We always love trying Japanese snacks and Bokksu kindly gifted me their latest subscription box to review. Read on to see what I thought.
I was sent the December 2019 Classic Box with a Snowy Hokkaido theme. It arrived very quickly from Japan in just 6 days! The actual Bokksu is a bright orange box – I was initially unimpressed that it was sent inside another box but it does make it feel more special and suitable for gifting, as other subscription boxes often arrive dented and grubby.
The box contained 16 different types of Japanese snacks plus tea bags and extras of some items. The cool thing about Bokksu is that many of the items are sourced directly from small and regional makers in Japan so you get to try things that might be difficult to find in Tokyo, let alone internationally. Even though I’ve visited Japan 5 times, there was very little here that I had tried before.
You also get a full colour 24 page magazine with interesting content about the theme plus detailed descriptions of all the contents (including allergens, manufacturer and region), a maker interview, Japanese phrases and more. Vegetarians will be pleased to hear that all but 3 of the items are veggie, though most are not vegan due to milk or eggs.
The box theme is Snowy Hokkaido and there are 7 items from the island, famous for dairy. potatoes and corn. I’ll show you them all in detail.
I was very excited to spot the Jaga Pokkuru potato snacks at the top. I had bought something similar on my last trip and they were so good. They look just like french fries and have a lovely texture with a natural buttery flavour. I need more, and luckily they’re available in packs of 10 from the Bokksu online store.
I was also intrigued to find fresh pastry items. This is a flaky pie dough topped with maple white chocolate and the shape is supposed to resemble a fox cub’s tail! It was extremely flaky and a bit messy to eat but very nice.
You really don’t expect to find bread in your subscription box but this is a sweet yeast bread made with Hokkaido cream. The smell when opening the packet took me right back to Japan as I do buy a lot of bakery items there.
The texture and taste is similar to brioche so while it tastes good as it is, I decided to embrace my British/Dutch heritage and toasted it with cream cheese and chocolate sprinkles for a real breakfast treat.
This is a rye cookie covered in white chocolate and crushed raspberries. The cookie is kind of wafer-like and there’s a nice contrast between the mild chocolate and sharp raspberry.
Bokksu also include a few packets of tea for pairing and this one had a simple sencha green tea from Tokyo which went well with the buttery Shiroi Koibito biscuits from Hokkaido. I really like that Bokksu include multiples of some times so I got to try both the milk and white chocolate versions.
As well as the tea, there’s a few more items from Tokyo. Fans of Japanese snacks will recognise Black Thunder at the top right – this one has the same mix of chocolate, cookies and puffed rice but with a white chocolate coating. I prefer the original but it was still good.
Sadly I messed up my photo of the the contents of the white packet – it’s green onion rice crackers and they were very moreish. If you love strong onion snacks you should seek these out. And one that made me laugh – Calpico mochi! Calpico is a sort of carbonated yogurt drink. I don’t usually like mochi but this was nice and marshmallowy with a little bit of cream and jelly in the middle.
Snacks From Kyoto, Niigata, Mie & Aichi
I was very pleased to find something yuzu-flavoured but it turns out I’m not a big fan of the gummy texture, which is a bit too soft. They’re individually packaged though so I can share the rest.
These are Hokkaido milk mochi puffs, and were a bit like meringues covered in a thin layer of white chocolate. It’s a little bit surprising when they collapse into a sticky powder in your mouth.
And there were lots more rice crackers. Top left is a mix of mochi corn snacks and corn kernels, which had a nice texture but I wasn’t keen on the sweetcorn taste. The mayo crackers seemed like a weird idea but the taste is quite mild and they were nice to snack on. The triangles are simple salty senbei which I am always happy to eat.
Overall, I thought this was a really interesting box with lots of unexpected flavours and textures and a good mix of sweet and savoury. The addition of pastry, bread and tea makes it feel more special and upmarket too. If I’m being picky, there were maybe too many rice crackers and it would have been nice to get some crisps/chips instead. I also would have preferred a more interesting tea flavour since sencha is so common internationally now.
I would definitely buy a Bokksu again though, if I liked the theme, and think it would make a lovely gift for someone interested in Japanese culture, or who has lived there or visited a lot. They also have an online shop so you can buy more of items you liked, or from boxes you missed.
Pricing & Information
Bokksu’s Classic box costs $39.99 per month for 20-25 snacks including tea pairing. There’s also a smaller Tasting box at $26.99. All boxes include free shipping worldwide and there are further discounts if you subscribe for a block of 3, 6 or 12 months.
You can subscribe now to get a special First Box with an overview of Japanese flavours or view past boxes to see some of the themes and items. Follow Bokksu on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook for updates on future themes.
(Box was provided by Bokksu for review but all words, photographs and opinions are my own.)