July Irish Taste Club & 10% Off Code!

Today I’ve got some more fun with food with my review of the July Irish Taste Club box plus an extra special coupon for 10% off when you sign up (use code therapy10).

If you remember from my last review, Irish Taste Box, features sweet and savory treats all the way from Ireland.  For details on the pricing jump down to The Backstory.

The lovely box included a handwritten note to subscribers, which was a thoughtful touch.  Apparently this is the first box for subscribers, so I’m assuming my previous one was a trial run.
Box Open Box Personal Note
Now let’s get to the goodies!
Maria Lucia Bakes Granola Cranberry Coconut and Chia Seed Granola

Description: “We knew when we tasted Maria Lucia Bakes Granola that it was a perfect example of its kind.  We were determined to have it in our boxes.  She has just won best cereal in Ireland at the Irish Quality Food and Drink Awards with her cranberry Coconut and Chia Seed Granola, which is our favorite flavor, but we will offer the whole range over the coming months.”
Verdict:  Like!
This was a really nice granola chock full of healthy things, I didn’t find it all that different from what we have available in the US, but still good. I’m taking it to work to sprinkle in my morning yogurt or oatmeal.  This is quite a large box so this should last me awhile.

Ballymaloe Original Sauce

Description: “????.”
Verdict: “Couldna been so beautiful…couldna been so right…”
According to my insert, this was supposed to be “Ed Hicks Bacon Jam”, (Bacon Jam!!!!!) so I don’t have any info on the Original Sauce.    Instead it’s tomato sauce?  Which I think might be what we think of in the US as ketchup.  I am sort of a ketchup addict (although my heart belongs to Heinz) so theoretically this would be a good addition for me, but I can’t keep thinking that I missed out on bacon jam. Mmm, bacon jam.  It looks like this is available at Wegman’s so if you’re lucky enough to be close to one, you can try this out for yourself.

Sour Cream Chips
Keogh’s Shamrock and Sour Cream Crisps

Description: “Everyone loves crisps and the Shamrock and Sour Cream variety from Keogh’s. The guys make them on their farm in North Dublin.  We applaud that he producer grows the potatoes that make the crisps and we really like the flavor combinations.  Our first box just had to have a little shamrock.”
Verdict:  Hit!
There is never anything wrong with sour cream and onion chips.  I gave these to my boyfriend (because I’m the awesomiest girlfriend ever) and he enjoyed them quite a bit.  Unsurprisingly, Irish folks know how to make a tasty potato.

Foods of Athenry Just Oats Flapjacks
& SD Bells Belfast Tea
Description: “The flapjacks from the Foods of Athenry are part of a massive range of oat-based goodies form the multi-award winning Galway producer.  We think they’re great for kids/ lunchboxes and to have the cup of the iconic SD Bells Belfast Brew tea.  They’re also good crumbled up over fruit and baked as a Crisp.  SD Bells supplied the Titanic with dry goods including tea!  The company is Ireland’s oldest Tea Importer and Coffee Roaster.  The Belfast Brew cuppa is a perfect blend example of Indian Orthodox Leaf.  It’s strong and that’s how we Irish like our tea.  It’s best taken with a little milk.”.
Verdict:  Miss for the Oats, Hit for the Tea!
I found the Flapjack treats to be a bit dry and not as flavorful as I would like, but the insert included a recipe for a granola fruit crisp, so I may try it out in that capacity instead.  I didn’t get a chance to try the tea yet, but I love that it’s the oldest tea importer and actually supplied the Titanic.  I think this will be a lovely treat as the weather cools and we head toward Fall.

Newgrange Gold Rapeseed Oil

Description: “Rapeseed oil is Ireland’s answer to olive oil and some say it’s even better for you.  This one from Newgrange Gold is just that-liquid gold in a bottle.  It’s so versatile.  You can cook with it and use it in salad dressings. It also takes on flavor really well, so add some chili and garlic or basil or rosemary….We could go on.”
Verdict:  Like
I enjoy cooking so I always love getting seasonings and oils from other countries to try out in my dishes.  I think I might try this out in a Mediterranean style orzo salad.

