For those who follow our snack blog, you may realize it's been a few months since we last posted. That's because we've been scaling up World of Snacks! We've moved into a larger warehouse and will be adding even more exciting snacks from around the world in the near future!
Another project we have been working on is our upcoming Subscription Snack Box. In order to prepare we've been doing a ton of research and subscribing to a bunch of boxes from a variety of businesses. Of course, we don't want to share our feedback on our direct competitors but one of the boxes we've subscribed to (that doesn't specialize in international snacks) arrived this month with a chocolate bar – so we thought it'd be fun to highlight it here on our snack blog.
The subscription box we are referring to is from Robb Report, a high-end publication (magazine) that I've enjoyed for years. Dubbed Robb Vices, each month a box arrives filled with a curated collection of luxury items. This month the box included our snack under review, the K+M Extravirgin Chocolate bar. If you look close, you can see it towards the bottom of the box.
K+M stands for Thomas Keller and Armando Manni. Mr. Keller is a the first and only American-born chef to hold multiple three-star ratings from the prestigious Michelin Guide. So he's a pretty big deal. Mr. Manni is from Tuscany and has an equally impressive reputation for quality by producing antioxidant-rich, extra-virgin olive oils.
These two rockstars have joined forces to offer this snack, "a revolutionary extravirgin chocolate high in antioxidants." Typical chocolate bars loose most of their antioxidants when the bean is roasted. These guys worked with the University of Florence in Italy and developed a method for processing each batch of cocoa beans to best preserve the antioxidants, making a bar that boasts serious health benefits (which you can read about below).
So as you can see, this isn't your everyday chocolate bar. They've done their homework and did a great job packaging it all together. With a $15 a bar price tag, we wouldn't expect any less. Now, onto what you've all been waiting for – the taste test!
Some of you may have noticed, this bar is 75% Peruvian. This is the first single origin chocolate we've highlighted here on our international snack blog. So needless to say, we were excited to sample it. The chocolate had a nice satin finish. It was smooth, but not oily. It felt good, and it was easy to realize this was a high-end bar just by the touch (as if the packaging didn't give it away). It had an earthy aroma that only hinted toward a typical chocolate bar. The bite was firm and the chocolate crumbled nicely when bitten. The flavor was mild at first but slowly became more intense. It was slightly bitter and seemed to have a subtle sweet after-bite. The first few pieces had a unique olive oil flavor but it eventually went away with more pieces.
So what does all that mean? Was it good? Yes! Well at least I thought so. We had two other tasters and myself and another enjoyed it (our 14 year old Director of Taste). Our third tester didn't appreciate the flavor. Overall it was an enjoyable experience and we are glad it was included in our Robb Vices subscription box.
Will World of Snacks offer the K+M Extravirgin Chocolate Bar for sale in the international snack store? Maybe someday in the future. We do intend to expand our inventory to include high-end chocolate bars from around the world. However, we have much to do before we get to that point. So for now, check out these chocolate bars – we think you'll like them!
At World of Snacks our mission is to locate the best snacks in the world and offer them for sale here online in our international snack store. When a candy company striving to offer the best lollipops in the world contacted us, we knew we had to give them a try. So tonight we are reviewing Original Gourmet Lollipops.
Original Gourmet offers 24 different flavors of lollipops. Although I was unfamiliar with this US based sweet company my 13 year old son already knew about these colorful pops. In fact, he even already had a favorite flavor. He also mentioned they last forever. My son is a regular taster and is actively involved in World of Snacks - so I thought it would be fun if he invited his younger half-brothers to join us for the tasting. Typically taste-tests are brief and to the point. However, with a treat that is sure to take a while to fully enjoy we decided to pair it with family game night.
The flavors we reviewed (as pictured) include Bubble Gum, Cotton Candy, and Birthday Cake.
I personally joined in on the fun with an Original Gourmet Party Punch Lollipop as well.
And the game of choice, The Simpsons Spoons Card Game. The "spoons" in this game are donuts, so it's appropriate for an international snack blog.
So now the setting is set, let's end the epic build up and get on with our lollipop review!
So there you have it. All our tester agree, we are fans of Original Gourmet Lollipops. Typically we close our review with whether or not it's something we plan to add to our international snack store. However, this treat is already widely available here in the US and is also offered for sale on their website. So, right now we will not be offering these sweet treats for sale here online. So if your mouth is watering for a gourmet lolly be sure to check them out directly. As always, keep on snacking world!
