It's always exciting when the end of the month rolls round (but just where have the first four months of the year gone exactly ?!) because it means that a new Degustabox is imminently about to arrive. That excitement was heightened this month when we opened the box and the first thing we saw peeking out was chocolate. Not just any old chocolate either - the Madhouse kids' absolute favourite, Kinder !
I was equally excited when I saw the theme for this month's selection : The International Box. Oooh, I love globecooking so discovering new exotic fayre sounds great to me !
Without further ado, here's what was in this month's box :
Veetee Microwaveable Rice (2 x £1.49) - We got two flavours to try, Peri Peri and Spicy Mexican Style, but it is available in 17 different varieties. We always have a couple of packs of Uncle Ben's or Tilda microwaveable rice in the cupboard - they're great when you need something on the table quick or if you need cooked rice for a recipe, such as paella or stuffed courgettes/tomatoes - so this will be very handy.
Barry's Tea Gold Blend (£1.75) - Ireland's favourite tea (probably !) but as we're not big tea drinkers, this will be winging its way over to my parents, who drink gallons of the stuff every day !
Cirio Tomato Fillets and Double Concentrate of Tomatoes (£1.69 + £1.20) - Very handy for adding depth of flavour and colour to casseroles and pasta sauces or for making homemade pizzas but, as representative of Italian cuisine, they're not very exotic !
Kinder Choco Bons and Chocolate with Cereals (£1.55 x 2) - The Madhouse kids' favourite items from the box, again representing Italy but again, not very exotic as we buy these anyway! If you don't know Choco Bons, they're delicious - smooth chocolate, a creamy milk filling and a hint of hazelnut - hmmmm ! Plus they're individually wrapped so it's easier to limit yourself to just a couple ! The Chocolate with Cereals is very nice too. We knew this as a bar but not as individually wrapped minis.
Schwartz Korma & Balti Seasoning Mixes (2 x £1.08) - Add to chicken/meat and veg for a delicious curry in half an hour. Ideal if you want to make your own rather than buying in a takeway but don't have a well-stocked spice rack. I'm glad we got these two - they're also available as Biryani and Rogan Josh, which sounds a lot hotter !
Nandos Peri-Peri Grooves (3 x 69p) - Nando's is apparently Niall from One Direction's favourite restaurant so Sophie almost started hyperventilating when she saw these ! "PERi-Salted Grooves Cut Potato Chips are the latest addition to the already popular Grooves range, which includes; Smokey BBQ, Spicy Chicken and Sizzling Hot. These ridge cut crisps are designed to lock in Nando’s celebrated PERi-PERi flavour, for consumers looking for a twist on the classic and much-loved salted crisp flavour." We haven't eaten them yet because Sophie wants to look adoringly at them for a little while longer !
Debeukelaer Cookies Bakery (£2) - "Inspired by traditional family bakeries in Greenwich Village, New York, DeBeukelaer Cookies Bakery brings delicious enjoyment to the UK with their irresistible range of bigger, better, tastier cookies. For a fresh taste each exquisite cookie is single wrapped. Indulge in three irresistible flavours, CREAMY COOKIE, BROWNIE COOKIE and CRISPY COOKIE." 4 big cookies in the box, not bad but very sweet - the kids mumbled appreciatively as they munched their way through them though !
Scheckters Organic Energy Drink (£1.35) - I reviewed this ages ago (click through to read my review) and expected to hate it but actually loved it. It has a refreshing flavour and isn't all artificial like caffeine-loaded energy drinks. Very refreshing and perfect for a light, natural pick-me-up.
Scheckters Idrinq (£1.35 x 2) - Having been won over by Scheckters Organic Energy Drink, I was keen to try this one too. The official description says : "IdrinQ® is a new generation drink, which helps to think smarter. Things that were challenging become simpler and everything seems clearer and more in focus. It is great for idea generation and creativity. It helps to separate the important from unimportant. With IdrinQ® everything clicks!" Well, I don't know about that but it tastes nice and is very refreshing !
Kingfisher Beer (for those who receive the alcohol-included box) (£2) - India's number 1 beer so the perfect accompaniment to the Schwartz Curry Mix and Veetee rice for an Indian feast ! Madhouse Daddy said it was nice and easy to drink. The official description talks about a clean, crisp and refreshing taste with subtle citrus flavours to perfectly complement the heat and spice of even the richest curry.
Wonjo (in the non-alcoholic box) - The most exotic item in the box, in my opinion. "Wonjo Hibiscus, a refreshing soft drink bursting with exotic flavour, made from 100% natural ingredients by Chosan, an independent producer of healthy and exotic drinks. Our drinks are inspired by traditional recipes from West Africa and use ingredients with many associated health benefits to support a balanced lifestyle." I wasn't sure what this would taste like but it's very nice.
This month's recipe suggestions are for Creamy Pancetta Chicken, Pork Fajitas and Southern Spicy Rice, all of which sound rather lovely.
A Degustabox subscription costs £12.99 including delivery per month, with each box having a value of much more than that. This month's totals up to £23 so it's almost double the value. I have a discount coupon code for you too, which gives you a £3.00 discount when registering - just enter code 13NC5 at the checkout. (This will be valid until October 2015).
This is another great box - not quite as exotic as I first thought when I saw the theme, but it's a great compromise if you're slightly less adventurous, using reassuringly well-known brands to recreate some dishes from far-flung corners of the globe.
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Disclosure : I received a free box in order to write an honest review.