Skellig Chocolate Company Citrus Truffles

Description: “Finally, we had to have some chocolate.  The Skelligs Chocolate Company in Kerry is one of the best in the country.  We just can’t stop eating these White Chocolate Truffles with sharp hits of lemon zest, but don’t’ worry, there’s plenty of stock.  We just know there will be repeat requests.”
Verdict:  Like/Gift
I like that there was a dessert component and I brought this with me to a summer BBQ to share.  Some folks loved it, others thought it had a sort of lemon pledge vibe.  I thought the citrus flavor was a lovely addition for summer and a unique truffle to offer.

Irish Taste Club 7.2016
I received this box for free, but it would have cost me $44.  I think that considering that most of these products are very difficult to find in the States, it’s a solid value.  I am super disappointed though that I didn’t receive the bacon jam that was listed.  I’d also love to see more recipes and uses for the ingredients (there were only two and one was to be paired with the missing bacon jam).  It will be interesting to see the unique items this sub offers in the coming months.

Do you enjoy food boxes and food subscriptions?
Have you tried any yourself?

Each month, Irish Taste Box will send  7-9 sweet and savory products including handmade chocolate, artisan jams and chutneys, baking mixes, and specialty condiments sourced directly from Ireland’s finest independent producers. Each box will feature an explainer card giving exclusive recipes for our products and the inspirational stories behind their producers.
It’s like an Irish farmers’ market direct to your door!

Cost: $44 per month, $120 for 3 months, or $420 for 12 months.

Coupon Codes: Use therapy10 for 10% off

April Irish Taste Club & 10% Off Code!

I’ve got a fabulous culinary treat for you all today with my review of the April Irish Taste Club box plus an extra special coupon for 10% off when you sign up (use code therapy10).

The awesome folks from Irish Taste Box, graciously sent me a box to review for you all.  I love international food boxes so I was excited to give this one a shot.

A little about the sub:
Each month, Irish Taste Box will send  7-9 sweet and savory products including handmade chocolate, artisan jams and chutneys, baking mixes, and specialty condiments sourced directly from Ireland’s finest independent producers. Each box will feature an explainer card giving exclusive recipes for our products and the inspirational stories behind their producers. It’s like an Irish farmers’ market direct to your door!”

Irish Taste Box is based in the west of Ireland and one of their core values is to help small Irish producers get a new route to market and a chance to showcase Ireland’s best outside of the island.  For many or the included products/producers the Irish Taste Box will be the first time they have been sold outside of Ireland.

The cost is $44 per month, $120 for 3 months, or $420 for 12 months.

I love learning about small makers and trying new foods so I’m excited to dive into this one.
The lovely packaging includes a detailed card, explaining each items and including recipes and hints on how to use the products.
Open BoxOpen Box 2

O’Donnell’s Mature Cheese and Onion Crisps

(Estimated Retail: $1.80)
Description: “You call them potato chips in the US.  We call them crisps in Ireland.  Either way, no-one can quibble over the taste of these beauties.  They’re the real deal wmade with cheddar from the Little Milk company in Tipperary.  Who can resist finishing the whole bag once they’ve opened them?  Why not go really native and try them in a white bread sandwich with Your Daily Bread kit?  Now you’re talking!”.
Verdict:  Where can I find more!
These were so very delicious.  When we ate them my boyfriend turned to me and asked “Where can we get more of these?”  Unfortunately these seem hard to come by.  I did hunt down what appears to be a match over at foodireland.com, but it is out of stock.  I’d love to see Irish Taste Club start offering an option to buy the foods from boxes on their site.  As an aside, why is it that America is considered such a fatty country with the worst junk food, when the UK puts chips/crisps on white bread and turns it into a sandwich? Although Taco Bell does put Doritos in like everything, so okay.…you win this round.

