Happy New Year! Although I guess by now, it’s Happy Lunar New Year! Hope the Year of the Dog brings good fortune to everyone.
Apologies for the late review! I feel like I say this every month, but now I can finally address why – I’m moving to a new state for a new job! In true New Year’s fashion, I’ve been interviewing and ending leases and looking for new ones, so it’s been sheer insanity on my end. Thanks for bearing with me!
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This month’s theme is the New Year Festival, and places a special emphasis on the lucky colors of red and white as well as the treat of the hour: mochi!
New Years in Japan means lots of traditional activities, including visiting temples and shrines, and eating traditional foods. The colors of red and white feature prominently, as they are the colors on the national flag.
The info card also contained an extra little note this month from Bokksu’s founder. They announced that they are shipping snacks from their online market straight from Japan, and have a wider variety of both snacks and delivery options!
White Bake Chocolate by Colombin
The first thing I noticed when I unwrapped this treat was the delicious, sugary aroma. This piece of white chocolate has been baked into a little cupcake holder – adorable! The smooth sweet confection is light and airy, with some crunch pieces mixed in for texture.
Tai Chocolate by Meito Sangyo
These little wafer fishies are a traditional street snack in Japan, where they’re usually filled with a sweet filling like red bean. This fish in particular has a whipped chocolate mousse filling, which makes it extra decadent! Fish represent wealth in Asian culture, so combined with the lucky red and white wrapper and the rich chocolate, this is a perfect New Year’s snack!
Ottotto Crackers by Morinaga Seika
These fun little crackers are shaped like sea creatures and have a sprinkle of salt for flavoring. They’re puffed and have an airy but crunchy texture, and remind me a little of Cheez-its without the excessive cheese flavoring. I’m sure kids would love these as a snack!
Strawberry Tartlet by Ito Seika
This is a sweet buttery cookie base filled with a delicious red strawberry jam. The jam reminds me of a strawberry lip gloss, but in a really good nostalgic way: slightly artificial but very fragrant and well-balanced between sweet and tart. Both the jam and the cookie were soft and moist.
Kibidango by Kyoushin Seika
This is a wagashi, or a traditional Japanese snack, made of a special type of mochi. It’s chewy like the mochi I’m familiar with, but less soft – almost like a Tootsie roll. There’s a delightful nutty flavor that I wasn’t expecting, like a mix between sesame and peanut butter. I didn’t like the texture or the flavor at first, but after I finished the first bite I found myself reaching for more and ended up eating an entire stick very quickly, so it definitely grew on me!
Daruma Rice Cracker by Senbei Lab
Daruma are cute little dolls that are typically red and white and can bring good luck! When you receive one, you make a wish and paint in one eye. When the wish comes true, you paint in the second eye. These daruma are in the form of crunchy rice crackers, and come in eight different flavors like seaweed, sesame, and matcha.
Kinako Mochi by Echigo Seika
Kinako are roasted soybeans that have a nutty, sweet-but-salty flavor. These little puffs – no wait, that’s not the right word. These are pure clouds. They literally melt in your mouth, dissolve into a puddle of nutty goodness. It’s like a salty cotton candy with a slightly crunchy exterior. Mmmm… more, please.
Red Snapper Cracker by Yamato Seika
These little red snapper shaped crackers have a slightly sweet flavor to them, and continue with the theme of red and wealth-fish. I like these much better than goldfish crackers, not the least because they’re sweeter than they are salty!
Hakata Spicy Shrimp Senbei by Hakata Fuubian
Yessssss. I’ve had these before, and I’m always thrilled to see them in boxes. Possibly my favorite type of senbei (and if you follow my reviews, you know I’ve sampled a ton), these have a salty, shrimpy flavor. The senbei is perfectly crisp and crunchy, and there’s a sprinkle of spicy roe in the middle for an extra kick.
Hoshu Tea by Kagoshima Seicha
Bokksu always keeps my tea inventory well-stocked! This particular flavor is a high quality sencha tea, with a beautiful green color and a bright grassy flavor. Bokksu recommends steeping for 30 seconds, which I think is perfect. I’m a novice tea brewer, so I always appreciate that they give brewing instructions!
Overall, another delightful box from Bokksu! Literally everything was on theme this month (red, white, and mochi!), and I enjoyed all of the snacks included. Standouts for me this month were definitely the kinako mochi and the chocolate fishes, and of course the eternally-beloved shrimp senbei. There were certainly fewer artisanal snacks this month, but it made me feel like I was experiencing the New Year authentically, with traditional snacks that could be picked up at any store in Japan!
PR sample. All opinions are my own. No compensation was received for this review.