Japan Crate May 2016 Review

May is here and so is another box of snacks and treats from Japan. This is the first month featuring the new, larger boxes with more snacks.

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As usual Japan Crate includes a booklet / mini-manga that explains what everything is and has various additional content. A bonus in all crates this month is a random Kitty Cups gashapon. Ridiculous but cute. On to the edibles.

 

The Excellent

As I’ve previously mentioned, I adore cola flavored candy. So Premium exclusives PachiPachi Panic Cola and Kajirittyo Cola Candy are exactly to my tastes. The former is a crackling candy with a mix of sour lemon in it, and the later a soft chewy rope candy with a cider flavored center. Both provide a nice combination of flavors. I also received an unlisted bonus Sour Cola Gummy Rope, which was quite good.

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The chocolate treats also continue to shine. Puku Puku Taichoco is a taiyaki cookie with a airy chocolate filling. Another Big Bar Z variation was included, and it tasted just as divine as the last one. It’s a wafer bar infused with chocolate flavor, this one White Choco. This is the clear star of this month’s box.

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.Sakusaku Panda Cookies are cute cookies with a chocolate back.  These tiny, crunchy snacks are quite tasty. Another of the Premium exclusives is King’s Lost Crown, a large cookie with a creamy chocolate filling.

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The Decent

The Premium drink this month is Hajikete Grape Cidera light, smooth drink that taste like grape soda.

There are two possible types of chips, and I got Nori Shio Potato Chips. This salted seaweed flavored snack is quite good and features a flavor unique to Japanese snacks.

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An advertised bonus for the Premium Crate that’s unlisted in the book is Japanese Oreo Snack. I got macadamia nut mini candy bars. Great inclusion.

Nomuccho Jelly is a simple DIY that produces a melon jelly when mixed with water. The consistency varies depending on how long it’s allowed to sit.

 

Caramel Corn is an interesting snack with the consistency of cheese puffs but the flavor of Cracker Jack.

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Pandaro Cookies are the second panda themed cookie this time. It’s a light, crispy butter cookie.

Sour Cider Gum is lightly flavored with another flavor unique to Japanese treats.

 

The Meh

Mochitto Kinako Mochi is traditional soybean flour covering mochi, a Japanese rice cake. This is a good inclusion, again highlighting things unique to Japanese snacks. I just personally didn’t care for the taste.

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Big Mashuro~ is indeed a big marshmallow. Hachimitsu 100% are hard candies made of honey. I like honey, but didn’t care for the flavor of these personally.

 

Conclusion

Strong start for the “new” Japan Crate. The bigger box and more snacks makes this an excellent value, and the Premium upgrade is back to easily being more than worth the extra $5.

This is my last crate for now due to budgetary restrictions, but the changes are great and I highly recommend trying out Japan Crate for yourself.

Japan Crate April 2016 Review

April is here and so is another box of snacks and treats from Japan.

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As usual Japan Crate includes a booklet / mini-manga that explains what everything is and has various additional content. A small plastic otter from AMUSE called Kawauso No Kotsume is the promised “make-up item” for past shipping delays. Whatever. On to the edibles.

 

The Excellent

Puru Mocchi Grape is the best of the three gummies this month, with both tart and sweet flavor overtones. I also enjoyed the variety, flavors and texture of the Fruit Shop Gummy  a lot.

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Sherbert Pero Cola  was described as a combination of Fun Dip and Pop Rocks, and that’s pretty accurate. The hard power style lollipop is cola flavored and the dipping powder designed to add a fizzy taste/texture. A unique, tasty candy.

The chocolate treats continue to shine, as the airy Caplicocot chocolate hearts and the panda decorated Sakupan Giant Wafer chocolate cookie were easily my overall favorites this month.

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The Decent

We got another version of Fue Ramune this month. They have consistency similar to mint lifesavers (though “break” easier when chewed) and taste strongly of the named drink. They are shaped to create a whistling sound for added amusement. 123 Green Apple Gum is exactly as the title implies, and fine for what it is.

Rock, Paper, Scissor Gummy has been sent before, but it’s still amusing and the cola flavor keeps it high in my estimation.

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Chip Star Ebikoubashi and Calbee Shrimp Chips both feature the unique Japanese snack flavor. The former have the consistency of Pringles and are a nice variation. I’ve had the latter before, but not in the Hot Garlic flavor I received (there were four possible). Good inclusions here.

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The Premium drink was Pineapple Soda. Nice, light soda that tastes as advertised.

