been invited to taste test the November 2017 Degustabox! A bit about me to set the context....I run yay retro! an online vintage shop selling vintage home and cookwares from the 1940s, 50s, 60s & 70s. I'm Vegetarian and mad on cooking and eating. I love low calorie recipes as well as lots of daily treats! Degustabox is a monthly food subscription box. You get loads of yummy foods and treats delivered direct to your home to try, all wrapped up in a happy box! See below for a Degustabox voucher code to get money off your first box.
Filippo Berio Fennel & Garlic Crostini*
I would never have bought these, but they will now be a regular on my shopping list! It just so happened that as my Degustabox arrived I was making a Minestrone Casserole, so we immediately opened them and sprinkled them on the top. The fennel flavouring really came through which and livened up our dinnertime. Another reason I would buy again is that it added bite to our meal and as vegetarian’s this is simply great! They have 30% less fat and are baked not fried - yay to these crostini!
Here’s the Minestrone Casserole Recipe I used:
In a large pan, drizzle some olive oil then fry an large chopped onion, half a celery sliced into chunks, 4 sliced carrots, 1 sweet red pepper sliced, 1 crushed garlic clove. When golden add a tin of chopped tomatoes, 2 tablespoons tomato puree, about ¾ pint of water to cover everything and a vegetable stock cube. Bring to boil, add 75 gm of small pasta such as orzo or Conchigliette. Cover and reduce o a simmer until carrots cooked through. Now add a 400gm can of butter beans, salt & pepper to taste. Delicious and very easy!
Cadbury’s Picnic Bites
This was one of the first things we tried and shared the bag between us. We love Cadbury’s chocolate and with wafer, caramel, peanuts and raisins inside what’s not to love? We ate them too fast and could easily have eaten another pack in one sitting, making me think it might be more cost effective for us to buy Picnic bars? PS: peanuts and raisins are perfect for vegetarians to get their protein and iron levels up so that's the perfect excuse to have them again!
Propercorn Perfectly Sweet Popcorn
This Fairtrade popcorn is completely delicious with just the right amount of sweetness. At only 130 calories per bag and full of fibre, this is a treat you don’t really need to worry about. Completely delicious and one of my favourite brands of popcorn. I had mine for lunch instead of bread or crackers.
Filippo Berio Pesto*
I’ve never bought Pesto before?! I know - mad eh? I pan fried some broccoli and sun dried tomatoes, boiled up some pasta and stirred through about 2-3 tablespoons of Pesto. It made for a really delicious meal. A handy thing to have in the cupboard/fridge for a quick weeknight meal.
This is one of the things in the Degustabox which I initially thought 'oo-er'....I would never have bought or tried this without it's being sent to me. Well, what a happy surprise!!! It's completely delicious! This aloe vera based drink is flavoured with Cantaloupe Melon and it has actual pieces of melon in it - I LOVE melon!!! Apparently Aloe Vera drinks are complementary to Asian foods. I just had it first thing in the morning, straight out of the fridge. It was calming, not overly sweet and completely luscious. Would look for this again, I wonder if it would also work in cocktails? I thinking yes!
The Jelly Bean Factory Super Sour’s
Again, I’ve never bought Jelly Beans before, so another interesting try for me. They were absolutely gorgeous! I didn’t find them overly sour, just packed full of interesting flavours. They were really impactful on your tongue and I would definitely look for these again! My husband loved the coca cola ones and since they were my least favourite I picked all those out just for him - that's how nice I am!
Ryvita Multigrain Rye CakesWe tried these over a late night supper of cheese, grapes and the chutney we also got in this month's Degustabox . I often eat rice cakes so was keen to give these a munch. I absolutely loved them, there's definitely a hint of the normal Ryvita taste, but it's milder than found in the regular cracker. The cheese brought the cracker's flavours out more than just eating them on their own. What I love is that they are only 23 calories are very high in fibre and offer a really satisfying crunch and taste and I will definitely be buying them again. Looking for a Poole Pottery cheese dish like mine? Pop in to yay retro! and search 'cheese' now!
The English Provender Co’s Caramelised Red Onion Chutney
This is the perfect item for Christmas Festivities so I can see why it was added into this months box. We had it with the above meal by the fire. We both found it very strong, sweet, rich and a bit too 'heavy' for our tastes. So we shall be donating this one to our son who loves chutneys!
Planters Fruity Chocolate Crunch
We eat a lot of Planters Dry Roasted and Salted Peanuts. This version has unsalted peanuts with small chocolate buttons, plump cranberries and juicy raisins. All very Christmasssy. I liked them, but I really do prefer my peanuts salted. It would have been superb to have a salty and sweet mix; then they would have been must-buy thing in the future, but as they aren't I won’t be looking to buy again as they just didn’t zing enough for me personally. Am sure others would like very much as the quality of the ingredients was great.
Taylors of Harrogate Cacao Superior Columbia Coffee
My husband is the Coffee Aficionado in the house, so he gave this a try at work with his cafetiere. It smelt gorgeously chocolatey when he made it, infusing the office with warm exciting aromas. Based on this I would thoroughly recommend! How about putting a pot on to brew when you’re selling your home and have a viewing?! Anyhow, he liked it very much.
Kallo Organic Stock Pots Chicken
I use the vegetable Kallo stock pots all the time. They are neat little pots of reduced, high flavour ingredients which can easily be popped into stews, casseroles and soups. I like the way they melt easily and look to be full of actual real foods rather than fake looking flavouring. I won’t use the chicken I received as I am vegetarian, but am sure it is as great as the vegetable ones.
Dalston’ Fizzy Apple
I never buy fruit juices and would never have thought to pick this up, so I am very glad I had this to try. I will definitely be looking out for this product again. It is full of flavour, not too sweet and not too fizzy. It's actually the perfect taste combination for me and I would highly recommend. I can imagine choosing this instead of an alcoholic drink when out in the evening too. As you can see I drank it all before taking the photo - that's how nice it was!
Weetabix Additions Apple & Raisin
We tried this for Supper. I personally found the apple taste to be unrealistic and perfumey and the raisins to hard. I love Weetabix and will stick with Weetabix original.
Rio Mare Tuna in Olive Oil*
Lovely and rich, ideal for jacket potatoes or Tuna Mayonnaise sandwiches. Pole & line caught this is the number 1 tuna brand in Italy, so a worthy addition to the Degustabox. (Shown on a vintage Arabia Finland fish platter from the yay retro! vintage shop.)