*Zenpop Subscription Box - November Nibbles

*Zenpop Subscription Box - November Nibbles

We're now deep in Autumn: the leaves changing colour, the weather getting colder... What better way to enjoy this season than with some scrumptious snacks from Zenpop? They kindly *sponsored* this blog post and sent me a free Japanese Sweets Pack to review. 

According to the description on their website, each Sweets Pack includes:

  • New and trendy snacks from Japanese supermarkets and convenience stores
  • Popular items like KitKat or Pocky
  • Candy and gummies unique to Japan
  • Indulgent sweets like chocolates, cookies, or wagashi
  • A variety of salty and savory snacks to delight and surprise you
  • At least a dozen or more new things to try in every box!

The theme for the November 2022 box is November Nibbles and, as explained in their booklet (which can be downloaded from a QR code, isn't it cool?!), This is it: Fall has arrived! It’s time to cozy up. Make yourself comfortable, take a good book and a handful of tasty Japanese snacks for a perfectly relaxing evening at home. We’ve got you covered.

There's so much to uncover in this pack, so let's get right to it! *The following are in order as they appeared in the booklet.

Moegino Assort from TIVOLI

Moegino Assort from TIVOLI

Delicious assorted box of traditional Japanese biscuits, you’ll be able to enjoy 4 different flavors of those savory thin baked cookies. With coconut strawberry, green tea milk, cacao almond, and the very tasty dark choco caramel, there is a cookie for every taste in this pack! Tivoli (ちぼり) has built a reputation of spreading happiness through snacks, just like the fountain of happiness that inspired the founder, Izumi Higuchi, to create a company of the same name! 

My gosh, this was great!! So many different flavours, all unique and definitely tasty! I don't know if I have a favourite one, though, I can certainly tell you that my least favourites were the chocolate ones (because I am not a massive fan of chocolate in general... I know, shocking!). Although the dark choco caramel tasted like hot chocolate, which was nice. The coconut strawberry was lovely, although unfortunately the coconut was a bit overpowering and the taste of strawberry was faint, more like an aftertaste. The green tea milk was interesting, very delicate, and I wouldn't mind trying it again!

NATTIA from TIVOLI

NATTIA from TIVOLI

Here’s another treat from Tivoli, Nattia (ナッティア), a type of Florentine biscuit gently covered with nuts and caramel, vanilla and almond or the delicious maple coconut mix! With deep and rich flavors, those biscuits are a new edition of the classic Florentine, that although its name may lead you to think so, isn’t from the city of Florence. The earliest recipes actually date back 12th century France and southern Germany, where it’s a classic Christmas biscuit. Tivoli has put a lot of passion into making this new recipe, with small changes that have a big impact on the experience!

This—by far—was my absolute favourite snack!! I've been eagerly wanting to try this nutty deliciousness since I saw it, and I adored every single flavour. I want to say that in this particular snack the coconut flavour was well balanced with the maple. I don't know if it was the specific combination that worked, but it was really mouthwatering and I think it was my favourite flavour out of the three. The caramel nuts was quite good too, as well as the vanilla almond one, although the vanilla wasn't that strong. 

Levain Classical Crunch Salt Caramel from YBC

Levain Classical Crunch Salt Caramel from YBC

Here we have some bite-sized sweets inspired by salted caramel (キャラメル) tarts. YBC squeezed bittersweet caramel whipped cream with a salty accent on the cracker crunch base, giving the biscuit its distinctive texture. On top of that, they added extra caramel sauce hidden in the cream this year. You may try to chill it before you eat it! Yamazaki Biscuits Co., Ltd. was actually founded in 1970 are famous today for some chips like Chip Star and the quality of their products like the Levain series (ルヴァン), which you’re about to taste! 

I love salted caramel, and this was a really good snack! The caramel sauce in the middle is salted too, so be careful because you won't be satisfied with just one! Also, and I don't know if it's a coincidence, but the space where the extra filling is kind of looks like a heart, doesn't it?   

Osatsu Snack from Calbee

Osatsu Snack from Calbee

Calbee (カルビー), do we still need to introduce them? The company that stood out with its new approach in food production: focusing on unused resources to create new tasty treats! With the seasons turning, it’s time for new flavors, and one of our favorite is Sweet Potato! This snack that allows you to enjoy the natural sweetness of sweet potatoes in a soft and gentle texture. Those chips are only available for a short period of time while sweet potatoes are in season, make sure you savour them! 

I really like sweet potato snacks, and this one certainly lives up to its description! The combination of sweet and—slightly—salty is perfect, together with the crispiness of the snack, and it made for a yummy, pre-lunch treat! 

