Zenpop Subscription Box - Snack Revelation*

Zenpop Subscription Box - Snack Revelation*

Happy New Year!!! We're almost halfway through the first month of 2023 and I'm here with Zenpop (who kindly *sponsored* this blog post and sent me a free Japanese Sweets Pack to review) to show you quite a few super tasty treats!

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 January 2023 box is Snack Revelation and, as explained in their booklet (which can be downloaded from a QR code), It’s time for the year-end festivities, and we prepared you an awesome pack full of snacks from Japan. You’re about to experience some new flavors, perfect to end the year with a hint of originality. Get yourself the Snack Revelation pack now before it runs out!

Are you ready? Let's get right to it! *The following are in order as they appeared in the booklet.

MIYAKO MONAKA from Toshoan

MIYAKO MONAKA from Toshoan

This might be one of the best treats we’ve included in your boxes this year: Miyako Monaka. You can enjoy the taste of fresh Erimo Azuki beans from Hokkaido, with aromatic “monaka” skin and some delicious sticky rice flour dough called gyuhi. What’s special about this, is that you have all the 3 ingredients separately, and can set up your very own tea time in the afternoon. It goes well with ice cream or seasonal fruits! It’s packaged in a very elegant box that incorporates azuki beans and lots of small details. We hope you enjoy this, to finish 2022 on a sweet note!

This was quite the fun snack! I enjoyed the gyuhi and I really liked sweet azuki beans so it was kind of the perfect acternoon treat to enjoy with tea. The "monaka" skin reminded me of the cone shells used for Italian ice-cream, although it was a little bitter. Now I wish there was an ice-cream with this flavour!

Ebi Mame Hana Senbei from Kanazawa Kenroku Seika

Ebi Mame Hana Senbei from Kanazawa Kenroku Seika

It’s the end of the year, which means it’s time to prepare for the next one already! We know you have some resolutions, and we want to help you achieve them! Those shrimp and black soybean senbei are said to bring good fortune. The flavors are kneaded into a sweet and fragrant baked flower shaped rice cracker. It is a perfect little present, or treat for yourself!

This was really good! Every time there is a senbei I am very excited, and when I taste it, I am amazed that every time I enjoyed them more than before. The senbei is very crisp, and the taste of the ebi is quite light, which is something I appreciate because if the fish flavour is too strong it really ruins the experience for me. This is certainly a snack I've enjoyed a lot!

Kuchidoke Kouji Saku Maro Curry Aji from Oyatsu Company

Kuchidoke Kouji Saku Maro Curry Aji from Oyatsu Company

Are you ready for a little nostalgia? This puff snack with its retro packaging brings back a lot of memories of people in Japan. It looks like a curl with a lovely texture, and still has its classic curry flavor. Curry was brought to Japan by foreign sailors, and has quickly made its mark on Japanese cuisine. Today, you’ll find a lot of local restaurants offering curry, and some chains even specialized in making only this delicacy! 

I can't say this brought back pleasant memories because I am not Japanese, but I can't deny that the retro packaging looks very nostalgic (in a good way!). The curry flavour was a bit too strong for me, but the texture was one of my favourites when it comes to snacks. 

Jaga Choco Creamy White from Bourbon

Jaga Choco Creamy White from Bourbon

Are you the sweet and savory type? Bourbon broke a couple of traditional snack making rules here, but we are more than happy about it. Classic potato chips are gently covered with a sweet, creamy white chocolate coating and an explosion of flavors. What a way to end the year. 

I couldn't contain my excitement when I saw this treat from Bourbon was in this pack. I've had the pleasure of trying the Jaga Choco chips before, and they were amazing, so it was a blessing to have the opportunity to try them again! The sweet of the white chocolate overpowers the saltiness of the potato a little, but the texture is fantastic!  

Tsumami Dane from Kameda Seika

Tsumami Dane from Kameda Seika

10 different flavors in one little bag! If you want to experience diversity, this is the snack you should go for first. Otsumami are usually small snacks to be enjoyed with friends at the dinner table with a couple of drinks. They can be sprinkled in salt, mixed with roasted seaweed, sprinkled with sesame, covered in soy sauce: so many delicious options available. They are kind of the Japanese version of Jelly Beans, except that there is no bad flavor!

Sadly, this was a miss for me. I liked the fact that they were all different shapes and textures, and I agree it's a snack that can be at the dinner table when there are friends over. However, it tasted too fishy for my personal taste, so I couldn't fully enjoy this.

Sushi Ame from Takara Seika

Sushi Ame from Takara Seika

Sushi-looking candy because, why not? Squid, salmon roe, shrimp, egg, tuna, those are the 5 different shapes that you may have in your box! Sushi is such an iconic food when it comes to Japanese cuisine, its image alone evokes an association with Japan. Whether you get to try fine dining sushi, or conveyor belt sushi, each is an experience on its own and worth trying. For now, we hope that you enjoy those little sweets!

It's nice when candy comes in all shapes and sizes, right? I had yet to find one that looked like sushi, and I was happy I got to try this (mine was the tuna)! It was very sweet and it felt like sucking on a sugary lollypop, yum! 

Mocchan Dango from Kyoushin

Mocchan Dango from Kyoushin

Dango (団子) is a Japanese dumpling made from different types of rice flour mixed together, such as uruchi rice flour and glutinous rice flour. They are usually piled up on a skewer, 3 by 3 and coated with different flavors!

