Sakuraco – May 2023: Moonlit Sakura

Sakuraco takes the Japanese snack box concept and kicks it up to gourmet level. Like its lovely sister box TokyoTreat it is a monthly selection of goodies from Japan, but Sakuraco specialises in the artisanal and gourmet.

The box is a different design every month, reflecting the theme. This month’s theme is Moonlit Sakura, celebrating the Japanese tradition of nighttime viewing of the famous sakura blossom.

Inside the box is a really lovely booklet. There is a comprehensive list of every item in the box, which includes background on regional specialities, small producers, and of course and allergy list. There are also articles about Japanese culture, with wonderful photography, around and about the theme of the month, as well as information about the makers of the items inside.

Sakura Cream Gaufrette, Peach Hibiscus Tea

The gaufrette is very delicate and crisp sandwich biscuit. Inside is a beautiful cherry blossom cream, and it’s even decorated with a blossom pattern. This is a seasonal item, especially for the sakura season.

Tea is an important part of Japanese culture, and Sakuraco has partnered with one of Japan’s foremost tea producers to create an amazing blend of green tea, hibiscus, and peach. This is a wonderful floral/fruit combination, and totally captures everything springlike.

Sakura Ame, White Soy Sauce Sakura Arare, Ume Salt and Vinegar Senbei

These little hard candies are made traditionally, and are infused with cherry blossom powder for a genuine taste of sakura.

Arare are tiny thin crackers made with glutinous rice flour and flavoured with soy sauce. This version includes shrimp kneaded into the dough, along with white soy sauce, then made  into tiny flower shapes. They are salty and savoury, and the texture is wonderfully crispy.

Another type of rice cracker is the senbei, also crunchy but deep fried for extra crisp. This version is seasoned with sour pickled plums, a traditional Japanese flavour, which gives a wonderful sour edge to the umami flavour.

Genji Pie, Mame Mochi, Ichigo Roll

Similar to the French Palmier biscuit, a Genji Pie is a crisp, brittle biscuit made from flaky pastry with a sweet sugar glaze. They’re light and delicious, and like most baked goods, lovely with a cup of tea.

Mochi are a great favourite in Japan, and come in many varieties. Made from glutinous rice flour, they are soft and fluffy, and this version contains black soybeans for an earthy flavour with the sweetness.

Spring isn’t just about cherry, there are lots of other wonderful seasonal fruit available! This pretty cake is made from a mosaic of pink and white sponge, rolled and layered with strawberry cream. It’s almost too lovely to eat, but not quite – it’s delicious and very light.

Hana Warabimochi, Tetra Pon, Sakura Uiro

Warabimochi differs from the traditional mochi as it is made not from glutinous rice but from bracken or potato starch. The texture is properly melting and soft, and this one contains salted cherry blossoms, which are a beautiful twist on the usual simple sweetness of the sakura.

Tetra Pon are tiny sweet candies, in an adorable blossom-decorated package.

Much beloved as a dessert in Japan, Uiro is a type of sweet made from glutinous rice flour, like a traditional mochi, and then steamed. They come in many flavours and specialties, and this one is cherry blossom, which is a lovely combination with the soft chewy texture.

Rich Ogura Bread Loaf, Sakura Sweet Potato, Mini Plum Mochi

Japanese bread has a wonderfully soft texture, and frequently rolls are layered with various fillings and flavours. This lovely roll contains creamy ogura paste, which is a traditional sweetened red bean paste that is found throughout Japan in many forms. This roll is a lovely bite for afternoon tea, and the soft bread with the ogura jam is utterly delicious with the just the right amount of richness.

Another teatime snack is the Sakura Sweet Potato. It’s actually a soft cake, made from Japanese sweet potatoes, and includes sakura bean paste with a hint of brandy. Egg yolks add richness, and this cake is small with with a wonderfully layered flavour profile.

Mini mochi have been enjoyed in Japan for years, both by children and adults. These tiny chewy rice cakes are flavoured with a hint of sour plum for a delicious sweet-sour taste that’s very moreish!

Sakuraco Tea Glass

As well as wonderful treats, Sakuraco also includes an item of Japanese table or glassware. This month we have a pretty tea glass, which fits perfectly in the palm the hand and decorated with the Sakuraco logo. Of course you don’t have to use it for tea, it’s a lovely size for a shirt drink too, but either way, it’s a lovely shape.

Our score: 10.0/ 10

This is only my second Sakuraco box, but once again I'm incredibly impressed. The many items complement the theme perfectly, from the actual sakura treats to other spring fruits. It's especially interesting discovering the many different specialties of Japanese pastries and desserts, I never realised there were so many completely different things you could make from rice flour! I also like that there are savoury as well as sweet items, and there are a wonderful variety of traditional flavours and textures. Having a non-food item is a lovely bonus too, as attractive items for the home from a place with such a pretty aesthetic is a great treat. This is one of the best boxes I've seen, a great opportunity to explore tastes, textures, as well as lean about the wider culture. A must of anyone who enjoys food!

  • 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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