Snakku – July 2017 Review

The last few months of Snakku have been interesting foodie adventures, but for July it’s back to the basics – matcha!  Snakku shares some unique takes on this classic Japanese flavor.

Snakku is a monthly subscription that delivers traditional Japanese treats selected from local snack shops and curated around a theme.  They offer two types of subscriptions: a smaller Tasting Box with 5-7 snacks, and an expanded Signature Box with two pounds of snacks.

The Signature Box is available in 3 and 6 month prepaid plans with a slight discount, and has free international shipping.

The tasting box is available for $15.75/month including shipping, but it is still only available in the US.

This is a review of their Signature Box, which is $38.95/month including shipping.

Snakku wraps their Signatures Boxes in beautiful furoshiki, or wrapping cloths made of washi.  This month’s design is the same as June’s, but they do switch it up from time to time depending on the theme or the season.  This pattern reminds me of temari balls, which is especially fitting given one of the snacks this month!

July’s theme of matcha puts a special spotlight on snacks made with traditionally-cultivated organic tea.  With the long history of matcha in Japan, there is plenty of room for variety in this box!

The information card gives some fascinating facts about matcha.  Matcha and green tea come from the same plant, but matcha is processed differently and ground into a fine powder.  There are several different quality levels of matcha as well: lower quality is bitterer and has a lighter color, while high quality matcha is more fragrant and more vibrant.  Matcha is also really good for you!  It is rich in antioxidants, and can lower blood pressure and boost metabolism.  Plus, it has more caffeine than coffee, but releases it over a longer period of time so you don’t have such an extreme high and crash.

The card also lists out all of the snacks and important allergy information

Tsujirihei Cookie

This langue-de-chat cookie comes from a traditional tea shop that has been producing tea for over 150 years!  Langue-de-chat cookies are very popular in Japan, usually as a rich buttery white cookie encasing sweet cream.  This green tea version is a specialty of the tea shop, and contains green tea in both the cookie and the cream.  Look how rich and oozy that cream looks!  The cream was delightfully sweet, and the cookie outside had that bitter, fragrant matcha flavor that complemented the cream.

Temari Monaka

Monaka are a Japanese treat where a sweet paste is wrapped in an airy crispy wafer.  I loved the traditional aesthetic of this snack – even the washi paper wrapping was beautiful with its painted temari ball design.

The wafer of the snack itself was shaped like a temari ball, a brightly colored toy that children in ancient Japan used to kick around for fun.  I’ll admit, I wasn’t a big fan of the wafer on this particular monaka.  They’re usually flavorless, but this one had more of a Styrofoam texture that was a little off-putting.

But the matcha paste inside totally made up for it!  It was sweet and fragrant and had such a fun (but not artificial!) green coloring.  This would be a really cute snack to introduce small children to Japanese culture.

Uji Matcha Senbei

This senbei (traditional rice cracker) is made by Itohkyuemon, a famous tea shop that has been producing green tea in Kyoto since 1952.  It is made with matcha from the famous Uji region.  I was a little sad that all of mine came broken (#internationalshippingproblems), but the swirling design on the cracker itself is gorgeous.  It has a very light whisper of matcha flavor, and would go well with a light tea.  Again, A+ presentation, from the washi wrapping to the beautiful crackers.

Matcha Crepe Roll

This cookie roll contains cream made with organic premium matcha tea.  The cream was sweet and had a hint of matcha flavor but without the bitterness.  There was also a very generous amount of filling, which I was very happy about considering I’m not a fan of the crepe outside.  I’ve had these types of cookie rolls before, and the outside roll can have a sweet-egg-y flavor that I’m not crazy about, so I appreciate it when there is more cream to balance it out.

Matcha Waffle

Morihan, the company behind these waffles, has been making them since 1836!  It doesn’t get much more genuine than that!  These waffle exteriors have been twice-baked and infused with matcha for a lot of tea flavor.

The cream sandwiched inside is lightly sweetened and also has matcha flavor.  I love that the cream doesn’t add a lot of sweetness to the already-sweet waffle cookie outside, it just adds a hint of creaminess to give the flavor more depth.  Again, the cookie is beautiful with its rich green color and perfect waves.  Almost too beautiful to eat!  (Almost.)

Sittori Matcha

Wow, these were interesting!  They’re little biscotti pieces that have been dipped in matcha cream.  They have such a light airy texture, almost like whipped chocolate that’s been baked into a cookie (think like an Aero chocolate bar).  The matcha cream is very sweet, with a hint of green tea fragrance.  These are a delightful dessert snack, if a bit too sugary for me.

Matcha Harvest

These little crackers are lightly flavored with matcha and have a gentle sprinkling of sugar crystals on top.  They remind me of British digestif cookies – there’s a good snap to them, and they don’t have a heavy taste.  I like that they’ve been individually wrapped in packs of four, which makes them easy to toss in your bag for a quick snack during the day.

Honey Butter Senbei

These senbei crackers are baked with a honey butter glaze, then sprinkled with cheese and dried parsley.  They’re quite addicting!

I love honey butter everything – it’s a flavor I discovered in chips at my local Asian mart, and I’m convinced it needs to be brought to more Western markets.  It has a rich, salty-creamy-sweet taste that you really can’t stop eating.  And yet, even with my obsession, I was still pleasantly surprised by this one!  The honey flavor is distinct and there’s the perfect amount of salt, but there’s also a beautiful, floral fragrance!  I’m not sure where it comes from, but the first thing that pops into my mind is “wildflower honey”.  These are delicious, and I really had to try hard not to eat the whole sleeve all at once.

Matcha Latte

These powder packets of instant matcha latte come from Itohkyuemon (so you know it’s amazing), where they handpick their tea leaves and stone grind them into powder.  I mixed mine with hot water from the water cooler at work, and it was the best way to start my morning.  A little sweet but not overwhelming, with a lovely creamy texture.  It’s more fragrant than coffee, and a lot less bitter.  I’m definitely a fan of these – I couldn’t even tell it was instant!  Also, it has a vibrant green color that was definitely a great conversation starter.

Iwai Matcha Candy

Iwai has been making these candies at their family-owned factory for 100 years!  These sweets recently won the National Hyogo Tea Ceremony Award, and it’s certainly well deserved.  The outside hard candy is sugary sweet with a hint of matcha fragrance, and the inside contains real matcha powder!  There’s no bitterness to these candies, just pure sweet matcha perfume.

Overall, I think Snakku did a great job showcasing matcha’s versatility this month.  It’s one of the first things you think of when you think of Japanese cuisine, and there are so many varieties of this traditional flavor that I’m impressed Snakku curated it down to these classics.  I thought this box was very well balanced and tasteful, and I especially enjoyed the matcha latte and the langue-de-chat cookies!  If you’re a fan of matcha, you’ll love this box!

 

PR sample.  All opinions in this review are my own.  No compensation was received for this review.  This post contains affiliate links.

Vicki

Vicki

I'm a researcher for a pharmaceutical company in Pennsylvania.Most of my money goes toward spoiling my cat.The rest of it goes to subscription boxes.
Vicki

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