Sakuraco – June 2023: Mochi & Fruit Marvels

Japanese snacks and candies are delicious, and Sakuraco features artisan and gourmet Japanese delicacies.

Every month features a different theme, and the box a different colour. This month puts the spotlight on fruit and mochi, which are a delicious traditional Japanese sweet usually made from pounded rice flour and comes in many flavours. Fruit is also important in Japanese culture, and the country has several unique varieties.

The menu booklet included in the box is a delight. It tells you all about the items in the box, including any potential allergens, and there’s also some wonderful information about the theme and how it relates to wider Japanese culture. For example, this month you can learn about the folktale of Peach Boy, as well as an overview of all the different types of mochi and where they come from. It adds a fascinating dimension as you taste your way through the goodies!

Melon Gaufrette, Ichigo Mochi Manju

There are several Japanese cakes and pastries that have French inspiration, and while in France a gaufrette is a crispy fried potato wafer, the Japanese version in a very thin crispy biscuit. This version is a sandwich biscuit, with a filling of smooth melon cream, which contrasts beautifully with the crunchy biscuit.

A manju is is a flour-based pastry, shaped like a mochi, but this one has a twist – it contains an actual mochi under the pastry! The filling is a delicious red bean paste, a traditional filling which here is strawberry-flavoured. The strawberries themselves even come from Japan. The contrast between the outer pastry and the almost marshmallowy mochi is incredibly good.

Setouchi Lemon Squid Tempura, Momo Kibidango, Honey Apple Mochi

Setouchi is a region that grows a lot of citrus fruits, and the crispy tempura outer is flavoured with sharp local lemons which is a great complement to the squid.

Kibidango are smilier to mochi, being soft and chewy, but traditionally made with millet rather than rice flour. These are flavoured by Japanese white peaches, and are associated in Japanese folklore with the legend of Peach Boy – you can read the story in the booklet!

The apple mochi is made from apple powder from Hokkaido, the centre of apple production in Japan. This mochi is bar-shaped rather than round, but the texture is still is beautiful and soft, and it has an edible wrapping so your fingers don’t get sticky.

Ajiko Mochi Crackers, Kabosu Nut Sable

Mochi are typically chewy, but these mochi crackers have a crunchy outer with a softness within. They come in two flavours here, a salad flavour and the familiar umami soy sauce.

Sable cookies also have French origin, and are similar in texture to shortbread. This version features kabosu, which is a native Japanese citrus fruit and tastes somewhere  between lemon and lime. The cookie is made with almond chips for a deliciously nutty flavour and a crumbly texture.

Hana Moyou, Lemon Pie

This package contains seven rice crackers, all with a different flavour, size, and shape. The flavours are a mixture of savoury and sweet, including shrimp, mackerel, and soy. Together they show a really interesting variety of tastes, and even though they are all crisp, the textures are all slightly different.

Lemon pie isn’t exactly a pie, rather a lovely light flaky pastry stick. It’s infused with lemon pulp which gives a wonderful fresh contrast to the sweet pastry.

Shine Muscat Jelly, Lemon Vinegar Arare

This little pouch contains jelly, but it’s a long way from the jelly of childhood! It contains  liqueur made from Muscat grapes grown in Okayama and the flavour is fragrant and intense. I’ve never tasted jelly like this before but it’s really amazing.

Arare are bite-sized crunchy rice crackers, and and typically flavoured with soy sauce. This version is infused with Setouchi lemonade vinegar which gives them and incredibly tangy sharp flavour which goes beautifully with the crisp texture.

Each Sakuraco box also contains an item of Japanese tableware. This month we have a beautiful Chrysanthemum Dish, which features a design of delicate chrysanthemums and arabesque shapes. It’s the perfect size for small pastries or desserts, and is pretty enough to simply put on display.

Our score: 10.0/ 10

This month's box is a delightful selection of flavours and textures. I really like the inclusion of the citrusy items, which are a lovely refreshing contrast to the sweet stickiness of the mochi. It's very enjoyable to be able to enjoy all these different forms of mochi, as well as other items which show how versatile rice flour is. The little peach kibidango were a particular favourite, I was very pleased there was quite a big bag of them! I love the little plate, I'm rather a fan of non-matching plates and dishes so this is a lovely addition to my collection. Altogether this is a wonderful exploration of this part of Japanese cuisine, and all the different places they come from.

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

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