Tuesday, December 27, 2016

December Snakku Review

Snakku always delivers delicious Japanese snacks and treats, but December's box was even better than usual for me! I love being able to try the authentic snacks in each box and learn more about the history behind them.

*Disclaimer: This box was sent to See, Shop, Love! in exchange for an honest review.

Snakku is different from other snack boxes because they send authentic Japanese snacks that are straight from Japan. The only downside is that when I love an item so much, sometimes it isn't even for sale in the U.S.!

The boxes cost $38.95 per month with free shipping and are packed with 20-25 expertly curated snacks totaling two pounds of food. They're also wrapped in a beautiful reusable washi furoshiki cloth, which I failed to take a photo of this time around, but you can see examples in my past reviews.

They also have a Tasting Box available for only $15.75 that comes with 5-7 seasonal snacks, but this box is only available to U.S. customers at this time.

December's box featured snacks from the Nagano and Gifu prefectures. Nagano is a snowy, landlocked prefecture in the middle of Japan and Gifu is also in the center of Japan. Gifu is home to some of the oldest villages in Japan, and the city of Takayama is considered one of Japan's best preserved old towns.

I always enjoy reading the information that Snakku includes about all of the snacks and the places they are from. It really adds to the enjoyment of the box. Each box contains featured snacks and popular snacks. The featured snacks are the special ones from the featured regions and cities, and the popular snacks are ones that are more readily available across Japan.

Here are this month's featured snacks:
  • Snow Rabbit Manju - Rabbits are my favorite animal so I was so excited to receive these! They are absolutely adorable little puffs that are shaped like rabbits. They're infused with Shinshu apple juice and filled with white bean paste. Keep scrolling for a photo of what they look like outside of the package.
  • White Birch ChocoCrunch - I've had these before and they are delicious! They're a crunchy cookie that's coated in chocolate and are from Nagano.
  • Apple Sable Cookies - These are made with the famous Shinshu apples from Nagano and are light baked cookies.
  • Miso Wheat and Miso Ginger Crackers - These crackers are made with premium Koji rice and homemade miso and are glazed with artisanal soy sauce and either a sugar or ginger topping. They've been made by a small snack maker in the rural Hida region of Gifu for almost 100 years!
  • Midori Nobunaga - Oops, I accidentally included these in the photo with the popular snacks below (bottom right hand corner). They're a mini green tea castella cake made by a 60 year old snack shop. They use locally-grown Mino green tea from the rural Gifu region. The cakes were made popular by Oda Nobunaga, a famous Daimyo warlord from the 15th century who loved green tea and Portuguese castella cakes.

The box also contained five varieties of popular snacks:
  • Kinako Candy - These little candies are made with roasted soybean flour and brown sugar. I haven't tried them yet, but the soybean flour definitely has me interested to see how they taste.
  • Salad Hope - These are lightly-salted crispy rice crackers made with rice from the Niigata prefecture.
  • Natto Soybean Okaki - These remind me of little sushi rolls, probably because they're wrapped in seaweed. The other ingredients are popped rice cracker mixed with fermented natto. They're salty, but I like a good salty snack.
  • Alfort - These cookies are delicious! They're chocolate-covered Japanese-style English biscuits. The cookie is nice and buttery and of course the chocolate is fantastic.
  • Shrimp Senbei - Senbei are rice crackers and these specifically are infused with dried shrimp and sea salt from the sea of Japan.
Clockwise from top left: Miso Cracker, White Birch ChocoCrunch, Snow Rabbit Manju, Apple Sable Cookies

Bottom Line: I always love Snakku's boxes, but this one was especially fun for me because of the Snow Rabbit Manju! All of the other snacks were a lot of fun to try and the box had a good mix of sweet and savory treats.

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