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Waku Waku Zoo Animal DIY is one of the best DIY’s they’ve included.

 

The strawberry and lemon “doughs” included were didn’t require any added water or mixing, which was nice. Just take them out of the package and place into the molds as desired. Add the lollipop sticks and close the molds for a few seconds and they make cutely shaped gummy lollipops they have a good, chewy texture.

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There was enough dough to make two “batches” (four lollipops) and experiment with the flavor combinations a bit. Very nice overall.

 

The Meh

Wow, Such Banana?! is supposedly back by popular demand. It’s a banana shaped/flavored marshmallow treat filled with chocolate, if you can call a tiny thread running through the center “filled with.” The chocolate was tastable though and this wasn’t bad but I personally didn’t need it repeated so it gets a meh this time around, especially as one of the few Premium exclusives.

 

Conclusion

Good batch this month, with numerous original and varied snacks. I am getting a bit disillusioned with the Premium upgrades though, as they’ve decreased in number and are now containing repeats. The good news is they’ve just announced upgrades to the number of items and inclusion of brand name snacks starting next month (with Japanese Oreos).

This was the last crate of my subscription and I’ll likely have to stop soon due to budgetary restrictions, but I’m continuing at least one more month to check out the promised changes. I’m still enjoying Japan Crate a great deal overall a year into my experience with them.

Japan Crate March 2016 Review

March is here and so is another box of snacks and treats from Japan.

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As usual Japan Crate includes a booklet / mini-manga that explains what everything is and has various additional content.

The Excellent

Yuki No Yado Chips are said to be a rice cracker variation and have a “snow-like” frosting. The balance of sweet and salty is perfect and this was easily my favorite snack this time.

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The first of several great crunchy chocolate treats this month was Furuta Dodeka Bar, one of the Premium exclusives. Fantastic 10 inch candy bar resembling a lighter textured Nestle Crunch.

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The Premium bonus item was Sakupan Land chocolate covered cookies. Each was printed with a different panda face. They came in almond cream, caramel chocolate, and dark chocolate. I got the dark chocolate version and they were delicious. In the same vein and equally tasty were 7 Stick Choco Cream, a batch of seven chocolate filled crunchy wafers.

 

The Decent

Fue Ramune have consistency similar to mint lifesavers (though “break” easier when chewed) and taste strongly of the named drink. They are shaped to create a whistling sound and come with a mini toy for added amusement.

Three more varieties of Umaino Sticks included this month. All three (teriyaki, corn potage, and pizza) were good and tasted reasonably like their advertised flavor.

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Two Yaokin Roll Candies were included: strawberry and green apple. These were sweet, sticky versions of fruit roll ups. I preferred the strawberry, but both were good and had decent flavor to them.

The Premium drink was either Sangaria Ume Soda or Yogu Time. I got the yogurt drink in orange flavor. It’s a nice, light drink, somewhat reminiscent of Sunny Delight with a creamier taste.

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My Kasugai Gummy flavor was pineapple, so along with the Pine-ame Gummy I got two types of such flavored gummy candies this month. They had slightly different texture and flavor, and made a nice contrast. The other possible Kasugai Gummy flavors were lychee, peach, and ramune.

The Meh

There were two possible DIY Kits this month, and I got Choco Kinako Mochi DIY. I have to say I didn’t care for the kinako, and the rehydrated mochi pellets could have been better. I do appreciate it’s inclusion as something unique and different, regardless of not liking it personally.

 

Conclusion

I’m impressed with the number of different flavors and variations possible in this month’s crate. It adds to the surprise and fun. The snacks themselves were largely great, and this was possibly the best crate I’ve gotten yet.

Japan Crate: Lucky Crate Review

Japan Crate recently ran a special promotion called “Lucky Crates.” These crates were half the price of their Premium Crates and filled with 10 snacks from previous crates. Random crates would also contain special prizes (or redemption vouchers for larger things).

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The insert included was a great touch, as it showed and explained all of the possible snacks as well as highlighting the special prizes. I did not receive any of the special prizes, but the box contents themselves were good. There was a coupon included as sort of a conciliation prize ($7 off a crate), but it expired 3 days from the target arrival date and was only good for new subscribers. So instead of being a nice gesture it was kind of a slap in the face to regular costumers. “Sorry you didn’t win anything. Here’s something you can’t use instead!”

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I got two of these, and they were practically identical. The only difference between the two was one had Konpetio Sugar Candy and the other had Soda Mixing Jelly Beans. The other nine items were exactly the same between the two boxes. I’m sure there was more variety in general, which makes it a little disappointing that there wasn’t effort made to better randomize the prepared boxes before filling orders for multiples.

