Posted on September 22, 2014
Oh my goodness! I know It has been a very long while since I have written a blog post! 😦 Work has been busy, which is a very good thing, however, being a team of one means some things get pushed to the back burner. Unfortunately, one of those things is the blog. Many wonderful events have happened since I have last posted here, so I have much to catch up on!
This particular post is about another Japanese snack subscription service called Japan Crate. The company sent me a sample box from their service for me to review and, of course, I am not one to refuse free candy and snacks! One exciting piece of news is that I finally significantly upgraded my laptop! I have an upgraded video graphics card, bigger hard drive…the works! This also means one other fantastic thing…I can finally up my game on video editing and use far superior software! Yay! Oh my, oh my! I have been wanting to do this for quite a long time now. Learning the new software has been a fun challenge, so I look forward to making new and interesting changes to my candy video reviews!
I have reviewed quite a few snack subscription services so far. This is one of the largest, if not the largest box, I have received. The service does cost significantly more than say, OishiiBox, at $25 a month. However, shipping is included and one receives far more product. The majority of snacks in the box are full-sized snack items. Only the Grape Kasugai Gummies was a sample size.
Let’s see what’s in the box!
In each subscription box, Japan Crate incorporates at least one DIY Japanese candy kit. This box contained two DIY kits as you can see from the images above: Nerunerune and Popin’ Cookin’ Sushi.
The above three items are snacks that are in my giveaway! If you are interested in entering the giveaway, details about the giveway will be in the description box for my YouTube video review of Japan Crate. The video will be posted at the end of this blog post.
Pocky Matcha Green Tea, unfortunately, was a casualty from my camera fail! I was filming my review and didn’t realize that my memory card ran out of space. The beauty of having an accompanying blog post is that I can make up for any video failures! 🙂 I like many green tea flavored snacks, however, some are more successful than others. I am happy to say that his falls into the realm of successful green tea flavored delicacies! The cookie stick biscuit has a nice, crisp texture and the green tea flavored white chocolate coating is wonderfully creamy. In other words, Pocky Matcha Green Tea was delicious and I definitely recommend it!
Cookie Chocolate by Kasugai was another video failure. Fortunately, this is the last of my accidental video omissions. This was excellent! This chocolate is certainly in my top favorites from this box! The chocolate was rich and creamy with a subtle sprinkling of fine cookie pieces inside. The proportion of chocolate to cookie was well thought out. This almost reminded me of Nestle’s Crunch because the scale of the cookie pieces is similar to Crunch’s rice crispy bits, however this is far more sophisticated. Cookie Chocolate has a much more rich, darker milk chocolate than Crunch. This was excellent and I definitely recommend Cookie Chocolate!
This box contained eleven snacks, most of which were full-sized snacks! If you consider how much you would spend to purchase these from a Japanese Market in the U.S., you would easily spend far more than $25! My favorites from the box were: Chococones, Cookie Chocolate, Kasugai Grape Gummies, Hokkaido Potato Chips and Strawberry Cake Candy.
Now that I have reviewed quite a few Japanese snack subscription services, it seems that there are several that exist out there in the marketplace that can fit your budget or needs. Many of the services include shipping and can be canceled at any time. Some even include small toys in the package if that is of interest to you.
As I mentioned earlier, if you want a service where you receive a lot of Japanese snacks then Japan Crate is a good option. Their website is: www.japancrate.com
If you would like to check out my video review, watch it down below! 🙂
Category: Blog, Candy Videos Tagged: adorable mayhem, Apollo chocolate, candy review, chococones, chocolate, cookie chocolate, cookies, giveaway, grape gummy candy, hard candy, Hayakawa, Hokkaido potato chips, Japan Crate, kasugai, kracie, magboo candy and jewelry, Meiji, meiji apollo, Nerunerune, popin cookin, sardine crackers, strawberry cake candy, subscription box, sweet potato cough drops
Posted on July 13, 2014
It seems like I’m on an Asian snack subscription kick lately and I most certainly welcome it! The company Oishiibox box contacted me to review their snack subscription service. This is a new company that is actually based in San Diego county! What makes this monthly service different from others I have tried in the past is that they offer a variety of Asian snacks from Japan, Korea, China and more.