Kobukuro Polinky Assari Corn from Koikeya

Kobukuro Polinky Assari Corn from Koikeya

Koikeya (湖池屋) is probably one of the most famous chip producer in Japan. With a long history dating back to 1953, the company has been focused on potato chips from day one, and they’ve been really successful with it. They have specific agreements with potato farmers that exclusively produce for them, making the taste of their snacks unique! This corn (コーン) snack has an extra-crispy texture and preserves the natural sweetness and flavor of the corn. They finished it with a light (あっさり) and gentle taste, perfect for when you want to nibble on something but don’t want to get full!

If I had to rate these snacks in order, this Kobukuro Polinky Assari Corn would absolutely come second place! You have corn chips, and then you have SWEETCORN CHIPS. I like corn, so I was already aware I was going to enjoy this snack. However, the surprise was that it literally tasted like sweetcorn, which was exquisite... so much so that I shamelessly wolfed the whole packet down in minutes. Yes, it was THIS good!

Kongari Choco Pan from Iwatsukiya

Kongari Choco Pan from Iwatsukiya

Everyone needs something sweet once in a while. Perfect with coffee, hot chocolate or a cup of tea, this Chocopan from Iwatsukiya is crispy, smooth and tasty. It’s all handmade from Japanese wheat, can you believe it?

This chocopan was quite tasty and surprising! From the package, I assumed it was something like a chocolate dried toast but no! Only one side was covered in chocolate, and it tasted like a toast with chocolate spread, perfect for breakfast! 

Mugi Pon Milk Coffee Flavor from Yaokin

Mugi Pon Milk Coffee Flavor from Yaokin

How about some fragrant barley crunchy snack that is well seasoned with milk coffee flavor? Mugi (むぎ) means barley, and barley tea is very popular in Japan: refreshing and rejuvenating. But paired with coffee, or dipped in a cup of milk and turned into crispy little pieces of pleasures, it’s even better!

This was quite interesting. I drink milk coffee every morning for breakfast, so I was really curious to try this. I don't think I've ever had barley before, so I'm not sure what it's supposed to taste like. However, the flavour was a bit strong—like when you don't put sugar in your coffee—so, it was slightly less enjoyable for me. 

Mochitto Purin from Yaokin

Mochitto Purin from Yaokin

These bite-sized rice cakes called Mochitto Purin (もちっとプリン) are filled with pudding custard cream in a soft, mochi-like texture. Yaokin (やおきん) is a confectionery wholesaler based in Sumida-ku, Tokyo, since 1960 and sells confectionery and food products as well as toys. Yaokin has long been familiar to everyone with its signature product, the Umaibo, which we also have in your box!

My blog is literally called Life is a Box of Mochi, so how could I not enjoy this? Sadly the custard filling wasn't very strong, but this was super, super tasty! My only complaint is that there were only two!! 😛

Pachi Pachi Panic Cola from Meisan

Pachi Pachi Panic Cola from Meisan

Those cola-flavored candies are guaranteed to tickle your sense and keep you awake! Pachi Pachi Panic (パチパチパニック) are famous for their crackling sensations. Be ready for what you’re about to eat!

Ahhh, what a joy this was!! Not only I immensely enjoyed this Pachi Pachi Panic Cola, but it also brought back pleasant memories from my childhood, which doesn't happen often with snacks. The feeling of the candies crackling in my mouth was funny, the cola flavour was there—but not that strong—and it made me think of the key-shaped cola gummies I used to love as a child, so this totally gets a thumbs up for me!

Ponkome bar from Yaokin

Ponkome bar from Yaokin

A nostalgic confectionery for many in Japan. Those Ponkome Bars (ぽんこめバー) from Yaokin are domestically produced rice-puffs, solidified with a slightly sweet and spicy soy sauce made from a mix of soy sauce, sugar/salt, and starch syrup. They are simple, they are tasty, and make for a light afternoon snack!

Another one with an interesting flavour! I like the sweet/salty combination in snacks, and I like soy sauce, so this was happily enjoyed. Luckily it wasn't that spicy!

Porickey BBQ Flavor from Yaokin

Porickey BBQ Flavor from Yaokin

It’s still time to enjoy some barbecues with friends and family before it gets too cold! And to give you an appetite, we selected some delicious BBQ flavored (バーベキュー味) Porickey (ポリッキー) sticks. They are inspired by Germany’s famous Pretzel, and shaped into sticks for your convenience. Easy to keep, easy to eat, hard to stop eating!