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The Excellent

I adore soda flavored candy, so was quite happy to get Soda Mixing Jelly Beans (in one crate) and Poifull Soda Beans. Both are excellent yet different in flavor.

Sweet Corn Pretz are quite good and taste exactly like they are supposed to.

Chocolate Pucca are delicious pretzel shells filled with chocolate.

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The Decent

Grape Gummy Ribbon has a nice, slightly tart grape flavor and a very unique soft, almost dough-ish texture.

Vitamin C Lemon Drops are exactly what they sound like – a lemon flavored hard candy loaded with Vit C.

Konpeito is described as a traditional Japanese candy from the 16th century. It’s pieces of what’s generally called rock candy over here. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it in such small, relatively uniform pieces. Ok, but I vastly preferred the soda jelly beans I got in the other box.

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Meiji Dice Caramel are amusingly packaged caramel candies. Fun inclusion, but a bit too sweet for me.

Two previous Premium exclusive drinks were included. Chunosuke Water is a nice, lightly flavored drink and Creamy Melon Soda tastes exactly as described.

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The Meh

Lemon Squash is quite interesting, as it’s a soft plastic bottle of a mild lemonade packaged like a snack. I found it bland, but it certainly will have its appeal among others. 

 

Conclusion

While I had a couple small complaints about the execution overall the Lucky Crates were a great deal, particularly for new customers or ones who don’t get Premium and haven’t had the drinks. Would I get another one if they did this again? Absolutely. Is it worth getting more than one at a time? Absolutely not.

Japan Crate February 2016 Review

February is here and so is another box of snacks and treats from Japan.

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As usual Japan Crate includes a booklet / mini-manga that explains what everything is and has various additional content.  The Premium bonus item this month is Mini Ramen Bowl plastic toys. Detailed and amusing. As a little unlisted bonus, my box contained a few green tea KitKats. I’ve had them before and love them so this was a pleasant surprise inclusion.

Now let’s look at the other edibles.

The Excellent

Gummies and soda flavored candies continue to be my favorites, and I got a couple of each this month. Yaokin Budou Grape Gummies (a Premium exclusive) have a nice texture and the taste of grape juice. Twinbo Drink Gummies have a great sour taste with two of four flavors (cola, ramune, lime and lemon) per piece.

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Coris Grape and Soda Kajirittyo is more of the wonderful taffy candy that has the consistency of gum but dissolves. We need candy like this in the US.  Toppu Trio Gum are individually wrapped soft sticks of gum in cola, cider and grape flavors.

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Petit Pastel Ice Cream Cookies & Chocolate are tiny candy covered wafers with a chocolate shell shaped to look like ice cream cones and dishes. Amusing and delicious.

The Decent

Super Lemon hard candies have three layers of varying intensity of lemon flavor. Yaokin Moguchuu Strawberry are decent taffy-type candy.

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Chip Star Norishio corrects my complaint from last month’s crate, as Seaweed and Salt is definitely not a potato chip flavor common to the US. They were quite good too. 

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This month’s Premium Crate’s drink is Ramune. Being it’s been included before and I’m quite familiar with it in general it would have been nice to get one of the more unusual possible flavors they had, but regardless original is still a pretty tasty drink.

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The DIY Kit was Heart Ltd. Oekaki Choco, which makes a chocolate lollipop with little crunchy candies throughout. I skipped painstakingly arranging the candies into patterns, which had no impact on the taste. 😉

 

The Meh

Nericcho Soft Cider/Strawberry Cones were listed as a “Shipping Bonus” for all crates, but given the Original tier only had 3 items this time it really just brought the count back to expected for anything above mini. The idea here was fine, with a powder mix to make a foam candy to put into mini ice cream cones. Unfortunately the cones were beyond stale, making this worthless.

Conclusion

 

Despite receiving my first stale item in any of my boxes, this month got back on track overall with the kind of unusual, diverse, and tasty snacks I look for from Japan Crate.

Japan Crate January 2016 Review

January is here and so I begin the year with another box of snacks and treats from Japan.

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As usual Japan Crate includes a booklet / mini-manga that explains what everything is and has various additional content. No DIY kit this month due to shipping issues, so a random surprise item was included in every crate. There were apparently a few big prizes mixed in. I got a squishy toy that looks like a face made of bread (so weird) and some decent chewy strawberry candies. Kudos to Japan Crate for always trying to make up for it when things don’t go quite right.

