Black Box NZ is a New Zealand (and coming to Australia!) promo box company.
I’ve been signed up for two years, and not received a box until today. What?! That’s madness! I hear you say. The reason I stayed signed up for so long, even going without, is because it is free.
It’s a subscription service where you fill out your details – a questionnaire about you, your household, and your household’s interests, and then when a box is created that matches your answers (please keep these up to date) lo-and-behold you have free promo sized goodies to try on your doorstep!
The catch? You have to review them. But what a shame.
I finally managed to receive my first one, the “Chilled Entertainer” Black Box. As my shoulder (more on that later) has flared up again, and the box included a full size bottle of wine – I thought “fuck it, I’m two glasses in and feeling chatty, let’s write (what I like to call) an initial review”.
I’d like to write this as if I was opening the box and pulling the items out as they were stacked, but I’ve got to be honest I dived into it and tore it apart. Looking at everything I don’t quite remember the order it came out. So I’ll order the products based on how they’re advertised in the campaign booklet – bar the first item which I do thoroughly remember. (2 glasses of wine)
First up, the box. It’s a high quality cooler bag – though the handle looks like it’ll break under the weight – that has a zipper and (naturally) insulated walls. It’s sleek, and definitely a cooler bag I would re-use, so YAY eco-friendly!
I open the box and the entirety of what’s inside is covered by the Natural Turkish Wraps. This is exciting because I have been on a BIG wrap buzz these last few months – with wraps being my chosen lunch of choice during the work week. I have been buying the same brand (and flavour!) of wrap this entire time and a change will be good.
Sip and be seduced. Puhoi Valley fresh milk. Here in New Zealand, a little organic milk factory known as Lewis Road Creamery decided to partner with New Zealand chocolate brand Whittaker’s to create a truly delightful chocolate milk. It went wild, selling out all over, supermarkets creating restrictions on how many someone could buy at a time – it was like the prohibition all over again (except a little more lenient and I totally don’t know what that was like). This popularity, however, enticed other companies into starting their own line of flavoured milks. Puhoi Valley was one of them. With Whittaker’s off the table – they decided to go for the rich Belgium chocolate appeal. Not my style, but very popular. This box had a lucky dip of 2 potential flavours, Spiced White Chocolate and Columbian Espresso. We got the latter. I’m looking forward to trying a sip, but as I don’t like coffee I will be passing the majority onto Pete. (2.3 glasses of wine)
Verkerks Salami Slims. OhmygodIlovesalami. I’m so excited for this pack I almost couldn’t stop myself ripping it open and eating the sticks while I nosed through the rest of the box. I did however manage to restrain myself. This is my favourite supermarket brand of salami, as well, so I know they will go down a treat when I get to them.
Waitoa Free Range Butterflied Chicken. Whole chicken is something I haven’t tried cooking since moving out of home (3 years) Chicken drumsticks, sure! Baked chicken breast, you betcha! Chicken stirfry, anyday! But whole chicken is scary. There’s salmonella, and pink bleeding insides. Mostly – if there’s a chance I could fuck it up and the supermarket sells them pre-cooked perfectly everytime, why would I bother? I’m looking forward to the challenge this poses to me, onto bigger and better things! (In the kitchen)
Tatua Mascarpone. Perfect for those fiddly deserts that no-one wants to make at home. Provided is what appears to be an easy recipe for ice-cream that doesn’t require the specific machine (though an electric beater is recommended to save you from looking like a guy addicted to sex but can’t find enough partners) I suppose I am not looking forward to this challenge. I love ice-cream but I’m not a big fan of effort.
Behold, yoghurt! Specifically, The Coconut Collective yoghurt, made from (you guessed it) coconut milk – and vegan friendly! We got a pottle of passionfruit flavour which I hate so much I claim to be allergic, so that will also be going to Pete. Though a spoonful I will try.
