KYOTO MOON FESTIVAL WITH SAKURACO TEAM
I am really delighted that I had the chance to try out Sakuraco – Kyoto Moon Festival – September Box Edition. I offer my deep bow to the team behind the Sakuraco box who sent their box to Thebiem for an honest review. It has been my desire for a while now to try out the Sakuraco box and you can imagine my joy when I learned I will hold one of their boxes in my hands!
So, let’s go on a journey to a beautiful, mysterious, and mesmerizing Kyoto and taste the snacks they have to offer us!
Ranking Sakuraco Box September Snacks
0. Tsukimi Plate, a Card, and a Snack Guide
Well, this had to be ranked on top! It is a small porcelain plate with a symbol of a Kyoto Yasaka pagoda on it. The creators of Sakuraco recommended that it is not washed in a dishwasher. It is a perfect memento to keep on a shelf or on a wall. It symbolizes the Tsukimi festival, a festival in which the Japanese celebrate the Moon and its silver beauty.
Additionally, with the plate, there was a nice card from the creators of Sakuraco, a snack guide depicting every snack received, some interesting and historical facts about Kyoto, and snacks provided in the box.
1. Soy Sauce Cashew Komamehan
I wasn’t sure which snack I should try first because they all had such cute packaging, but when going through the content, I can safely say that this snack is my ultimate favorite in this Sakuraco box. It is, basically a nut snack, cashew but covered in soy sauce, and I must say it is delicious. Salty, nutty, and crispy. I could eat a full bag of these little wonders. These cashews are in the right bag in the picture.
I was a bit skeptical when it comes to Yatsuhashi, but if you love cinnamon, you will adore this snack. It is a crispy bar covered in Japanese cinnamon and the flavor is definitely there! What caught my attention when it comes to Yatsuhashi is that the recipe is over 330 years old and it hasn’t changed to this day. And it is formed as a Japanese zither called Koto in loving dedication to famous composer Yatsuhashi Kengyo. I warmly recommend that you try this!
3. Yuzu Dorayaki
This fluffy, heaven-like pastry is filled with citrus that goes by the name Yuzu and it feels like a soft pancake with light filling on your tongue, and if you are wondering if it is safe for you to eat (what are the allergens, is it safe for vegetarians…), Sakuraco offers all the ingredients of their product on their webpage – sakura.co/boxes/september-2022. I honestly believe that I could eat this on a daily basis.
4. Retro Animal Yochi Cookie
With this one, I was surprised, and I dare to say it in a good way. The bag contains white, yellow, and pink sugar-glazed cookies, which are shaped in the form of animals. When you bite into them, they are crispy and each color carries a different flavor, and the more I tried, the more I liked these cookies. I also tried it with some tea, and it would just melt in your mouth. They are definitely fun to eat. And extremely cute because of its animal form. But, keep in mind that they are not vegetarian-friendly. For those who are interested, I strongly suggest that you try out cookies with white glaze.
5. Satsumaimo Bread
So, basically, it is what the name says. A fluffy bread, rich with the sweetness of the sweet potato and soft to the touch. It was really yummy and I warmly recommend that you try this bread with some tea or some homemade jam. This bread was like a cloud in your mouth and I would really love it if I could bake it like that at home. I believe I would make them very often!
6. Wasabi Pistachio Komamehan
Well, this little devil definitely surprised me! Simply explained, these are pistachios (yummy!) covered in wasabi. If it touches your lips, you’ll definitely taste the spiciness, but once you dive into it, you sense the crunchiness and flavor of the pistachio which is just divine. These wasabi pistachios really kick a punch when it comes to the fullness of the flavor and I actually am considering buying some, even though I am not really a fan of spicy food. This snack is presented in a left bag in the picture.
7. Kinako Mochi
This vegetarian-friendly snack is a type of mochi. What’s surprising about it is its crunchy texture and the outside is sprinkled with kinako soybean flour and wasanbon, a type of Japanese sugar. You may think it is just like a cracker, but it is so far from it. The Japanese sugar on this snack definitely makes it stand out and honestly, I could just lick it instead of biting into it like a normal person because it is so delicious and mildly crunchy.