Now let’s look at the rest.

The Excellent

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I don’t know if I buy the Premium exclusive Gaba Infused Stress Relieving Milk Chocolate‘s extraneous claims, but it’s smooth and delicious chocolate none the less. Sparkling Orange Gummy is a great orange flavored candy, and my favorite snack item this month. Asahi Calpis Gummies capture the taste of the unique drink well, and have a distinct texture.

 

 

The Decent

Fit’s Strawberry & Cream Gum has a decent flavor that lasts a while and comes with a “Where’s Waldo” puzzle on the back. Hello Kitty Strawberry Pretzels and Milk Chocolate Pocky are exactly as would be expected.

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Pokemon Pineapple Candy chews like gum while dissolving to avoid the cultural taboo of removing food from one’s mouth. Love the idea and this was great to try. A different flavor and it would have been fantastic.

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This month’s Premium Crate’s drink is Sukitto Lemon C Drink. A simple, light lemon soda-like drink with vitamin C. Another premium exclusive this month is Pizza Pretz. A bit salty and tomato taste heavy for me, but decent overall.

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JU-C Short Cake are sugary “chip” candies. The short cake flavor included is good. Yam White Chocolates have a fudge-like consistency and are decent, which is a lot more than I expected of that particular combination.

 

 

The Meh

The two possible flavors of Usushi / Ume Potato Chips translate to “light salt” and “plum,” respectively. I got the former, so essentially plain potato chips. They were good for what they were, but anything I feel like I can get at my local US supermarket underwhelms me as a Japan Crate inclusion.

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Conclusion

A little disappointed that the number of Premium exclusive items were reduced, especially since one of them this month was Pretz (which is usually included in the lower tiers). The Gaba Chocolate was great though, so I’ll call it even. I like pocky and pretz, but three types of them and a bag of plain potato chips is not the kind of variety I look for in these crates.

Still, the other items were quite unique and several were unlike anything I’ve had before so even though this was the weakest Japan Crate for me so far I’m still satisfied enough with it.

Japan Crate December 2015 Review

December brings another unique box of snacks from Japan.

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As usual Japan Crate includes a booklet / mini-manga that explains what everything is, has instructions for the DIY kit, and various additional content. The bonus item for the Premium Crate this month isn’t food, but 1 of 11 possible Legend of Zelda Mini-Figures. While I don’t recognize the character I got, the figure is quite detailed for the small size and looks good.

Now let’s look at the edibles.

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The Excellent

As I’ve mentioned before (repeatedly), I adore cola flavored candies. So the Hia Shuwa Cola hard candies, one of the Premium exclusives, were easily my favorite item this month. The three “levels” (types) were all good, although I’m not sure why one was called “gummy.” I understand the fizzy and soothing ones. 😉

Naga-I Sawagumi Orange is described as a “sour gummy tape,” although I got more of a sweeter version of the candy I know as orange slices than something sour. Regardless, I loved it.

Both named flavors in the Black Bean & Soy Sauce Scones were extremely subtle, but that was perfect here and the underlying corn taste tied it all together. This is my favorite savory cheetos variation so far.

This month’s Premium Crate’s drink is Celio Lifeguard Drink. Subtitled as “Super Life” in the booklet, this was almost a combination soda / energy drink. Honey and royal jelly give it a much more pleasant flavor than normal for energy drinks.

Demitasse Pocky is apparently a new limited edition flavor made from seasonal ingredients. The coating was thick dark chocolate, and as such these were fantastic.

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The Decent

I liked this month’s Umaino Sticks better than the previous flavor (beef tongue). They were less salty and the fact that we got three different flavors to try instead of just one was great. The veggie salad tasted more like the corn snacks I’ve gotten (and enjoyed) in the past than a combination of veggies, the Tonkatsu didn’t quite taste like Tonkatsu to me but was fine, and the cheese was similar to cheese puffs. All three were good, but I liked the cheese the best.

The delayed item from last month was Fujiya Lollipop Bag, a bag of classic style lollipops in four flavors: orange, grape, apple, and strawberry. Exactly what you would expect here.

 

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There were a LOT of drinks / drink mixes this time. Awa Moco Moco powder formed a fizzy, creamy fruit drink. I got strawberry, which would have been my preference among the 3 possible flavors (banana and melon were the others).

The DIY kit this month was Cute Tororin Parfait DIY Kit, which is intended to make a strawberry parfait with pink candy topping and icing. I doubt I’m the target demo here, but I like this all the same. It mixed quickly, and well and made a good tasting parfait with a creamy texture.