Jokingly among friends we call Hawaii a different country. For those who are not well-versed in geography, Hawaii is an American state in the middle of the Central Pacific Ocean. Recently the aforementioned friends took a trip to this tropical state and returned with some goodies for us. Although we are "World of Snacks" and typically we focus on snacks from around the world, Hawaii is physically around the world and we felt it would be a great fit!
The not foreign but almost foreign gift appears to be one of the airport gift shop or hotel lobby variety. Which is completely cool with us - we love free snacks! It's a package that contains some dried mango, coffee, and chocolate cups. It also has some shiny stuff in the bottom - we guess it's to make it more gift like.
Mango with Li Hing Powder
Didn't notice the mango? Yeah, neither did we. This giant package of dried mango from Lin's Market on Honolulu was hiding in the back and we were excited to find it. So we've had dried mango before, in fact we sell some pretty awesome dried mango here on our site. But we've never had Li Hing Powder. A quick Google search tells us that it's an acquired taste that is a blend of sweet, sour, and salty. I had a hard time distinguishing each, but the blend really accents the mango and over all this is a pretty awesome Hawaiian snack.
Royal Kona Coffee
Coffee? That's not a snack. Sure it is. In fact we just added some pretty awesome coffee and tea from Thailand to our store. Outside of World of Snacks we are coffee fanatics. I start my day with a slow process ritual each morning of grinding my beans making my coffee (well, my partner makes me coffee - but it takes her a long time!). This coffee is made by a company called Royal Kona and it's their Mountain Roast Blend that comprises 10% Kona Coffee. Hawaiian coffee is a big deal. It grows in volcanic soil with cool island breezes and gentle rains. It smells awesome. So how does it taste? Ask me in the morning, it's too late for coffee - but I am really looking forward to trying this one.
Hawaiian Host Macnut Crunch
Everyone loves chocolate, including us (we own a snack store - how could we not?). So when we saw there was not one, but two packs of chocolate we got pretty excited! The Hawaiian Host Macnut Crunch is jam packed with Macadamias and Crisp Rice. We are not kidding about it being "jammed packed." Look above, you see what we are talking about. It's a great candy and we suggest you hop on a plane to Hawaii now so you can try it for yourself.
Well there you have it. Thanks to our friends who brought us back a "sweet" gift. Do you have something you'd like us to review? Hit us up and we can review your snacks here on our blog. However, what we'd really like you to do is go buy a ton of snacks from our international snack store. As always, keep on snacking world!
Tonight we are snacking on some gourmet peanuts from right here in the United States. To be precise, our nuts came to us from Rogers Brothers Farms in Hartsville, South Carolina. A multi-generational farming family, they currently produce cotton, corn, wheat, soybeans, and of course - peanuts!
Peanuts are a major ingredient in many of the snacks from around the world we sell today. In fact, four out of the top 10 American Candy Bars contain peanut or peanut butter. However peanuts by themselves are not something we stock much of. So when Rogers Brothers Farms reached out to us and asked us to sample some of their nuts we jumped at the opportunity!
If you have a keen eye you may have noticed the cans are labeled Gillespie's Peanuts. Not to worry, the enterprising brothers named their line of gourmet nuts after their grandfather, R.P. Gillespie. So let's get onto the taste test. As you may have guessed from the title of this post, we are sampling 3 different flavors: Honey Roasted, Carolina BBQ, and Sriracha Peanuts.
We started off strong with Gillespie's Peanuts Honey Roasted. If you've ever snacked on peanuts chances are you've sampled nuts of the honey roasted variety. Typically our international snack blog focuses on wild and crazy flavors, so we didn't expect much from a honey roasted peanut. We could not be more wrong! We discovered the perfect Honey Roasted Peanut. Roasted in sweet honey and just lightly salted, this sweet treat really impressed us. The honey coating emulsified and created the ideal crunch and we could not get enough of the real honey flavor. Our youngest taster practically ran away with the can!
Next up was the Gillespie's Peanuts Carolina BBQ. We take BBQ pretty serious so we were excited to pop open this can. Unlike the Honey Roasted, the Carolina BBQ flavoring was much more subtle. It made for an enjoyable snack that put the high-quality US grown peanut at the forefront. However, I found myself hoping for more flavor and the other tasters agreed. We could seek out little morals of tasty BBQ goodness but the flavoring was not even distributed.
