Saturday, 25 June 2016

June's Degustabox heralding in the summer is the BBQ Box (review)

June's Degustabox has just arrived and it's a taste of things to come, focusing on picnic and BBQ food for when the summer weather has decided to stick around. As soon as we took our first peek inside the box, we could see brands and products that we knew we'd love.

Here's the contents of this month's box :

Butterkist Yogurt Coated Popcorn - I wasn't sure about the combination of popcorn and yogurt when I saw the pack - they're both things I like but together? Well, it's better than I expected, because it doesn't make the popcorn go soggy, as I feared, but I do prefer a classic toffee coated popcorn if I'm honest. The Madhouse kids loved it though, even if they thought it was a white chocolate coating to begin with !

Haywards Medium & Tangy Silverskin Onions - I love pickled onions, especially the big ones, and these ones have a fabulously tart tanginess to them. Perfect in salads, cheese sandwiches or alongside fish and chips. They'd also be great in these British Ploughman's Pies.

Branston Spicy Tomato Relish - Another picnic and BBQ essential, lovely on burgers and hotdogs fresh off the grill or squirted on the side of the plate to accompany grilled meats and rice. It's got a bit of a kick so it's great for jazzing up the leftovers and can be used as a more grown-up alternative to ketchup. I'll be adding a squirt to my Spanish omelettes and cheese scones to take them to another level. The squeezy bottle is more convenient than a jar for alfresco dining and picnics.

Zeo Cloudy Lemonade - I've tried Zeo drinks in previous Degustaboxes and loved them. Made with 98% spring water, lemon flesh and essential oils from the skin, then sweetened with a touch of stevia and beet and cane sugar, they are a refreshing, natural-tasting drink that is perfect for enjoying over ice in the summer. Each bottle only contains 28 calories and 1.5 teaspoons of sugar.

Schwartz Grillmates Burger Mix - When you buy frozen burgers from the supermarket, you can never really be sure what's gone into them, but if making your own from fresh always seemed like too much faff, Schwartz have the perfect solution. Just add a sachet of their Grillmates Burger mix to some minced beef (I also added a chopped onion), shape into burgers (or onto skewers or into meatballs) and grill or fry. The result is lovely fresh, juicy burgers ready in moments.

Amoy Rich & Creamy Coconut Milk - Back up until a few years ago, I'd never have dreamed of buying and using coconut milk, but now it's turned into a kitchen cupboard staple here at The Madhouse. It's great for adding creaminess and richness to sweet and savoury dishes and gives a more delicate flavour than normal cream. Things I've made using coconut milk that you might like to try include Jasmine-infused Coconut & Cherry Custards, Thai Prawn & Coconut Soup and Prawn & Salmon Massaman Curry.

Sacla Pesto Pots - I love Sacla Pesto but it's usually just me and Madhouse Daddy eating it because the kids aren't keen. A big jar is therefore usually too much so these individual-serving pots are a great way of reducing food waste. They can be added to pasta for an instant supper, smeared over chicken breasts or used as a pizza sauce to make a change from tomato-based sauces. I strongly recommend making a Cherry Tomato Pesto Tart for a twist on pizza too - cover a puff-pastry sheet in pesto, top with halved cherry tomatoes and sprinkle with cheese then bake in the oven. Delicious warm or cold.

Bakedin Mug Brownie Mix - A rich and velvety Belgian chocolate brownie, baked in a mug, ready in 2 minutes in the microwave - what's not to like? OK, so you never get the perfect texture when it's microwaved but when you need a chocolate/cake fix in a hurry, you could do a lot worse !

Think Products Smooze: Coconut & Mango - A brand and a product that I'd never heard of but it's a total winner for the summer - it's a freeze-at-home fruit ice made from 40% coconut milk and 50% fruit juice and puree. Tastes lovely, 100% vegan and free from most allergens, healthier than many "fruit" ices and made from all natural ingredients. Win-win !

Marstons King Star Lager - One for Madhouse Daddy. This is the new crafted lager from the Wychwood brewery and it was apparently very nice - refreshing and very drinkable with a mellow flavour. 

Miracle Noodle Angel Hair - Low calorie (they're basically calorie and carb free), vegan, non GMO, gluten free and soy free. They can be used as a substitute for regular pasta if you're trying to lose weight. I don't like the smell and the texture, but as long as you smother them in sauce, they're edible !

Destrooper-Olivier Belgian Butter Waffle Crisp Biscuits - These are absolutely scrummy and totally moreish. Their rich buttery taste and crisp texture that melts in the mouth had us coming back for more until the whole pack had gone.

This month's recipe card suggests two dishes, Penne with Sacla Pesto, Pancetta & Parmesan and Amoy Thai Green Curry, which both sound tasty.

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.

for more information :

Also now on Instagram @DegustaboxUK 

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


  1. The Destrooper waffle biscuits are by far the best thing, in my opinion, about this month's box.

    1. I'd have to agree with you - the kids loved the popcorn too though

    2. I agree. They were the first to disappear here, very moreish. The pickled onions are darn good too, though I'm the only one who eats them. And Amoy is always handy to have in the kitchen for a quick and easy curry.