Ciao amici, come stai?
Today’s snack box comes to us from the wonderful and sunny nation of… Italy! Matt and I were so excited by this box. We’ve tasted India before, and now it was time to put our other love under the spotlight: Italy! Of course, we’re being totally biased in this post (we’re not, we promise 😉 ) and see what great snacks Italy has to offer!
A little bit of background here, my Mum is friends with a recently married couple from Malta and Sicily whom both speak fluent Italian, and have both been teaching me and encouraging me to speak fluently in Italian, too. How is that going? Well, you could just say parlo un po d’italiano, but also amo imparare la lingua Italiana 😉
Back in school, we had to study the French language. Although I had the option to continue to learn French as a foreign language, it never really interested me. I found French hard to learn and even harder to pronounce, I also wasn’t sure where it would ever be useful for me. When I started learning Italian, though, I found that I couldn’t stop!
My aim one day is to be able to hold fluent conversation in Italian with my Mum’s friends. They are truly great people and in the next few weeks, I am going to be sharing a wonderful, cute Maltese Easter recipe with you all which young minds will surely love. For now though? It’s time to get tasting!
An Added Foodie Titbit: Italy is also home to one of my most favourite chocolate manufacturers, Ferrero. Despite the overwhelming popularity of Ferrero Rocher here in the UK, it is the dark Ferrero Rondnoir that captures this girl’s heart!
Apparently, this beverage is already available in the United States, which has me in a huff with our friends across the pond because it has travelled from our allies in Italy to our allies in the US, and we in the middle didn’t get a sniff! Not to worry, it’s here now. This Pepsi cola drink has a hint of lemon, so that will be interesting.
Another sidenote here, my own mother used to work for Coca Cola so it’s going to have to stay as our guilty secret that this has ever passed my lips, agreed? Good 😉
Winner or Binner? For starting out, we’re not doing great. We’re talking about Italy, the neighbour of Sicily, where a vast majority of Europe’s lemons come from. I went through a number of processes here, like expecting a crystal clear lemonade type drink (really? Helen, It’s cola, not lemonade). I also hardly drink any form of fizz (unless it’s got Matt’s whisky in it, in which case it’s fair game 😉 ) so I can be quite biased in terms of not liking fizzy drinks, anyway. For somewhere so close to Sicily, I would expect a lot more lemon and I wasn’t getting any lemon. Matt liked it, I didn’t. I’ll stick to lemon tea.
Did somebody say crostini? I’m in! One of the best crostini that I have ever tasted was a sweet crostini made with honey and caraway seeds – it was superb! Crunchy, sweet and aromatic, I was sad when it was all gone! This one is flavoured with paprika and apparently goes well with red wine. We didn’t have any red wine in, which frankly is shameful behaviour.
Winner or Binner? Yes! You really can’t go wrong with a crostini, can you? Smokey, sweet, crunchy bite-sized and perfect for sharing, these are great and so typically Italian for us! I absolutely adore crostini and these are no exception. A Winner all around for us.
Do the rings promise good things? Herein lies the question. These crispy baked corn rings promise a pizza flavour and they certainly smell like the real thing, but do they taste like the real thing? Only one way to know…
Winner or Binner? I mean it’s not real pizza, but it’s still a real good flavour! The tomato is there, the oregano is there and maybe the garlic, too? It’s sweet and acidic, but not so much so that it loses any of the other flavours. If you like corn snacks, these are one for you. A Winner.
Oh yes, more of what matters – who can say no to focaccia? Not this girl! These bubbly bites have a ketchup and bacon flavour. I’m too excited…
Winner or Binner? We couldn’t detect bacon or ketchup here, but they are still good. Crispy and rich with an intense salty, meaty flavour, more similar to smoked ham than bacon. Crisp and mouth-watering, it’s another easy Winner.
Normally when we try out a snack, we just have a taste to try it out and so that we can write about it, then we keep the rest to taste and share (with one another and our family and friends!). With this croissant however, we knew that we had to half it and push on. It feels very light and promises a chocolate cream filling. Could it beat those from our local bakeries? Come on, Italy!
Winner or Binner? Okay, so it’s not a croissant with flaky pastry as such, but you know what? We’re over that right here! If you like panettone, this croissant is 100% for you, the “pastry” part is a sweet, yeasty, spicy bread, exactly like panettone! I actually got a little emotional over this snack because I remember my father asking me every Christmas whether I “want any panettones”, followed by handing me usually three or four of the Italian fruit breads. Every Christmas now I get one in, sort of as a nod to keeping him with the family. Emotions aside, even if this isn’t as flaky as the leaflet says, I’m all for it. A Winner.
