This month, Snakku is shining a spotlight on the venerable Japanese icon, Mt. Fuji!
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.
All Signature Boxes arrive wrapped in a lovely furoshiki, or washi paper cloth. We’ve seen this gorgeous Japanese maple leaf design before, but I think it’s the perfect pattern to get excited for autumn!
Fujiyama-san is perhaps the most recognizable symbol of Japan, but it’s not really thought of as a food icon. Mt. Fuji is actually a dormant volcano, but scientists say that it could erupt any day! Fun fact: you can actually get Wi-Fi at the top. This month’s box features snacks that can be found in the region around Mt. Fuji.
The information card is really packed head to toe with facts about each snack, as well as important allergen information.
Baby Shrimp Senbei
These rice crackers are flavored with a special type of shrimp called “sakurabi”, which are found only in Suruga Bay where spring water from Mt. Fuji meets the ocean. The sakurabi are sundried and then baked into crunchy crispy senbei. The second you open the wrapper, there’s a heavy fragrance of salty shrimpy goodness. The cracker certainly has a briny ocean taste, although not in an unpleasant way. The little shrimp in the middle might be off-putting to some, but it really just blends in with the crunchiness of the senbei.
These little pastries are shaped to resemble the mountain ranges of Hakone, a little town near Tokyo (where Mt. Fuji is located). Hakone was one of the stops on my vacation last year, and it’s famous for its natural volcanic hot springs. There are lots of onsen (hot spring hotels) where you can relax and take in the peaceful mountain air.
Filled with a bean paste and actual pieces of red bean, these snacks are a popular souvenir available only in Hakone. They’re sweet, with a cakey outer pastry. It kind of reminds me of mooncake, but lighter on the sweetness.
Fuji White Gateau
First of all, look at all the pieces in this little box! There’s a spoon to eat the foil-sealed cake, and even little instructions! Unfortunately, I don’t read Japanese, so I’m not sure what they say. These cakes are a popular delicacy found only in a snack shop at the base of Mt. Fuji.
The cake itself is a white cake, and the instruction card says it contains “cranberry, papaya, pineapple, and raisins.” I honestly couldn’t taste all of those fruits, but it was certainly delicious nonetheless. The icing layer on top is sweet, and the cake has a simple vanilla flavor. I thought it would be light and fluffy, but it’s actually quite dense and moist, almost like marzipan. I really enjoyed this – it wasn’t too sweet in spite of the icing, and it was a small enough serving that I didn’t feel sugared out afterward.
These cute little chocolate cookies are handmade in the shape of Mt. Fuji! They were supposed to have a little white icing snowcap, but unfortunately the warm weather got to mine and the icing melted and stuck to the wrapper. I used the cookie to scrape it off before I ate it though, and honestly it’s delicious both with and without the icing. It’s a chocolate cookie without being overpoweringly sweet, more like a crisp dark chocolate. The white icing gives it a perfect touch of sugar if you’re more of a sweet tooth, but I prefer the biscuit alone!
These mini senbei were so crunchy and salty and simply amazing! They’re seasoned with sea salt, sesame, and soy, and made with rice harvested from farms around Mt. Fuji. They had a very light crunch with the perfect hint of sweet to balance out the salt. Each packet includes one piece that was a little different: it was shaped like an iced Mt. Fuji! The white senbei had a lighter flavor and was coated with a touch of sugary white frosting.
These senbei are made from local rice, seaweed from Suruga Bay, and baby white fish. They’re more wafer-like than most senbei I’ve tried, with less of a crunch and more of a crisp, if that makes sense. They have a slightly salty, fishy flavor that is not at all unpleasant. They taste like the sea, and I really enjoyed them.
Hakone Milk Cookies
These adorable butter cookies are stamped with the word MILK, and the wrapper features famous tourist activities in the town of Hakone. They’re sweet and buttery, and reminded me of those Royal Dansk butter cookies I had as a child (you know, the ones in the blue tin?). I preferred the original flavor (vanilla?) over the chocolate version, but honestly I devoured both pretty quickly.
Don’t let them scare you! These little sun-dried anchovies can be eaten whole, and are mixed with sweet almonds. Combined, I found the texture almost indistinguishable from the almonds, so it really just tasted like a sweet and salty nut packet. I admit I’m not crazy about almonds (or nuts in general), so I would’ve liked more fish!
Ah, HI-Chews. They’re like Asian Starbursts, but gummier and chewier and come in more flavors. I’ve actually always hated grape flavored candies, so I was a little dismayed to see a whole tube of these. BUT. These aren’t your average artificial grape. This version is flavored with Japanese Kyoho grapes, which have a richer, sweeter flavor than regular grape. I love Kyoho grapes – they have a really thick skin that you’re meant to spit out, but they’re juicier and more fragrant. I wish I could find more of these!
These crisps are made from baked saya endo peas, and are high in fiber and calcium. They have a light crispy texture, and a salty flavor that is not unlike edamame. At first I wasn’t crazy about the taste, but I ended up eating the whole packet in one sitting, so I guess I do love them after all! And since they’re made from peas, I don’t feel as bad eating them all at once!
Overall, I feel like this month’s Snakku really offered a wide variety of snacks, and really encouraged people to try new things (hello, anchovies + almonds). I didn’t really expect there to be a lot of food related specifically to Mt. Fuji, so this was an interesting learning experience. My favorites this month are probably the Fuji Hitotsu senbei and the Hakone milk cookies. This box made me really want to go back to Japan – and this time I want to hike Mt. Fuji!
PR sample. All opinions are my own. No compensation was received for this review. This post contains affiliate links.