When I received an invitation to try Bokksu, I immediately said yes. I’d been eyeing flights to Tokyo for a food-filled vacation, so it was perfect timing.

Bokksu is a premium Japanese snack subscription service that ships curated boxes of gourmet snacks directly from Japan. Each month it’s a new adventure, but you can expect to receive a variety of items, including traditional family-favorites, exclusive artisanal collaborations, and hard-to-find treats that allow you to explore Japanese culture through your tastebuds and imagination.

I received the August delivery, which was packed with enticing snacks inspired by the summer festival season. The bright orange box contained 19 different sweet and savory snack items from 10 different regions of Japan, ranging from apple candies from Tokyo, honey castella cake from Osaka, and six different flavors of rice crackers (including soy sauce and nori, shrimp, sea lettuce, black sesame, chili pepper, and salted) from Saitama.  bokksu-summer-festival-goodsAn enclosed guide provides a thoughtful overview about each snack, including tasting notes and its area of origin in Japan. The details provided in the guide are helpful if you don’t want to dive into the experience blind, but I found the surprise factor was a huge part of the fun. To maximize your experience, brew up one of the bags of tea before you start tasting. The iced green tea powder from Shizuoka made the perfect palate cleanserbokksu-summer-festival-mapThe fish-shaped strawberry wafer cookie (tai strawberry) from Matsuri was one of the largest inclusions, and a favorite. According to the enclosed guide, the strawberry mousse-filled treat is inspired by Taiyaki, a traditional cake that is typically filled with red bean paste or sweet azuki beans. bokksu-summer-festival-strawberry-cookieI also loved the firework rice crackers from Niigata. The lightly salted black balls are meant to resemble firework gunpowder. Inside each one, there’s a toasted peanut, making it a bit like a savory M&M. I’m normally way more interested in sweet snacks than salty ones, but these charcoal black nuggets were totally addictive. I polished off the bag in no time at all.bokksu-summer-festival-savory-snacksOther selections that reminded me of American snacks include the dondon yaki (fried, bite-size snacks marinated in tonkatsu sauce). The size, shape, and crunchy texture made them similar to a savory Japanese take on Cap’n Crunch. The most surprising item in the box was the fried seaweed with sudachi, a tart citrus fruit native to Tokushima that is typically used in ponzu sauce. The flavor profile of this crunchy snack item from Hiroshima was unlike anything I’ve ever tasted. I’m not sure that tart citrus and seaweed is my favorite combo, but it was one of a few items that made the tasting experience a true adventure!bokksu-summer-festival-savory-snack-seaweedI was also surprised by how delicious the strawberry and yogurt piccolo dolce tasted. I chilled mine for a few hours before digging into the velvety smooth treat with jiggly strawberry jelly. It was definitely on the small side, but a few tiny bites were more than enough to satisfy my sweet tooth.

Bokksu boxes start at $16 for a tasting box with 8—10 items or $33 for a classic box with 20—25 items (based on a one-year subscription). Click here for a full list of items in the August box.

The tasting box was the perfect size for me, and since two units of a few items were included, I was able to gift some of the snacks to friends from Japan without missing out on any of the fun.

 

Note: I received a free Bokksu delivery from the company’s PR team. I was not compensated for this post. Opinions are my own.