Subscription Box Review – Bokksu Tasting Box – October 2019
So as I was deciding on what subscription boxes I wanted to review this year Amazon did a thing. Amazon has for the longest time had a couple of subscription boxes you could access through them, but that was it, just a couple. Then a few weeks ago I got several emails notifying me they were officially making subscription boxes a thing you get from them. No they aren’t boxes exclusive to Amazon, they are just made easy to access and manage in one spot, similar to the way Cratejoy works.
So I wanted to make sure to review at least one subscription box this year that is purchasable through Amazon, maybe more. So for the purpose of this review, and any future boxes I get through Amazon, I will only be talking about my experience with Amazon and the option available there.
So today we are taking a look at the Bokksu Tasting Box. This is the first subscription box I am trying through Amazon. They do offer a larger box called the Classic, and when I originally ordered my box their Vegetarian box was an option. However, the vegetarian option is not currently showing on Amazon’s page as I write this.
Service Name: Bokksu
Price: $25.00 a month
Where Is It Available: When ordered through Amazon, this box is available only in the US.
Who To Get It For: I think this is perfect for anyone who is a foodie or loves the Japanese/Asian types of treats in general.
What You Get: In the tasting box you get 10 to 14 items each month along with a culture guide that include product details. Items are all from Japan in a mix of savory snacks, candy, and teas. If you upgrade to the Classic box you get 20 to 25 items each month. Each months box revolves around a theme. For the October box, the theme is Haunted Harvest.
Drawbacks: For me personally there wasn’t any drawbacks. However, if you or the person you are buying this for is a picky eater or has certain types of food allergies, then this may not be the box for you.
Even though this is the October box, I was initially confused as to what month this box was for. The theme, and products included (as you will see), does seem very much like it should be for October. However I received my box mid September, so I originally thought it was for September. To give you an idea of the shipping time I ordered mine on September 2 and I received it on September 14. But the guide that came in the box definitely identifies the box as the October box.
So now lets take a look at the actual box and what came inside.
And when you first open the box, this is what you see. The Culture Guide, as they have describer it, is laying on top. And I like their tag of “Discover Japan Through Snacks” is nicely incorporated into the opening of the box.
And then under the guide you will find your products for the month.
Now lets take a closer look at each of the individual items in the box. I will try to link to any individual products you can purchase as a standalone for anyone who wants to try something that was in this box.
Organic Hojicha Tea. This is actually from Bokksu. Since I haven’t had the box before I don’t know how often they have items that are their own products, but this one is. From what I understand this box always contains at least one tea each month. This particular tea is described as being a roasted sancha green tea with a light flavor. This is one of two items I haven’t had a chance to try yet.
Onigiri Senbei: Halloween Soy Sauce Flavor. This is from a company called Masuya. Unlike the previous item, the name doesn’t really tell you what to expect with this one. What you get is two rice ball-shaped crisps with seaweed bits in it, flavored like soy sauce. I couldn’t find these special Halloween edition ones, but you can buy the original pack.
Kakimochi Mochi Rice Crackers: Kobukaki. From a company called Hinodeya Seika. While the ingredients in these mochi rice cracker are similar to the last product, the flavor and texture is very different. I don’t know what I expected when I opened these, but it is nothing like any other Mochi I have had. These are definitely like puffy crackers.
Satsuma Precious Chips: Salt + Brown Sugar Flavor. These are from a company called Hombo Shoten. They are a sweet potato chip with extra flavoring added. This was one of the few things in the box that I did not care for. Typically I think of most snacks from Asian countries are less sweet than American snacks. However, these were a lot sweeter than any of the sweet potato chips I have ever tried. They were really more of a desert than a savory snack.
Funwari Meijin Mochi Puffs: Annou Imo Sweet Potato. These are from a company called Echigo Seika. I know these are a little difficult to see because of the packaging, but they are quarter sized round balls of puffed mochi with powder on them. The guide-book says that this sweet potato flavor is only seasonal. They were very unique with the texture of a cheese puff and the flavor of a cinnamon donut. This was probably my favorite item in the box, both because of the flavor and uniqueness. While I could not find these exact puffed mochi, you can purchase what seems to be the same thing from a different brand in a different flavor.
Puchi Pure Gummy: Halloween Assort Pack (The assortment included two flavors as seen in these two pictures. It came in grape and orange). These are from a company called Kanro. I did try the grape flavor, but as most of you know my allergy issues include citrus and citrus flavors. So I passed the orange flavor on to my niece.
These, at least compared to what I have had before and what is available in my area, were the least unique items in the box. That doesn’t mean they weren’t good. I often like Japanese gummy candy because the flavors taste more real to life compared to American candy. And that stayed consistent with these. I could not find them in these small triangular packs, but they are available in large bag assortments.
Baby Star Ramen Sticks: Halloween. From the Oyatsu Company. This is ramen noodles that have been fixed in some way that they are ready to eat like chips with seasoning on it. So other than the packaging, I am not sure what exactly is Halloween about this product. The taste was great though, and it brought me back to my childhood. I was one of those weird kids who really loved eating the ramen when it was still crispy. And while again I could not track down this exact packaging, I did find where you can purchase chicken flavor or you can purchase a variety pack.
Tsukisamu Anpan: Kabocha Pumpkin Red Bean. This is from a company called Honma. This is the only other item I haven’t tried yet in the box. The only reason I haven’t tried this yet is the guide recommended baking it first, and I just haven’t gotten around to it. It is described as being a pumpkin sweet roll with a red bean and kabocha (Japanese pumpkin) filling. For those not familiar, Japanese pumpkin is not what we in the US call pumpkin. You may be more familiar with it as a fall squash.
Sanrio Characters: Halloween Cookie Assort. These are from a company called Shoei Delicy. Assortment again is two packs. I do believe how the packs look are completely random with these. However, the contents should be the same for everyone. Each person should receive one chocolate cookie with a ganache filling.
And you should have a second pudding cookie as the guide refers to it. This particular cookie is vanilla with a pudding filling, but instead of pudding I would refer to it as a thick custard. I really liked these. They kind of reminded me of some of the filled tea cookies I have had in the past.
Kinako Kurumi Walnut Mochi. From the company Kubota Seika. This was definitely a treat. I had never had this type of mochi, and I definitely loved it. There was just one disappointment, but you will see what that was with the next item.
Kurumi Walnut Mochi. This one is from a company called Marusan Tamakiya. So while I still enjoyed both of the walnut mochis, it was bit disappointing in the sense that I would rather of had multiple flavors to try rather than a repeat just from a different company.
Butter Corn Rice Cracker. This is from the company Marukin Foods. The last food item was another really unique item that I had never had anything like it. It had the flavor of buttered cornbread but with the texture of a shortbread biscuit.
The only other thing included in the box was the guide.
In the guide you will find a list of products and which boxes they were included in for the month. Descriptions of each item in the boxes. A map showing which region each of the products came from. And there are also some fun little bits in the guide, like Japanese words to learn for the month.
And with that we have everything in the box for the month of October.
I really loved this box, and I was quite impressed for quite a few reasons. First, I thought this box was a reasonable price. Some food boxes can be quite pricey or they just don’t have much in them. I also really appreciated that this was full of things I had never seen before. I have tried other snack boxes and felt like they were full of things I could have gotten on my own from local groceries. And I was very happily surprised to see that they included allergen information for each product.
Tell me in the comments if you have tried this box and what you thought? What is your favorite box?
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