I was curious to try this, since I like pretzel sticks, but the BBQ flavor was a bit too spicy for me. Such a shame, because I was looking forward to giving this new flavour (for me) a go.  

Tokyo Umaibo Cinnamon Apple Pie from Yaokin

Tokyo Umaibo Cinnamon Apple Pie from Yaokin

Classic Umaibo (うまい棒), we’ll never get tired of those treats, not as long they keep releasing awesome flavors like Cinnamon Apple Pie (シナモンアップルパイ). I mean, come on?! What more can you ask for in this season. It’s getting colder, we’re slowly wrapping ourselves into more cozy clothes, and cinnamon apple pie is everything we need to make that a perfect moment!

Since I mentioned which snack I enjoyed the most, I feel it's only fair to mention also which one I enjoyed the least, and the Tokyo Umaibo Cinnamon Apple Pie takes this spot. I am not a massive fan of apple treats in general—although I will eat them if I need to—and I probably would have liked this one if only I'd been able to taste the apple. The cinnamon was too overpowering, like if I had a teaspoon of cinnamon powder by itself—that's what it felt like. However, I did like the texture, because it reminded me of cheese puffs.  

Do~n Tarou from Kadou

Do~n Tarou from Kadou

Ramen snacks that can be turned into real ramen? Yes, they exist, and you’re holding them in your hands! Those Don Taro, ど~ん太郎 (sounds like a name for a worthy opponent to Zoro, doesn’t it?) snacks can be placed in a bowl and covered with a little hot water, or eaten as crackers! They are both two very different experiences, which one is the one you’re leaning to?

One more interesting snack in the November Nibbles Sweets Pack! Like the description mentions, they are indeed two different experiences, and if I had to pick one, I'd say the 'eaten as crackers'. I also tried covering them with hot water, but I couldn't identify where—and if—there was indication of how much water, and I guess I put too much so it wasn't really tasty. My bad. 😅

BONUS GIFT: Konpeitō Snack

BONUS GIFT: Konpeito Snack

Konpeitō (金平糖, こんぺいとう), is a type of Japanese sugar candy. It takes the form of a small sphere with a bumpy surface, and comes in a variety of colors and flavors. They are traditional candies in Japan, but funnily the name actually comes from the Portuguese word confeito, which means confetti. It was first introduced in Japan to Oda Nobunaga by a Portuguese missionary in 1569. Today, it’s often used for celebrations and gifted for special occasions. We hope that you’ll enjoy this little gift and that you’ll be able to celebrate another beautiful day!

This was undoubtedly a lovely surprise, as well as a sweet one! Each coloured candy has a different flavour, so you can either eat them individually—or be cheekily greedy like me and eat a small handful. 😁 

🍁🍁🍁

Perfect for the autumn season, this was a fantastic pack with lots of snacks I really enjoyed, too bad many of them finished quickly!  

Don't forget that you can get your own pack by clicking this link. And know that for the month of November you can get free shipping by adding the code MOCHI5 in the Discount box!

Which of these snacks would you like to try? Let me know in the comments!

次回まで。♥

6 comments

  1. Ramen snacks that can be turned into real ramen? Sign me up! Honestly, I love everything in this box, Fran, and your pictures are beautiful!! ❤️ These boxes are the cutest, and the snacks inside never seem to disappoint! Your unboxing posts are always such a pleasure to read, and now I can't wait to show you the Ramen + Sweets Mix Pack that I got using your precious code 😁

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    1. Thank you, Silvia! I know, right?? I'm really glad I came across Zenpop and that I was granted the opportunity to collaborate with such a great brand! Thank you for liking my content, I always try my best to give an unbiased opinion on all the snacks and come up with fun image concepts, I'm happy this is coming across as intended!! ☺️

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  2. These sound amazing. And as someone who just finished Convenience Store Woman (the book) I'm super curious about how different convenience stores are there compared to her- and all the goodies available! :) Anyways the biscuits sound fabulous- I want to try those! The corn chips look delicious. The PAchi Pachi Panic Cola also sounds like something I'd like.

    And the ramen snacks. *Whew* I'd be in trouble if I tried all these. But what a wonderful mix, :):)

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    1. I'll be curious to know what your thoughts on the book are. There are tons of different konbinis in Japan, and they genuinely have a wide variety of products!

      The biscuits were really tasty, sadly they're all gone, haha! Well, if you think this ramen snack was great, keep an eye for the next Sweets Pack review! ;)

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  3. Ahhh, this box looks delicious!!!

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    1. Thank you, Verushka! Yes, the contents were really delicious, I still have a few bits left that I'm trying my best to keep for when I am in a particular craving mood!

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