TokyoTreat’s box of snacks and sweets from Japan is going all out for romance this month with the Be My Valentine box.
Valentine’s Day is a quite new but popular celebration in Japan. Chocolate is a traditional gift, usually from women to me, but there’s also a mirror holiday where the gift-giving is in reverse!
You can read about this, plus other fun facts about romance and Valentine’s in Japan, in the menu booklet, which as always is full of trivia about popular culture and some great pictures! There’s also an extensive menu of all the goodies inside the box, plus an allergen guide.
Strawberry Shortcake KitKat is a perfect Valentine’s treat. It’s a limited edition variety, and has freeze-dried strawberry mixed with the white chocolate coating, plus a creamy filling. It’s seriously delicious. In contrast are the Karamucho Spicy Chili Tomato Potato Chips, which have a proper spicy kick and are made from tomatoes grown in Kyushu. As an extra fun touch, the little bear on the packaging is called Kumamon, and is the mascot of the same area.
More chocolate with the Bake Chocolate. These are little individually wrapped chocolates, rather like chocolate truffles, and they’ve got a lovely rice flavour. Cacao Megumi is another dark chocolate, bite-sized mini bars of 60% cacao. The great thing about these is that they are not too sweet, it’s a lovely way to enjoy quality chocolate.
On a completely different notes, we have Pokemon Candy Hearts. These are a little bit like Love Hearts candy, little hard candies in the shape of hearts and they each have a different cute character design on them. A fun treat to share.
Caramel Taro Peanuts are a great combination of sweet and salty. The salted nuts have a coating of caramel that has a lovely buttery flavour, and these are extremely moreish. Corn Potage Puffs are a favourite snack in Japan. They are flavoured like creamy corn chowder, and even though the texture is light and crispy, the flavour really is exactly like corn soup! Between sweet and salt we have Happy Turn Rice Crackers, which have a sweet soy powder coating that combines really well with the crunchy mini crackers.
This month’s ramen is Pirikara Spicy Ramen. It has a fantastic chill kick with a delicious tonkatsu-flavoured broth. You can eat it as is or dress it up with egg, meat, or tofu. The drink this month is Sweetheart Fruit Juice, which is a mixed fruit juice with a slightly tropical taste. As dar as I cab tell it contains grape, pineapple, orange, and peach, and together they are delicious and refreshing. I like to mix these juices with fizzy water too.
Mentaiko Potato Crisps are another fish-based umami snack. They’re flavoured with mentaiko, spicy cod roe, which has a wonderful intense flavour that goes perfectly with the crisp texture. Another cute strawberry candy is Ichigo Muni Puffs, which are puffed wheat coated in strawberry white chocolate.
There’s always room for some kawaii cuteness in snacks, and the Cutie Pie Donuts packaging feature some of the adorable Sanrio characters. They are maple sweet, and have a lovely crunchy sugar crystal coating. Perfect with a cup of tea! The little triangle package is Strawberry Milk Candy, which is just as it sounds. There’s a strawberry shell which is tart and sweet, and inside is a creamy milking filling. Finally there’s Cola Bubble Candy. This is ramune (soda) candy that fizzes and bubbles as you eat it, rather like sherbet.