Wow – me
This may be the best Degustabox yet, and that’s what I love about the service – each month is a surprise! In case you’re not already familiar with Degustabox, it’s a monthly subscription services that sends you a surprise selection of food products for £12.99 per month.
Here’s what we got in this month’s box…
Kettle Sweet Chilli Sweet Potato Chips are really very nice and contain 50% less fat that standard vegetable crisps because they’re baked, not fried, then seasoned. The chilli is quite mild in these so won’t satisfy those with a penchant for heat, but they are tasty. £2.19 per 150g pack from Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Tesco and Ocado.
Garofalo Pasta is already my preferred brand of dried pasta. Garofalo uses a bronze die for exceptional shape and texture and has been making Pasta since 1789 in Gragnano near Naples. The Elicoidali shape, one of 74 varieties made by the brand, has deep grooves around the outside, meaning it holds sauces beautifully. Delicious. £1.89 for 500g from Ocado.
I was very pleased to see Cirio tomato passata and puree in this month’s Degustabox, since I only just returned from seeing Cirio’s tomato fields in Tuscany! Cirio is a real Italian brand with over 160 years of history and you can taste that quality and heritage in its products. They’re full bodied, sweet and versatile. Do try them. £1.35 for the passata and £1.10 for the puree from Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Ocado.
Before drinking Hornsby’s Crisp Apple and Crisp Pear Ciders, I hadn’t had a cider in about 14 years. I liked the apple variety very much – crisp, refreshing, not too sweet, but I wasn’t so keen on the pear variety. The flavour is fine, but there was an unpleasant aroma at the beginning of each mouthful, almost as if the strawberries and lime had fermented. Perhaps I had a bad bottle, or perhaps it’s just not to my taste. £5 for four bottle in ASDA.
Fruit tea seems to be something I only drink during workshops and conferences,peeled from little sachets and brewed in too-long-since-boiled water, so it has been lovely to have a box of Taylor’s of Harrogate Blackberry and Elderflower Tea to enjoy at home. Steeped for 3-5 minutes and served without sugar or milk, it’s a refreshing, subtle drink and makes a great change from caffeinated beverages. £2.25 for 20 bags at Waitrose, Tesco and Ocado.
I am a little in love with these Cocoa Crunch Flutes by Elizabeth Shaw. They’re dark and rich but not bitter and are laced with little crunchy cocoa nibs. A joy to eat, we also used them last week as a finishing touch on some banana and clotted cream muffins. £2.50 for 105g from Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Ocado.
Cawston Press Sparkling Cloudy Apple is delicious. Not too sweet, not too acidic and not a hint of artificial colours, flavours, sweeteners or preservatives – it’s just 70% Pressed Apple Juice, Sparkling Water and Vitamin C. I love it and at 99 calories per can, it’s a rather nice option to have in your bag for lunch. £4.99 for 6 cans from Waitrose and Ocado.
Although I tend to use the old grease and flour method to prep my cake tins, I always have a can of Dr. Oetker Cake Release Spray in the cupboard because it is very effective. It’s perfect for cake tins with fiddly designs, especially silicone ones, as you just sweep a spray of this vegetable-oil based product around the tin and you’re ready to go. £2.28 from Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Ocado.
As I’m not a huge fan of taurine-based energy drinks, I’m not really in love with this Raw Sugar Free Gum, but if you want a hit of energy on the go, you might like these. The gum pieces look like regular gum, but taste, believe it or not, like Red Bull. Yes, they really do, so while it’s not really my thing, I can think of lots of people who’d love this product. It’s suitable for vegetarians too. 99p for 18 pieces from the Raw Gum online shop.
I’ve actually covered Finn Crisp Original Thin Sourdough Original Crispbread before, so I’ll just say, for those who like their crackers ultra-crisp and slightly sour so that they pair perfectly with a cool, creamy topping, this is the cracker pack to buy. £1.19 for 200g from Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Ocado.
Disclosure: we were sent the Degustabox for review.