Japan Crate September 2015

I’ve been extremely pleased with my Japan Crate subscription thus far. Let’s see what September has to offer.

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Another month, another box stuffed with unique and varied snacks from Japan. It also includes a mini-manga that explains what each item is and has instructions for the DIY kit and various additional context, pictures and promotion. The bonus item for the Premium Crate this month isn’t food, but a gashapon keychain of Gudetama, a lazy egg. A cute little inclusion.

Now let’s look at the 11 edibles.

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The Excellent

This month’s Premium Crate’s drink is Lychee Ramune, the first item I’ve gotten in Japan Crate that I’ve actually had before. It’s a great soda with a light flavor. Kawarinbo, another Premium exclusive, is a fantastic lollypop which is half apple and half grape, gives way to a sugary lychee center, and shares its final surprise when the sucker is finished as the stick itself is a wrapped stick of cola flavored gum. It tied for my favorite this month with Wata de coco Grape Gummy, lightly flavored square grape gummies made from coconut water.

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I’m discovering savory Japanese snacks have a fondness for corn flavor, and like the others I’ve had this month’s Sweet Corn Pretz were quite good and tasted exactly like they were supposed to.  Meiji Fran is the most decadent and rich version of chocolate pocky I’ve ever had. One stick is practically a dessert by itself, but good luck stopping there.

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The Decent

Konpeito is described as a traditional Japanese candy from the 16th century. It’s pieces of what’s generally called rock candy over here. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it in such small, relatively uniform pieces. The description of Calbee Potato Chips Seaweed and Salt claim “salt and seaweed flakes give thiese chips an unusual crunch not found in most ‘American’ chips,” but hyperbole these were essentially a bag of plain Lay’s. Good quality, but also the first item whose contents I felt I could have gotten down the street at my local supermarket. Glug Glug Want Chocolate is a taiyaki cookie with a airy chocolate filling.

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I’ve seen a LOT of weird food, toys, novelties, etc from Japan, but I have to admit this month’s DIY kit EASILY takes the cake. Moko Moko Toilet 3 (there were 2 others first?!) is kit where you make foaming candy from included mix in a plastic toy toilet that comes in four different variations based on different countries. Seriously. I got the American one, which is blue and has stickers to decorate the toilet that include the American flag, a hamburger, etc. The other countries used are China, Japan and France. It included three mixes to make – strawberry, cola and lychee flavors. The mix and some water goes into the tank, then the candy foams up in the bowl. The candy/foam/drink was fine, but the absurdity and amusement is the draw here.

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The Meh

Lemon Squash is quite interesting, as it’s a soft plastic bottle of a mild lemonade packaged like a snack. I found it bland, but it certainly will have its appeal among others. Fullgurt Candy are hard candies in blueberry and mango yogurt flavors. While the idea has merit and I enjoy both hard candies and yogurt separately, I didn’t care for the flavors here at all.

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Conclusion

A couple of things I didn’t enjoy, numerous that I did, and more weirdness than I thought possible. The Premium Crate exclusives continue to easily be worth the $5 upgrade, and three crates in and I’m still extremely happy with the contents of my monthly snack box. The variety nearly makes this worthwhile alone, and the quality is a wonderful bonus.

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