August 2014 – Degustabox Product Review
Continuing from the success of Motherhood Diaries’ debut review of February’s Degustabox, I will now be reviewing the fantastic Degustabox service every month. Can’t wait!
Here is the link to the full background of the Degustabox and the service they offer: https://motherhooddiaries.com/degustabox-review-plus-competitiongiveaway-win-aprils-degustabox/
But, for a quick recap, Degustabox is an online retail service that offers a monthly package full of nutritional goods for a monthly fee of £12.99. But lucky customers like yourself will receive a £3.00 discount when signing up for your first Degustabox by inserting discount code T357S at the checkout.
Products range from condiments to organic food and drink, packed with lots of information on the product and its manufacturer. You can sign up to receive a monthly Degustabox here: http://bit.ly/DBhomepage.
You can stay updated via Degustabox’s social networks too:
Facebook – http://bit.ly/DBUKFacebook
Twitter – http://bit.ly/DBUKTwitter
And, that’s not all! Customers have the opportunity to receive a hefty 40% discount when signing up with their email address.
So, let’s get started!
Aron (3 ½ years old)
Aidan (2 ½ years old)
What’s in August’s Degustabox?
Watch the video Motherhood Diaries opening up August’s Degustabox here:
MEXICAN DAVE’S – RRP £1.00
The local youngsters of Temapache often teased Mexican Dave for the handlebar moustache he grew shortly before his ninth birthday. They called him ‘el niño poco con el bigote’ (the little kid with the hairy lip) – you don’t have to be witty to be cruel.
But never one to hide, Mexican Dave and his donkey, Diablo, fought adversity with generosity. With the help of Abuela Patricia Del Marcos Hernández (Nana Pat) he created the finest tortillas in all of Mexico. Some say the crunch could be heard for a hundred miles. He sold them by the bucket-load and soon his name was known throughout the land.
In his school yearbook, Mexican Dave was once described as ‘a guy who leaves you with a feeling that’s difficult to explain.’ And it’s that very special feeling that Mexican Dave has crammed into every mouthful of tortillas this side of the equator.
“Born from a desire to bring mouth-watering Mexican flavours to the masses, Mexican Dave’s legendary tortilla chips have landed. Mexican Dave’s chips, without compromising on ingredients, flavour or quality provide an alternative tortilla at a great value price. There is nothing artificial, they are cooked in sunflower oil and there is no MSG! They will be in Tesco stores from 25th August.”
Our Opinion – These tortilla chips are so moreish that we almost finished the packet in one sitting! It says ‘Lightly Salted’, but it’s a little too salty for my taste. They do, however, go perfectly well with some mild salsa sauce or plain natural yoghurt. At £1.00 for a large pack, I’d definitely buy these Tortilla Chips again.
BERRY WHITE – RRP 1 x £1.59
Andrew Jennings launched BerryWhite in the UK in 2012. Andrew wanted to create a drink packed full of flavour that was not only good for you but also tasted great and was good for others. BerryWhite drinks combine super fruits, known fruits and healthy extracts, creating a taste sensation that is light and refreshing and absolutely delicious. With organic certification, no added sugar and nothing artificial the natural fresh flavours in the drinks leave no nasty aftertaste.
“BerryWhite organic drinks are a delicious and refreshing range of fruit drinks, made with super fruits, known fruits and healthy extracts. BerryWhite drinks are made from premium organic ingredients with no added sugar or fruit sugars and no artificial preservatives. Available throughout the UK including online at Ocado and selected Waitrose stores.”
Our Opinion – I really loved this drink. The Peach & Goji Berry complement each other so well to bring a lovely soft peachy flavour, which does taste organic and not too sweet. It’s a very refreshing juice, which my boys thoroughly enjoyed too. I love the look of the bottle, which is in a hard glass, but decorated quite enticingly in pictures of peach and goji berries.
