Review: Okashi Connection September 2014

Previous posts in this series: 

Okashi Connection: August 2014

Okashi (おかし), for those not in the know, means ‘snack’ in Japanese. Also used for confections, pastries or sweets and can also be written as ‘kashi’. 

For $22 and no more (no money for shipping, that’s already factored in) you’ll get a box delivered almost anywhere in the world (basically to any country that Japan ships to) that contains seasonal product to give you a true taste of Japan. They carefully order in bulk and choose product that are light so they can spend more on snacks and it isn’t wasted on postage.

You get a size 60 box with around a pound (between 400-600 grams) of items. They ‘strive to include things that are difficult or impossible to get outside of Japan’ and they include information and instructions on how to make / eat the items.

But hey, on to the photos and information!

OkashiSeptember

As a note, this box shipped on the September 4th, and I received it on the 3rd October. Others received theirs much, much quicker – I think it’s Australia Post dropping the ball here. I’ve been speaking with my neighbours and we’ve realised that we hardly get any post all week except for Mondays and Wednesdays.

Anyhow, onto the review!

OkashiSeptBurger

Adult’s EveryBurger Dark Chocolate (Bourbon)

I was surprised by how these tasted – quite like Oreos! These were quite tiny and very addictive – my co-worker K and I gobbled them up! We’re told in the Members Only post on the Okashi Connection site: ‘You’re going to eat all these at one time, trust me!’ and it’s certainly true!

They were crunchy and had a good lasting taste that was quite flavourful. A friend did note that they don’t last long if left unsealed – probably goes without saying, keep them in an airtight container if you manage to eat them slowly!
Out of everything in is box, this is one of two things I’d certainly buy if I ever came across it.

OkashiSeptKyarameritchi

Kyarameritchi

A crispy roasted corn puff snack in rich caramel and hazelnut flavour – I like the packaging on this one – they came in a neat plastic ‘boat’ that fit them quite well. I found the texture quite dry and crispy, and not as sweet as I was expecting. The hazelnut kept the taste balanced and made it quite nice with a cup of tea.

OkashiSeptPretz

Green Tea Pretz

Biscuit sticks with a light, delicate matcha-flavoured coating – kinda like pocky but the coating was much thinner yet just as flavourful. I’m told they’re pretzel sticks which I can see, but they’re not the salty type of pretzels we’re used to here. These weren’t sweet at all – good matcha flavour and my goodness I couldn’t stop eating them when I had a cup of green tea at work. My co-workers said I looked quite thoughtful with one out the corner of my mouth as I contemplated whichever staffing system I was currently updating.

These came in a re-sealable bag that lasted damn well, so these are a great edition to have on the work desk when you need a bit of a pick-me-up (halfway through a Wednesday usually) that aren’t completely sinful.

OkashiSeptPakkuncho

Strawberry Pakkuncho

These are quite well known in Western countries – usually seen in the shape of koalas. The box is the same and most of my co-workers knew these well. I find these to be a bit sweet but they’re decent stock. The box makes a cardboard cutout game where you pop out part of the box, fold it up and attach to your finger and then flick it to play rock, paper, scissors with Minnie or Daisy.

OkashiSeptCalpis

Calpis Tablets

This is another favourite thing from this months box – so much so I jokingly told my co-workers they can’t have any! These are tablets that taste just like the generic calpis drink you can get throughout Japan and in a lot of Western Asian emporiums.

You simply chew them – though the box does make it look like you can add a tablet to water and it’ll turn it into a calpis drink somehow. The @OkashiConnect twitter told me attempts of such hadn’t turned out for the best, so I left them to chew on. I’ve actually still got two of the three foil sheets – I don’t want them to end!

OkashiSeptGenji

Genji Pie

These are probably my favourite thing from this box and even the previous box! The biscuits are layered as you can see, which creates a nice texture. One side is glossy and sweet, and the other side is plain and crunchy. They’re heart-shaped as you can see and quite small. Mum and I almost ate the entire packet at once.

I’m not sure what makes these so damn good. They’re just really very nice – not overly sweet but still quite flavoured. These go damn well with a cup of tea, and I’ll certainly be buying some when I’m next in Japan.

OkashiSeptCola

Wata Gum – Fizzy Cola

I’m sorry, but this was gross. Shared it with co-worker K who likes cola and she also had to spit it out. It was incredibly sweet and an odd texture that you can see. I should have given this one another go but eh. Coke just isn’t for me anymore – I used to love it!

In the Okashi Connection Master Post we’re told ‘it looks like cotton candy, and it melts in your mouth like it too, but keep it there because it turns into gum!’ They also say a lemon flavoured one was very popular earlier in the year, so I still recommend anyone and everyone should try it!

OkashiSeptCrisps

Kadou Fried Potato USA-style ‘french fries’ crisps

frenchfriesA small packet which makes a nice little snack – the french fries aren’t overly flavoured but I quite liked them! We have a similar thing here by Arnotts which are much smaller and crunchier – these are light and seem to be puffed with air a little. The Arnotts kind basically taste of nothing but salt, whereas these seem to have a bit more well-rounded flavour, and there’s not enough in the packet for you to get sick of the taste.

Now though this packet says it’s a fried snack, the chips don’t feel greasy and the uniform colouring makes it seem like it’s a baked snack instead.

Overall, these were okay – not my favourite thing in this month’s box, but certainly not at the bottom of the pile, either!

OkashiSeptUmaibo

Umaibo

From left to right we have Beef Tongue and Sugar Rusk. There should be a natto one in the photo, but I gave it to a co-worker saying he had to bring it back for a photo once he started and he forgot to. Oops! I’d rather that then having to try it for myself though – natto is probably one of those things I will never, ever ‘develop a taste for’. Have you smelt it? Beyond gross.

But anyway, after all that the co-worker (another K, but male this time. We’ll call him KR) said it didn’t taste too strongly of natto – which he loves. He has it for lunch often which is why I threw it his way.

The sugar rusk was eaten by main co-worker K because she refused to go near beef tongue – which I had, and it wasn’t too bad. Just crisp-like as it was dry and a bit like a rusk texture. I think the savory taste suited the style and I enjoyed it more than K enjoyed her sugar flavour.

OkashiSeptOnion

Onion Taro

These were really quite good – so much flavour and such a small packet so they went quickly! Shared this one with co-worker K and she loved them – this would be her favourite thing in the box. They were quite big (if you’re used to Cheetos) and tasted a bit like burger rings (another brand of crisps here in Australia) and we could have had a dew more packets of this one – to save for later! K was quite sad we couldn’t have another packet later in the week.

~

Some months you can also choose to buy extras (this was not one of those months) where they have a limited number of each special item or extras pack, and you get a link to a google form to put up your hand for whatever you want, if you get in on time. Then you get a second charge to your account and volia!

~~~

They’re on facebook, twitter, youtube and instagram, and they’re really speedy with getting back to you. Their website is still the best place to start if you’re interested in learning more though.

They also have a referral program in effect! If you’d like $1 off your first box (hey, it’s already pretty cheap so that dollar counts!), enter the following into the ‘Referral Code’ box at the checkout:

adlaxre

And hey, if you do this and we can confirm that, then I may throw a little something extra your way – probably in the form of a book!

I highly recommend this subscription service, I looked at all the Japanese ones on offer (Skosh Box also looks good but they don’t ship to Australia!). I can’t wait to see what’s in the next box! I really loved this one and highly recommend it to anyone who loves Japanese things, or who just likes snacks! My co-workers have really enjoyed seeing what new thing I have to share each day :)

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