Last but not least - Gillespie's Peanuts Sriracha! We love Sriracha and even offer Sriracha Peas from Thailand in our store. At first it seemed this gourmet peanut flavor was subtle like the Carolina BBQ, however a slow spicy burn crept on us. The more we ate, the more we loved it. Although the Honey Roasted Peanuts are our favorite we still really enjoyed this spicy version.
Will we stock Gillespie's Gourmet Peanuts in our International Snack Store? Unfortunately we will not. They don't really fit our target audience but we really did enjoy them and are glad the folks from Rogers Brothers Farms took time to send them. Craving peanuts? Check them out here. Looking for other foreign and exotic flavors? Check our our selection of snacks from around the world. As always - keep on snacking world!
We love chocolate at World of Snacks and chances are if you are reading this blog post you do too. However, is chocolate loved by everyone in the world? We spent a little time digging up research to see just how popular chocolate is across the globe.
Lucky for us, Nielsen led one of the studies we found. In 2014 they asked 30,000 consumers from around the world in 60 different countries what they snacked on in the last 30 days. Guess what the most common response was? Chocolate! A massive 64 percent of overall responses mentioned it was chocolate they were snacking on most recently.
So which region loves chocolate the most? We are in North America and although chocolate weighed in at 59%, chips were actually the most snacked on category coming in at 63%. Even though chocolate was the most common answer across the board, only one region weighed in with chocolate in the first position.
The Asian Pacific region reported a massive 69%! Chocolate was in first for both China and Japan. Our international snack store carries a large selection of Japanese Snacks and the amazing selection of chocolates correlates with this report. In all of the remaining regions chocolate ranked 2nd as the most consumed snack.
What other items are people around the world snacking on? Bloomberg Business did a fantastic job highlighting the results on their Global Snack Survey article. A surprise for us is how popular popcorn is in the United States and Latin America. Currently World of Snacks does not offer any popcorn snacks. This is something we need to consider.
World of Snacks initially started solely as a blog. It was a fun place for our family to share photos and details on snacks that we discovered from around the world. Our goal was to learn more about a variety of foreign cultures through their junk food. Fast-forward nearly 3 years and our blog is still running strong. We’ve now sampled snacks from 40 countries. It’s been a ton of fun for our family and we’ve taken our blog and created a successful international snack store that currently offers the best snacks from 12 different countries.
While exploring with our blog and developing our snack store we created many valuable relationships with people from all over the world. Snack enthusiast from across the globe reached out to us with suggestions on which snacks to try - always including a list of their favorites. The world became a much smaller place as we connected with people from all walks of life. We now understand much more about different cultures and we continue to learn.
In my personal quest for increased international knowledge I ran across a TED Talk from writer and blogger Ann Morgan who lives in London, UK. TED is an acronym for Technology, Entertainment, and Design. They are a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas in the form of short inspirational videos. Ann created a blog called A Year of Reading the World. Here she highlights her exploration on the world through books. Her story is inspiring and although her experience with exploring cultures is more in-depth than ours, we felt our individual journeys venture down some similar paths.
Although you may have come here looking for a lighthearted review on random snacks from around the world, today you get to watch this inspiring video. Enjoy!
It’s been way too long since we’ve reviewed some delicious snacks. That’s because we travel in the summer and track down new and exciting items that we plan to offer here online in our snack store. More on that later in future posts.
While traveling a rep from John Wm. Macy’s CheeseSticks was kind enough to send a large selection of their products for our taste testers to review. They sent us six different flavors, which have sat here in my office taunting me. Well, one night they got the best of me and I tore into a box prior to our review. So they are excluded from this post, but I personally really enjoyed the Madagascar Vanilla SweetSticks.
How do the other flavors stack up? Before we dive into our official review, let’s learn a little about John Macy. Way back in 1975 John got his start catering clambakes on Martha’s Vineyard. Over the course of the next 10 years he spent his time in the catering business, all while perfecting his CheeseSticks recipes. He took his creations on the road and sold them at county fairs and carnivals in California. In 1985, Mr Macy opened a small corner shop on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Today, John Wm. Macy’s CheeseSticks produces over 40,000 pounds of CheeseSticks a week! Now onto the long anticipated taste test!