The subscription costs $12 a month including shipping which is a very good deal considering the large variety of snacks you get to taste test. You can check out their website at www.oishiibox.biz The company is offering to send two of my YouTube subscribers a chance to win an Oishiibox! Watch the video review at the end of this blog post for details. This contest is only available to residents of the USA.
Let’s see what’s inside this bad boy!
Check out my video review below to see how I rated each of these Asian snacks!
Category: Uncategorized Tagged: adorable mayhem, baby cookie snack, candy, candy review, candy subscription, choco pie, fusen gum, green tea, green tea crunch, green tea kit kat, hard candy, koala's march, lotte, lotte waffle, marukawa, matcha, melon flavor, nestle, oishiibox, pocky, rice crackers, snack review, snack subscription, strawberry, super soda, Umaibo Stick, wasabi, white rabbit candy
Posted on June 27, 2014
I recently traveled to Maine to complete an artist residency at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, which I will blog about in the near future. Now I am back and ready to indulge in candy decadence!
Before I left for my trip, the company, Japanese Treats, contacted me to see if I would be interested in reviewing their snack subscription service. As I am in the business of reviewing Japanese candies, I was excited to give this a shot! They recently sent me a package of eleven items consisting of Japanese candies, cookies and savory snacks.
Below are product shots of the snacks contained in the package.
Of all the subscription services I have tried thus far, this has been the best! Every snack contained in the package was excellent in my opinion, which is a very rare occurrence. If you are interested you can check out the Japanese Treat website at: www.japanesetreats.com
If you would like to watch my video review of this snack subscription, you can watch it below.
Category: Uncategorized Tagged: adorable mayhem, candy review, chocolate, chokobi, cookies, don don yaki, fortune telling candy, grape flavor, gummy candy, japanese candy, japanese snacks, ju-c, kabaya, kino no ko no yama, kit kat, kyabetsu taro, maze maze drink, Meiji, nigi nigi osushiyasan, pakuncho, pudding flavor, sweets, takoyaki, tohato, zoo crackers
Posted on April 12, 2014
We have another Japanese candy review! This is another crazy candy kit from Kracie, which is the maker of Popin’ Cookin’! The Japanese name of this fishing candy set is Asobo Sakana Tsuri.
Below, you can see the contents of the package.
Unlike other Kracie kits, this doesn’t involve actually making the candy. The candy is pre-made and comes in the purple package. What makes this kit unique is that it is a fun game that you can play with other people! The first step to play this game is to put the candy pieces in the clear blue “kiddy pool” above.
You then pop out the colorful paper board hooks, which you then use to “fish” for your candy. The candy is a gummy marshmallow and is shaped to resemble sea life. There are crabs, squid, seashells and fish.
The candy is artificially grape flavored and unfortunately does not taste very good. The candy seems to suffer from an identity crisis as it seems to hover in that twilight area between gummies, taffy, bubble gum and marshmallows. Since the candy doesn’t quite cross over into any clear category, the resulting texture is confusing. It is both hard, foamy and chewy. Not delicious, however, taste, as with most Kracie Popin’ Cookin’ kits, seems to play a secondary role to its interactive quality. In other words, buy this kit to play the game! The fun factor more than makes up for any lack flavor! Here is the link to the candy:
I get many questions about where to get other Popin’ Cookin’ kits, so here are more links below in case you are interested.
If you would like to watch the video of Shane and I taste-testing and battling it out over the fish candy, you can watch the video below!
Posted on April 3, 2014
The Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park, San Diego organizes the Cherry Blossom Festival every year! In recent years, this event has become a little more exciting as the expansion project of the park comes closer to completion. The park acquired the lower canyon area where they have planted one-hundred-fifty cherry trees and will have an additional exhibition space and tea room. Shane and I attended the festival both in 2013 and 2014. Below are images and footage taken from the 2013 festival.
Most of the pictures that I took are in the lower expanded area of the park. Many of the plants are new and have not yet fully grown. The Japanese Friendship Garden is going to be amazing when it is complete!
In the above picture, you can see some of the sectioned-off areas that they are still in the process of landscaping.
