Have you experienced a Red Bean Paste cookie from a 500 year old family maker in Kyoto? Or tried a Chocolate-Infused Strawberry? Now you can with Bokksu, a gourmet snack box with artisanal Japanese offerings.
We here in Hawaii LOVE our Japanese snacks, and I’m no exception. While there are many Japanese grocery stores, gift shops, snack shops, and restaurants in Hawaii, I was intrigued by a relatively new subscription service called Bokksu, dedicated to exploring Japanese culture through snacks.
Bokksu Founder Danny Taing says this is the only gourmet snack that is boxed, sourced, and curated directly from Japan – recent collaborators include Chika from Chikalicious and Michelin Starred Chef Chikara Sono of Kyo Ya!
Bokksu offered this blogger a chance to try April’s Blossoming Spring Bokksu. Rare, gourmet, sought after snacks and delicacies are included in each box. For example, the Blossoming Spring box features the world’s first white chocolate-infused strawberry, made with organic strawberries and white chocolate by Qua. (DELICIOUS!)
Everything in the box was tasty and fun. It reminded me of what you can get (here in Hawaii) at Marukai, the old Shirokiya, or even Long’s. Some of it is actually available at Long’s (Pocky sticks) but some are very high-grade versions of snack favorites (luxury mochi crunch).
Of course, Japanese have a beautiful, delicate, and cute aesthetic, so everything was packaged to produce a gasp when the box was opened.
I think this is a very fun treat, particularly when someone lives too far from a good Japantown but wants their Nihon snacks.
Previous boxes featured limited edition Kit Kats such as Mandarin Orange and exclusive collaborations like the heavenly Caramelized Apple Cobbler from world-renowned Japanese pastry shop ChikaLicious. Bokksu has also collaborated with culinary stars, like Executive Chef Chikara Sono of New York’s Michelin-Starred Kyo Ya.
A combination Tasting Menu and Culture Guide is included in every Bokksu along with a tea pairing for the box to further create opportunities to slow down and enjoy a snacking ritual. If you don’t read kanji, make sure to keep it as it seems all the packages are not in English.
Taing, a former longtime Japan resident, says he was inspired to create this subscription service because he wanted access to his favorite snacks when he moved back to New York City. “I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to live in and adventure through Japan, which inspired me to create Bokksu. Inviting curious individuals to explore Japanese culture through their taste and imagination is our primary mission.”
He continues, “During my time in Japan, snacking became not just a way to satiate hunger but create ritual, slow down, and create community by sharing. Through being introduced to unique Japanese snacks, I discovered inspiring stories of the snack makers and the traditional recipes behind each one. Some of the snack makers Bokksu works with have been making their signature delicacies such as Kyoto Yokan Red Bean Paste for nearly 500 years.”
May marks Bokksu’s second anniversary. Boxes have different themes each month such as Glamorous Tokyo, Blossoming Spring, Citrus Summer, Tropical Okinawa, and Doki Doki Kit Kat for a unique Valentine’s Day theme in February (Doki Doki is the sound of an excited heartbeat in Japanese).
This is certainly a cultural treat that’s a bit more exciting that my usual Long’s Drugs arare and White Rabbit (though I love those all the same)!
More at www.bokksu.com.