In June, Bokksu took us to the city of Nagoya, Japan’s fourth largest in terms of population, to show us some of their classic snacks!
The Classic Bokksu subscription features 20-25 snacks curated around a monthly theme, and a tea pairing.
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This month, Bokksu is featuring treats from Nagoya!
Nagoya’s best-known landmark is probably its beautiful castle, but it’s also earning a reputation as a foodie destination for its unique treats. Pictured on the front of the information card is ogura toast, a local creation where sweet red bean paste is slathered on toast and topped with a pat of creamy butter.
Bokksu celebrated its two year anniversary in June, and treated all Classic Bokksu subscribers to an extra snack. These puffed rice crackers make frequent appearances in Bokksu boxes, and I’m always glad to see them. They’re crunchy like a corn puff, but with a savory and salty flavor.
Nagoya Kinsyachi Langue de Chat by Chez Shibata
Langue de chat cookies are common in Japanese snack boxes, but this is definitely one of the more luxe versions I have had! Typically they’re two sweet cookies filled with a layer of creamy white chocolate. In this version, the sweet cookie is stamped with the symbol of Nagoya – a golden carp with a lion’s head, and the filling is actually two layers of cream cheese surrounding a white chocolate disc. It gives the cookie a delicious cheesecake-like flavor, while still delivering on gorgeous presentation with the emblem on top. I only wish mine hadn’t come broken, but that certainly didn’t impact the taste!
Ebi Crunch by Iwatsuka Seika
Fried shrimp is another popular snack in Nagoya, and these crunchy rice crackers perfectly replicate that taste. Black pepper, curry powder, and garam masala bring a little bit of a kick to each bite, while the shrimp flavor adds sweetness. These are some of the more savory and flavorful crackers I’ve ever had.
Ogura Toast Langue de Chat by Tokai Kotobuki
This langue de chat captures all of the flavor of Nagoya’s breakfast of choice, ogura toast. The sweet cookie outside is buttery and crisp like a slice of toast, while the creamy filling is infused with sweet red beans. Buttery, sweet, and crisp – I could eat ogura toast for breakfast any day!
Rich Matcha Cream Sandwich Cookie by Matsunaga Seika
Look at the beautifully intricate design on this cookie! It’s almost too beautiful to eat. Almost. Both the cookie and the cream filling have been flavored with Kyoto’s famous uji matcha green tea, although the flavor is certainly more outstanding in the cream. It’s a sweet treat, but well balanced by the earthy bitterness of the green tea. From the design to the quality ingredients, this cookie is a beautifully impressive snack.
Tenmusu Senbei Rice Cracker by Kuwanaya
Rice crackers are a notoriously simple and straightforward Japanese snack, but this one has so many nuances that make it infinitely more interesting! Tenmusu is a local Nagoya snack that combines shrimp tempura with musubi, or rice balls. These rice crackers replicate that flavor with a savory shrimp taste, plus real seaweed flecks and a semisweet soy sauce glaze. I’m pretty impressed that they managed to elevate the classic rice cracker to this ocean-y treat!
Mini Red Bean Crackers by Matsunaga Seika
These little crackers taste like a buttery Ritz, but they have the thinnest layer of red bean paste baked in, to add just a hint of sweetness. They’re quite addictive – I ate a whole bag before I could stop myself! The bean paste doesn’t add a lot of texture since it’s so thin, so it’s feels like a regular cracker. The flavors are meant to mimic red bean porridge, a traditional Japanese dessert.
Kinsyachi Chocolate by Colombin
This langue de chat is a whole different kind of luxe – gold wrapping, and extra rich chocolate! These are typically brought back as omiyage, or travel souvenirs to be gifted to others upon return. The sweet cookies in this langue de chat have been infused with dark chocolate, and the bittersweet chocolate in the creamy filling feels almost like a rich ganache! If you’re a chocolate lover, this is a great find for you.
Scallion Miso Senbei by Komenosato Honpo
This senbei follows the flavors of Nagoya’s popular miso katsu, or fried pork cutlet flavored with a miso glaze. For this rice cracker, a special type of negimiso sauce has been used, where miso paste is mixed with scallions for a savory, extra salty taste. The cracker is quite hearty and crunchy, and the giant size combined with the heavy flavor makes it very filling.
Nagoya Caramel Sandwich Cookie by Chez Shibata
Chez Shibata was founded in Nagoya, and specializes in mixing French pastry with Japanese flavors. Their creations are frequently taken home as omiyage. This sandwich cookie has delicate caramel cookies on the outside, that are sugary and almost cake-like. The filling is a light, airy cream studded with sweet raisins that add a nice texture to the soft treat. These would go so well with a light afternoon tea!
Nagoya Hojicha by Myokoen
With the warmer days ahead, I’m a little bit over hojicha, which to me has a nutty earthy flavor more appropriate for fall or cooler months. Hojicha is a type of green tea that has been roasted so there is less caffeine content, but a deeper taste. I think something more refreshing would have paired well with these snacks, but since this is a tea local to Nagoya I can’t fault them for sticking with the theme!
Overall, I thought this box was so well-curated. Nagoya being a foodie destination has a lot of treats that are typically impossible to ship overseas, but in this case Bokksu found perfect representations of their local flavors so that we can enjoy them from afar. Even though three langue de chat cookies seems like a lot to include in one box, each one was so unique and relevant that I really don’t think it would be fair to exclude any of them. Those cookies may have been my favorite treats in the whole box this month!
PR sample. All opinions are my own. No compensation was received for this box. This post may contain affiliate links.