Above, is one of the wood bridges spanning across the man-made stream. Of course, since this is a festival there were several booths set up selling traditional Japanese street food. We first purchased our food tickets and then eagerly went on to taste-test the various offerings: yakisoba, taiyaki, and takoyaki. We first went on to try their yakisoba. This was a noodle dish with small pieces of cooked and pickled vegetables. The dish was mild in flavor but good. Unfortunately, I don’t have images of the yakisoba to show, but if you watch the video at the end of the blog post, you can see us try it!
Next, we tried the taiyaki which is a fish-shaped pancake filled with sweet red bean paste.
This was definitely our favorite of all the foods we tried at the festival! The exterior pastry is just like a light, fluffy pancake! The red bean paste inside is smooth and lightly sweet. If you like mochi, you will love this!
The last prepared dish we tried was the takoyaki. We were very lucky because we were one of the last people able to purchase this before they ran out! Takoyaki is dumpling with pieces of octopus inside. The dumplings are covered in a sweet soy sauce mix, drizzled with a little mayonnaise and finally sprinkled with bonito flakes.
This could have been really delicious, however, the cooks rushed in preparing this dish trying to keep up with the long lines of customers. The batter wasn’t fully cooked, leaving the takoyaki a little soggy. Otherwise, this would have been excellent.
Now onto our Japanese candy review! Shane and I decided to walk down to the lower portion of the park and sit in a sunny patch of grass to conduct our review. The candy we tried is a special treat that comes out specifically for Cherry Blossom season in Japan and is called Tanesei (Hishiuchi).
Shane found this at Nijiya Market in San Diego and was immediately drawn to the bright colors of the candy! Being that this was a special treat that comes out once a year he definitely had to pick this up and give this a try. The candy was rather large. Each diamond-shaped piece was about 6 inches in length! Despite their size, they were light and airy.
Upon looking at this product, one wouldn’t necessarily assume this was food. At first glance, it looks like hand soap because of it’s large size, matte texture and bright color. This is a rice flour and cornstarch candy.
Well, it might come as no surprise that this did not taste very good. The candy was hard, light and crunchy making it’s texture very similar to styrafoam. If you took foam core and wafted a little sugar in its direction that would be a pretty accurate description of what this cherry blossom candy tasted like.
Another way I can describe this is if you have ever participated in holy communion in a Catholic mass and eaten host, this tastes like a very thick, hard version. Unfortunately, Shane and I gave this candy two thumbs down. 😦 If any of you out there is familiar with this candy, definitely let me know! Maybe there is a special way in which this would be eaten in Japan and I’m just not familiar?
Shane and I had a wonderful time at the Cherry Blossom Festival in the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park and would definitely recommend anyone attending! If you would like to watch our video review of our experience you can watch it below.
Posted on March 12, 2014
A company called MunchPak recently sent me a package to review their candy/snack subscription service. As I am a reviewer and taster of all things candy, I gladly agreed to test out their product. MunchPak puts together a variety of snacks and candies from around the world and people can subscribe to receive these treats on a monthly basis. I received a decently sized box and opened it with much enthusiasm!
In the box, were snack products from the United Kingdom, United States, Japan and Mexico.
I will first describe the snacks that I did not like, then spend the latter part of this post focusing on the snacks I did like. I actually enjoyed most of the snacks in this package, with the exception of T.G.I Friday’s Potato Skins, GoGo Squeeze and Salsitas. The Potato Skins were potato chips that were bacon and potato flavored. The chip had a mealy, artificial texture. It was very apparent that it was comprised of potato flakes that were compressed and formed into a chip shape as opposed to being cut directly from a potato. The cheese and smokey flavor was certainly there, however the chips were overly salty. I definitely do not recommend T.G.I. Friday’s Potato Skins.
