February means Valentine’s Day! Love, romance, and for the My Snackin’ Valentine box of Japanese sweets, treats, and snacks from TokyoTreat.
Pink and red are definitely featured here, along with some flavours that are associated with Valentines, such as fruit and chocolate of course!
The menu booklet has a full list of all the goodies inside, which includes descriptions and an allergy guide.
Valentine’s Day is a big deal in Japan too. It’s a popular celebration with all kinds of food and fun associated with it, and there are rules for different things to give as well! You can read all about Japanese Valentine in the menu booklet, which has things both familiar and less so for the Japanese twist on the holiday. For example, in Japan it’s women who give men chocolate rather than the other way round, but this came about because of a mistranslation by the marketing executive who brought Valentine’s Day to Japan – he thought that is was only women who gave men chocolate! Anyway, there are a ton more fun facts to read about.
Now on to the goodies.
KitKat Lucky Daifuku
This month’s lovely KitKat variety is called Daifuku, which means ‘great luck’ in Japanese. The flavour is sweet Azuki bean and mochi, two of the most famous Japanese foods. Apparently the good luck aspect of this variety is so well-known that students in Japan even eat these KitKats before they take their exams! And at this time of year maybe they’ll make you lucky in love.
Karai Spicy Ramen, Woo Peach Jelly Drink
The spicy savoury ramen brings to mind fiery romance! The broth base is made from a combination of soy, seafood, and lots of spices and chilli, and is also wonderfully warming in the cold weather.
The jelly drink is quite unusual but very delicious. It’s best crunk cold from the fridge, and is like a soft peach jelly and tastes really delicious! The texture really gives it something extra special, and the pouch is resealable too.
Suppamuch Sour Plum Chips, Strawberry Rusk
Ume (sour) plus is a favourite flavour in Japan. It really does taste properly sour but also fruity, and the combination of flavours works surprisingly well in these unusual potato crisps.
Rusk is a popular snack in Japan, made from heated and dried bread with butter, which creates an amazing crisp and light snack. The codes have been coated in strawberry chocolate, and are remarkably moreish as well as not being too sweet.
Choco Cake, Mini Asparagus Biscuit, Papilla Chocolate Wafers
Choco Cake is a lovely light sponge cake with a simple dark chocolate coating, perfect as a little snack with a cup of tea.
The asparagus biscuits aren’t as strange as they sound – it’s the shape that looks like asparagus! The biscuits themselves are crunchy and buttery and have the taste of strawberries from the Tochigi prefecture region of Japan.
Pakila wafers have a thick layer of mixed chocolate and almonds sandwiched between two wafers. They’re rich and delicious, with a very generous and chocolaty filling, and the almonds add both texture and flavour.
Spicy Peanut Arare, Maruko-Chan Arare, Shrimp Senbei
Arare are bite-sized Japanese crackers made from glutinous rice and soy sauce. They’re crunchy and flavourful, and the two varieties here are a great showcase for classic flavours – one with peanuts added and a spicy coating, and the Maruko-chan have honey in the soy sauce glaze for a wonderful salty-sweet and umami flavour.
Senbei are another kind of rice crackers. and these are mildly spiced and flavoured with shrimp, another delicious flavour combination.
Pure Mini Grape Gummies, Kinako Stick, Love Umbrella Chocolate, Mini Strawberry Thunder
The little gummies are made from real grape juice and in the shape of a heart, the package is the perfect portion size of romantic treats. Kinako is roasted soybean flour, which has a remarkable sweet and nutty flavour. This candy is sweet and chewy and coated with this delicious flour, and is absolutely yummy.
Sharing an umbrella has a romantic connotation in Japan, so this fun umbrella handle shape is filled with tiny pieces of candy-coated chocolate. Finally, the Strawberry Thunder is a twist on the famous Japanese Black Thunder chocolate bar. The strawberry version has the delicious crunchy chelate with a strawberry coating, and the combination of the two flavours is both traditional romantic and very tasty!