Bokksu “Spring Picnic” Review + Coupon – March 2019
Bokksu is a premium Japanese snack subscription service. Each box includes an assortment of authentic Japanese snacks as well as a tea pairing chosen to complement and enhance that month’s theme and flavors
This box was sent to us at no cost for review purposes. (Check out the review processes post to learn more about how we review boxes!)
The Subscription Box: Bokksu
The Cost: Classic Bokksu is $39.00 per month + free shipping, Tasting Bokksu is $25.00 per month + free shipping (save with longer commitments!)
Coupon: Use code FIRST5 to get $5 off your first Bokksu order!
The Products: Classic Bokksu includes 20-25 Japanese snacks & tea pairing, Tasting Bokksu includes 10-14 snacks & tea pairing—snacks are curated around a monthly theme
Ships to: Worldwide for free!
Bokksu March 2019 “Spring Picnic” Review
Bokksu always starts out with a quick letter of introduction from their founder, Danny Guo:
This month’s theme, Spring Picnic, has an assortment of light and fresh spring flavored snacks perfect to fill our spring picnic basket!
The included info booklet is very informative and includes a map referencing the snacks’ origins, plus a lot more information. This month focuses on fragrant and fresh flavors such as shrimp, strawberries, and pear.
Each snack is described in detail and Bokksu always clearly cautioned ingredients—very helpful!
To the products!
White Strawberry – Buy 12 pcs for $36.00
This strawberry snack is a Bokksu fan favorite (and mine, too)! The process is as beautiful as the flavors—first, organic strawberries are harvested and freeze-dried to remove all of the water. They are then *infused* with white chocolate and cooled down to create a balanced texture of crunchy dried fruit and smooth, rich creaminess.
I’m not a white chocolate fan because of how overly rich and sweet it can be, but wow, these strawberries are from another world. The white chocolate flavor is so smooth and is such a nice partner to the slight tartness of the strawberry. At first, you may think the flavors of strawberry and chocolate will overpower each other and be dense, but no. The texture and taste are so luxurious and elegant, a must try.
20th Century Pear Langue de Chat – Buy 20 pcs for $30.00
Langue de Chat, or “cat tongue biscuit,” is a beautiful, buttery cookie often paired with a spice or citrus infusion and sandwiched with a cream or jam filling. Japanese Langue de Chats are square shaped sandwich cookies with a layer of white chocolate between the cookies.
The chocolate in this cookie has been infused with a very fragrant pear flavor. The Nijiseiki pear is one of the most recognized Asian pear varieties with a white, fragrant flesh that is slightly tart and extremely juicy. The strong flavor and scent to the fruit carries beautifully into a square of white chocolate and is a match made in heaven with the sweet and soft texture of the cookie.
Sapporo Chokoro Strawberry – Retail Value $3.00
This snack is a lovely complex layered package of a soybean! Roasted soybeans are coated with a layer of nori, or seaweed, that is popped in a sweet rice layer. The sharp, natural flavor of the strawberry melts into a smooth, creamy white chocolate before reaching the crunchy soybean.
Roasted soybeans have a very nice crunch with a nutty flavor. It’s a new flavor combination for me—the strawberry white chocolate was more savory, rather than sweet, and paired very well with the crunch of the soybean.
Mogumogu Cranberry Chocolate – Buy 10 bags for $30.00
Bitter dark chocolate is complemented with crunchy bits of popped barely and sharp, tart cranberry flavors. Because the chocolate flavor is so rich, I drank this with a strong oolong tea (my mom makes her own blend she always sends me). The honey and fruity undertones of a milky oolong tea fits best with such a rich dark chocolate, and still have that tang of cranberry flavor.
Mocchan Dango Mochi – Buy 24 pcs for $30.00
I was a little hesitant to try this snack after I opened it. Of course, the packaging was adorable, and the vibrant colors called out to me, but there was just *so* much sugar coating. After dusting off a considerable amount of the sugar, I ate the mochi, which I knew would be delicious. The mochi itself is sweet already because of the rice, and I just love the chewy texture of rice cake. I’m not too big of a fan of mochi and sugar, but I forgave the snack because the mochi base was so darn good 😊
Gourmet Edamame Chips – Buy 6 bags for $6.00
Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of edamame in the Japanese snack boxes, because it’s just a popular flavor in the spring—but these chips are so much better than your average Trader Joe’s pea crisps! The chips have that slight sweetness you get when you eat regular edamame, but also have a lovely saltiness. These chips are a blend of Niigata’s high-quality senbei and read edamame and have a beautiful crisp texture.
