Recently, I got to sample a pretty epic subscription snack box that offers a variety of locally made treats from the various regions of Japan. It’s called Snakku! Catchy right? Snakku has a mission: to support the local vendors who have been making region-specific snacks in Japan for generations. By creating Snakku, the founder is not only helping those families and business owners, but he is also sharing a delicious piece of Japanese culture with the world. But you didn’t come here for moving mission statements, you came for delicious snacks. So let’s open up my box!
Got this beauty in the mail. I LOVE its packaging. The box comes wrapped in a traditional Japanese Furoshiki Wrapping Cloth. Nice!
The box’s wrapping made a perfect picnic blanket!
Here’s what the box looks like up close. It had a very attractive, present-like quality. It made me want to open it right away.
Here’s a side view.
I slid the box out of its packaging and found I had more than just snacks!
Aside from the snacks adorably hidden within the box full of straw, I received a hand written letter addressed to me and TVGB. I thought it was a great touch. I also received a sort of snack brochure that gave a small background on each item in my box.
The letter reads: “Hi Noe & TVGB crew, Thanks so much for taking a look at Snakku. Hope you enjoy this month’s box filled with regional snacks from the northern island of Japan: Hokkaido! Can’t wait to get your thoughts on it. -Shigeki (founder)”
Here’s a brief snapshot of the snack brochure. Don’t worry about the small font. I’ll type up each description you see above as I discuss each snack.
The whole spread!
This is the entire contents of my Snakku Box, give or take some straw. I was surprised I got multiples of a lot of stuff. It was very exciting. The snacks looked great. It was finally time to dig in! But first, a little back story on the Hokkaido region of Japan, straight from the informative snack brochure that came with the box.
Not the same picture in the brochure, but still the same gorgeous region of northern Japan!
“Clean air, blue sky, colorful flowers, undulating hills, majestic mountains and more! These words barely start to describe Hokkaido, the northern most island of Japan. Hokkaido is also known to produce some of the best food in Japan. The rich soil, cool climate and plentiful clean water is perfect for producing dairy, sugar and wheat, which are essential for making snacks. This month, we feature a variety of unique snacks from Hokkaido.”
By far, the most popular and award winning cookie from Hokkaido. Shiroi Koibito translates to “White Lover” and it’s a simple yet delicious cookie which has white chocolate sandwiched between butter biscuits. Why the name “White Lover”? The story goes that while the snack founder was coming home from a day of skiing, it started to snow and he casually remarked, “it’s snowing white lovers.” The name has stuck ever since.”
These cookies totally earn their award winning status. The white chocolate filling was creamy and delicious and the butter biscuit had a nice, flaky consistency. It was kind of like the Japanese equivalent of a sugar wafer. I approved.
“Yakitoukibi is a very popular snack that you can only get from the famous Sapporo Ohdori Park, this snack is made from locally grown rice and sweet corn. The grilled corn and rice crackers are glazed lightly with soy sauce, giving it an amazing sweet and salty flavor.”
I was a little apprehensive about this one at first. I’m not a fan of corn nor soy sauce. But it was delicious none the less! The sweet and salty taste of the Yakitoukibi was awesome. I couldn’t even tell I was eating corn. The rice cracker reminded me a lot of popcorn. It had a nice little crunch to it. I approved.
Kinotoya Milk Cookies
Made in Hokkaido’s prestigous Sapporo Agricultural College, these milk cookies are made with 100% natural and organic milk. The quality of the ingredients really show, since these cookies have won the international Monde Selection award 3 years in a row!”
DISCLAIMER – These cookies DID NOT get shipped to me in pieces. I accidentally stepped on them after laying it out on the floor with the other snacks. My bad Snakku.
These cookies were very interesting. They were soft and you could literally taste the milk in them. I loved it. Though not much to look at, these little cookies packed a very complex flavor profile. I approved.
