Is it just me or is Degustabox* getting better with every month? Once again, this handy little food subscription service has provided me with some of my favourite brands as well as introduced me to some ace new ones. Set your stomachs to ‘Rumble’…
Nando’s Grooves Cut Crisps: Say whaaaaaaaaaaaat?! I genuinely squealed when I saw these because, like any normal person, I frequently consume Nando’s as part of a calorie controlled (NOT) diet. These are fiery, tangy and delicious, with a heat level created for all tastes. I remembered I had peri-peri sauce in the fridge and may have used it as a dunking dip. Smashes any fancy canape right out of the park.
Debeukelaer Cookies Bakery: I love individually wrapped cookies. It makes it so much easier to restrain myself, although obviously I don’t. And these cookies are bloody enormous so there’s not much chance of a small snack either. I was sent the ‘creamy cookie’ variety which had a gooey centre and I actually think they were a bit sickly. If you have a super sweet tooth though, you’ll love them.
Kinder Choco-Bons and Kinder Chocolate with Cereals: I’ve never been a huge fan of Kinder chocolate; I’m more of a dark chocolate kind of girl, although the toys were always fun, of course. I am a massive fan of the Choco-Bons though as they have a hint of hazelnut so it’s kind of Nutella-like and very moreish. The cereals one wasn’t so great though; I liked the texture but it was all crunch and no sugar. As they’re so small they could be great for a tiny sweet fix around the office.
Veetee Microwaveable Rice: I’m not ashamed to say that I use microwaveable rice quite often. The Tilda ones are regularly on offer in Waitrose but Veetee have never been on my radar before. I heated these up in two minutes and served up with a curry (pics below!) and they are super simple and extremely convenient. They aren’t particularly spicy so they can really be paired with anything.
Cirio Tomato Concentrate and Cirio Tinned Tomato Fillets: Tinned tomatoes and puree are staples in my kitchen cupboard and make the base for so many meals I make, but especially for curries. The double concentrate comes in little tins and actually I can use one pot for a week’s worth of meals which is pretty handy. I like Cirio tinned products because they rarely need sugar to even them out and the tomato fillets were no different.
Schwartz Authentic Indian Curry Mixes: I’ve said before that I prefer to make a curry from scratch, but when time is tight and I just cannot be bothered to wait for hours, I will use whatever I can find to make my life a little easier. I used the Balti packet with the Cirio concentrate and fillets, added with onion, peppers and courgette to some chicken pieces to make a very basic curry, served up with the Veetee rice. I think the key to these pouches is to add a few bits that may not necessarily be on the instructions on the back, to bulk them out for more people or to find a flavour that you enjoy. I threw a couple of pinches of garam masala and cumin into the mix as well, just to perk it up a notch.
Barry’s Tea: Doesn’t this sound like proper tea? Although I haven’t been drinking Britain’s favourite brew for long, I do like it strong enough to stand my spoon in and most English Breakfast varieties just don’t cut it for me. This has the flavour of a good everydayer but with a leaning towards a stronger black variety like Assam. Perks me up in the morning good and proper.
Kingfisher Beer: This box really was made up of the perfect ingredients. When I realised that I everything at my disposal to make a curry and have the perfect accompanying beer, I was a very happy foodie. I love Kingfisher and always order one when I’m out for an Indian. It’s ever so slightly citrusy-y which really complements the heat that I love in a curry. Perfect when ice cold and with a naan on the go.
Scheckter’s Organic Energy: I have never once drank an energy drink (unless you count the Red Bull in Jägerbombs). I struggle to get to sleep as it is so I daren’t go above and beyond tea for a caffeine fix, but I’m ever the professional so I gave this a go one tiring Thursday in the office. Good god. It was like the biggest sugar rush of my life. I was almost verging on feeling drunk, I had to put it down and drink a heap of water. So yes, if you need some energy, this’ll do it! And it actually tasted delicious too – really fruity and light, not chemically at all.
Wonjo Hibiscus Drink: I can’t say I know all that much about hibiscus, but it seems to be another ingredient that’s jumping on the antioxidant train. This drink only has three ingredients: hibiscus, water and sugar so at least you know exactly what you’re getting. I found it a bit of a strange taste; fruity but not overly sweet. I think it would be great as a mixer with vodka though.
IdrinQ: OK, so after trying one energy drink at work, I decided it was probably better to try the next one post-gym. This drink proclaims to make you more focused and I did sit down to do some work after I came back from a Body Attack class. I have to say I did have better concentration than usual, but that could have been the exercise. I guess if you’ve got exams coming up it could do the job of helping you getting through a late night revising session.
(I was sent the April Degusta Box for complimentary review and all opinions are honest and unbiased)