All of the CheeseSticks are produced with premium quality, all natural-ingredients. Our Director of Taste (My 12 year old son) has been eager to rip into the John Wm. Original Cheddar CheeseSticks, so our group started there. We assume original means this is the flavor that started it all. The shape is fun, the crunch is serious, and the cheese is pleasant, but not overpowering.
Our next sample was the John Wm. Macy’s Sesame Gruyere CheeseCrisps. All of our tasters preferred the shape of this version. The sticks are fun, but the crisps are made to consume! The flavor is very mild, and unfortunately this was the least popular among out testers. Several noted they enjoyed it, but wish it were a little stronger.
The third sample was the John Wm. Macy’s Adagio & Cheddar CheeseCrisps. This was the most popular among our group including myself as well (excluding the Madagascar Vanilla SweetSticks). The flavor was bold, the crunch was divine, and the shape fun to eat.
The fourth and final sample was the John Wm. Macy’s Melting Parmesan CheeseSticks. These were very enjoyable. The cheese was subtle, but not subdued. They begged to be dipped into marinara and although we didn’t have any with us, we know they would go well together.
For those keeping track at home, you may have realized we are missing another box. Unfortunately earlier when I mentioned I ripped open a box, it actually happened twice! The missing flavor is the Dutch Chocolate SweetSticks. Both of the sweet flavors I selfishly enjoyed were phenomenal. They are boldly bread sticks, but the sweetness really creates something special.
Will World of Snacks offer John Wm. CheeseSticks, CheeseCrisps, and SweetSticks in our international snack store? Not anytime soon. Although this is a great snack and we are absolutely recommending you try them for yourself, they are not foreign and don’t really fit with our product lineup. You can buy them from retailers all around the country including the Publix Grocery store here by our office.
Well now we are home, for a little while anyway and you can expect more reviews in the near future. As always, keep on snacking world!
Business is booming at World of Snacks, which unfortunately has cut into our frequency on our blog post. Not to worry, if we are not blogging that means we are adding new and incredible snacks from around the world to our store!
On occasion a few people in the snack industry reach out to us and ask us to review their products. We love doing it and welcome the opportunity to try something delicious. Our most recent contact was from Michael Strollo, the friendly owner of Strollo’s Homemade Beef Jerky.
Their domestic snack isn’t just any ole’ beef jerky – it’s truly gourmet, preservative free, and made with all natural USDA certified beef. Simple ingredients, minimally processed, and zero sugar added… what else do you need to know? Strollo’s Jerky comes in four flavors that include garlic, hot garlic, mild, and hot. Tonight we are reviewing Strollo’s Garlic and Hot flavors. Let’s take a closer look.
We like the packaging, like the snack itself it’s simple, straight forward, and done right. It’s foiled backed with a clear window on the front. There’s a sticker, which tells you exactly what you need to know, and they have a fun logo of a cow choking a guy with the slogan “Our Meat Can’t Be Beat” underneath. Let’s rip these open and see if it can be beat?
Our first sample was the Strollo’s Garlic Jerky. It’s tender, but no real wow factor at first. However, the more we ate, the more we enjoyed it. We then went over to the Hot flavor, which most of our testers are heat seekers. Wow, this snack is spicy, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Strangely enough, when we went back to the Garlic Jerky after sampling the Hot flavor, we liked it even more. The spice after burn some how turned up the garlic flavor. Both are fantastic examples of fine jerky and we recommend you pick up a few packs if you get a chance.
Due to the strong international aspect of our business and the difficulty with shipping meat to many countries, World of Snacks will not offer Strollo’s Homemade Beef Jerky for sale in our international snack store. We hope it changes in the future because we already craving more!
We created our international snack blog a few years back as a place to highlight our exploration of the best snacks from around the world. We’ve explored many different cultures and flavors as we collected these foreign snacks to offer for sale here in our International Snack Store. We know we are not the only company exploring snacks from around the world and recently another group with an affinity for great snacks reached out to us and provided a few samples for our team to review. This is how we discovered the self-proclaimed "Troublemakers of Taste", also known as the Belgian Boys.
Personally I’ve spent time near Belgium in Holland. This meant I was familiar with the three snacks they sent, which includes their Choco Stix, Mini Stroopwafels, and Mini Choco Stroopwafels. What I wasn’t familiar with was their brand. Once the package arrived we immediately wanted to become more familiar with the Belgian Boys. Their product packaging is stunning and perfectly presented. As we began our preliminary research we encountered additional great design work. Their website is fun, playful, and stylish. The also tell a story of the guys on the box, Chubby & Skinny. Now we could do a whole article on why we love the product presentation and back-story, but this blog is about snacks. So on with the taste test!
