Recently, we reviewed the our first box from Graze – a snack-by-mail service that’s still in beta. My initial thoughts were that it was an interesting idea with excellent presentation and snacks that, if not groundbreaking, were at least pretty decent. Well, the second box arrived a while back, and that means it’s time to review another set of four treats. So, without further ado, let’s get into it:
Toffee Apple: This snack contains sticky toffee sauce with granny smith apple slices. The dried apples are moist and easy to chew – not leathery in the slightest. Also, there were no unpleasant core bits – a nice perk. The toffee sauce is easy to dip, with no bounce-back or elasticity to make it difficult to gather. Flavor-wise, the toffee definitely dominates (more so if you’re generous in scooping it up – the tiny dipping dish actually contains quite a bit, given how strong it is). Overall, it’s a good snack – a common enough flavor combination, but you don’t often see it sold with dried apples. Oh, and you will definitely need the napkin to clean your hands after you attempt to get at the last bits of sauce – you’ve been warned.
Pomodoro Rustichella: This snack consists of “cheese croutons, tomato, basil and oregano almonds, and mini tomato breadsticks.” It smells and tastes like cheese pizza. The “croutons” (mini toasts, if you ask me – they’re like what you get in pub mix) and “breadsticks” (again, you’ve seen them in snack mixes before) are interchangeable in taste. The almonds are buttery, crisp, and faintly savory. Eaten as a handful, the effect is like the aftertaste of a slice of cheese pizza, or perhaps a less-salty version of pizza goldfish crackers. Overall, this mix is a bit dry, but the almonds help to balance things out. It’s nothing groundbreaking, but definitely pleasant to eat.
Pear Tatin: A tatin is an upside-down tart featuring caramelized fruit. This snack contains pear, raspberry infused cranberries, yogurt coated sunflower seeds, and almonds. I was excited about this one; pear isn’t as common in snacks as other fruits, and its flavor is quite unique. Unfortunately, the dried pear pieces included were nearly tasteless and quite tough. The raspberry cranberries were another disappointment, having held onto none of the cranberry’s natural tartness – they were bland and sweet. The almonds are raw, and as a result chewy and lacking in crunch or nutty richness. The yogurt-covered sunflower seeds were the only burst of flavor in the entire mix, and brought some welcome (if one-dimensional) sweetness. As a handful, things were a bit better, but there are really no standout tastes in this snack. Eating it, I felt like I was experiencing the aftertaste of a cheap berry muffin.
Florentine: I saved this snack for last because I had high hopes for it. Florentine contains pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate buttons, and cranberries. Right off the bat, there were several excellent things about it. The cranberries, in particular, were mercifully unmarred by added fruit flavoring, and contributed their expected sweet/tart/bitter combination. The dark chocolate was also quite good, melting easily in my mouth and completely lacking in waxy cheapness. The pumpkin seeds (pepitas), however, were a disappointment – completely unsalted and mostly lacking in flavor. Eaten together as a handful, the quarter-sized chocolate discs were simply too large – they overpowered the other two ingredients. The resulting effect was like eating a chocolate bar with cranberries and unidentifiable seeds.
What’s the verdict? Once again, the snacks sounded a lot more interesting than they tasted. Fia did, however, make a very good point as we were tasting: a large portion of Graze’s market are working professionals, and everything we’ve received to date has been far superior, healthier, and more interesting than most vending machine fare (which is what it is replacing). I appreciate the variety of foods, as well as the convenience, but so far nothing I’ve tasted has wowed me.
Remember, we’re still giving away an invite code!
We’ve got an invitation code that we can extend to one lucky person. If you want to give Graze a shot, all you need to do is Like our Facebook page and post a comment to it letting us know why you want to. You’ll get your first box for free, and your fifth as well if you stick with the program.