My Bokksu Box delivers the best Japanese snacks straight to my door


It is Highly recommend, a column devoted to what people in the food industry are obsessed with eating, drinking and buying right now.

Tammy Cheng had the best snacks. Her father owned a giant Asian market in South Bay, which meant dating Tammy’s house was the highlight of the week. We would line up Speed on his family’s LaserDisc player – really, the Chengs had it all – and we serve a pantry full of sweet treats. Chinese treats like Milky White Rabbits and Haw’s Flakes were old, familiar friends, but my favorites were Japanese snacks: Kasugai fruit gummy candies, Hi-Chews, those koalas and pandas with puffy bellies full of chocolate. I was filling myself with sugar until my pulse quickened than a bomb-filled bus on an LA freeway.

Twenty-five years later, I don’t have a standing invitation to Tammy’s, but I have my monthly Bokksu box. Bokksu is a snack subscription service that brings the best Japanese sweet and savory treats right to my door. My first box had a “Seasons of Japan” theme and arrived with sixteen different varieties of homemade snacks. There was a “white strawberry” which, through a kind of benevolent witchcraft, combined the taste and appearance of a lush strawberry with the texture and smoothness of white chocolate; several different varieties of umami senbei, or rice crackers, including these Dondon Yaki flavored with sweet and sour tonkatsu sauce; and a soft matcha cake sprinkled with chocolate chips, perfect to accompany a sweet cup of green tea in the afternoon (sachets of organic genmaicha also included). I unwrapped airy mochi puffs sprinkled with roasted soybean powder, yuzu sake hard candy, and Hokkaido red bean paste-filled donuts as the lucky recipient of a care package hosted by a caring and greedy Japanese aunt.

Bokksu Japanese snack box

The sets are shipped monthly (buy them individually or take out a twelve, six or three month Bokksu subscription), and each is put together around a different theme that aims to illuminate a different aspect of Japanese culture and cuisine. . Your shipment also includes a stylish zine that tells you about the family businesses and artisan snack makers behind each item, like the century-old Kyoto confectionery Daimonji Ame Honpo responsible for those gorgeous translucent candies that, yes, I crushed. If you can’t get enough in your monthly subscription box, Bokksu also runs a market where you can buy premium Japanese snacks (Alphonso mango Kit Kat!) As well as teas, pantry items, and à la carte household items. If there is a child in your life, can I recommend this Totoro Catbus Shaped Bamboo Dining Set?

I will always host a pack of Pocky any day of the week, but thanks to my Bokksu box, I now feel like I’m more sophisticated Japanese snack bar, listening to regional specialties and heritage bakeries. My tastes have matured, but my appetite is still ravenous (sorry, Ms. Cheng, for trashing your pantry several times), and Bokksu has me covered.

Or you can always create your own Pocky:

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