Gourmet Shrimp Chips – Buy 6 bags for $6.00
These senbei are flavored with Niigata’s special shrimp, known for their sweet shrimp that resemble nanban, or chili peppers! The color of these chips is just plain pretty, a perfect pink color for spring. The chips have a beautiful sweetness just like their edamame versions, paired nicely with the strong seafood flavor.
Note: Shrimp flavored Asian snacks have quite a pungent smell and flavor, which may be an acquired taste or a turnoff for some people, but please try them!
Gobochi Yuzusco – Retail Value $3.00
If you go to any Asian supermarket, you’ll see these long, thick roots—they are burdock roots. This is another tea my mom makes (when you bake the slices of roots, they shrink to tiny bits) that have weight loss benefits. When you eat something salty during the night, in the morning your face is swollen—this tea helps reduce the swelling!
Anyway, these light and thin bits are strips of dried burdock root covered in a renown yuzu vinegar pepper hot sauce. The yuzu vinegar has a nice tartness that pairs well with the spiciness (I wish it was spicier, though) and was a beautiful sauce for the burdock root, which has a sweet flavor similar to lotus roots. It’s a delicious savory snack!
Uni Rice Crackers – Buy 6 bags for $6.00
These crunchy fried rice crackers carry an intense umami flavor from uni (sea urchin) and soy sauce (a common flavoring for senbei). There is no fishy flavor but more of a buttery and subtle flavor in the crackers. I know they’re fried, but every bite released a flood of oil from these crackers, which I wasn’t sure I liked. 😐
Honey Butter Potato Sticks – Buy 6 bags for $18.00
Oh man, the honey butter potato chip was all the rage in Korea a few years back (2014-15). The SNS viral marketing was huge—there was an explosive response from young consumers and was heightened even more with celebrity influence. You must rush to your local Asian grocery to grab a bag of them!
These potato sticks have the same honey butter flavor, a tasty mix of sweet, honey flavor with a touch buttery softness. The sticks have a crunchier aspect in contrast to the buttery soft Korean versions, but I do think the soft versions work better with the flavor. Nonetheless, it was a beautiful throwback!!
Kuromame Tea – Buy 12 pcs for $12.00
This kuromame, or black bean, tea is a Bokksu first for a soybean tea curation! I didn’t know you could put them into a tea like this. I can’t say I really liked the tea flavor… as a Korean, I’ve had them in mixed in my rice… but the flavor was more like very, very diluted soy milk ☹ I did like the cooked soybeans, though!
Alfort Premium Strawberry Chocolate – Buy 10 boxes for $40.00
We’ve seen Alfort’s chocolates before in November’s Bokksu last year—those were divine shortbread cookies paired with a lovely fragrant milk tea chocolate. We’re revisiting them for chocolate shortbread and tart strawberry chocolate! The luxurious combination of tart strawberry chocolate and soft chocolate biscuit is lovely. I do think the texture difference of the hard chocolate bar and the soft crumbly cookie part helps as well. 😊
Verdict: I have to say, Bokksu really manages to surprise me at every turn! Recently, some of the flavors of previous boxes may have been unfamiliar with some subscribers, such as rich senbei or okonomiyaki flavors; however, the several strawberry chocolate pairs of this month were just divine, flavors everyone can enjoy and indulge in. I loved the Alfort chocolate flavors, as well as the luxurious white strawberry infusions!
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Unfortunately, no. You must order by the 25th of the month to receive the following month’s box. Order today to receive the May curation. Check out theme spoilers here!
Coupon: Use code FIRST5 to get $5 off your first Bokksu order!
Value Breakdown: This box costs $39.00; with 21 items, you’re paying approximately $1.86 for each item included. I estimated a retail value of $37.50, which is very close to the original value. I consider Bokksu’s beautiful packaging and curation as part of the value, but this opinion may be subjective.
Keep track of your subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What do you think of Bokksu’s spring picnic? Are you enjoying the warm weather?