Taste Japan Box – February/March 2017
If you have a hankering to taste some mouth watering treats straight from Japan then the Taste Japan monthly subscription box is all you need. After signing up you’ll receive a brand new box every month, each packed with premium candy. Instead of different pricing plans and subscription types Taste Japan keeps things simple with one box that contains about 8-10 snacks along with detailed information about each item. Best of all, the shipping cost is free. We tried out the Feb-March 2017 Taste Japan box, so check out our thoughts below.
Our Taste Japan subscription box for Feb-March 2017 arrived a little battered from its journey, but thankfully it remained intact and the contents survived the trip. Taste Japan has wisely opted to use a straightforward brown cardboard box for the shipment, so while it doesn’t look very fancy on the outside, it is the inside that counts. Opening the box revealed a surprising amount of goodies considering how small the box initially looks, along with a folded A4 page. The one side of this page lists the contents of the box along with a password to access a special section of the Taste Japan blog where you get to see more information about the snacks you received. The other side of the page has some interesting information about the “Dolls Festival / Girls’ Day” that is celebrated on March 3 in Japan. We also like the “Elsewhere in Japan in March” information that is printed on the page to give subscribers some insights about the other things of note happening in the country during March. The page is printed in black and white, which is a pity as it contains some nice photos, but we can understand why this was done as it helps to keep costs down.
Kikori no Kirikabu
The first item in the box that we tucked into was the Kikori no Kirikabu, which according to the information supplied by Taste Japan literally means “Lumberjack’s stump.” This is quite an apt name because these treats look exactly like little tree stumps. Don’t worry as they are made from biscuits that are covered in milk chocolate, so they definitely don’t’ taste like tree stumps! These treats not only melted in our mouths, but the manufacturer didn’t skimp on the chocolate, making them extra yummy. The box contained a nice big pack that contained 20 biscuits, but we still managed to devour them in record time due to how delicious they are.
Next up we pulled out the Takoyaki Umaibo, which is a cylindrical corn snack that we are already familiar with as it pops up often in these types of subscription boxes. This particular Umaibo is the Takoyaki version and according to Taste Japan it is an octopus based food from Osaka. The taste is quite unique, but fans of Umaibo will definitely get a kick out of it. It also made for a nice palette cleanser after eating all the Kikori no Kirikabu. Our little helper also instantly recognized the little Doraemon inspired feline mascot on the wrapper of this snack.
The Kabuki Arare is another interesting treat as it is basically a traditional Japanese rice cracker. This particular one is flavored with a sweet soy sauce and has a crispy, crunchy texture to it. There is only one of these in the box, but it is big enough to provide a decent taste of this snack. It’s probably a good thing that Taste Japan only included one of these as they are quite high in calories.
Spicy Kimichi Kombu
The great thing about subscription boxes like Taste Japan is that in addition to the usual sweet or chocolaty treats you sometimes also get something that is a little more adventurous. In this month’s box this honor definitely goes to the Spicy Kimichi Kombu. We would never have guessed it from the red and white packaging emblazoned with two chilies, but this is actually kelp seaweed. While this is probably not something we would reach for when we get snack cravings, it is a uniquely Japanese treat and offered an interesting taste experience. It definitely wasn’t as spicy as we had feared after taking a look at the packaging, but if you are not a fan of seafood you’ll probably struggle to eat the whole packet on your own.
Strawberry Country Ma’am
After the Spicy Kimichi Kombu we opted for something a little more traditional in the form of these cookies. Taste Japan generously included two of them in this box and while they are small they are quite flavorful. We love the crispy texture on the outside and the chewy insides of these cookies and they taste even better when you pop them in the microwave for about ten seconds to make the inside even more gooey. These cookies are apparently very popular in Japan and after sampling these two we can certainly see why.
We tried out the Kororo Melon next, which turned out to be gummies that are made from 100% melon juice. It’s hard to describe the texture of these treats, but if melons were grapes, this is probably what they would taste like! The packet included with this month’s box contained a decent amount of these treats and we found the taste to be quite flavorful, but not overwhelming. Our little assistant definitely enjoyed both the texture and taste of these candies.
Look – The Nihon Chocolate
In our books you can never go wrong with chocolate, so we were delighted to find a nice big packet of them in this month’s box. Instead of only one flavor, the packet actually contains three different ones from around Japan. This means we got to sample Kyoto Green Tea, Hokkaido Kinako and Okinawa Deep Brown Sugar. With 12 loose chocolate squares inside the packet there were enough to go around and everyone ended up with their favorite flavor. We were already familiar with the Matcha (Green Tea) flavored chocolate, but the Hokkaido, which tastes almost like peanut butter, appealed to our little helper the most. Overall, this is a great snack and one of the highlights of this month’s box for us.
Our little helper is always delighted to find DIY candy, so she was quite pleased with the Kurabete Neruneru that was included in this box. This particular sticky treat features pineapple and melon flavors and requires you to mix together the different packets of ingredients yourself. The process is quite simple, but very fun and the results are very tasty. Everything needed to make this snack is included in the packet and it is up to you to decide whether you want to mix the two flavors together or try them separately.
There was a lot to love about this month’s box from Taste Japan and we really like how they mix things up to provide a great selection of varied treats. They definitely live up to their promise of providing premium content and the leaflet with interesting tidbits about Japan is a nice touch. The subscription cost of £15 is very reasonable, considering the quality of the snacks and the fact that you don’t have to pay any additional shipping charges. Normally the shipping cost for something the size of the Taste Japan box is almost that much on its own, so we are amazed that they manage to pull it off. Of course, this means you don’t get a tracking number, but Overall you get a great selection of snacks with plenty of variety and a reasonable price, so if you want to indulge in some Japanese treats without having to break into your piggy bank we suggest trying out Taste Japan.