Mocchan dango was another one I had the pleasure of trying before, so it made me very giddy to seeand eatthis again. The best way I can share my opinion is that it feels like eating a gelatinous sugary candy, so it was soft but kind of squishy... a little firmer than mochi, I would say!

Umai bo Gyutan Shio Aji from Yaokin

Umai bo Gyutan Shio Aji from Yaokin

Umaibo (うまい棒), Japan’s most iconic retro snack. We promise that one day, we’ll have delivered you every single flavor available. But there are still many to explore. For this month, we went with an original one: a mix of spices and lemon. Enjoy it while it lasts!

This was a little miss for me, unfortunately. The mix of spices and lemon was not a nice combination for me, but I did enjoy the crispy texture as it always reminds me of cheese puffs. 

Sonomanma Cola Gummy from Coris

Sonomanma Cola Gummy from Coris

Here we have a very popular flavored-gum series. We selected the classic Cola taste for a sweeter note in this month’s box!

This, to me, felt like something I used to see quite often as a child, so it feels kind of retro! The cola flavour wasn't too strong, and I also liked the texture. Chewy, with a soft, cola core! 

Aji Curry from Yamato

Aji Curry from Yamato

Curry is heartwarming, satisfying, and addicting. So after the earlier curry-flavored snack, we knew that you might be keen on a second on! We went for Yamato’s crackers because they are so simple, it’s actually hard to do better. With its retro packaging and original flavor, they are everything you’d want from a curry cracker.

I really enjoyed the crispiness of these crackers, the curry flavour wasn't too overpowering and the packet emptied quite quickly. Too bad this wasn't as big as the Kuchidoke Kouji Saku Maro Curry snack!

Almond no Thunder from Yuraku

Almond no Thunder from Yuraku

Blackthunder is the equivalent of Mars or Twix in Japan. It has a near iconic status, and reputation to its chocolate bars. This one, is different. It contains 12.2% almonds, a very specific number for a very unique taste. Meet, the Almond Thunder (アーモンドのサンダ), and let your taste buds decide the rest.

I like snacks that contain nuts, so this was certainly a hit! To be honest, it didn't taste like other similar chocolate bars, so I can see why the flavour is considered unique. It's the perfect snack to keep close if you're working/studying hard and you need a break.

Mochi Tarou Shio from Kadou

Mochi Tarou Shio from Kadou

Let’s start with the obvious here, the packaging. It’s old-fashioned, yet unique, different, and tells a story. Look at those couples and the large wooden bowl they are standing around. This is how mochi is made. You can find some pretty amazing videos on the internet, and you may have seen the one about 2 men preparing mochi at lightning speed. It leaves you speechless. Now this snack is a classic, nostalgic mochi for you to experience some traditional Japanese treat at home.

As you know, I'm all for Japanese culture, so the packaging immediately caught my eye, especially since it depicts the process of making mochi. And since my blog is named after mochi, how could I not be excited? I'm glad I decided to only eat half the bag, so I can still enjoy some while I write this. With its retro vibe and a snack that looks like little mochi puffs, what more could I ask?   

Onigiri Senbei from Masuya

Onigiri Senbei from Masuya

Senbei (せんべい) are crunchy and tasty Japanese rice crackers. They are traditional, have been around for a long time, and if you’ve never tried one, we’re happy to have you eat this Onigiri Senbei as a first! It is seasoned with soy sauce and sprinkled with roasted seaweed.

Senbei, senbei, senbei! If I could live off senbei and mochi I would be one super happy bunny! This was probably my second favourite, shaped like an onigiri and soy sauce-flavoured. The texture was a bit puffy, so it made me enjoy this salty treat even more.  

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This snack pack was indeed a revelation! I honestly appreciated it, I liked the inclusion of retro treats, somehow it makes me feel close to Japanese culture more. And I will never stop advocating this: white chocolate and potato crisps are a match made in heaven!

Don't forget that you can get your own pack through this link. You can get $5 off your first pack by adding the code MOCHI5 in the Discount box!

Do you enjoy retro snacks? Let me know in the comments! 

次回まで。♥

4 comments

  1. I'm so glad I was able to taste these snacks too and, in my personal opinion, the Onigiri Senbe was the best! 😋

    I'm really curious to see what you'll get next and, even if I won't be able to taste the next snacks with you, I'm sure you'll be able to enchant me with your sweet words and your photos, which are always cool and quite original 😍

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    1. Aww, bestie!! 🥰 I'm glad I got to experience these snacks with you, and I knew you genuinely enjoyed the Onigiri Senbei, you kept raving about it afterwards! 🤣

      Considering the theme is Osaka treats, I'm pretty sure you'll enjoy my review nevertheless 😉

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  2. Tea time sounds fantastic with that first box. I'm really curious about that third one too. I think I'd like the cola flavors, and the Onigiri Senbei may be what I want to get the most!

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    1. That was a very unique snack, Greg! I'm not particularly too fond of DIY snacks but this was different. I don't really know how to explain it, but it felt like eating a snack that was served in the old days, if it makes sense?

      The Onigiri Senbei was amazing, not only because it was shaped like one, but the flavour was really good too!!

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