Review: Okashi Connection November 2014

Previous posts in this series: 

Okashi (おかし), for those not in the know, means ‘snack’ in Japanese. Also used for confections, pastries or sweets and can also be written as ‘kashi’. 

For $22 and no more (no money for shipping, that’s already factored in) you’ll get a box delivered almost anywhere in the world (basically to any country that Japan ships to) that contains seasonal product to give you a true taste of Japan. They carefully order in bulk and choose product that are light so they can spend more on snacks and it isn’t wasted on postage.

You get a size 60 box with around a pound (between 400-600 grams) of items. They ‘strive to include things that are difficult or impossible to get outside of Japan’ and they include information and instructions on how to make / eat the items.

But hey, on to the photos and information!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I usually note the day these packages were sent and the day they arrived, however I’m afraid I was a bit slack with this one, and was away the week it arrived. This one was sent on the 6th November – that much I know!

Box10Tea1Info Box10Tea1

Anpanman Gumi

So with each box, we get a code for a members-only post on the Okashi website that explain a little more about each item. This one says: ‘You may notice that it’s quite the chore to peel the gumi off of the paper backing. Don’t waste your time: YOU EAT THE PAPER! How crazy is that?’

These were grape and apple flavour, and it’s true you can eat the paper – it doesn’t taste of paper at all, more like a non-sticky gum without any flavour at all. In the first image you can see I’ve started to peel the gumis from the mould they come in, and in the other photo you can see them nicely packaged and waiting.

They had quite a nice flavour – not overpowering, and you can certainly tell they’re grape and apple in a good way.

CreamSodaCandiesNov

Cream Soda Candies

Again, taken from the members-only post, were told that ‘Commonly, Cream Soda in Japan is melon soda with a vanilla ice cream taste to it.’ That’s pretty accurate for how these taste! They were quite yummy, hard yet able to be crunched without any of those nasty slivers which can hurt your tongue as we sometimes have in local lollies. There were enough in this packet to last for a few snacks – a few at a time is all that’s needed as they’re quite sweet and last quite well.

This is certainly one snack I’d look at getting again when I’m next in Japan!

OttottoNov

Ottotto Consomme Animal Crackers

So these are soup flavour, but they tasted mostly of soy sauce to me – though maybe that’s what they meant by consomme flavour? They were lovely and light to eat, and as immature as it may seem, the animal-shapes were quite fun and cute! Especially as some camels had one hump, and some had two. There were even koalas!

Another snack I’d certainly pick up again! Mum liked these as well – these were probably her favourite thing from the box.

DoraemonNov

Doraemon Fluffy Choco Sandwich

These were a bit of a miss for me. It’s supposed to be a kinda chocolate-like fluffy sandwich, but there wasn’t much taste to the sandwich part, or the filling. Compared to the real thing it’s based on, red bean paste sandwiched between mochi, it seems a pretty poor attempt. Probably my least favourite thing in the box.

FriedPotatoSticksNov

Fried Potato Sticks

These were the first thing we opened. We have quite a similar ‘fries’ snack here (that’s simply called french fries and come in a tiny packet), but these were so much better. Crunchier (I didn’t think such a thing would be possible!) and so much flavour without being sickeningly salty. They also weren’t the slightest bit greasy, which made them easy to eat.

One of the best things in the box. We could probably have something like this in each box and not get bored of them or disappointed, they’re just too good!

KaramuchoNov

Karamucho

These were basically like the Fried Potato Sticks, but a little spicy! They were okay, but I prefer a salty taste along with the spice so my allegiance is to the fried potato snacks if I had to choose. They’re still pretty excellent though!

CabbageTaroNov

Cabbage Taro

If only there had been more of these! It was a small snack packet – which is good, the size was perfect for a snack – but they were so yummy I wish we had another packet for another day! Though it seems odd to westerners to have cabbage as a flavour, they were really delicious. They had a texture and crunch like our cheetoes over here, and were very, very moreish.

Savoury things are always good!

SakuSakuNov

SakuSaku Panda Gateau Chocolate

These were easily my favourite thing in the box – even though they arrived quite melted (fault of our weather here, rather than anything against Okashi) and had that ‘so good you don’t want them gone’ issue!

The box and packaging was very cute and lovely, it could make quite a nice gift almost! The chocolates would have been so cute when not-melted, with a little panda face in chocolate, with the white contrast and then bonus chocolate sauce in the very middle of a marshmellowy taste. These are certainly worth getting and I’d probably snaffle up a few boxes if I ever see them over in Japan. They weren’t overly sweet despite how they may look and also had a very nice texture.

Wata-PachiGrapeNov

Wata-Pachi Grape

This was quite fun – fairy-floss (cotton-candy) that has popping candy (pop-rocks) through it, with a lovely grape flavour. Grape is usually one of the more dependable flavours, being both sweet and sour and failing utterly at a true grape flavour (unlike flavours like banana, which often fail). This was a fun treat and although a little too much for one sitting, it was best to have it all in one go because of the fairy-floss aspect which can dry out.

Tsubu-TsubuNov

Tsubu-Tsubu Fruit Soft Candy

These reminded me so much of skittles, except for the slight difference in texture. The flavours were spot on! They come in pineapple, lemon, peach, grape and apple and the pineapple (the light orange colour) were easily my favourite. The other flavours are almost just as good, but I’m quite fond of pineapple – the peach is probably my least favourite. So in order, pineapple, grape, lemon, apple then peach.

I’d certainly get these again if I came across them, but I probably wouldn’t hunt them down like I want to with the SakuSaku Panda Gateau Chocolate! There were heaps in the bag  (which is resealable) so I still have almost the whole bag to munch on at home. Yum! Oishi!

~

Some months you can also choose to buy extras where they have a limited number of each special item or extras pack, and you get a link to a google form to put up your hand for whatever you want, if you get in on time. Then you get a second charge to your account and volia!

Sadly, this wasn’t one of those months.

~~~

They’re on facebook, twitter, youtube and instagram, and they’re really speedy with getting back to you. Their website is still the best place to start if you’re interested in learning more though.

They also have a referral program in effect! If you’d like $1 off your first box (hey, it’s already pretty cheap so that dollar counts!), enter the following into the ‘Referral Code’ box at the checkout:

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And hey, if you do this and we can confirm that, then I may throw a little something extra your way – probably in the form of a book!

I highly recommend this subscription service, I looked at all the Japanese ones on offer (Skosh Box also looks good but they don’t ship to Australia!). I can’t wait to see what’s in the next box! I really loved this one and highly recommend it to anyone who loves Japanese things, or who just likes snacks! My co-workers have really enjoyed seeing what new thing I have to share each day :)

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