It’s time once again, dear readers, to present to you the April 2016 offerings from from Tokyo Treat, one of our favorite the Japanese snack box subscription services. This month features some of the craziest snacks that the Japanese have to offer. A couple of the offerings I have tried before but most of them were new to me.
Good or bad, this was definitely an interesting selection of sweet, salty and spicy snacks that are sure to please the most discerning palate. This month’s premium box offers thirteen different snacks with one full bottle of a limited edition Sakura Pepsi as well as a colorful Doraemon/Hello Kitty Purse. And without further adieu…Tokyo Treat!
Meiji’s Pucca Chocolate
Meiji’s Pucca Chocolate are crispy little nuggets filled with a creamy chocolate-y filling. The crispy biscuit shell offers a satisfying crunch while the chocolate filling is smooth and not overly sweet. From the above image, you might think that the shell is made of pretzel, but it is not. It has a semi-sweet flavor and just the right amount of texture to hold in the chocolate-y goodness that is bursting to get out. These were a good snack that I could definitely sit and eat a whole pack of without batting an eye.
Crunchy Panda Z
I’ve tried this snack before in other snack boxes and they were definitely one of my favorites. I wrote: “These chocolate-y treats are formed to look like cuddly little pandas with real chocolate faces on a base of a crispy, crunchy chocolate cookie. The chocolate is not too sweet and the cookie has just the right amount of substance to balance out the whole treat.” Unfortunately for me, this pack didn’t fare too well during the trip from Tokyo. From the picture, the melted together pieces look like a mutant blob that you would have to fight in a JRPG. I chose “RUN AWAY” and headed to the next treat.
Lott’s Koala March (Seasonal): Custard Pudding Flavor
This seasonal treat was one of my favorites in the whole box. The light and crispy vanilla flavored shell is the perfect complement to the custard pudding flavored filling. Biscuit treats seem to be a favorite of the Japanese as many treats take this same approach to combining tasty flavors together in a creme filled snack. The custard filling is smooth and sweet with a hint of coffee flavoring. If you look closely, the koala pictures are different on each treat. If you ever coma across these, grab a box and see for yourself.
Baby Star Bonito Udon
If you’ve had one Cuo-O-Noodles then you had them all…or so I thought. This delicious noodle meal is flavored with bonito and is paired with the saltiness of seaweed and bonito flakes. The noodles were very substantial and filling and much better that what we get with CON. The seaweed flavor is very subtle and lets the bonito flavor ring through. Eating Ramen noodles will never be the same when I know that a better alternative is out there. I’m gunna have to try and get more of these. This was a good surprise and I enjoyed this snack immensely.
Calbee BBQ Flavored Sapporo Potato Snacks
Now I know why the Japanese love Sapporo potatoes so much. The Calbee BBQ flavored, waffle-cut snacks were surprisingly good. The waffle-cut gives the snack a good texture and a light crunch and seems to melt in your mouth. The BBQ seasoning is tangy and not overwhelming and adds just enough flavor to take this snack over the top. I just got a small bag but if I could get my hands on a bigger one, I definitely would. Simple and delicious!
Wasabi Grilled Seaweed
I have always wondered what seaweed tasted like; I don’t know why, I just have. Old lawn clippings, that’s what. Roast over an open flame, add a dusting of wasabi and you have spicy old lawn clippings. There is a reason it’s called a weed. I didn’t enjoy this salty, spicy treat in the least bit. They are shaped like a breath strip to boot so I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect from this treat. At least I can now cross “try seaweed” off of my bucket list.
Baby Star Yakisoba Sauce Flavor
Even though this snack looks like a bag fun of fish bait, they were unexpectedly pleasing. This snack is made from yakisoba noodles that are dried and baked in a flavoring that reminded me of Worcestershire sauce. They are light and crunchy with a hint of spicey-ness. This is another snack that is kept simple and offers a satisfying taste that keeps you coming back for just one more bite.
Raw Ramune Candy
Once you get used to the texture of this ramune (think: Sprite or 7-Up) flavored treat, I think that you will find them quite fun and very tasty. At room temperature, this candy feels a lot like a sponge and feels very gummy as you chew it. However, if you throw them in the freezer for a few minutes, they come out cool lemon-lime flavor with a taffy texture.
