Monday, 11 May 2015

Degustabox (April International Box)

I have seen many blog reviews of Degustabox food delivery boxes, and was excited to have a chance to review its latest box. The box was delivered on the last day of April, and I just had to open it as soon as I closed the door behind the courier. This monthly box usually contains 9-14 surprise products, many of them are new to the market. It is an exciting way of discovering new products, which you might have missed in the shops otherwise.
What surprise foods and drinks did we receive in the April box?

April Degustabox

The first product we tried was Nando's Peri-Peri Spicy Chicken groove potato chips (40g). These spicy chips with grooves contain no artificial colours, no added MSG and are flavoured with genuine African Bird's eye chillies (peri-peri)
Eddie and I shared a bag. Eddie enjoys spicy snacks and he loved them.
Verdict: tasty

Tastebuds are funny little things. I found Nando's Peri-Peri Peri-Salted groove cut potato chips much spicier than the Spicy Chicken, while it should have been the other way around (Peri-Salted are promised to be mild, and Spicy Chicken Medium spicy on Peri-ometer. But for me it was the opposite, I was panting like a dog after the "mild" flavour while we found medium pleasantly spicy.
And then there were Nando's Peri-Peri Grooves Sizzling Hot groove cut potato chips (hot). I warned my little man that they were hot & spicy. He said "I like hot", and so he did, he munched them happily.

Nando's Peri-Peri Grooves Sizzling Hot groove cut potato chips (hot)
That's snacks sorted.
What are we drinking? Degustabox comes in 2 varieties, with alcohol or without. For those who enjoy their alcoholic drinks, there was a bottle of Kingfisher.

Kingfisher is so well known that there is no need to introduce it. India's no.1 bestselling beer, it is popular in the UK as well, especially when served with spicy curries. It's clean and crisp, with subtle citrus undertones, perfect with the hot Indian dishes.

If you are a teetotaller, or just don't fancy an alcoholic version, Degustabox offered a non-alcoholic variety - Wonjo hibiscus drink. This healthy drink is produced in the UK, and is made from the hibiscus plant, Hibiscus Sabdariffa, which is rich in vitamin C, calcium and magnesium. It also boasts high levels of antioxidants and helps the body to maintain good health. It is a sweet drink, of deep ruby red colour, without any additives or preservatives.

IdrinQ (original) is a new generation beverage with two active ingredients: R(+)-a-lipolic acid (vitamin N) and L-Arginine. It helps to reduce tiredness and fatigue. I don't usually buy energy drinks, and this is the first time I have tried this drink. The list of ingredients reads a bit like Mendeleev's table of elements. It is sweet and fizzy, too sweet for me. Surprisingly enough, it did a job of keeping an after-lunch slumber at bay. Kudos for that.

Scheckter's Organic Energy caffeine blend promises to improve alertness, increase physical performance. It contains no artificial ingredients, no taurine and no GMO's.
So, what exactly is it? It's a mix of sparkling filtered water, organic raw cane sugar, organic lemon juice, organic pomegranate juice, organic elderberry juice, organic asian panax ginseng, organic energy caffeine blend (guarana, green tea, green coffee extract) and more. I needed all the possible help before heading out in the garden for a good weeding session, as with all the rain the weeds seem to multiply before my eyes. Taste-wise, it was pleasant but again too sweet. I would have preferred more lemon and green tea and less sweetness. It did seem to keep me from falling asleep in the garden, lulled by the birdsong.

Drinks aside, what shall we eat?

There were two tubs of Veetee rice in Mexican and Peri Peri flavours.

I have tried Veetee rice before, and it's very handy to keep a tub or two in the pantry for quick and easy meals. Veetee Spicy Mexican style rice was a new (for me) flavour. Its ingredients include natural steamed rice, adzuki beans, seasoning, tomato powder, vegetable stock, sweetcorn, sunflower oil, red pepper, cumin, jalapenos, paprika and more. It is bright in colour and medium spicy.
Veetee rice is suitable for vegetarians, has no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.
It is supposed to be great with tacos or fajitas but I added it to the sliced in half pepper and roasted the stuffed pepper boats in the oven for about 20 minutes, then added a bit of mozzarella and sun-dried tomatoes for an easy dinner.