Follain Whiskey Marmalade

(Suggested Retail: $7.99)
Description: “What is it about proper marmalade with just a jigger of the ‘water of life’ in it that makes you want to eat it by the spoon straight from the jar? Follain jams and preserves are mad with masses of fruit so they taste as close to homemade as you can get.  Try this one in our Marmalade Bread and Butter Pudding recipe and you’ll have lots left in the jar for toast at breakfast time.”
Verdict: Hit!
My mornings would probably be a lot better with a touch of whiskey in my breakfast.  The included recipe for Marmalade Bread and Butter pudding sounds intriguing, but I may end up using this instead for a shortbread tart recipe that I make.  Oddly enough I found this product available at Walmart, so if I fall in love with it, it should be easy to replenish.

Red Rooster Coffee

(Suggested Retail: $???)
Description: “Ready to taste the best small batch roasted coffee in Ireland? It’s a blend of three different beans from Colombia, Ethiopia and Kenya.  They got a four-page letter from one grateful customer for what they call their ‘all-rounder’ coffee.  You don’t have to go that far, but a comment on our Facebook/Twitter might get you a free bag in your next box.”
Verdict:  Like!
I’m not a huge coffee drinker, so I passed this one along to my Mom. I do think it was a great item to include and that most subscribers would really enjoy it.  It looks like you can order from Red Rooster but you’d have to buy two bags and that would cost you $20 American, but I’m not sure of the size, so I couldn’t really guess at a retail value on this.  The included card also listed “5 rules for a perfect cup” and #1 was never put your coffee in the fridge.  So many people have told me that’s the best place to keep coffee but it seems they were wrong.  My sub boxes teach me something new every day.

Harnett’s Blackberry Vinaigrette

(Suggested Retail: $5.77)
Description: “The Harnett family’s oils are justifiably renowned for their great flavors.  They’ve been growing oilseed rape and hemp on their land for 400 years.  There they have combined their award-winning rapeseed vinegar and local Armagh blackberries to make a dressing that’s perfect for winter salads.  We also love it drizzled over grilled fish and roasted vegetables”.
Verdict:  Hit!
Vinaigrette’s are my go to salad dressing and I’m exciting to try some from a farm that’s been growing on their land for 400 years. Time to stalk my Pinterest boards for some summer salad recipes that feature blackberries.

Soda Bread
Our Daily Bread Soda Bread

(Estimated Retail $5.48)
Description: “The Irish tradition of yeast-free breads goes back millennia.  Soda bread is eaten for breakfast topped with sausage, bacon and egg and toasted at any time of the day.  This kit takes out the faff of measuring and weighing.  We think it’s a great idea and we love that you bake it in the container.  It’s home baking with the hassle.”
Verdict:  Love!
I love baking so an Irish Soda bread kit is right up my alley.  The estimated retail is the value of just this one bread, but in order to purchase this from the link provided, you need to buy sets of 3 and shipping outside the UK/Northern Ireland would cost you a bit more, so it’s not entirely accurate for cost.

Irish Atlantic Chilli and Paprika Sea Salt

(Estimated Retail: $9.99)
Description: “The Wild Atlantic Way is a rich larder.  The sea salt form this company is gathered from the western shores of Ireland and some is sold au naturel.  They also smoke it and add herbs and spices like these.  The Chilli and Paprika variety is great as a seasoning on just about anything but we particularly like it with pasta and on grilled fish, chicken and meat..”
Verdict:  Hit!
I love getting seasonings in boxes.  It’s a great way to get the flavors of another locale and you get so much use out of them.  I think this will pair really well with chicken recipes.  The included card had a recipe for flavored butter using this salt as well.

Cocoa Bean Rose and Pistachio Chocolate

Description: “We’re a nation of explorers and we’re always finding new flavor combinations on our travels. This combination has a Middle Eastern vibe which we love.  It’s like Turkish Delight without the goo, so say the good people who make it in Dingle, Co. Kerry.  Eat this in big chunks straight from the packet, with a cup of coffee.  It won’t last!”
(Estimated Retail: $3.55)
Verdict: Exactly like Turkish Delight, disappointing
Turkish Delight sounds so amazing and wondrous and mysterious.  Like a candy that promises happiness and wish fulfillment.  Sadly, it sounds so much better than it tastes, which is like gelatinous roses.  Unfortunately this bar is just as disappointing. It has too much rose and not enough pistachio, which leaves it without much crunch and tasting like someone spilled perfume on chocolate.  I really wanted to like this, but it just wasn’t for me.  It’s definitely a unique product though and I had fun trying it out.

