The theme for the month of August is “Kuro.” Kuro means “black” and is more positively viewed in Japan versus common Western opinion. Black is a warming color in Japan and synonymous with dignity and formality. Bokksu has included snacks that revolve around Kuro, whether it be because of ingredients, color or straight tasty goodness.
Each box comes with a fold out information card describing each snack. I find that having a card like this is invaluable when it comes to trying new things. No surprise tastes expecting something to be sweet and finding out it’s savory instead.
The Cost: $39/month.
What You Get: You’ll receive 13 to 15 authentic Japanese snacks sourced directly from Japan plus a tea pairing curated around a cultural theme.
Nakajima Taishodo Kuro Warabimochi– This mochi is different from any I’ve seen before. I love the careful packaging and the fact that there is an extra packet of powdered toasted edamame for added fun factor! This particular mochi is made from the extracted starch from bracken (warabi). So it’s not like true mochi but it was devoured none the less. My husband ate it chilled and liked it. He enjoys mochi to begin with so I kind of expected him to. I am a texture eater and mochi does not work for me.
Tokyo Karinto Kurohachi Karinto– These were really interesting! These are made of flour, yeast and sugar then fried. They’re slightly sweet, crunchy with a little chew and are addicting. They don’t look very appetizing, I know, but they taste better than they photograph.
Tanba No Kurotaro Amanatto– These are black beans! They’re stewed in water, simmered with sugar and then dried. I love black beans but I’ve never eaten them like this. The subtle sweetness was interesting but they still tasted like black beans. I don’t know if they’d be something I’d eat often but it was fun to try them.
Kingodo Goma Senbei– I will pretty much eat any senbei except shrimp/lobster/crab flavored ones and even then some make the cut. Senbei is a traditional Japanese rice cracker. It can be prepared one of many ways but are usually baked or grilled and glazed with soy sauce. I’m a particular fan of the sweet ones. The goma senbei has black sesame seeds and is extra crunchy and delicious. I’m happy there were four of them.
Morinaga Seika Bake Chocolate– These are little chocolate… cakes. Only they’re not cake? They’re almost like a truffle but much, much lighter and more airy. After trying everything else, these were almost too sweet for me.
Terao Seifun Mamena Kuromamecha– This tea is made from roasted black beans, ground to powder and then bagged up. I’ll be honest, it’s not my favorite. It tastes like drinking black bean water. It’s not bad but I’d rather drink toasted rice tea.
VERDICT: One thing that sets Bokksu apart from competitors is the monthly tea pairing. I love this addition to the box curation. I enjoy drinking tea and am willing to try just about anything so I’m interested to discover which teas are considered good enough to feature in subsequent boxes. This was an interesting mix of savory and sweet which was appreciated. If you are looking for great value, this may not be what you are looking for. If you are looking for hard-to-obtain, authentic snacks from home or just to taste test, this is an excellent place to start.
If you would like to sign up for Bokksu, you can do that here. Use code BITBOX for 10% off your first month. If you sign up now, you’ll start with the September 2016 box.
Japanese snacks are all the rage right now, what’s your favorite type of snack to find in boxes like this? For me, senbei never gets old.