SCHWARTZ – 2 x £1.39
The Schwartz brand was established in 1889 by William Schwartz, the son of a German immigrant, in Halifax, Canada. William E. Schwartz, the son of the founder was the first in Canada to sell pure spices. Formerly only compound spices were sold such as ginger mixed with cornmeal or flour. From these early beginnings great emphasis was placed on quality and William Schwartz convinced people it was better to buy pure, top quality spices in smaller quantities than poor quality bulk. From England he imported the first bicycle with pneumatic tyres and travelled throughout Nova Scotia selling his spices. Schwartz’s son, William H.C. Schwartz became President and Managing Director in 1924 and the company expanded quickly to selling in over fifty countries in the 1930’s. In 1959, the Schwartz brand entered the British market where it was distributed by Jenks Brothers Food and presently The Schwartz Brand was brought by McCormick and Company, a global leader in flavour and one of the world’s largest producer of herbs, spices, seasonings and flavourings. But following rationalisation within the UK the McCormick branding was phased out and replaced by Schwartz and now the Schwartz branding has changed across Europe.
“Flavour Shots from Schwartz are delicious recipe bases containing a unique blend of herbs, spices and seasonings infused in sunflower oil to give you amazing tasting meals. Spoon into your pan, add the meat and/or veg with a few simple extras, simmer and serve. There are 8 flavours available to buy in Asda with Herbs and Spices, or in Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Waitrose with Packet Mixes. For more information, www.schwartz.co.uk.”
Spanish Smoked Paprika Chicken
Our Opinion – I made a simple pasta with chicken (recipe to be added soon) with the Spanish Smoked Paprika Chicken Flavour Shot, ignoring the recipe suggestions on the packet and deciding to go with my own twist to Spanish chicken and pasta. The results were a raging success with my boys who like a little bit of flavour in their meals. I added the ketchup ingredient as per the packet’s serving suggestion and the result was a sweet, but edgy pasta, with just enough spice for the boys to bear and just enough sweetness from their beloved ketchup. Definitely a lovely addition to meals.
Our Opinion – Unfortunately, we haven’t had the chance to try this yet, but as soon as we do, I’ll add our opinion here.
FEVER TREE – £1.69 each
“The age of the dismal mixer is over.” – Financial Times
Following a ‘tonic tasting’ in the US market, Charles Rolls – who built his reputation running Plymouth Gin – joined forces with Tim Warrillow, who had a background in laxity food marketing, to analyse the composition of mixers. They discovered that the majority were preserved with sodium benzoate or similar substances while cheap orange aromatics such as decanal and artificial sweeteners (such as saccharin) were widespread.
And so started a 15 month journey. Days in the British Library researching quinine sources from as far back as 1620, trips to the purest strains of this key ingredient and 5 iterations of the recipe were tasted before Charles and Tim were happy with the result and the first bottle of Fever-Tree Indian Tonic Water was produced in 2005.
“If ¾ of your Gin & Tonic is the tonic, make sure you use the best.” = Tim Warrillow.
The brand’s name, Fever-Tree, was chosen due to fever tree being the colloquial name for the cinchona tree in which quinine, a key ingredient for tonic, is found. The highest quality quinine was sourced from the Rwanda Congo border and blended with spring water and eight botanical flavours, including rare ingredients such as marigold extracts and a bitter orange from Tanzania. Crucially, no artificial sweeteners, preservatives or flavourings were added.
Since launching, Fever Tree have launched a new product every year – each taking a similarly intrepid attitude to sourcing quality botanicals. The result is seven drinks to mix or enjoy on their own.
For more information on Fever Tree and their range of drinks, visit www.fever-tree.com.
“Our award winning range of tonic waters and other mixers are made with the highest quality natural ingredients sourced from small specialist producers around the world, as a result Fever-Tree drinks taste clean, subtle and balanced making them the choice of mixer in 7 out of the top 10 restaurants in the world.”
Fever-Tree Ginger Beer
Our Opinion – I definitely couldn’t drink this ginger beer on its own. The ginger flavour was way too strong and actually burned the throat. I can imagine this beverage could cure a pregnant woman’s morning sickness, but as I’m not pregnant, this drink was definitely not for me. I think this particular flavoured ginger beer would complement, perhaps, a liqueur of some sort.
Fever-Tree Tonic Water
Our Opinion – Again, tonic water on its own, is not a very tasty drink. But, coupled with gin or even with a particular non-alcoholic syrup, like Ribena, it becomes a very refreshingly fizzy drink and one I would like as an iced beverage on a hot summer’s day, basking in the sun.
