Bokksu is a monthly subscription that sends you premium Japanese snacks curated around a theme. Each box also includes a tea pairing that goes exceptionally well with the very traditional snacks.
$39/month with free shipping in the US and $5 shipping to Canada.
Use the code BEEJU to get 10% off your first box!
November’s theme is Japanese folklore.
Because of the Shinto belief that kami (spirits) inhabit all creatures and objects, Japanese folklore is comprised of a lot of animal spirits. The most famous of these animal spirits are the kitsune (fox) and the tanuki (raccoon dog), both of which are mischievous and clever, and love to play tricks. Bokksu has used this theme to introduce traditional snacks that incorporate the animals found in these fairytales.
Included in my box are an information card that described all of the snacks, and a lovely welcome note from the founder. The info card is very professionally organized and contains so much interesting information, and the note is a much-appreciated personalized touch. Both elevate the experience and make the box even more high quality.
The back of the info card goes into detail about the tea selection.
Kitsune Tails by Akai Ribon
Fox demons are usually portrayed as tricksters or seducers in Japanese folklore, and their power manifests itself as multiple tails. As kitsune get older and stronger, they develop more tails, up to nine at their strongest (think Ninetales from Pokemon). These cute pastries are in the shape of fox tails. They’re super flaky, almost like a pie crust, and the way they’ve been rolled up reminds me of these cream puff cones that I had as a kid. These tails are topped with a maple vanilla icing that is quite sweet, so it pairs well with the refreshing flavor of the tea.
Closeup of the kitsune tails.
Hakata Mentai Shrimp Senbei by Hakata Hubian
Senbei are a traditional Japanese rice cracker that are pretty much everywhere in Japan. These particular crackers are flavored with shrimp and spicy mentai (cod fish roe). Shrimp are symbols of longevity in Japan, since their long whiskers and curved bodies are reminiscent of old men. The minute you open this little package, the deliciously savory smell of shrimp is everywhere. The cracker itself is quite crumbly: as you can see above, one of mine arrived a little broken. It’s very crispy and delicate, and has a wonderful sweet shrimp taste. The center is sprinkled with mentai, which adds the perfect amount of salt and just a little bit of heat at the end. This is definitely one of the best senbei I’ve ever tried. If you love seafood and shrimp chips, you will adore this snack. Bokksu included four.
Sora smelled the senbei and immediately came over to investigate.
Kumamon Cookie by Hogaya
Kumamon! In Japanese, “kuma” means bear, and this cute little bear is the official mascot of the prefecture of Kumamoto, in the south of Japan. He’s so adorable that he’s quite famous even outside of Kumamoto. These cookies came in two flavors: butter and chocolate, and they’re shaped in Kumamon’s likeness. The butter cookies tasted a lot like shortbread cookies, with more bend than snap. The chocolate cookies were a delicious rich chocolate flavor, almost like hot cocoa, and were slightly drier and crumbl-ier than the butter flavor. Both were delicious and really adorable.
Saku Saku Panda by Kabaya Foods
These little panda faces are cookies covered in white and milk chocolate. “Saku saku” means “crunchy” in Japanese, and the cookie backings certainly are. The chocolate covering gives it a smooth, sweet flavor, and the faces all have different expressions! This is a lovely snack for children, and it also pairs well with the Sencha tea that they sent this month! Bokksu includes three packages, which contain four pandas each.
Dream Animals by Ginbis
These are yummy butter cookies in the shape of animals, with the animal’s English namesake stamped across. I’m a big fan of butter anything, but even I was surprised by just how much I loved these. I tried one just to get a taste and ended up devouring the whole box. They’re sweetly buttery with just the right amount of salt, and have a light sesame taste at the end. They have a flaky texture like a Ritz cracker, but with more of a cookie bend than a cracker snap, if that makes sense. This was a full-size box and contained a lot of cookies.
Organic Sencha Tea by Yamamotoyama
Bokksu says that this traditional tea is steamed instead of pan-fried, which allows it to maintain its fresh taste and vivid color. Sencha is the most popular tea in Japan, so I feel like this is a great inclusion for my first box. It was lighter than I was expecting, and had a very refreshing taste. The information card describes the flavor as grassy and pine-like, which was very accurate to me. The snacks in this box were heavier on flavors both sweet and salty, so this fresh tea was a good balance and paired very well.
Overall, I really loved my first Bokksu! These traditional snacks are everywhere in Japan, but much harder to find in the states, and Bokksu includes such high quality versions of them. The snacks all come together really nicely within the theme and pair well with the tea. Even the information cards were very elegantly done, making the whole experience very refined. This subscription really gives you a sampling of the rich history and zen culture of Japan by providing simple but delicious and meaningful snacks around a very tasteful curation.
PR Sample. The opinions in this review are mine alone, and no compensation was received for this review. This post contains affiliate links.