'June Box' by Kiwi As Box
This box is by a new NZ subscription company, and they are Kiwi As Box. Kiwi As Box celebrates delicious food products made by local NZ businesses who know their food. You'll soon see in this review, that the items that Kiwi As Box include in their boxes contain high quality ingredients and are produced by high quality small businesses throughout the country. A monthly box from Kiwi As Box is $50 NZD per month, and this includes shipping. Each box contains six to eight products, and Kiwi As Box will soon be releasing specialty boxes.
The June box was beautifully packaged with straw, and wrapped in gorgeous green fern tissue paper. As soon as I opened the box and saw this, it was clear that Kiwi As Box's vision is to bring their subscribers delicious items from New Zealand's best. This month's box contained a mix of sweet and savoury products.
1. Pesto Bites by Totara Cottage
I'm a savoury person so I tucked into these pesto bites quickly and really enjoyed them. I ate these bites on their own but they would make the perfect companion with a soft cheese and dip. I could taste the cheese and pesto in these little snack crackers and nearly ate the whole bag in one sitting. There is a tonne of flavour and plenty of different ingredients packed into these bites, and Totara Cottage hand make all of their products. Totara Cottage have a large range of sweet and savoury snacks, and these would make excellent additions to a hamper. My only critique would be, that it would be good to see them use less plastic and more eco-friendly packaging with their products.
2. Caramel Hot Chocolate and Spiced Chai by West Coast Cocoa Merchants
Up next, we have a couple of warming, Winter sweet drinks made by West Coast Cocoa Merchants. This company is all about creating a range of high quality chai and hot chocolate drinks in small, handmade batches. West Coast Cocoa Merchants are committed to fair trade, and source their West African cocoa through the UTZ Certified Cocoa Programme. First off, I tried their Spiced Chai and each 50 gram pack contains two servings. This pouch contains: brown and white sugar, ground spices, spiced Chai flavour, salt, and Heilala vanilla extract. This Spiced Chai is quite sweet but I enjoyed it as it was full of flavour, smooth, and it had a bit of spicy kick to it.
Next up we have a pouch of Caramel Hot Chocolate. This pouch contains: sugar, Dutched cocoa, natural caramel flavour, sunflower oil, salt, and Heilala vanilla extract. I made a cup for my partner to try and he seemed to enjoy it. He thought it wasn't too sweet which he liked and he could taste a hint of caramel in this hot choc.
Price: $3.50 each
3. Beechwood Honeydew Honey & Pohutukawa Honey by J.Friend & Co
J.Friend & Co. are a family run business based in Christchurch who pride themselves on making high quality honey. Their honey is not overheated, not fine filtered, and is carbon neutral. In this month's Kiwi As Box, I received two cute sample jars, along with a pine honey dipper. As mentioned in my previous blog post, I'll be having Kimmy reviewing a couple of products here and there. I gave Kimmy Beechwood Honeydew sample to try. As you can see, it has a deep amber colour and has a bold strength. I think it's really that you can go onto J.Friend & Co.'s website, and see the name of the beekeeper who's hives produced the honey. Kimmy said, "This honey is amazing, and has gorgeous floral notes, without being overpowering." I tried the golden, creamy, Pohutukawa Honey which has a mild strength. This honey is harvested from the Coromandel Peninsula. I absolutely loved this thick, sweet honey and it's perfect on toast just on it's own. You'll also get about three or four servings from each of these sample jars.
4. Fig Bar by Te Mata Figs
This little snack bar is by Te Mata Figs, a family owned company who grow 30 varieties of their own figs in the beautiful Hawkes Bay. This Fig Bar contains: figs, almonds, chia seed, flax seed, sesame seed, and honey. Kimmy said, "The Fig Bar was really nice, and the sweetness of the fig was well balanced by the nuttiness of the seeds, and it had a great texture. I also found it to be super filling too!"
5. Smokey Garlic Salt by SpiceCraft
Here we have some Smokey Garlic Salt by Christchurch based company, SpiceCraft. I love garlic and can use it in pretty much everything I eat, so I was excited to try out this Smokey Garlic Salt. I tend to smell products before I try them, and this salt definitely has a rich, smokey smell to it. This jar contains: smoked sea salt, garlic, rice flour, and herbs and spices. I've bought several flavoured salts in my time and have many of them haven't been full of flavour, and they didn't wow me. This salt by SpiceCraft did. The combination of salt and garlic is perfect and neither overpowers the other. You also get a real hit of smokiness and can taste the herbs as well, which makes me believe that these guys put a real effort into making a high quality, flavoured salt. My partner couldn't get enough of this Smokey Garlic Salt and we'll be using it in many future dishes.
6. 3-Fig Collection by Te Mata Figs
The second product in this month's box by Te Mata Figs, is this 3-Fig Collection containing miniature jars of their preserves and a compote. This would be an awesome addition to a gift pack for a foodie in your life! First off, Kimmy tried the Just Fig Preserve. The Just Fig Preserve contains: figs, sugar, lemon juice, and Vitamin C (ascorbic acid). Kimmy said, "I'm not usually a fan of figs, but this preserve was delicious!" Next up, Kimmy tried the Fig Compote. The Fig Compote contains: figs, water, sugar, walnuts, sesame see, lemon juice, and aniseed. Kimmy said that she found the compote to be a bit too sweet for her liking.
Last up is the Fig, Orange & Ginger Preserve, which I tried. This contains: figs, sugar, orange, ginger, and ascorbic acid. I enjoyed this preserve and I think this would pair well with some cheese and pickled onions. The ginger is a perfect addition to the preserve as it balances out the sweetness.
Verdict: Overall, I really liked the June Kiwi As Box, as it was full of flavour and variety, along with some cute, miniature sized products! I think this box would make a really great present for someone that loves food. It's also a great way to try new and interesting products made by small businesses within NZ. This box ilives up to its name and is very Kiwi and contains high quality produce from great NZ brands. There was a good number of items in this box, and I was happy to see a mix of both savoury and sweet products. You can get your own Kiwi As Box here.