The environmentalist in me hates the little plastic tray that this cake comes in, and yet, the part of me that melts over cute and adorable things is all about it. I’ve not seen anything like it before, and I think for that reason I was completely about it. Unlike it’s Asian counterpart, this is a chocolate sponge, filled with chocolate cream and topped with a white chocolate star. I love how simple it is in decoration, but this is also about the taste.
Winner or Binner? I really, really wanted this cake to deliver something mind-blowing, something new, and yet, it just… didn’t. It’s a chocolate sponge, filled with a chocolate filling. It a bit “tried one, tried them all”, and nothing dissimilar to a Cadbury Mini Roll in both taste and texture. It was okay, but we both agreed that it was nothing we would write home about. A Binner.
Who doesn’t love a fun biscuit? Not us, we’re all about this cute and quirky design! These fun sandwich biscuits are vanilla on one side and chocolate on the other – a bit like us, really! Alright, let’s check them out.
Winner or Binner? This went horribly wrong when my betrothed one-upped my casual observation and quipped “vanilla, dark and full of cream. Remind you of anyone, kitten?” – totally not expected during a foreign snack-tasting! Pure filth aside (and thankyou, Wolfie!) these are a pretty good cookie. I can’t say as taste wise they are anything up on an Oreo, but if you dig Oreos, you’ll dig these. They’re tasty and they’re fun, another Winner.
It’s wafer time! I bemoaned wafers at one time, but now I’m actually enjoying seeing how wafers vary across the world. This wafer contains a hazelnut filling and a thin chocolate coating. I’m thinking something similar to Kinder Bueno here?
Winner or Binner? Taste wise, this wafer tastes pretty good. Texturally, though, it dries your mouth out and feels very claggy on the tongue. It’s not that it’s a bad wafer, but we know Italy can do better. Sorry, Italy, this one’s a Binner.
Wafer, chocolate and more hazenut? Okay, Italy, you wanted another chance to convince me. This bar includes wafer, a chocolate & hazelnut filling and three whole hazelnuts. I’m listening, Italy, I’m listening…
Winner or Binner? Yes, Italy, yes! This is it! I knew you could do it! The whole hazelnuts, the rich choco-hazelnut spread, the crispy wafer and that artistic, dark chocolate drizzle? This is the business! Really, this is just a step away from a Ferrero Rocher in a bar or a grown-up Kinder Bueno, but whatever, we’re for it. It’s a Winner.
Chupa Chups Choco
Much like most of Europe, we grew up with Chupa Chups lollipops. What neither of us can recall, though, is any form of Chupa Chups chocolate. That’re not to say that it can’t happen, it’s just to say that we don’t recall it. Will it work? Time will tell. This is white chocolate with something which is equally novel to children in the UK – sugared almonds.
Winner or Binner? The hardest thing is, when you expect something, you sort of expect that thing. This bar promises “mini sugared almonds”, but it’s actually almond-free, and the “almonds” are chocolate beans, like Smarties. A difference in translation? Maybe. Either way, it’s a fun and colourful bar but probably also more for the kids. Too sweet for us, it’ a Binner.
Curiouser and curiouser. At a glance, these look like they might be some sort of mint, and yet, these are milk powder sweets and are apparently very popular in Italy. Milk powder is an acquired taste. ome people, like myself, can eat it by the spoonful. Others, like Matt, gag at the idea. Love it or hate it, let’s see what these are about.
Winner or Binner? For me, these are creamy, crunchy, sweet, fun and delightful. For Matt, they’re boring and rich in the taste of milk powder. Rich in protein, low in carbs and high in protein, a girl could burn through a pack of these in a day and still have consumed less than 150 calories in sweets. At a push, I could also imagine adding one or two of these to a cup of flask tea or coffee at the side of the road and producing a drinkable travel beverage, so it’s an added Winner from me for that potential duality. I haven’t tried it, but my family readily uses milk powder on the road, so I can’t see why it wouldn’t work!
Erk, sour sweets. You know, any time sour sweets come up, I always worry. Matt loves them, I’m not nearly so keen, and after the Monster Gum from Japan, I really worry about foreign sour treats! Still, these are gummies and I do like gummies. The things I do!
Winner or Binner? These gummies are briefly sour, but you know what? After that, they’re actually pretty sweet! The cola part is really good with cola flavour and they’re really chewy. without being too much that it makes your jaws hurt. I also I like that you can have a packet of these and have enough without having a bag of sweets open and getting sticky. Despite them being sour, it’s a Winner from us!
What surprised us most was… there’s absolutely no coffee flavours here! Italy is known for it’s love for coffee and yet, it’s completely absent! There’s a mini tiramisu in the premium box (we get the original box) but besides that? There’s no taste of coffee at all!
Alright lovelies, I hope you enjoyed this snack-tasting. What’s your favourite Italian dish or snack? I’d love to read your answers in the comments!
Until next time,
Stay safe & have fun,
Helen & Matt xx