Meiji’s Plum Pati-Chan
Every one has tried Pop Rocks, right? The fruity flavored candy treat that snaps, crackles and pops in your mouth. Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. OK, now imaging all of that action going on in your mouth without the fruity flavor. Instead, add in the flavor of salt and dried plums and you will know exactly what this “treat” tastes like. If someone tries to hand you a pack of these, just run. It’s hard eat these when you have already had the best version of this candy.
Chocolate Flavored & Green Tea Flavored Mochi (DIY)
This is another DIY snack treat that I have tried in other snack boxes and one that I was just not impressed by. I wrote: “This candy treat, if you can even call it that, comes with a plastic tray to mix all of the ingredients in, a little plastic fork to mix and dip everything with, 9 white mochi (rice cakes), one packet of chocolate cream and one packet of green tea powder. You have to pour a little water over the white mochi to soften them up then you are supposed to dip them in the chocolate cream and then into the green tea powder. The problem here is that the white mochi is slimy once you wet it and the chocolate cream doesn’t really stick to it and the green tea powder doesn’t really add anything flavor-wise. How does it taste, you ask? Like the old insole of a shoe dipped in chocolate cream and green tea powder, that’s how.” My previous advice still stands; avoid this one if you should ever come across it.
Apparently, this candy treat is a “traditional” candy bar of Japan. It combines a crispy and airy vanilla biscuit with a dry, puffed chocolate filling on the inside. The vanilla biscuit is kind of flavorless but the crispy chocolate center wasn’t bad at all. The combination, however, of two very dry ingredients seemed like an odd choice as you will definitely need something wet to drink in order to enjoy this one.
Carrot Chopped Rice Cake
There is not a lot that I can tell you about how this snack actually tastes. If you have had a rice cake in any form, then you know how this snack tastes. There’s no flavoring on these rice pellets that are shaped like rabbit food. These are just bland. I feel like an opportunity was missed as these would be great with a ranch, wasabi or BBQ flavoring added to them. If you are on a health kick and you are looking for a snack that offers nothing in the way of taste then grab a bag.
Karamucho Hot Chili Flavored Chips
These hot chili chips were actually not bad at all. They have a light, crispy crunch with a very strong flavoring of hot chili sauce. The salty and spicy coating adds just the right amount of flavor so that you could have these with a sub or even alone as a midday snack. They weren’t very greasy as some potato chips can be. However, the only thing wrong was that they didn’t ship well and most of the chips were broken into crumbs. Still, I enjoyed this snack and will probably finish them.
Sakura Pepsi (Special Item)
I’ve tried lots of versions of Pepsi; Crystal, cherry-vanilla, wild cherry, just to name a few, but the Sakura flavored Pepsi was a cool surprise. This version is a limited run that only appears in Japan in very small batches so the Tokyo Treat people really had to hustle to get their hands on enough of it to offer in June’s Premium box. The Sakura is a type of cherry and adds a light and crisp taste to a soda that is usually associated with a strong cola flavor. If this was offered here in the States I would stock up on it.
Doraemon or Hello Kitty Purses
I lucked out and got the cooler Doraemon Purse. Yeah, I said it and I’m not ashamed. One side of this coin purse features Doraemon on a blue background and the other features Hello Kitty on a red background. This isn’t going to hold a lot of change but I think my 6-year-old niece will love this anyway.
Overall, I would have to say that there were more treats in this months snack box that I liked as opposed to those that I didn’t. The Sakura Pepsi was a nice surprise as well as the Doraemon/Hello Kitty Purse. However, about five of them I can say that I didn’t enjoy at all but that is OK. This box was still packed full with great treats that I never would have had the opportunity to try if not for Tokyo Treat. You can subscribe to boxes in three sizes: small for $14.99, medium for $24.99 and Premium for $34.99. You can also choose from several different themes which will offer treats that will fit that theme and ship them to your door. The premium is not a bad deal for all of the snacks that you get as well as at least two Special Items that are included each month.
This review was based on a premium box provided by Tokyo Treat.
Fun Japanese treats delivered right to your door
You get a lot for what you pay for. While you probably wont like every snack in the box, you will enjoy most of them. The hardest part is waiting for your next box after you have finished the one you currently have. This is a great subscription service that offers some customization to help you get the snacks you will be sure to love.