Thursday 9 January 2020

December 2019 Degustabox review : Gourmet and Fiesta

Well, that's Christmas done and dusted for another year ! I don't think I could face another turkey sandwich or bowl of Christmas pudding again for a while, so it was the perfect time to unpack the latest Degustabox delivery and see what was hiding inside. Pulling out the contents card, I discovered that the December box had a Gourmet and Fiesta theme - perfect for festive nibbles - and I was pleased to see that there are also some exotic sounding cooking sauces in there. Time for a closer look.

The first thing that was pulled out and drooled over was this box of Ardens Gruyere and Spinach Twists ( RRP £1.75). These combine gorgeous crisp and crunchy all-butter puff pastry with mellow Gruy√®re cheese and vibrant spinach for the perfect nibble - we munched ours on New Year's Eve. They're light, flaky and tangy, meaning that we didn't stop until we'd eaten the whole box ! They're lovely on their own but could also be enjoyed with dips or even soup.

UFit Crunchers (RRP: gift) are popped protein chips which contain a whopping 8g of protein and a reasonable calorie count of 150 calories per bag. They are crunchy, tasty and got gobbled up in record time. We got the Sea Salt & Vinegar flavour but they are also available in Smokehouse BBQ and Thai Sweet Chilli flavours.

Another tasty snack, but this time moving over to the sweet side - Indie Bay Chocolate Pretzels (RRP £1.25) in both milk and dark chocolate varieties. Just because they're sweet and chocolatey, that doesn't mean they're all bad - they are still packed with benefits, still made with ancient grains, still a source of fibre and contain fewer than 150 calories per portion. Snacks with Benefits just got cheeky !

For those who receive the non-alcohol version of the box, this month sees the addition of two delicious King Monty Vegan Chocolate treats. Sunny Orange is a delicious chocolate bar flavored with natural orange, while Pop Rice is a crispy chocolate mixture to pop yourself through the day. Both are lovely - in fact, we couldn't decide which one we liked best !

The alcohol version of the box contained a Smith & Sinclair Pineapple Bellini cocktail gummy (RRP £15 for a selection of 8), which offers a fun addition to a night in or out ! Blended like a real cocktail with premium spirits, fresh fruit and syrups, each gummy contains half a shot and are vegan. I love this idea and the Pineapple Bellini flavour is lovely. Shop the full range at and use code DEGUSTA for 15% off. 

Another product in the alcohol box, Lagunitas DayTime Session IPA (RRP £1.80) is described as "a 4% light, slammable beer, boldy dosed with a glorious fortune of hops". Containing just 98 calories per bottle, it won't weigh you down either ! I passed this on to a friend, who said it had a lovely crisp flavour.

Yet another option from the alcohol box, Pedrino Vermouth & Tonic Spritz (RRP £1.95) offers a lovely drink simply poured over ice or can be added to spritz up a cocktail. The blend offers subtle notes of melon, floral botanicals and grapefruit. The all-natural, origin-protected vermouth and artisanal tonic water have a lovely fresh, crisp flavour. 

If you're looking for a tasty non-alcoholic drink, you might prefer Oteas Green Tea, Cranberry, Cherry & Strawberry (RRP £3.39), which combines the sourness of cherries, the zestiness of cranberries and the exotic Asian aromas of lemongrass and bamboo leaves. Complemented by sweet apples, strawberries and a touch of cornflower blossoms, this tea strikes the perfect balance between sweet and sour. Oteas are committed to creating delicious hand blended teas while becoming the most environmentally friendly tea product available in the world.

I always have a selection of cooking sauces and pouches featuring various world cuisines in my kitchen cupboards, so I was excited to discover Blue Dragon Street Food Teriyaki Skewers (RRP £2.70). In Asia, the most exciting foods are not found in restaurants, but on the carts and stalls lining the busy streets, and Blue Dragon have taken inspiration from Japan's neon streets to create this kit – the perfect introduction to Japanese cuisine. Inside the kit, you'll find individual sachets of Teriyaki glazing and dipping sauce, Teriyaki marinade, sesame seeds and bamboo skewers. The kit makes eight skewers and only has a mild heat rating so it's perfect for the family. Other kits in the range include Satay Skewers and Korean BBQ Skewers.

There is also a Blue Dragon Aromatic Thai Holy Basil Stir Fry kit (RRP £1.50), which contains three key elements - a base, sauce and topping. Take your stir fry to the next level ! This is a great way of introducing new flavours for the family to try out - the kids were a bit put off by the "medium" heat rating but I loved it.

Candy Kittens are a brand that we have come to know and love through Degustabox and the kids squealed excitedly when they spotted the Candy Kittens Tropical Mango Gourmet Sweets (RRP £2). Made using the finest ingredients and absolutely no bad stuff, these gourmet gummy candies are gluten-free and made with natural flavours, colours and real fruit juices. Most importantly, they taste divine - nom nom nom !

Another popular snack from the box, Gloriously Grown Vietnamese Jumbo Wrapped Cashews (RRP £3) were a big hit. They are left wrapped in their skins and delicately salted before being oven roasted to deliver a deliciously crunchy taste experience. Very tasty - we polished these off on New Year's Eve too !

Made Good Granola Bars (RRP £2.90, subscribers received one flavour) will have mums across the country high-fiving themselves - not only do they taste good, they contain the nutrients in one full serving of vegetables. Yes ! Whether you opt for Chocolate Banana, Mixed Berry or Chocolate Chip, you'll get a lovely, chewy, great-tasting snack that will satisfy your sweet tooth while delivering beneficial antioxidants. All Made Good ingredients are ethically sourced too.

Very Lazy Chopped Garlic (RRP £1.50) offers exactly what it says on the jar, saving you the bother of peeling and chopping and also doing away with stinky fingers the next day ! Add to your cooking to give your meals an instant flavour boost.

This was a great box for us, with lots of things that we would (and probably will) definitely buy again, as well as some wild cards that have pleasantly surprised us. 

 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 means you'll get the first box for just £7.99 - enter code PKUFE at the checkout.

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Disclosure : We received the box in order to write an honest review. As a Degustabox blogger, I receive all of the products that go into the monthly boxes, but subscribers may not get exactly the same selection.

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