Irish Taste Club April 2016
This box really gave me a feel for what kind of food folks in Ireland produce and enjoy.  I thought the box had a nice mix of sweet and savory items, and the included recipes and hints on how to use the products really added to the experience.

It’s very hard to get an overall estimated retail value because so many of these items would need to be purchased internationally with higher shipping, or in sets of multiple items.

I received this box for free, but it would have cost me $44.  I think that’s fair price for all the items it included.  You’d be hard-pressed to find artisanal handmade food products in the US, in each of the categories represented, that total $44.

People always assume that I’m Irish (or Scottish) and I’ve always wanted to visit Ireland so I can finally learn what it’s like to blend in.  Until I save up for airfare, this box was a great way to get a little taste of Ireland in my NJ apartment.

Do you enjoy trying new foods from different countries?

We’ve still got a great giveaway for a free Orglamix May box.  Enter between now and June 13th!  Check here for all the details.

Each month, Irish Taste Box will send  7-9 sweet and savory products including handmade chocolate, artisan jams and chutneys, baking mixes, and specialty condiments sourced directly from Ireland’s finest independent producers. Each box will feature an explainer card giving exclusive recipes for our products and the inspirational stories behind their producers.
It’s like an Irish farmers’ market direct to your door!

Cost: $44 per month, $120 for 3 months, or $420 for 12 months.

Coupon Codes: Use therapy10 for 10% off

Treat Chest Candy Club: August 2015 & Coupon Code!

Today I’ve got a subscription for the kid in you. The folks at Treat Chest Candy Club box graciously sent me a box to review. Yes you heard that right, CANDY club. Seriously people, you have no idea how much I needed this.

Treat Chest Candy club will send you a monthly assortment of 5 different candies for $26.99. You can pre-pay for 3 or 6 month for a discount and there’s currently a great coupon code.  (If you use code 1for3, you’ll get one month free when you purchase the three-month subscription. If you use code 2for6, you’ll get two months free when they purchase the six-month subscription.).

Now let’s get to the sugar people.

A surprisingly large box showed up at my doorstep.
Unfortunately, there was no little info card inside so I’ll need to get a little creative with my descriptions.
Open Box

Rock Candy
Rock Candy (8 pieces)

(Estimated Retail: 75 cents each; 8 for $6.00)
Description: “Rocks you can eat, that will make your kids bounce off the walls.”
Verdict: Like!
I don’t really like to eat rock candy that much, but I do think they are awesome for cake decorating. I’m sure I’ll eat at least one when I need a sugar fix. I’ll just have to hide them when my niece and nephew come to visit.

Jelly Beans
Jelly Belly Beans 30 Flavors (7 oz)

(Estimated Retail: $6.52)
Description: “So much yumminess until you hit a licorice or cinnamon flavored one. And the cinnamon ones are tricky little bitches because they look like cherry. Bastards.”
Verdict: LOVE
Have I had jelly belly beans before? Of course. But I never bother to buy them for myself and these are frick’n delicious (except for the rogue licorice and cinnamon ones). I cannot adequately describe the appeal of eating a jelly bean flavored like popcorn. Somehow it transcends both popcorn and jelly beans. It’s magic, I tell you. Magic. My boyfriend and I finished the bag and I actually went out and bought a couple more.

Kookaburra Strawberry & Cream Liquorice Bites 6 oz

(Estimated Retail: 2.59)
Description: “When you like licorice so much you need to add “cream” to it so you don’t eat too many.”
Verdict: On the Fence
I adore strawberry liquorice (as evidenced by my obsession with Twizzlers), but I wasn’t crazy about the “cream” part of this. Don’t get me wrong, I still ate them because strawberry and liquorice, but they would have been so much better without the cream. I’m not sure about the price on this one because it’s sold out on the Kookaburra site and priced much much higher on Amazon, so my estimate on this one is probably on the low side.

