Sakuraco – July 2024: Festivals of Tohoku

Tohoku is in the Northeastof Japan, and is particularly famous for its incredible summer festivals.

There are six prefectures and many different festivals, celebrating the local cultures, customs, and heritage.

The menu booklet gives a fascinating insight into this wonderful array of events, as well as spotlighting some of the local producers of the items in the box. You can also read about each item in the comprehensive menu, which includes an allergy list.

The Custard Pan – pan is bread in Japanese – has a delicious filling of rich custard. The bread itself is made from local wheat, and this is a delicious filled cake to enjoy with a cup of tea. I’ve had lots of senbei, which are large crunchy rice cakes, but I’ve never had a Peanut Senbei Cookie before! I love the cross between a cookie and a senbei, and this delicious wheat-based senbei is a speciality of Iwate Prefecture and has whole peanuts added for a delicious nutty flavour. The Iburi Gakki Arare are flavoured with a unique type of picked radish, and the little crunchy fried rice bites are made with rice from the Akita Prefecture. They have a very unique flavour, very good with a glass of beer!

Fruit gummies from Japan are always delicious, and these Pear Gummies are made from the best pears of the Yamagata Prefecture. The flavour is properly fruity, tasting exactly like the pear itself. Konjac is a fascinating product. It’s made from the root of the konjac plant, and is reputed to be great for gut health as well as being low calorie. The Peach Konjac Jelly is a lovely refreshing sweet, infused with peach juice from the Yamanashi Prefecture. Mini Shrimp Tempura are a delicious snack-size crunchy snack, whole fried tiny shrimp with a spicy black pepper seasoning.

The Apple Cream Cookies are almost too pretty to eat! The thin senbei have lovey apple cream in between, and the beautiful decorations are motifs from the tanabata festival. Roasted Corn Arare are crunchy rice crackers that have been coated with corn powder and soy sauce, giving them a delicious sweet-savoury flavour. The Ginger Senbei are unlike any senbei (rice cracker) I’ve seen! They are folded over, a little bit like a taco or cannoli, but these are flavoured with ginger and honey and are deliciously sweet and spicy from the ginger. Sweet Potatoes are very popular in Japan, and these Sweet Potato Amanatto are a sweet potato version of the tradition Japanese confectionery that is usually made from adzuki beans.

This month’s tea is Iyemon Matcha Genmaicha. It’s a combination of sencha, a green tea where the whole leaves are steamed, matcha powder, and roasted rice. This gives a deep flavourful tea which is also very refreshing. Walnut Mochi is a bar-shaped mochi, soft and chewy. It contains crunchy walnuts with a touch of savoury soy sauce, which gives it an amazing flavour, and it’s coated in an edible wrapper. The Minchinoku Miruru is a version of the traditional wheat flour pastry and also contains milk and butter for a rich creamy flavour.

The household item this month is a charming Neko Tenegui. A tenegui is a traditional Japanese towel, which now has all kinds of uses, including wrapping food and also as a reusable gift wrap. This one has adorable pictures of cats playing with traditional Japanese symbols, and is made from 100% cotton. A lovely addition to the kitchen!


Our score: 10.0/ 10

This month's selection is really great for flavours. The spicy ginger senbei, the fried shrimp. and fruity gummies and konjac, this one is a real feast for the tastebuds! It's also fascinating reading about the different locations and producers in the menu book, especially connecting them to the different food items. The Tenugi this month is really lovely, I like the little dishes that are often in the Sakuraco box, but it's really good to have something different. It's gone immediately into my dish towel collection! Overall this is a superb box, a greta variety, and really showcases the wonderful offerings of Japan.

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

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