Review: Bokksu Subscription Box
Bokksu is a premium Japanese snack subscription service. Each box includes an assortment of handpicked authentic Japanese snacks as well as a tea pairing chosen to complement and enhance that month’s flavors.
Subscription Box: Bokksu
Cost: $39.00 per month + free shipping
Products: 13-15 authentic Japanese snacks plus a tea pairing curated around a cultural theme
Ships to: US only
August’s box is all about "kuro" 黒 (black). Due to its geographically isolated history and unique cultural influences, Japan has developed color associations that are very different from the Western world’s. Though “kuro” has an almost exclusively negative connotation (i.e., death, evil) in the West, Japanese people have traditionally viewed black in a more positive light. For example, before formal wear frock coats were introduced by Europeans in the late 19th century, Japanese people in mourning wore white instead of the black that is more common nowadays. Furthermore, they consider black to be a warming color and thus, believe foods containing black sugar to be healthier than those containing white sugar. This month’s Bokksu snacks and tea are all deeply associated with “kuro”, whether they be made with black sesame or are black in visual aesthetic.
Black Bean Tea
Kuromamecha (black bean tea) is made from roasting black beans and either leaving them in bean form or grinding them down into a fine powder. Mamena Kuromamecha is grounded, which is why it has a richer, darker color and a more fragrant, bitter taste than ungrounded black bean tea.
Black Sesame Senbei
Senbei is a traditional Japanese rice cracker usually baked or grilled and glazed with soy sauce. Goma (black sesame) adds a roasted, toasty flavor that enhances the savory, crispy taste of the senbei. Best of both worlds – black sesame in senbei. This was my absolute favorite!
This fluffy, rich chocolate is baked to perfection and melts in your mouth with every bite. No joke on how quickly it melts in your mouth. Quite tasty!
Black Honey Karinto
Karinoto is a traditional Japanese snack dating back to the early 19th century. Consisting primarily of flour, yeast, and sugar, karinto is deep-fried and sweet. Kurohachi Karinto has a rounder, sweeter flavor than normal karinto thanks to the added black sugar and honey. If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll like this!
Amanatto can be made using azuki or other beans. The beans are stewed in water, simmered with sugar, and dried. Tanba No Kurotaro Amanatto uses black beans and every batch is handmade to ensure the highest quality in taste and texture. At first I wasn’t sure how I felt about amanatto but the more I had it, the more I enjoyed it. It’s the perfect healthy snack while tasting really yum!
Warabimochi is a jelly-like confection made from the extracted starch of “warabi” (bracken). Though similar in name, warabimochi is entirely different from true mochi, which is made from glutinous rice. I chilled them before sprinkling kinako (roasted soybean flour) and eating it. Love kinako on my desserts – especially on mochi! Especially when chilled, this is a great dessert or snack for the hot summer months.
Verdict: Bokksu is a great box! With Bokksu, I learned what snacks Japanese may typically eat. Really enjoyed the theme of this box. Who would’ve thought about curating a box full of the color black. Since I love black sesame, I would’ve liked to see more black sesame snacks but was very happy to try snacks that were new to me – amanatto! Overall, I loved the tea pairing and enjoyed the goma senbei very much.
This post is sponsored by Bokksu but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.