Nerdbot would like to thank Snakku for providing us with review box of Japanese treats to taste test!
Like many people who developed a love of Japanese culture (up to and including anime, yes) at a young age, I have always been intrigued by Japanese snacks. While many of my friends grew up with Japanese and Korean crunchy delights in their homes, I wasn’t in on that experience.
Ask this Jewish kid about Bamba, Parpar, Bissli, and Mekupelet and it’ll be another story.
My first time trying Asian snacks was back in 2001 when I was sixteen and a newly licensed driver. My Otaku nerd self very quickly found the nearest Asian supermarket and was delighted to find an endless supply of Pocky, Yan-Yan, and other delicious bites ranging anywhere from 50 cents to $1.50.
Copious amounts doesn’t begin to describe what I put in my body. It was a great summer.
But now, it’s 2018 and we are in the future. And the future has an amazing thing called subscription snack boxes, where a glorious company like Snakku not only puts exotic treats in a box for you, but they make it super beautiful with packaging that seriously makes you feel…well…special. From the moment I received the box and opened it, I was blown away by the quality of the packing and the care put into the composing of this stunning parcel.
I got together with my friends Michael, Ryan, and Dahveed at Toy-Zilla toy store in Alhambra, California right next to Nerdbot Studios to give some of the beautiful items in this Snakku subscription box a taste. And for anyone who has been following my writing for a little bit…you know how relieved I am to finally put something in my mouth that isn’t processed cheese, powered drink, globs of mayo, or a milk steak.
Ogurasansou Mini Arare Senbei
This company has been making traditional Japanese rice crackers for over 60 years by hand in their Kyoto store. As we mention in the above video, these are absolutely beautiful. Light and crunchy and super pleasant! Watch out for the silica gel packet!
Vanilla Wafer from Hokkaido
These soft, crisp cookies have a delicious light schmear of vanilla cream between two thin wafers. My friends and I agreed that they had a little bit of a boozy after taste, which isn’t unwelcome!
Jukuka Kanazawa Fruit Gel
As discussed in the above video, I at first thought these gelled disks were jelly to spread on a cracker. I very quickly realized they’re Japanese Jell-O. I had trouble opening mine because I’m the worst, and when I finally did it sprayed on me. Soft and delicious with real fruit flavor, these jelly treats were a highlight among the Snakku box. It also doesn’t hurt that we used them to transform into the Jukuka Rangers!
We’re such nerds.
Saya Endo Crisps
These pea flavored crisps were absolutely delicious and a favorite among the box. Especially with Dahveed, who thoroughly lost his mind for them, showing top shelf levels of enthusiasm! In the video, you can see our love for these. But I have to be honest and admit that they confused me a little. I didn’t understand if they were a fried vegetable, or if they were like Pringles, which are potato flakes stamped into a shape and baked. I realized it was the latter, but that didn’t change how great this snack was.
These corn (I think) cracker snacks describe themselves as both sweet and savory. I describe them as the kind of crunchy snack you can’t stop eating. While they were delicious, the thorough (and obvious) amount of MSG on them was off-putting. It’s a specific and addictive salt flavor that just has the back burner flavor of Doritos. You want more, but it’s all chemical love.
This soft, tender, incredible cookie translates to “White Lover”. And lover it is indeed. It has the crumbly, delicate exterior that just melts in your mouth. There’s this lovely buttery hint along with a luscious sweet cream that just makes you want to commit crimes and lie on your tax return. It would pair up perfectly with a slightly bitter tea. My dudes and I definitely came unprepared.
Senbei Rice Cracker
This snack right here is the only one I will say anything even remotely negative about. While the first batch of rice crackers were toasted had a wonderful sesame/soy/seaweed flavor, these were Styrofoamy and bland. Additional, they were coated in MSG. Not mixed in and deliciously addictive like the Happi Turn crackers, but just dusted like they’d gone through a tumbler. Unappealing and I couldn’t really take more than one bite.
A boozy little stawberry shortcake that most definitely tasted like a Daiquiri. The texture was soft and a little spongy, which was a surprise. But there was so much real strawberry flavor (not the artificial cloyingly sweet flavor) happening in here that it was just a really nice little confection to get to try.
This was the most unique snack in the box, and also the last one we tried. There were two varieties, this plain square one, and a circle one with red bean paste in the middle. It was slightly sweet and a bit crumbly. On its own, it was somewhat dry. But that red bean variety just brought it to life. Red bean is a flavor that’s completely underutilized in western treats and it’s really a shame. Nothing makes my day happier than a fresh red bean bun or red bean mochi or red bean sesame balls, or…
You get the idea.
We did it, guys! Thank you again to Snakku for letting Nerdbot try their awesome delights! If you want to try this subscription snack service for yourself, head over to their website. You can also follow their social media on Twitter and Instagram.