CARIBBEAN TWIST – £2.50
Caribbean Twist is a range of tropical fruit flavoured alcoholic cocktails and comes in wide variety of flavours including; Mixed Mango, Strawberry Daiquiri, Pina Colada and Blue Lagoon. All of the cocktails contain real fruit juice, so you don’t have to bother making a cocktail from scratch, you just pour a chilled bottle of Caribbean Twist over ice and enjoy!
“Feeling exotic? Caribbean Twist Strawberry Daiquiri is a delicious, sparkling, ready to drink Caribbean style alcoholic cocktail, containing 7.5% real fruit juice. Just pour a chilled bottle over ice to enjoy the perfect cocktail every time! Available to buy in Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Iceland, Bargain Booze and Savers. It will also be coming to Morrisons stores near you in early September.”
Our Opinion – You may not get drunk from one bottle of Caribbean Twist Strawberry Daiquiri (it only contains 4% alcohol) and you may want to get your blood sugar count tested afterwards (it’s very much on the sweet side), but it is a very refreshing sparkly cocktail drink that tastes delicious watered down with ice. I wouldn’t be compelled to go out and buy a bottle from the shops, but if I was on a budget (it’s only £2.50!) then the strawberry daiquiri would trump the Lambrini every time.
Since 1845 LINDT has been dedicated to producing the world’s finest chocolates. It all started in a small pastry shop on Marktgasse in Zurich’s old town in 1845. Confectioner David Sprüngli-Schwarz and his 29 year old son Rudolf Sprüngli-Ammann, who also trained to be a confectioner, dared to do something new: they decided to make chocolate. In particular and in keeping with the new fashion that came from Italy – solid bars – just like François-Louis Callier in Vevey and Phillippe Suchard in Neuchâtel had already done.
“The Lindt HELLO Just For You Heart Chocolate Tin is the perfect chocolate gift for that someone special or even a great little treat for yourself! Each adorable heart shaped tin contains 10 delicious melt-in-your-mouth Lindt milk chocolate hearts. Nice to sweet you! I’m a tiny tin of chocolate hearts, just for you… and your tummy. :-)”
Our Opinion – I originally intended to offer these chocolates to my husband, but after waiting 6 hours for hubby to come home from work and boring a hole into the heart-shaped tin with my eyes, I gave in and ended up munching five of them. I gave one each to the boys and hubby ended up with only three. I felt bad that I had no willpower against Lindt’s gorgeously creamy choccies, but, on the flipside, I did manage to enjoy some of Lindt’s very gorgeously creamy choccies! The chocolate has a real Lindt smooth quality to it and they are intricately wrapped in pink heart-shaped foil. I kept the tin to use in some way or another because it just looked too darned cute!
CAWSTON PRESS – 3 Pack = £1.89
Cawston Press pride themselves on being master blenders. At harvest time they pick the finest fruit brimming with flavour and then press it immediately, combining different varieties to create blends of apple juice bursting with healthy goodness. Each drink contains no artifical sweeteners, artificial colourings or preservatives.
“Cawston Press Kids’ Blends are specially blended for tiny taste buds. We take our gorgeous pressed juice and shake it up with 40% water for a lighter juice drink. Of course, our juice isn’t from concentrate, there’s no added sugar and we never add anything artificial. Expect to find one carton in your Degustabox.
Our Opinion – Cawston Press are famous for their natural tasting juices and this kids’ version of the Apple & Pear Pressed Fruit drink that’s diluted in water is a lovely treat for the boys. They only got the chance to sample half of the carton each, but they mopped up every morsel in their cups and wanted more.
Pack of 8 Pains au lait – £1.69
Pack of 8 Pains au Chocolat – £1.79
When Gabriel Pasquier first opened in his small village bakery in 1936, he used levain in his dough. The same technique was passed onto his sons that decided to continue using traditional levain to bake Brioche Pasquier products. Raising the dough this way is a more time consuming process compared to using modern yeast, but it provides a unique sourdough flavour and the products are then carefully baked using a similar process to the one used in 1936.
Despite the years that have passed, Brioche Pasquier continue this tradition of using their unique raising agent. Levain is the most natural way to raise dough and does not require any added sugar. It brings acidity to the dough that enables conservation without using preservatives.
