We’re still living in ‘unprecedented times’, so it’s a good move to secure some positive vibes for yourself and your wellbeing in general. That might mean long walks, video game marathons or catching up on that anime you were meaning to watch (Keep Your Hands off Eizouken really lives up to the hype).
Today my mini boost is the package from Kokoro I’ve been fortunate enough to get my hands on, although it’s mostly eaten at this point. Kokoro is a company offering a range of care packages filled up with authentic Japanese food, and I’ve been making my way through their ‘Raku’ box.
Unboxing the Raku Package
This particular care package contains a mix of sweets and dry snacks which should ideally be eaten alongside a pleasant green tea, or roasted green tea, or maybe barley tea. A nice cold Japanese beer would also be an excellent pairing here, but I’m getting off topic. Open up the Raku box and you’ll find:
- Sour Yuzu Chips
- Matcha Senbei
- Ume (Plum) Glacé
- Black Soybean Kinako Yokan
- Grains Zezai (Dessert Soup)
- Honenyaki Senbei (Four flavours!)
- Akamoku Kakinotane (A kind of mini senbei)
There’s also a booklet included to tell you about each product and where in Japan they were made.
Snacking through the selection
In order to thoroughly investigate the Raku package I met up with a friend for a socially distanced picnic (which is legal now!).
I surprised myself by going for the Black Soybean Kinako Yokan first. I wasn’t sure about soybean snacks when I first tried them years ago in Kyoto, but they have a rich flavour that has really grown on me since.
When it comes to senbei I’ve been a fan from the beginning though. These are a lot like rice crackers, but with a lot more variety. The Honenyaki Senbei were perfect for having alongside a drink, particularly the miso and spring onion. The Matcha Senbei from Miyzaki are quite different to any senbei I’ve had before though, a little sweeter and disappearing faster than I would like them to.
The sweet Ume Glacé and Sour Yuzu Chips I’ve been saving for a more gradual treat, but I’m finding it hard to slow down on the Yuzu Chips which have a neat little citrus kick to them.
The Grains Zezai comes from Yoshida Furusato Village, a hidden gem for food enthusiasts. I ended up heating this sweet dessert soup after some senbei to keep the Japanese theme going. I’ve only had a few of the Akamoku Kakinotane so far, they’re delicious but I refuse to eat them all without some more beer to go with them!
Worked up an appetite?
If you’re interested in treating yourself to a care package from Kokoro, make sure you use the code ‘HYPERJAPAN’ to knock 10% off your first purchase. Remember, this code will only work until the end of April! The package for this month will be reflecting the changing seasons, following the theme of Sakura & Ume. Orders made in April will receive the upcoming Edo-themed May Care Package in May.
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