8. Soba Boro
Simply explained, it is a biscotti-like cookie made with buckwheat which makes them crunchy and perfect to eat with some hot tea on a cold day. These cookies taste good, but they get on a whole new level with some tea. In a combination with some tea, they literally melt in your mouth. I am a fan of cookies that have some filling, so these ones are a bit lower on the list. These cookies are sweet and yummy if you prefer dry cookies. Plus, they look like little flowers.
9. Kyoto Moon Viewing Gaufrette
Firstly, the print on this cookie is just adorable, beautiful, gorgeous… In whatever way you want me to praise it. I almost didn’t want to touch it, but I had to try its flavor. It is matcha cream between two crisp wafers, practically forming a sandwich. The taste is, of course, quite mild, but sweet and melting on the lips. As the name says, it is formed in a shape of a full moon since it is for the celebration of the Kyoto Moon Festival. What I like is that there isn’t too much or too little cream, it is just the perfect dosage and I would love to have more of these cookies.
10. Kyoto Candy
When hearing the word candy, who wouldn’t go ballistic and be overjoyed with the possibility that you might get a handful of them? These Kyoto candies are small, cute in size, and beautiful. They come in different flavors – brown sugar, Japanese mint, matcha, shiso, ginger, and plum. When it comes to taste, they are quite mild and I prefer soft candies more, but that doesn’t mean that they are not interesting. They come in beautiful see-through packaging. They would be perfect as a gift and it is refreshing to have flavors like shiso, matcha, and ginger.
11. Mangetsu Pon Ama-Kara Soy Sauce
When tasting these soy sauce-flavored senbei, it reminded me of those rice crackers you eat when you try to eat something light, but fulfilling. They are mildly salty on the tongue and they come in the shape of a full moon. They would be perfect with something added on them or to them. Overall, they are not bad if you wish to crunch something that doesn’t have too many calories.
12. Matcha Cream Senbei
Like I said a few sentences ago, I prefer cookies with filling, and this is exactly what I got with Matcha Cream Senbei. These senbei rice crackers are filled with Uji matcha cream and the cream is just divine. These crackers are thin, the cream is rich with flavor and color, and matcha as an ingredient just fills my soul with happiness. It is placed a bit lower on the list because, and only because the taste of the rice cookies is a bit plain.
13. Tanba Black Bean Arare
I am not really a fan of beans, in any form. So, I was really reluctant to try this, but I gave it a shot because somehow Japanese eagerness to combine various foods with beans, makes me doubt my experience with beans. As if they know the secret to prepare them, and so, I tried it. This is practically crunchy arare combined with baked Tanba black soybeans. Well, I cannot deny, that it was a decent flavor, but still not changing my mind when it comes to beans. It is a snack I can live without.
14. Gion Tsujiri Houjicha
Next on our list is Gion Tsujiri Houjicha. It is a gently roasted tea with a sweet but bitter taste. I made it a bit stronger because they recommended that if you wish to reach the full flavor and the aroma of the tea, boil the water to 100 Celsius. And that is exactly what I did. I would definitely describe it as astringent, bitter, pungent, or even earthly taste. With cookies, it only gets tastier, but for us who didn’t grow up with this kind of tea, it takes an acquired taste and an open mind.
15. Kyoto Houjicha Latte Pudding
And the last on our list is a pudding with Kyoto houjicha aroma. This is purely my opinion, but I didn’t like it that much. The taste was mild and one spoon was more than enough for me. The pudding was wetter than what I am used to. Or to put it to a more different perspective, it was very slimy. And I was not a big fan of such a texture. Well, I am picky, honestly, I will give you that, and I believe a lot of people would like it, but this was not my cup of tea.
I warmly suggest that you check some other boxes that we tried. Trust me, some of those snacks are just Godlike!