The first item our team decided to try was Belgian Boys Mini Choco Stroopwafels. Why did we start here? Because who can resist a chocolate covered stoopwafel? If you are not familiar with a stroopwafel, it’s two layers of waffle-ish dough with a thin layer of caramel syrup in the middle. This is a common snack in both Belgium and Holland. So how does the Belgian Boys rendition of this snack stack up against others? It surpasses them! This unique treat is phenomenal. The real Belgian Callebaut chocolate coating is divine and the stroopwafel inside is perfect. There is a soft crunch and the firm caramel center is the ideal consistency.
The next snack we tried was the Belgian Boys Mini Stroopwafel. Not surprisingly, it’s the same snack as above minus the chocolate coating. Of course we loved it, but we did miss the chocolate. It’s a classic and truly enjoyable. Something we didn’t mention above was their size. Being mini and individually wrapped made them easy to eat and easy to share. Everyone we gave one to was thankful and enjoyed them as well.
The last snack we sampled was the Belgian Boys Choco Stix. Another awesome snack! These crisp cookies are butter finger biscuits filled with a generous portion of Belgian Callebaut chocolate. Our sample package came with 3 packs of 6 biscuits. We really enjoyed this treat and think it’s an ideal pairing for our morning coffee.
So the Troublemakers of Taste went 3 for 3! From the presentation, to the story, and the snacks themselves- everything was top-notch and surpassed our expectations. Something we didn’t mention yet was their price point, which we feel is very reasonable considering the quality of the items. Currently we do not offer the Belgian Boys snack line for sale in our international snack store. Right now we are focusing on traditional foreign snacks by brands people already know and love. We know the Belgium Boys will quickly captivate many so hopefully in the future we will include their snacks for sale. Until then you can buy their snacks directly from them at belgianboys.com.
World of Snacks is now in it’s third year of business! Our first year we spent a ton of time tracking down and reviewing the best snacks in the world here on our international snack blog. Our second year we added our international snack store and a tasty snacks from a total of 9 countries. So what do we have in store for you this year? Well we plan to continue our exploration of snacks and grow our inventory to include at least another 3 countries. However tonight we are reviewing a treat that’s made here in good ole’ USA.
Our snack under review comes in a resealable 3.5oz bag. The packaging is classy and is mostly a cream color with black and gold trim. The logo up top has a fun cartoon version of the company’s founder Joe himself! Of course it reads,” Gourmet Beef Jerky Prime Rib Flavor” followed by “Thin Slice of Real Beef Seasoned In Our Special Sauce.” Along the bottom the package reads” The Ultimate Snacks- Real Steak!” Well is this the ultimate snack? Let’s get onto our taste test and find out!
Our fist impression upon opening the bag? Well it looks and smells like beef jerky. However upon further inspection we noticed the pieces are large, flat, and contain a minimal amount of fat. The shape plays a critical role in the sampling. Less quality beef jerky can be overly chewy and hard to eat. Wild Joe’s is thin, slightly crunchy, and a pleasure to eat. In addition to the ideal consistency, the flavor is rich, smoky, and slightly salty. One of the female testers on tonight’s panel mentioned it taste’s a little to like meat? Well, isn’t that a good thing? Overall everyone was pleased and enjoyed the snack.
Will World of Snacks offer Wild Joe’s Gourmet Beef Jerky Prime Rib Flavor? Not at the moment. Because we specialize in delivering snacks all across the globe we have to work with strict importing rules in many countries. Importing meat into some countries can be a little tricky. So for now we are not able to add this tasty snack to our inventory. However if we’ve talked you into trying it, you’ll be glad to know you can find it on their website at Wild Joe's Beef Jerky. Looking for snacks that are a little less healthy? Take a look at our full inventory in our International Snack Store.
The Snack Blog
Follow along as we explore cookies, cakes, candies, chips, crackers, and nuts from all across the world. Many of the international snacks that we highlight will be offered in our store over the course of the next year. We currently offer British Snacks, American Snacks, German Snacks, Mexican Snacks, Filipino Snacks, Japanese Kit Kats, Pakistani Snacks, Italian Snacks, & Korean Snacks. Each month this year we will add a new country and their best snacks inventory.