By Kristy Puchko | Guides | July 5, 2016 |
By Kristy Puchko | Guides | July 5, 2016 |
There are few things as thrilling as getting a package full of delicious surprises. This thrill is what’s driven me to give a string of subscription services a try, including the fashion-minded Stitch Fix, the craft-centric Darby Smart, the geek chic Level Up, and the delectable Try the World. For my latest venture, I indulged my sweet tooth with Treatsie, the “monthly artisan sweets box.”
I love the artisan food picks from Try the World. I love candy and cookies. So this seemed like a perfect fit for Pajiba’s subscription addiction series.
How It Works
Like lots of subscription services, the longer you commit to Treatsie, the cheaper the individual deliveries get. I went with option one for $19.95, and the ability to cancel whenever.
From there, I was asked to set up my taste profile. While at Stitch Fix, this involved a thorough exploration of my fashion feels, Treatsie narrowed it down to one page with three simple questions.
I clicked “thumbs up” to each, and assumed this far from comprehensive survey would impact my June Treatsie box. It would seem not.
The only chocolate here is a brownie. No coffee flavors. So maybe the survey was more to target the email blasts I’d receive? Because I got plenty of those. Nearly every day a new “offer” came, asking me for big payouts ($30, but for a $70 value!) in exchange for candy and cookies and such, presumably super fly and fancy sweets. But I was still waiting on my $20 intro box to arrive. And wait, and wait and wait I did. With each passing day, the emails featuring picturesque sweets took on a taunting quality. I would have unsubscribed, but as I’d committed myself to this review, I felt I should understand exactly how deep this well of wallowing could get.
The answer is dangerously deep. When a Treatsie email asked me to rate my box days ahead of its arrival, I lashed out with a snitty reply. Sure, I could track my Treatsie box, but knowing it was still states away was little consolation when I was being choc-teased by daily email blasts.
When my Treatsie box finally did show up, I was a bit disappointed in how small it actually was, and that it didn’t contain any of the items I’d been emailed about for the past month. (No Mayan Chocolate Kitchen Sink Bars! No Milk Chocolate Colt Bolts!) Perhaps I’d been spoiled by the bounties of Try The World. (Which is twice the price, every other month, but boasts prettier packaging and a more evocative theme than: “sweet stuff.”)
How It Went
Okay. So the lead up to the box’s arrival was spiked with first world frustrations. But how were the presumably first-class treats? Let’s go down the list.
McCrea’s Candies: Black Lava Caramels
Official description: Rich creamy caramels with crystals of Hawaiian black sea salt. A moment in paradise.
Overlord description: : The caramels sounded all fancy, but I’m no candy gourmet. A caramel is a caramel to me. And I like caramels fine. But I’ve never in my life sought them out. Still, as I like salty with my sweet, my mouth watered at the prospects of this treat. The lava salt did give it a savory kick. But the caramels are so big it turned into a mouth workout. And as I worked away at the caramel, the salt all pushed toward its center, leaving a pile of salt on my tongue at the end. Not sweet, just unsavory.
Sweet on Vermont: Maple Almond Brittle
Official description: This snapping-crisp brittle is handmade with crushed almonds, pure Vermont maple syrup and creamy Vermont butter.
Overlord description:: Maple is overrated. In the candy hierarchy, it belongs just a hair above the abomination that is candy corn. I got three squares of this brittle bullshit, and they arrived all globbed together. Because summer. After chiseling a square loose: yup, that is definitely nuts and maple. Crisp? Sort of. Stuck in my teeth? Irrevocably.
Love, Cookie: Lemon Cooler Cookie
Official description: Lovely, buttery lemon cookies delicately rolled in powered sugar. Light and sweet.
Overlord description:I have a “live and let live” approach to lemon cookies. They are totally allowed to exist and pretend like they are a thing. I just don’t want any part of them. If we’re doing a cookie, and chocolate is not involved, just what is the point? I’ll grant you that this crisp cookie with a messy powdered sugar coating might be perfection with a hot cup of tea. But it is 87 degrees outside today. This is not the season for such sweet shenanigans.
Salt of the Earth Bakery: Original Brownie
Official description: A simply amazing trio of chocolate and more chocolate with a dash of Halen Mon sea salt. For the brownie purist.
Overlord description: My first bite, I was overcome with joy. Finally, after months of email teases, and three whateven treats, CHOCOLATE. And for a brownie that comes in a plastic wrapper, it’s fine. Very chocolatey. But really sweet, like so sweet my teeth actually ache. And I don’t taste any of that promised sea salt. The texture is unappealing. A mix of mushy with patches of grainy. No crisp edges, no moist center. I suspect brownie purists would be outraged.
Verdict: Subscription cancelled. The idea of a box of surprising treats each month is alluring. But the Treatsie advertising (pictured up top) lured me in with promises of chocolate and caramel corn, not the red-headed stepchildren of the candy family: peanut brittle and caramels. I am a vivacious 30-something who wants delicious, fun candy. Not a retiree looking to doom herself to dental work to break up the monotony of the old folks home.
Honestly, this might be the worst box yet. A good concept spoiled by truly crap execution. This box felt way too random, taking no consideration for the customer’s tastes. And with not even a vague theme (like Level Up and Try the World offer), I had no way of even guessing if the June box would be a fun fit for me. So, unless you’re VERY open-minded on what kind of treats you like to indulge in, I’d pass on Treatsie.
Kristy Puchko gets really passionate about her snacking.