Frosted Cupcake Flavored Taffy Town Salt Water
– 15 pieces
(Estimated Retail: 1 lb bag: $8.95; 15 pieces: $2.07)
Description: “Candy for people who like to chew for a really long time”.
Verdict: Mysterious
Because we had no info card and these are individually labeled, I needed to do some detective work in order to figure out what they were. I’m not a taffy fan. I’ll eat a piece once in a while but it’s not my favorite. These are definitely good for taffy, but I tried them before I knew the flavor and I really couldn’t recognize it. They tasted like vanilla to me, but I’m not sure the “Frosted Cupcake” came through enough.

Giant Smarties 1 oz.

Description: “For the folks that look at chalk and think “I wish I could eat this”.”
(Estimated Retail – 36 pack box oz box: $29.95;/1 piece: .83)
Verdict: Nope.
Smarties are to candy what grape nuts are too cereal. Gritty, gross, and unnecessary.
I remember being a little kid and eating the small size smarties and pretending they were pills. Like that’s the best thing I can say about this candy. It was great for playing make believe hospital. Seriously. These are not good candy. No Bueno. They are dragging down the box.

Gummy Bears
Albanese 12 Flavor Gummy Bears 7.5 oz

Description: “Happiness in a bag. Absolute happiness.”
(Estimated Retail: $2.19)
Verdict: Let the angels sing!
So I saw the “world’s best” on the bag and I admit it, I scoffed. I love gummies and I’ve tried a lot, believe you me. I was so sure these would not live up to cliam. Now I’ve never tried gummies from say Madagascar or Zimbabwe, but THESE ARE THE WORLD’S BEST GUMMIES. They are not lying. These are so damn delicious, I can’t even tell you. They are perfectly soft and each flavor tastes exactly like what it’s supposed to. The watermelon gummies (yes I said watermelon) are frick’n amazing. I had to buy more of these so I went to the Albanese site and not only are there “bears” but there are “cubs” and “papa bears” and worms and Rain forest frogs and even memorial day gummy soldiers. It’s like Willy Wonka for gummies! I may or may not have a 5 lb bag of gummy bears heading to my house. I should be sorry, but I’m not. If you love gummies, you have to try these. Find a way, I’m telling you it’s a goddamn gummy revelation.

Treat Chest August 2015

At first glance the value on this box looks a little low. If you add up all the candy you get $20.20, and this box costs $26.99. But after having attempted to order some of the candy, a lot of the specialty places have high shipping prices and the Kookaburra is sold out on the main site and Amazon charges a ton to ship it. So while this sub seems a touch pricey for the 1 month subscription, the value is still there. Once you opt for the 3 month or 6 month options you are definitely fine with what you’ve paid versus the value of the items.

This box was so much fun to open and introduced me to some candy brands I hadn’t tried before. I will forever owe Treat Chest a debt for introducing me to the Albanese brand. (Although I may gain 5 lbs of solid gummy weight).

What are your favorite candies?

If you use code 1for3, you’ll get one month free when you purchase the three-month subscription.
If you use code 2for6, you’ll get two months free when you purchase the six-month subscription.

At Treat Chest, our sole purpose is to deliver a unique and mouthwatering mix of the world’s finest candy to your door. The variety changes each month, so every box is a sweet surprise!

“Just pick the plan you want, and mark your calendar in anticipation. You can choose to receive just one box, or you can select one of the other multi-month options. Each order renews itself at the end of the subscription time period.

Once we receive your order, we’ll fill your box with that month’s unique assortment of confections to send your way. At the beginning of the month, we’ll ship the box to your home so you can savor the flavorful artistry of the world’s best candy.”

Monthly Cost:
1 Month: $26.99
3 Months: $23.99
6 Months: $21.99

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