The theme this month is Kyushu. Kyushu is the island at the southernmost tip of the string of Japanese islands. Kyushu means “nine states” and is in reference to the nine provinces that existed in the 600’s and beyond. Currently, Kyushu is divided into seven states, though.
In the 1500’s, Portugal made first contact with Japan and Kyushu became home to one of the first ports of trade with the West. Trade included rice, tea, sweet potatoes and later porcelain, precious metals, mangoes and persimmons, among other things, of course.
Every box comes with an information card. You’ll learn about the theme and each treat whether it’s where it came from or it’s history. I always appreciate a little more info when it comes to treats I’m not familiar with.
The Cost: $39/month.
Hiyuu Hogaya Mango Chiffon Cake- These are super soft, fluffy cakes made with real mangoes from Miyazaki (one of the current prefectures). They’re very good.
Obama Shokuryo Cruz– These cookies are made of wafer with crosses printed on them. Catholicism came to Japan with the Portuguese so that’s probably where the stylized cross came from. This one got crunched but you can stil see it. These are beautifully light, crunchy and flavorful. The box includes a regular (with ginger), Strawberry and Coffee. All of them made me wish I had more.
Kurobou Seika Kurobou Meimon– This is a sweet snack made with black sugar, wheat and eggs. It’s soft on the inside and sweet without being cloying. Probably pretty tasty dipped in coffee… 🙂
Shinkou Dondo Age Kyushu Soy Sauce Flavor– I love rice crackers (unless they have seaweed) and these were made on Kyushu with rice flour and a savory sweet soy sauce. I ate them all.
Seika Foods Bontaname– This was my first encounter with candies with edible wrappers in a very long time. It’s a good thing they’re edible because it’s impossible to unwrap. These are Pomelo flavored with real pomelo juice. I’m not sure if I like them. They don’t taste bad or anything. I think maybe it’s the texture.
Maeda-en Kukicha– This is what separates Bokksu from similar subscriptions. Every box includes a tea pairing. I love the inclusion. It makes it even more special. This month the tea is Kukicha which is a green tea made of the stems, stalks, and twigs. It’s a by-product of sencha which is usually made of very young tea leaves cultivated in sunshine. It smells amaaazing. It’s fairly light and has a nutty taste which I like.
VERDICT: I think my favorite treat was the Cruz then the chiffon cakes. I liked having multiples of each product and a big bag of rice cracker snacks. The monthly tea selection is a great touch. While I think it’s expensive, it might be worth it to surprise a friend or anyone who might be missing Japan. It’s absolutely a step above other typical snack boxes and you generally won’t find the snacks readily available any other way.
If you would like to sign up for Bokksu, you can do that here. Use code BITBOX for 10% off your first month.