Pains au lait
“The Pasquier family began baking brioche in 1936 in a small bakery in the West of France. Based on a traditional recipe, our Pain au lait are made using the finest ingredients to make a light, airy, moist brioche roll you can enjoy with your favourite filling.”
Our Opinion – I’m a HUGE fan of brioche and sweet infused bread in general, and Brioche Pasquier’s Pains au lait definitely did not disappoint at all. The rolls are really soft and airy and the sweet flavour is not sickly. True to form, the boys – who love bread and sugar – absolutely ravished these and the whole pack was gone in one day. I will definitely be buying a pack of these again to make the delicious ‘Brioche and Butter Pudding’ as suggested by August’s Monthly Degustabox recipes.
Pains au Chocolat
“Our pain au Chocolat is made with a brioche dough that is worked into a light puff pastry. It is then filled with a delicious dark chocolate. Individually wrapped, Brioche Pasquier pain au Chocolat are ideal for breakfast on the go or a snack.”
Our Opinion – Even more loved than the classic Pains au lait brioche in our home is the Pains au Chocolat, especially by our boys. I think it’s the perfect pick-me-up for my eldest on the walk home from nursery and it provides an easy on-the-go feel-good treat for that niggling hunger feeling that fruit just won’t satisfy. I love Pains au Chocolat anyway, but this particular kind by Brioche Pasquier was especially tasty. The bread is just as soft as the Pains au lait and offers a healthy amount of chocolate to satisfy that sweet tooth. The Brioche pair have definitely become a staple in our food shop.
DR. OETKER – £2.50
Established over 100 years ago in Germany, Dr. Oetker and the family business have developed into an internationally trusted food brand, with lots of high quality innovative products to meet the ever changing consumer needs.
“NEW! Dr. Oetker Edible Wafer Cases are wafer baking cases which you can eat. There is no need to remove the case, you can now eat the whole cupcake with no waste or mess! Edible Wafer Cases bring an extra special addition to your baking and are bake stable. Available to buy from Tesco and Asda stores.”
Our Opinion – It was my sister’s, boyfriend’s birthday coming up and I decided to bake him some extra special cupcakes, complete with their own edible cupcake cases, helpfully provided by August’s Degustabox and, of course, Dr. Oetker. Unfortunately, this meant I never got to try the cupcake cases, but I found them to be a very easy tool in which to bake cupcakes in and they held their shape very well, even after a rather ‘healthy’ sized topping of whipped cream and buttercream on top!
I was told by the recipient that the cupcakes tasted very delicious and he really enjoyed eating the cases too, which complemented the cupcakes very well. Wish I’d got the chance to taste them now…
MOMA! – RRP £2.99
MOMA is on a mission to revolutionise breakfast on the go and banish bad breakfast habits. Claiming to love mornings and being early risers, MOMA is there to kick-start the day with Jumbo oats. Rich in fibre and low GI, oats are amazing energy givers that release their goodness slowly and help lower cholesterol. The understated grain is blended with low-fat probiotic yogurt and real fruit.
“Our Bircher Muesli multipack is 4 delicious servings of oats, yoghurt and a spoonful of fruit – a convenient, healthy, filling start to the day! Redeem your 100% coupon in Waitrose and Sainsbury’s nationwide.”
– I have found it insanely difficult to locate the MOMA! Yoghurt in my local Sainsbury’s store (as Waitrose is quite far away), so I haven’t been able to review this item yet. But, as soon as I get the chance I will add my review here.
What did I like most about August’s Degustabox?
The Dr. Oetker Edible Cupcake Cases are a pretty cool idea, although I never got to sample them as they all went to the birthday recipient, so both the Brioche Pasquier Pains au lait and Pains au Chocolate won hands down for me this time. The Pains au lait, especially, are so versatile and can go with any filling or on its own, so they make the perfect snacks for my hungry boys, no matter the time of day.
What to watch out for:
Be warned about the Fever-Tree Ginger Beer – it is very gingery!
Other points to note:
Try the Schwartz Spanish Smoked Paprika Chicken Flavour Shot with rice as a perfect dish for dinnertime.
4 out of 5 – Not disappointed yet, Degustabox! The products are still unique and versatile enough for me to have a good go at them in the kitchen. Well done!
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