Sunday, 15 November 2015

The October Degustabox review

October's Degustabox arrived bang on Halloween and, while there were no tricks inside, it was full of treats ! If you're a new reader and haven't heard of Degustabox before, it is a subscription scheme for a monthly foodie box that contains 9 to 14 products from well known or brand new brands at a discounted price. Here's what we saw when we opened this month's box and peeled back the paper. Can you guess what immediately leapt out at the Madhouse kids? Yes, you've got it - SpongeBob had them squealing in excitement before I'd even started unpacking everything !

So, here's this month's selection - a nice family-friendly mix of snacks, lunchbox options and cooking ingredients (which have been a bit lacking in recent boxes).

Lorina Coconut and Lime (£1.49) - I'd never heard of Lorina (and nor had French Madhouse Daddy ! ) but it is apparently a premium French lemonade that has been handcrafted since 1895, using 100% natural ingredients. It's free from any artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. The coconut and lime is a tasty, refreshing blend, which can be enjoyed on its own, preferably over ice, or as a mixer. The Madhouse kids weren't keen, which was great news for me because I got to drink it !

Liberation Nuts (£2) -  Owned by small-scale nut farmer co-ops in Africa, India and Latin America, Liberation’s mission as a Fair Trade nut company is to change the world nut by nut by bringing nut producers and consumers of the world together so that everyone gets a better deal. Above all, they make very tasty nuts. We got Oven Baked Peppercorn Peanuts with Habas Fritas Crunchy Beans and Oven Baked Chilli & Lime Cashews with Peanuts and Roasted Corn, both of which were fresh, crunchy and packed with flavour.

Kabuto Noodles (£1.99) - These are basically posh pot noodles and Sophie enjoys eating them for lunch when she's home alone. This one is flavoured with coconut, chicken, chilli and coriander, inspired by the warm coconut laksa dishes of Malaysia, so I might have to eat this one myself as it sounds particularly scrummy !

Cirio Passata and Chopped Tomatoes (£2.25) - We've received Cirio products in previous Degustaboxes so I knew that these would be great for making homemade pizza and pasta sauces. Last time, I made Parmesan Chicken, which was utterly gorgeous !

The Snack Organisation Freeze Dried Fruit (£1) - Freeze dried fruit seems to be hugely popular at the moment and I have to say, we're big fans here at The Madhouse. Freeze drying preserves the fruit's nutrition and flavours without the use of any unhealthy oils or high temperatures, creating a crispy delicious all natural snack that can be snacked, crunched and sprinkled. The Madhouse kids are quite happy to eat it in place of sweets and I love to nibble on it instead of biscuits if I fancy grazing in front of the telly. We got apple, but it also comes in strawberry, apricot and pineapple.

Provena Gluten Free Oat Muesli (£3.79) - Provena is one of this month's DB's Discoveries. Provena products support the digestive system and release energy gradually over a longer period of time, as well as being a gluten-free option for anyone who is intolerant. We got the oat muesli which contains juicy apple, sweet dates, raisins and crunchy sunflower seeds. It's very tasty but, as we're a bit overloaded in the muesli and granola department at the moment, I'll be using it in flapjacks, muffins and traybakes too.

Sponge Bob Appy Drinks (£1.99) - These award winning juices contain 50% less sugar and calories than regular fruit juices, making them a better option for children and lunch boxes compared to the leading nectars. The range is 100% natural with no added sugar or artificial preservatives. Most importantly (if you ask the Madhouse kids), they have SpongeBob Squarepants on the cartons - cue squeals of excitement ! They taste very nice too apparently.

The Snack Organisation Lightly Salted Rice Crackers (£1) - They're baked not fried, gluten free and suitable for vegetarians. We loved the crispy, crunchy texture but found them a bit bland. Alongside the Lightly Salted ones that we got, they are also available in Sweet Chilli and Teriyaki flavours, which I think would have appealed to us more.

Chip Strips (£2) - We'd never heard of these before or seen anything like them. They're basically long potato chips, which means they're perfect for dipping ... although we scoffed our straight out of the packet ! We got Smokey BBQ and Cheese & Onion which were both lovely, but there are loads of other flavours available.

9Bar (£2.49) - This month's Product of the Month was 9Bar Original Carob Hit, a healthy snack bar packed with naturally nutritious sunflower, pumpkin, sesame and hemp seeds with a smooth carob topping that makes an energy boosting addition to a balanced diet. Even if I didn't find them quite as tasty as my usual cereal bars, I did feel very virtuous eating them because they are undoubtedly healthier.

Président Unsalted Butter (£2) - There was a voucher in this month's box for some Président butter. As Madhouse Daddy is French, we're big fans of Président, but I must admit, we prefer their salted butter. It's rich and creamy and is great spread on hot toast or crumpets but can also be used in baking. Why not go French style and try a jambon-beurre sandwich for lunch by thickly spreading it on a crunchy baguette then filling with ham ?

This month's recipe card was for Melting Chocolate Fondants using the Président butter. They sound rather lovely so I might have to give them a go.

A subscription to Degustabox costs £12.99 per month including delivery, with each box having a value of much more than that (£22 this month), but the great nes is, I have a discount coupon code for you which gives you a whopping £6 off the price of your box - just enter code BLDEG15 at the checkout.

for more information :

Disclosure : We received the product in order to write an honest review.


  1. The Kabuto Noodles sound good, thanks for the review.

  2. That's a great box. Lots of thing I would love in there!

  3. Great box - love the sound of the Lorina Coconut and Lime


  4. Loved Liberation nuts a lot, have been buying them a lot recently. We didn't get Spongebob, trying to think what we got instead. And our rice crackers are chilli-flavoured.

    1. There were Geeta products too in the DB's Discoveries and some other stuff but I can't remember what !

  5. Love the idea of the chip strips, perfect for buffets :)

  6. I absolutely loved the 9bar Original Carob Hit - not too sweet and full of seeds/nuts.