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Bad Kid Beer was supposed to be in fact a “magic powder that creates a creamy grape soda when mixed with water.” The grape flavor was very light but this was a fine soda-ish drink mix.

There was another “drink in a flexible plastic bottle packaged like candy” this month, and they still amuse me in presentation. I took the advice of the booklet and tried freezing my Pachishuwa Dynamite Melon Soda. There was no indication of how I was then to get it out of the package, but the soft plastic sliced easily enough and I poured the slush into a bowl. This Premium exclusive had a strong melon flavor and I liked it better than the previous beverage of this type. The freezing idea was a nice touch.

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The Meh

Nothing this time. YAY!

Conclusion

Great batch this month, with a lot of variety and several unique inclusions. The Premium exclusives continue to provide some of my favorites, and the upgrade is easily worth the additional $5.

Japan Crate November 2015 Review

November’s here and so is my box of varied and unique snacks from Japan.

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As usual Japan Crate includes a mini-manga that explains what each item is, has instructions for the DIY kit, and various additional context, pictures and promotion. The bonus item for the Premium Crate this month isn’t food, but a Naruto Blind Box Mini-Figure. Good inclusion to capitalize on the popular anime. One of the items listed in the book (Fujiya Lollipop Bag) wasn’t available in time, so an email was sent out explaining that it would be in next time and that two snacks had been added in its place. Nice touch.

So let’s look at the edibles.

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The Excellent

Both replacements were from Glico, and the Cookies & Cream pejoy ended up being my favorite snack of the month. Kind of a “reverse pocky,” these vanilla cream filled chocolate cookie sticks were delicious. The chocolate items were a big hit with me in general, as the Bar-None-like Black Thunder candy bars were fantastic.  The other replacement was also great: Hot Chili Salad Flavored Pretz, nicely seasoned pretzel sticks with a decent dose of spice.

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The Decent

This month’s Premium Crate’s drink is Chunosuke Water. I got the Apple flavor, and it’s a nice lightly flavored drink. Superstring Q is also a Premium exclusive, and is a 50 inch gummy string with two different types of grape flavored sections. It was decent, although I while I could tell the difference in taste between the two types it was more “sweet and different sweet” than “sweet and sour.”

Meiji Dice Caramel and Glico Man Caramel & Toy are both amusingly packaged caramel candies. They were fun inclusions and the caramel was decent, but in both cases it was a bit too sweet for me.

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The DIY kit this month was Funassyi Furi-Furi Shake DIY Kit, which is intended to create a sweet pear flavored milkshake by adding milk and an ice cube to the provided powder. I got almost more of a banana flavor from it personally, but it mixed to a nice consistency and was decent for what it was. “Add milk and ice and shake” is also far and away the least work required for one of these so far.

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Another Premium exclusive, Parchishuwa Grape Soda Mix, is one of the most unique candies I’ve tried yet. It’s like a bit a pop rocks mixed in with a powder that fizzes a bit and some chewy pieces for texture. The book describes it as “exactly what grape soda would be like if you could eat it instead of drink it,” and they’re right.

Uranai-KKO Bubble Gum is a nice recreation of fortune sticks. The gum itself is decent and seemed to have a slight cola flavor. The book and blog provide a little to help try to translate the fortunes, but it’s not nearly enough and I found the most I could determine on the sticks I got was good or bad luck.  Spy vs Spy Sour Gum contained two identical looking soft sticks of lemon gum, with one much more sour than the other. This was one of the Premium Crate exclusives and I enjoyed both versions.

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The Meh

Fluffy Long Neck Marshmallow is a twisted rainbow marshmallow stick. It’s fine for what it is, but a marshmallow doesn’t impress me. I wanted to like the Purple Sweet Potato Sticks, which taste as advertised, but I really didn’t for some reason. So it goes.

Conclusion

This was the weakest Japan Crate so far for my personal tastes, but I still appreciate the chance to try all of these unique snacks. The Premium exclusives continue to provide some of my favorites, and the upgrade is easily worth the additional $5. Despite less to love than usual there wasn’t a lot I severely disliked either, there were still high points,  and I continue to be impressed with the variety of selections, not only within each box but across the shipments I’ve received.

Burnt to Perfection

This past Sunday I attended Food Network’s NYC Wine and Food Fest, an incredible celebration of delicious food and beverage featuring endless tasting booths of the highest quality ingredients (I’m still drooling over the lobster roll and kobe beef samples) and masterful live cooking demonstrations by professional and famous chefs.

