Thursday 4 December 2014

This month's foodie-wonderland - discover November's Degustabox

Ooooh ooooh oooooh the postie's arrived and he's got a new Degustabox. What's going to be nestling inside this time ? Will it be full of things that we recognise that make us squeal with delight or will it be introducing us to some new and possibly strange-sounding products that have us making a non-commital hmmm until we've tried (and hopefully loved !) them ? Well, our first reaction this time was Holy Cow ... but that's only because of the first brand we saw, not the contents ! Time to get unpacking !

This month's box is another exciting mix of well-known faves (with a twist - either new products from a well-known brand or products that we're familiar with but from unheard-of brands)  and total unknowns - just the way I like it !

Kettle Chips Salsa & Mesquite - This was one of the brands we already knew and excitedly pulled out but the flavour was a new one for us - Salsa & Mesquite, a blend of tomatoes, chillies, peppers and the aroma of barbecues. This one got a mixed reception - the grown-ups loved them but the kids found them too spicy, shame (not) !!  Salsa & Mesquite was apparently one of the original seasonings when the brand first launched in 1988 and it's been relaunched as a limited edition for Christmas, along with Stilton & Port.

 Cool Dawn Recovery Drink - This was one of our wildcards, a brand and a product we'd never heard of and something I wouldn't usually buy. It's a herbal detox drink that helps to prevent and cure hangovers and which contains no stimulants and isn't carbonated. I was ready to give it a go until I read the flavours - "a complex and unique combination of citrus and licorice flavours". I hate licorice so I've put it in the fridge for whoever visits over Christmas and looks like they might need one, either at the end of the night or the morning after !

 Lindt Lindor My Melting Moment -  These promise to allow you to melt away in a moment of pure bliss and they certainly do. The snowflake shape is perfect for Christmas (although they're so lovely, I'd eat them at any time of year !). They're gorgeously smooth and creamy, what else can I say ?!

 Kent's Kitchen Flavour Shots - We loved the Bengal meal kit in last month's Degustabox so we were very happy to discover more of their products in this month's selection. This time, we got a Fajita Flavour Shot which is a quick and simple way of jazzing up chicken breast and veggies to serve in a wrap. They are also available in BBQ, Hot & Spicy, Garlic & Coriander and Thai Green varieties.

 Branston Chutney - We all know Branston pickle - you can't have a cheese and pickle sandwich or a Ploughman's without it ! - but I'd never tried, or even heard of, their chutney. There are two recipes available - Caramelised Onion and Mediterranean Tomato - both of which would be a great way of jazzing up the innumerable turkey sandwiches you'll be eating in a few weeks' time !

 Pip Organic Cloudy Apple Juice -  We love fruit juice at The Madhouse but we'd never heard of Pip Organic, which is a shame because these were lovely. They are apparently a family run, London based business that follows environmentally sustainable principles and uses 100% organic fruit, no concentrate and no added sugars, water, preservatives or additives. This has a lovely, authentic appley taste and, despite the lack of added sugar, the kids loved it (it's sweet enough anyway). I'll definitely be looking out for Pip Organic in the supermarket.

 Montano Cider -  Described as "an elegantly crafted Italian cider made from apples grown in the foothills of the Dolomites" where the orchards are apparently the highest in Europe, enjoying fresh mountain air and over 300 days of sunshine each year. I might have to pack my suitcases and head off there myself ! The result is a golden, elegantly sparkling, medium-dry cider with a refreshing, crisp finish. I love cider so this went straight in the fridge and was perfect for chilling out on a Friday night after a long week at work - aaaah ! It's available in Tesco stores and Strada restaurants.

 Holy Cow Curry Sauce Pouches - These kinds of sauces are always great when you get home from a long day at work but don't want to go freezer-diving. They offer the perfect balance of convenience and healthy meals that you can pack with fresh meat and veggies. We got  Madras Chettinad Curry Sauce (phew, pretty hot !) and Mughlai Korma Curry Sauce (mild, family-friendly alternative). 

 There was also a sample present from Drink Me Chai - I tried this spiced milky drink in a previous Degustabox and it wasn't to my taste but I passed it on to a friend and she loved it so she'll be getting this one too ! There was also a special bonus present for some subscribers  in this month's box of a lovely box of Barù chocolates because Degustabox are celebrating their first birthday - and what a year it's been ! Here's to many more !

I always like to look at the enclosed recipe sheet for ideas of things to make with the products in the box. This month's suggestions were Mediterranean Tomato Bubble & Squeak Cakes, Sausage & Caramelised Onion Hot Pot and Flavour Shot Chicken Wrap.

A Degustabox subscription costs £12.99 per month, delivery included, and they guarantee that the value of the products will be at least that, and often a lot more. As always, I have a £3 discount code that you can use if you want to try out Degustabox for yourselves - put in code VOXZ6 at the checkout.

for more information :

Disclosure : I received a free box in order to write an honest review.

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