There's always something exciting about receiving a new Degustabox in the mail because it's like a grown-up lucky dip. You know it's going to contain foodie items from unknown brands that are new to the market or new releases from well-established brands but apart from that, it's always a total mystery. This month, our first sneak peek as we opened the box revealed several products that we've already tried and enjoyed. But what would be lurking beneath ?
After unpacking everything (and fighting the kids off certain things, telling them that no, they couldn't eat anything before I'd taken a photo !), here's what we had :
Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey BBQ Glaze (£1.99) - Infused with Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey Liqueur, this glaze can be used as a sweet, sticky, smoky coating for barbecued meats or a dip for veggie sticks or potato wedges. I was worried it would have a whisky flavour but it's actually very nice.
Garofalo Fusilli Bucati Corti (£1.99) - We have already tried and loved several of the authentic, high quality pasta products in the Garofalo range - you may remember our reviews of their spaghetti and La Giostra Dei Bambini children's pasta. The corkscrew shape of the fusilli and the fact that it has a rougher texture than cheaper supermarket brands make it ideal for sticking to cream or tomato-based sauces.
Cranes Cider (2 x £1.90) - I love fruity ciders so I'm always delighted to discover the drinks that regularly pop up in Degustaboxes. I'd never tried or even heard of Cranes before, so I was intrigued to see what I'd think of their Original Cranberry and Strawberry & Kiwi ciders. (It's also available in Raspberry & Pomegranate.) Well, the answer is, I loved them both - they're fruity, sweet but tart and deliciously refreshing on a Friday evening to wind down after work. They're 4% alcohol, 100% natural, 99 calories, 16.5% juice and low in added sugar - I wonder if that means I can count them towards my five-a-day !
Kallo Yoghurt Coated Rice Cakes (£1.69) / Belgian Milk Chocolate Coated Corn cakes (£1.29) - We've tried a few Kallo products in previous Degustaboxes (chocolate rice cakes, rice cakes with chocolate & caramel pieces, salt & vinegar corn & rice snacks) and I've always been pleasantly surprised by just how enthusiastic the Madhouse kids got about them, as they're a healthier option than many similar snacks. These two products both got their seal of approval too, as they're just the right side of naughty but healthy.
Brioche Pasquier Croissants Au Beurre (£1.80) - How could we not love a brand that uses our own surname? The kids have even convinced half of their schoolfriends that their great-grandad founded the company at one point or another ! The all butter croissants don't taste as good as the freshly baked ones fresh from French boulangeries first thing in the morning because that utter flakiness seems impossible to recreate in a product with a long shelf-life, but they're very tasty nevertheless and got a thumbs up from the whole family. They're wrapped by two which is perfect for a romantic breakfast in bed (or a naughty pig out for one !). I suggest warming them in the oven for a couple of minutes then adding butter and raspberry jam or going continental and ripping off bits to dip in your morning coffee.
Pomegreat Pomegranate Juice (£1.49) - I always love pomegranate juice because it reminds me of being on holiday in Turkey. Pomegreat uses Californian pomegranate juice enhanced with aronia juice from concentrate that is refreshing, bursting with flavour and popular with both the kids and adults in the family.
Beloved Dates Date Nectar (£3.50) - Not something I'd have bought but I was intrigued to see how it would work in baking. It can be used in similar ways to honey but has a richer, more caramel-like flavour. It's wheat, gluten and dairy free and, unlike honey, is suitable for vegans.
Pechkeks Misfortune Cookies (2 x £1) - These appealed to my sense of humour. Black cookies and black humour inside, for a cynical alternative to the ever positive and philosophical messages in regular fortune cookies. You'll get verbal left hooks such as "life is a symphony - and you're playing the kazoo" !
Get Fruity fruit & oats bar (£1) - We'd already tried (and reviewed) the Moist Mixed Berry and Juicy Apricot, Orange & Ginger ones so I was pleased to see that we had a strawberry one to sample in the box. The kids preferred this one to the other two because it had a sweeter taste, but it appeals to grown-up palates too. It is made with gluten-free oats, virgin coconut oil and no added refined sugars for a 100% natural bar.
Mrs Crimbles gluten free madeleines - This month's DB Discoveries - click through to read our complete review of Mrs Crimble's Madeleines. In short, they're delicious.
The Wonderful Co Pistachios and Almonds (2 x 90p) - These Californian pistachios and almonds are great for both snacking and cooking. They're larger than average, crunchy and full of flavour.
This month's recipe card is for Jack Daniels BBQ Glaze, which is a nice serving idea.
A subscription to Degustabox costs £12.99 per month including delivery, with each box having a value of much more than that, but the great news is, I have a discount coupon code for you which gives you a whopping £6 off the price of your first box - just enter code BLDEG15 at the checkout - making it great value and a fab way to discover new products.
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Disclosure : We received the box in order to write an honest review.