Sakuraco – April 2023: Arrival of Sakura

Sakuraco is a Japanese snack subscription box, but rather than the more familiar fun goodies in its (excellent) sister box TokyoTreat, Sakuraco specialises in the artisanal and gourmet side of Japanese snacks.

This is my first Sakuraco box, Arrival of Sakura, which is the ideal theme for April, which bring springtime and the cherry blossoms. I understand that the box design is different every month according to the theme. The box is beautiful in pink with gold highlights and cherry blossoms, pretty enough to keep!

The menu booklet inside is exceptional. First it contains descriptions of every item in the box; you find out where each snack is from, the makers, how they’re created, and also an allergen list. As well as the food, there’s also a wonderful guide to Japanese culture and history of the theme, as well as more detailed looks at the snack makers and traditional food. It’s a pleasure to read and definitely something to keep and look at, especially as it contains some fantastic photography.

Sakura Warabimochi

This traditional Japanese dessert is very unusual and extremely pretty. It’s a mochi, but is like a translucent jelly rather than the more familiar marshmallow-type mochi, and is infused with delicious sakura honey. It’s a real treat that is unique to Japan, presented beautifully.

Sakura Karinto, Shiso Senbei, Sakura Senbei

Karinto are little fried dough snacks that are crunchy and sweet, coated in sugar. They’re eaten both in formal tea ceremonies and more casually. They come in many different varieties, but these are a special spring version with the taste and scent of cherry blossoms, which give them a wonderful fragrant flavour under the sweetness.

Shiso senbei are sweet crunchy rice crackers. Shiso, which is their first coating, is a Japanese herb that is part of the mint family, and has a bright fresh taste. Along with the shisho is Nanko picked plum powder, which is another traditional Japanese flavour. The combination of the sweet-sour and herbal is really remarkable, and very complementary.

More sakura, but this time in a savoury snack in the Sakura Senbei. Rather than the blossoms, the salted leaves have been kneaded into the rice cracker dough before baking, giving an extra aromatic dimension to the traditional savoury shrimp senbei.

Sakura Cookies, Sakura Castella, Sakura Konpeito, Sakura Shortbread Cookies

The bag of crunchy cookies are in the shape of traditional Japanese knots, and the dough, made with Hokkaido wheat, contains the cherry blossom petals. This gives them a lovely fragrant flavour and a slight pinkish colour.

Japanese Castella cake is somewhere between a sponge and a pound cake. It’s dense but still incredibly fluffy and light, and has a gentle sweetness. This version is made with sugar-pickled cherry blossoms, which add a very mild and slightly sour taste, which is a delicious addition to the soft cake.

Konpeito are a sugar candy that has been around in Japan for 500 years! The flavour is simple and sweet, and comes in a variety of colours, these ones being various shades of pink to reflect the pink of sakura.

Shortbread cookies are familiar to most people, but these have the bonus of creamy pink sakura jam in the middle. There’s one plain and one coca flavour, and they’re both delicious, with a sweet flavours and light and crumbly texture. Perfect with a cup of tea.

Sweet Sakura Tea, Sakura Soft Chew, Sakura Mochi

Sakura tea is a treat for the eyes as well as the taste buds. It consists of real sakura blossoms, which are steeped in hot water until they open. It’s a subtle sweet flavour, and is a perfect accompaniment to the various cookies in this month’s box.

The soft chews are beautiful handmade jelly sweets, with the flavour of sakura and an absolutely stunning design in the shape of the blossom. The company that makes them has been in business for 50 years, and these are one of their specialties. They might be jelly sweets, but are infinitely superior to anyway else you might imagine!

Mochi are one of the best-known Japanese delicacies. A soft and chewy cake made from gelatinous rice, they come in many different flavours and fillings. These are another cherry blossom flavoured treat, and are dense and delicious.

Ume Shio Rice Cracker, Sakura Donut Bou

I think the rice cracker is the only non-sakura treat in this month’s box. It’s a salty crunchy rice cracker that has layers of flavour, from sour plums to bonito and shrimp. Quite mild in flavour, but it has plenty of depth and interest

Donut Bou is as you would expect, a small fried dough. It’s crispy on the outside and soaked in honey and cherry blossom syrup, which makes it incredibly rich and sweet. It works really well with the delicate sakura tea, or really any tea!

Sakura Springtime Dish

As well as artisanal treats, Sakuraco includes a piece of traditional Japanese dishware or homeware in each box. This month we have a beautiful little plate, either in black or white, with a pattern of cherry blossom leaves. Perfect for presenting nibbles or smoky using as a home decoration.

Our score: 10.0/ 10

As I said at the beginning, this is my first Sakuraco box, and I'm absolutely blown away. It's amazing how the sakura theme is in every part of the box, and rather than making it all the same, it show the incredibly variety and originality that this season offers for food. Sweet and savoury snacks, Bothe the blossoms and the leaves, along with other traditional Japanese flavours such as sour plum, makes this an incredibly tour around Japan in the spring. The little dish is a lovely bonus, I adore small decorative items, and the delicate pattern would complement anything it's used for. To get a real trip around Japanese traditional flavours, this is a brilliant way to do it!

  • Quality of products10
  • Originality10
  • Packaging and delivery10
  • Value for money10
  • Selection of products10

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Rating: 4.5/5. From 35 votes.
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