Pepper stuffed with rice

Veetee Peri Peri rice is a perfect side dish to go with spicy chicken. Its ingredients are natural steamed rice, tomato powder, lime juice, sunflower oil, herb and spice extract, carrot extract and more. I served it as a side dish with chicken cooked with chorizo and sweet red pepper, and the flavours worked really well.

Schwartz has recently launched a range of Indian recipe mixes, and the April Degustabox included two of the latest flavours - Korma and Balti. Korma is our favourite curry, so it was the first choice between the two (I plan to cook Balti later this week).

Schwartz Korma recipe mix is ideal with chicken or prawns. It is mildly hot, creamy and spicy. Ingredients consist of sugar, onion powder, salt, cumin, garlic powder, coriander seed, chilli powder, ground ginger, cream powder, coconut milk powder, cinnamon, paprika, turmeric and more. There's no hydrogenated fat, artificial colours or flavourings, added preservatives or MSG.
It was a tasty curry, cooked with chicken, onion, carrot, ground almonds and milk.

Chicken Korma
Cirio, a brand known for its quality tinned tomatoes, is very popular in Italy. This is a brand I'm familiar with. Francseco Cirio was a pioneer in preserving tomatoes in tin cans. Tinned tomatoes are a perfect kitchen staple product, it keeps well for ages, and could be used as an ingredient in so many dishes. I am yet to use Cirio tomato fillets and double concentrate which arrived with the Degustabox, but I have cooked with Cirio products in the past.

Now let's move onto the sweet stuff.
My boys were most excited about the chocolate treats from Kinder. They are big fans of Kinder Surprise eggs, and were happy to discover Kinder chocolate with cereals (mini).
These are fine mini milk chocolate bars with cereals and smooth milky filling. Each bar is 30kcal, so even I could have a little treat with my coffee (it would be fab to have a more "adult" variety with a bitter dark chocolate). Each bar is individually wrapped, and the bag is resealable, though with kids it's probably not a much needed option. Needless to say, they didn't last long in our family. It's a lovely mix of textures: creamy smooth milky chocolate and crunchy cereals (barley, rice, wheat, buckwheat, spelt). The little slogan on the back of the packet says "Invented for kids, approved by Mums", and I tend to agree, we all liked them.

Kinder Choco-Bons are fine milk chocolate bites with a milky hazelnut filling. I like the size of these chocolate bites. Each piece is individually wrapped. This is a product with a great appeal for kids (I prefer dark chocolate, with less sweetness). My children have enjoyed Choco-Bons as much as the chocolate bars with cereals.

I have seen Cookies Bakery goodies in Waitrose, but haven't tried them before. This is a German brand, which was a surprise for me, as looking at the box, I presumed they were American. Then I read the story on the back of the box, that these cookies were inspired by traditional family bakeries in Greenwich Village. "Extra large cookies, just like in New York!".

Each cookie is individually wrapped in  vintage-style wrapping. These are large cookies indeed, crispy outside and smooth inside, with a chocolate hazelnut filling. Cookies bakery Creamy Cookies are filled with melting nougat cream.
I must say, I was a bit confused by the word "nougat", as in my mind nougat is something different, more on the crunchy side than smooth. Think Italian torrone, that's a nougat. But after checking the Wikipedia, I realised that I was wrong, and nougat can be smooth as well.
Each cookie is 202kcal, so perhaps not suitable on a diet day. And there's 16g of sugar and 9.7g of fat in each cookie. It was lovely to try this brand, but I don't think it will become a regular purchase for our household.

Cookies are best enjoyed with a cup of tea, and Degustabox offered a box of Barry's tea to go with all the sweet treats. As I prefer flavoured teas, I gave this tea to a friend who enjoys her tea black and strong. She later reported to me that she liked it very much. This is an Irish brand, established over a hundred years ago. and they promise an absolute commitment to fine quality tea.

And that's it, folks!

If you enjoyed reading my review, and would like to try a Degustabox, I have a discount code for you, which will give you £3off when registering. And the code is

For more information, latest news and recipes visit Degustabox (main site), DegustaboxUK on Twitter and DegustaboxUK on Facebook.

Disclosure: I received an April Degustabox for the purposes of testing and reviewing. All opinions are mind.


  1. I loved this months box, so many different products with lots of uses. Love your teddy

  2. A box full of fun goodies! I keep hearing about Barry's tea, must try it.

  3. A box full of fun goodies! I keep hearing about Barry's tea, must try it.

  4. We've been thinking of subscribing to Degusto, great review.

    Emily & Rob