It was during one of the latter that the unexpected highlight of the day happened for me. At the beginning of Andrew Zimmern’s demo (featuring an interesting fusion dish and a wonderful discussion of Mexican food), two seat numbers were chosen at random for a couple of amazing prizes. I sadly did not win the trip to Mexico, but tickets to the premiere of the new movie Burnt starring Bradley Cooper did just fine. 😉

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The screening was at MoMA, and was definitely a bit of a surreal experience. The theater was downstairs off of an entrance a couple doors down from the main museum one and looked to hold about 300 people. There were tons of photographers both at the door and inside around an area set up set up in a hallway for pictures/interviews as the stars entered. Ticket holders were directed behind it and downstairs to the theater. Most of the cast was in attendance and was introduced by the director before the show.

The movie itself was fantastic. I adore glimpses into the cooking world, and Burnt is a love letter to that world, celebrating the drive and skill that goes into the art at its highest level without shying away from the problems and pitfalls that come with wanting to be the very best. The story of Cooper as a disgraced chef making a comeback to earn his third Michelin Star unfolds wonderfully and is anchored by a myriad of amazing performances and cinematography that draws the viewer right into their world. The director stressed that they had researched and trained extensively with chefs of the highest caliber and that all the actors did their own cooking. It really shows, adding an impressive feeling of authenticity and making the movie even more compelling.

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A movie about the attempted comeback of a down and out chef won’t appeal to everyone, but I loved Burnt and highly recommend sharing Cooper’s journey when the movie comes out next week. Huge thanks to NYCWFF for the unique opportunity to attend the premiere.

Japan Crate October 2015 Review

October’s here and my usual box of varied and unique snacks from Japan has arrived.

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As usual Japan Crate includes a mini-manga that explains what each item is, has instructions for the DIY kit, and various additional context, pictures and promotion. The bonus item for the Premium Crate this month isn’t food, but a Food Dog Gashapon. Yes, little keychain figures of puppies inside food items. So odd, but it’s a suitable inclusion that will amuse some.

Now let’s look at the 11 edibles.

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The Excellent

As I’ve mentioned before I adore soda flavored candy, and this month provided me with a lot of it to enjoy. Mysterious Soda Balls (gotta love that translation), one of the Premium exclusives, are like soft Skittles flavored like various Japanese sodas. Poifull Soda Beans are excellent soda flavored jelly beans.

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Another great Premium exclusive is Sour Fruit Gummies. There was just a hint of sour to these, and the flavor and texture was fantastic. Vitamin C Lemon Drops are exactly what they sound like – a lemon flavored hard candy loaded with Vit C. Interesting and cool  inclusion.

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Moving on to the savory side of things, Tohato Caramel Corn is what would happen if Cracker Jack replaced the popcorn with carmel flavored cheese puffs. Quite tasty. Chocolate Mini Pancakes is another snack exactly as advertised. Tastes just like two tiny pancakes with chocolate filling between them.

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The Decent

This month’s Premium Crate’s drink is Bireley’s Orange. The book explains it’s a drink that originated in California but was discontinued and is now only made in Japan. The origin makes sense, as this kind of tastes like a soda version of Sunny Delight. Rich Cheese Scones are exactly as described – essentially Cheetos with a more creamy and buttery cheese taste.

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I got Strawberry Soft Candy (Rum Raisin was the other possibility), a pleasant chewy candy in the described flavor. Grape Gummy Ribbon has a nice, slightly tart grape flavor and a very unique soft, almost dough-ish texture.

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The DIY kit this month was Chitto Soda DIY, which is intended to create mochi with a ramune flavored glaze. This was an intriguing one and I had fun attempting it. The texture was a bit odd, but that was likely due to me having some trouble mixing all the powders properly (my candy certainly didn’t turn out particularly pretty). It was a little bit bland, as the glaze needed a stronger flavor, but a neat experiment with a fine end product overall.

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The Meh

I give  Gyutan Umaino Stick points for trying, and letting us sample the cow tongue flavor is exactly the type of absurdity I want from Japan Crate. But while the airy corn stick did actually manage to capture the flavor of cow tongue, I found it an odd combo and these were also way too salty for me.

Conclusion

Still really enjoying my Japan Crate shipments. Even the snack I didn’t like was interesting to try, and there were a lot of great things in this month’s box. The Premium exclusives continue to provide some of my favorites, and the upgrade is easily worth the additional $5. I continue to be impressed with the variety of selections, not only within each box but across the shipments I’ve received. Highly recommended.