Sapporo Curry Senbei
“Have you ever tried Japanese curry? It’s very different from Indian curry, but just as tasty and very popular. This curry rice cracker is made in collaboration with a famous curry restaurant in Sapporo, Hokkaido. All of the ingredients and spices are locally sourced and it’s full of umami!” (a savory flavor profile)
Let me first start off by saying I am not a fan of curry. Unlike the Yakitoukibi however, where I ended up liking the sweet corn and soy sauce flavors, I was not a fan of the Japanese curry. Even though description claims that it is very different from Indian curry, it still tasted the same to me. One of these curry rice crackers wasn’t too bad. They reminded me of flaming hot Cheetos, if Cheetos were made of rice and tasted of curry that is. They share a similar crunch and aggressive flavor profile. After eating a couple more though my palate became overwhelmed with intense curry flavor. It was just too heavy a snack for me. I did not approve.
Delicate butter cookie cigar popularized in 1972.
By far my favorite snack in the box. I loved these things. They were sweet, extremely buttery and had a very satisfying, crisp bite. You could really taste the butter in these babies. It reminded me of the butter, sugar and egg mixture you generally create when baking cookies. TOTALLY approved.
Kinoko No Yama
Popular and delicious cute chocolate topped crispy mushroom cookies.
Before you freak, there is no actual mushroom in these cookies. I was a little disconcerted after reading the above description as well. They’re actually little biscuit sticks with a chocolate mushroom cap molded around the top. They were pretty good. A very straight forward treat. My only complaint was that the chocolate-to-cookie ratio was 2:1. The chocolate mushroom cap just felt like too much chocolate for that little biscuit. I still approved.
Northern Sable Eggs
Mellow grilled cookies made with free range eggs from northern Japan.
My Impression: I couldn’t really tell that this cookie was grilled but I loved that it was made with free range eggs. It strongly reminded me of a Nilla wafer cookie actually. They even kind of look the same. Familiarity aside, this cookie was very delicious and had a great crunch to it. The egg shape was fun too. It broke perfectly in half. I approved.
Pota Pota Yaki
Grilled rice crackers glazed with sugar soy sauce.
Though these sounded great on paper (to me at least), I was fairly disappointed in their taste. Having only one side glazed in the sugar soy sauce caused the other side to taste incredibly dry and grainy. The sweet and bland taste combination just conflicted too much for me. Taste aside, they did have a great crunch to them. Maybe enjoyable for some, just not for me. I did not approve.
Puccho Cola Candy
Soft cola flavored candy which fizzles in your mouth.
This candy was interesting. It was very soft and actually did taste like cola. I’m not sure if I ever felt the “fizzles in your mouth” part but I did have an enjoyable, fresh mouth feel afterwards. Not quite the “freshly brushed teeth” feeling but close. However, the candy did not make me want to go back for another piece. I was interested enough to try it, but did not feel like have a second one. With that being said, I did not approve.
So I ended up liking six out of the nine snacks that were provided to me in the October Snakku box. I’d call that a win. It was a fun experience and I definitely recommend subscribing if Japanese culture is your jam. Snakku would also make a great gift too with the holidays coming up.
There is a draw back though…the cost. A six-month subscription of Snakku will run you $225. That’s double the cost of Loot Crate for six-months! And while I’m sure the cost is justified, what with importing everything from Japan, this is still one of the pricier food subscription boxes I’ve seen. On the other hand, it’s also been one of the most enjoyable. So don’t let the cost be the reason you don’t subscribe if you are genuinely interested in learning more about the different regions of Japan and all of their wonderful snacks you can’t find anywhere else.
On behalf of myself and the staff here at TVGB, I just want to thank you to Shigeki, Snakku’s founder, for allowing us to review Snakku. I hope this article helps you continue your noble mission in supporting Japan’s local snack vendors. Thank you again and good luck! (Oh and feel free to throw another box our way =D )
Experience a different part of Japan in every box!
My Snakku box was more than just a bento full of snacks. It was a tasteful memory (pun intended) I’d like to relive over and over.
I had so much fun exploring the part of northern Japanese culture with my taste buds, learning about the Hokkaido region and getting to experience all the wonderfully unique goodies that can be found there. The high price point is definitely justified if every box is like the one I received. I know I did not enjoy every snack contained in my box but the excitement and adventure of it all made it well worth it. I literally got to eat something I may very well never get to eat again or ever would have in the future. I never had plans to visit to Japan but let me tell you, Hokkaido is definitely on the list now. All thanks to Snakku.