Stoneleigh LIGHTER Pinot Gris. I am not a white wine drinker. Upon seeing this (and seeing that it was a full bottle!) I was disappointed. However, I not-s0-recently injured my shoulder, and I re-twinged it yesterday (killer, there were tears and everything) so getting home tonight from my last day of work for the week felt like an excellent time to open some “I-don’t-drink-white” wine. This was heaven. Whether it’s been enough years of me refusing to try white wine again, or if I really was just craving some, I will never know. But these glasses I’m pouring for myself are delicious. 8.5/10 for this one. (2.7 glasses of wine)
Some more liquor! I’m not a huge drinker, I usually am the sober driver (either for myself or my group) but occasionally I’ll like to have a sit down at home and have a few ciders, or half a bottle of wine, and sometimes even a party. That’s not by myself though, that’s with friends. Anyways, the next bottle is a Monteith’s Pointers Pale Ale (light blue). I LOVE Monteith’s, so I know I am going to like this – and have popped it in the fridge for Saturday nights’ rugby game. (GO ALL BLACKS)
Next, a bottle of Heineken LIGHT. The second “light” option in this box, I wouldn’t think to see such a big brand in here. However, no matter how big a company you are, launching a new product is hard. This is light under both senses of the word when it comes to beer, 2.5% ABV, and only 55% of the colories of its’ full strength counterpart (5% lager) Again, popped aside for the upcoming rugby game.
Let’s Create with Santa Rosa, a shredded chicken packet that looks perfectly prepped to mix through a salad, chuck in a wrap, or put onto some homemade pizzas. As before, I’m huge on my wraps at the moment – so this will be divided up to take into work lumches. Yay.
Just Hummus. No, I’m not disappointed, that’s the name of the brand. I’ve been buying Lisa’s (Lee-saa’s has been the pronunciation I use ever since that dumb ad). I’m nervous for this flavour – Aubergine and Red Pepper. I’ve tried most of the Lisa’s hummus range which is fairly similar to the range offered by Just Hummus. The aubergine dip on Lisa’s side was well and truly awful, and I hate aubergines – so we will see where this takes us next week. (I will be buying a backup hummus during my weekly shop)
Tararua Dips with Bits. DIP! YAS! There were 3 lucky dip flavours to get here, and can I say thank GOD I got what I did. I’m fairly Plain Jane when it comes to flavour choices – I like the tried and true, the classics, going outside the norm is abhorrent behaviour. Between Mexican Chipotle & Lime, Smokey Cheddar & Red Pepper, and Classic Kiwi Onion can you guess that Classic Kiwi Onion is the dip I got and know I’m going to love! Set aside, tomorrow we are off to buy some plain chips to add to that dip and have eats to accompany the beers while watching the ruggaz. (3 glasses of wine)
Last up (whoah this was long!!)! Dairyworks NZ Edam Cheese & Rice Crackers. I pulled these out at work and decided they’d be excellent for morning tea. Opening them up, the rice crackers smelled funny – though I wouldn’t know what they’re supposed to smell like, and I could see how much salt was on them based on how much was being rubbed off onto my fingers just from picking them up. I do love salt. Adding the Edam cheese (perfectly squared, it’s really uncanny) and taking a bite – heaven. I’ll be on the lookout for these in the supermarket to see if they can be sneaked into the food budget. Yum yum yum.
All in all, a huge pack with a huge amount of items. All edible (big PLUS) and nearly all something I’m looking forward to trying. Excellent value!! (I say knowing full well what I spent was 2 years waiting with it barely crossing my mind)
I look forward to coming back with an update once each item is officially tried!
P.S. (sober editing) Looking at this picture, I can see 2 packs of Uno Smooth Yoghurt. One is anilla flavour and the other is passionfruit (again). I’m not sure why they weren’t included in the campaign booklet, but they look like kids snacks (of which I don’t ever plan on having any) that would cost a ton and why aren’t we just buying them the pottles of snap-off packs like always?