The next in my “dislike” pile is GoGo Squeeze which is applesauce packaged in a convenient squeeze tube. This was clearly the healthiest option of all the snacks as it is made of 100% fruit without any additives but, sadly, I disliked this very much. I have to admit that I have never been a fan of applesauce, so I clearly am biased in that way. I find the slightly grainy texture of applesauce very unappealing. The applesauce was also tart and not very sweet, which makes sense since it does not have added sugar. If you are an applesauce fan, you may truly enjoy GoGo Squeeze so don’t let me sway you because of my personal aversion towards applesauce. 😛
Salsitas by El Sabroso is my last dislike. Salsitas are salsa-flavored tortilla chips. I found the description to be deceptive because the chips tasted nothing like salsa despite having real tomato and avocado flavorings incorporated into the chip. These tortilla chips tasted straight-up like vinegar. Yuck! That is all I could detect in my taste test of Salsitas: vinegar. I disliked these chips the most out of all the products in the box. Despite this, I think having only three products out of thirteen that I didn’t like is pretty good. It is to be expected that not every snack in each package will appeal to everyone.
Now on to the fun part! Let’s talk about the snacks I like! 🙂 First off, are the American treats: Grandma’s Oatmeal Raisin Cookie, Sour Skittles and Air Heads Extremes. When I first picked up the Grandma’s cookie I was very skeptical. I was starting to mentally throw it in the trash with all the other terrible, mass-produced cookies like Chips Ahoy. However, when I tasted it I was pleasantly surprised! The cookie had a nice, soft, crumbly texture with notes of cinnamon and nutmeg. I could not have been more wrong! Grandma’s cookie was surprisingly decent for a commercial cookie and I would recommend it.
Everyone, I am sure, has eaten Skittles at some point in their lives, however, I have not tried Sour Skittles. I love sour candy and after tasting this this definitely elevated Skittles to a higher plane! The slightly sour addition to the sweet chewy candy created a much more full-bodied flavor. Thumbs up for this!
Last, but certainly not least, in my American favorites is Air Heads Extremes in Rainbow Berry. Oh! Can I mention how beautiful this candy was to photograph?
Air Heads Extremes are gummy strips covered in both sugar and sour crystals. The contrast between the soft gummies and crunchy outer crystals made for a very pleasant texture combination. I loved the fruit punch flavor, which is what “rainbow berry” translated to. This was one of my favorite candies in the box. It was not only tasty, but oh so gorgeous to look at! 🙂
Next up are the European candy bars! We have Cadbury Wispa, Cadbury Caramel, Nestle Munchies and Fry’s Peppermint Cream. Wispa is a milk chocolate bar injected with air. Below, you can see the air pockets within the candy bar.
The chocolate is light, smooth and creamy which is typical of Cadbury chocolate. Delicious! Pick this up if you happen to come across it!
Next in line is Cadbury Caramel. This is a milk chocolate bar that is segmented into easily pulled-apart sections. Each section is filled with caramel.
This was another one of my favorites from the box! The bar had a nice, thick outer shell of chocolate covering the caramel. The proportion of chocolate to caramel was perfect.The interior caramel was equally as smooth as the chocolate. Cadbury hit a home run on this Caramel bar!
Nestle’s Munchies was a chocolate bar that was completely new to me! The chocolate is separated into bite-sized pieces. Munchies is similar to American Rolos with some exceptions.
The Munchies chocolate was much creamier than the chocolate in Rolos. Like Rolos, Munchies has a caramel center, but with the addition of a little cookie nugget. I didn’t much care fore the cookie nugget inside because it was so small I could barely detect that it was there. To improve upon this, Nestle should up the proportion of cookie to chocolate and caramel to make it more discernible. Or, since the cookie is so insignificant, they could take it out completely. With the exception of the cookie part, Munchies is a good chocolate bar and worth a try!
Fry’s Peppermint Cream is the last of the European chocolate bars. If you have eaten a York peppermint patty, this is very similar.
As I mentioned above, Peppermint Cream is similar to a York Peppermint Patty, but this is far better! The dark chocolate coating the peppermint center was thick and creamy. The peppermint cream in this bar is far smoother than the slightly crumbly texture of a York Patty. Fry’s Peppermint Cream was another one of my favorites and is an Irish candy.
There was one savory European snack in the package and that was McVities Cheddars cheese biscuits.
If Goldfish Crackers and Ritz Crackers had a child it would be a Cheddars Biscuit. The cracker had a distinct light cheesy flavor reminiscent of Goldfish crackers. The cracker was also slightly flaky and buttery like a Ritz cracker. The Cheddars Biscuit was light and tasty! I definitely recommend it!
The next snack is a Japanese puff called Umaibo Stick. Oh, I wish I had taken pictures of the snack itself because it was delicious and by far my favorite savory snack in the box! You can still see an image of the Umaibo package at the top of this blog post. The snack was similar to a Cheetos corn puff and took on the shape of a giant tube. The flavor of the Umaibo Stick was curry and it tasted exactly like curry! If you love curry you will like this! Thumbs up for Umaibo Stick!
The last treat I will be reviewing is Gansito Cookie from Mexico.
The vanilla cookie is coated in milk chocolate and sprinkles. The interior is filled with a vanilla cream and strawberry jam. This was actually quite good! The chocolate was creamy and the cookie had a nice crumbly texture. The cream filling was nice and light. The strawberry jam was acceptable but, if I had my choice I would have taken it out completely. The fruit jelly seemed out of place and I think this cookie would have been perfect without it.
What do I think of MunchPak? I think this is a fantastic deal! If one were to purchase these items separately, one would easily spend far more than the subscription price which starts at around $8. I regularly frequent Cost Plus World Market and pick up European candy bars which each cost between $2 and $3 a piece. I could easily spend about $12 on the European snacks alone in this box.
If I could give a suggestion for improvement to MunchPak I would include more Asian snacks in the package. Keep in mind, I am basing this view on the specific package I received. There could be a greater variety of international snacks in the upcoming boxes. Because I am an American, I am less interested in trying American candy mainly because it is so easily accessible to me. Though I very much enjoyed some of the American snacks, I as a reviewer am looking to try more unusual food items. Despite some of my criticisms, overall, MunchPak is a good value for your money. If you are in the market for a snack subscription, this would be a good choice.
Thank you for reading my review of MunchPak! If you would like to watch my video review of MunchPak, check out the video below!
Category: Uncategorized Tagged: Air Heads Extremes, Cadbury, candy review, candy subscription, Caramel, Cheddar Biscuits, curry, Fry's Peppermint Cream, Gansito Cookie, GoGo Squeez, Grandma's Oatmeal Raisin, McVities, Munchies, MunchPak, Potato Skins, Salsitas, Sour Gummies, Sour Skittles, TGI Friday's, Umaibo Stick, Wispa
Posted on December 14, 2013
I sincerely apologize for the long delay in posting on my blog as well as making candy videos! 😦 Fall and summer are always the busiest seasons for me. I exhibit at several shows, work on an increased number of freelance projects as well as teach. I feel fortunate to be able to survive in a career path that I love! With that said onto our Japanese candy review! 🙂
A Japanese online candy company, Oyatsu Cafe, contacted me to see if I was interested in receiving some of their candy in exchange for making review videos. Obviously, I said, “Heck Yes!”. I go out hunting for bizarre Japanese candy finds all the time specifically for review, so this was the perfect match! I was able to go onto their website and pick out some candy that I was interested in and they sent it to me directly from Japan. I chose to focus on picking DIY candy kits, such as Popin’ Cookin’, since I find these the most fascinating to review.
The first candy I will be reviewing is Choco Neri by Kracie.
Choco Neri is a DIY chocolate candy making kit. The end result is a sticky chocolate mixed with large puffed rice. The package contains three packets, a large mixing container, a measuring scoop for water, and two wooden craft sticks.
You mix all three packets with a scoopful of water which forms a gooey mass of chocolate and puffed rice.
Surprisingly, this tasted good! Choco Neri is one of the best Kracie DIY products I have tried in terms of taste. The chocolate has a smooth, sticky consistency and has a very distinct milk chocolate flavor. The soft texture of the chocolate pairs well with the crunchy texture of the puffed rice. The chocolate also has slight underlying notes of citrus which creates a more full-bodied flavor. I definitely recommend Choco Neri and give this two thumbs up! If you are interested in this product, you can find this at Oyatsu Cafe online:
I you would check out my video review on Choco Neri, check it out below!
I hope you enjoyed this review and stay tuned for more bizarre Japanese candy reviews!
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