Review: Okashi Connection October 2014

Previous posts in this series: 

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!

OkashiOctSnacks

As a note, this box shipped on the October 10th, and I received it on the October 24th! That’s half the time it’s taken compared to my first two months. It did however arrive quite a bit more melted – which would be the fault of Australia Post rather than Okashi. The melting didn’t harm any of the flavours anyway; it’s just a good thing there wasn’t much chocolate in this one!

 OkashiOctPucchi

Pucchi – ‘Well-done’ Cheese

These were snaffled up in two episodes of Pointless by my mother – she loved them! Quite puffy as you can see, light and crispy and a good strong cheese flavour that left you hungry for more. They weren’t heavily flavoured though – not like the cheezles or twisties we have here – but had a good cheese taste that didn’t go claggy on your tongue after al while like other cheese snacks. These were quite clean to handle too, no cheese residue on your hands! These go well with a glass of beer.

OctOkashiChocobi

Chocobi Choco

These taste just like coco-pops! These are large stars with a good hit of flavour that doesn’t turn powdery or leave an overwhelming aftertaste of sugar coating your teeth. They’re quite good to pick up to have a few, then put down again for later on. They’re quite light and moorish and were one of the packets I nibbled at over the course of a week to make them last.

OkashiOctASPTarts

Apple & Sweet Potato Tarts

These were fantastic! The sweet potato can’t really be tasted, but it probably adds more of a depth of flavour to it all. It sounds a bit off-putting when you’re used to only seeing things with strawberry or other normal flavours, but really it was quite pleasant. The biscuit has a nice crumble to it, and they’re so small and cute it makes a nice two bites to have with a cup of tea. Not overly sweet, just good good!

OctOkashiKakigori

Kakigori Gumi

Gummi’s that taste a bit like sno-cones (or slush puppies). These were a bit sweet, quite strong flavoured and I could only have a few before I felt I needed to put them down and save them for later. It’s hot here at the moment, and they were a nice reminder of slush puppies – I wish I had one now! These are recommended to come from the fridge and I can confirm that it really does help with the flavour!

OKashiOctBeans

Saya Endou

These are edamame (salty pea) flavoured crisps in the shape of edamame. Another snack my mother quite enjoyed – the kind you nibble at then realise the bag is empty and think ‘oops, where did they all go!’

Not overly flavoured, these were quite moorish. They would be a nice accompaniment if you had a plate of dips just to add a bit of something different to the plate.

OkashiOctBourbonElise

Bourbon Elise (banana chocolate flavour)

I don’t usually like banana-flavoured things as they often taste like medicine, so I was a little apprehensive trying these. The banana in them however was quite nice! With chocolate down one end of the stick, and banana on the other, you never quite know what you’re going to get when you bite into it, which means the flavour seems more intense at the start as you’re more open to taste. Chocolate and banana really do go well together!

OctOkashiMochi

Mochi-Age

Fried mochi! I love me some mochi. They seemed to have a bit of a peppery aftertaste to them also, like ordinary rice crackers. The packet was so tiny yet it was so satisfying. I really loved this and will certainly keep my eye out for it in future.

OkashiOctChocoball

Chocoball Caramel

These were quite fun – note the scary face on the neat opening on the box. These were caramel wrapped in chocolate and had a nice chewy texture to them, but not the kind of chewy that gets stuck through your teeth or makes you feel bloated after. The chocolate tasted decent as did the caramel. Having small things in the box such as these filled out the box nicely, making it really feel like it was worth the money.

~

Some months you can also choose to buy extras 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!

This was one of those months! For $18, we could add on the below pack:

OkashiOctHalloween

This was really quite decent for $18 and was a fun edition for Halloween, even in a country that doesn’t really celebrate it (Australia.)

OkashiOctFruit

Fruit-flavoured hard candies

We received grape, orange, muscat and apple. These were hard candies that you could suck for ages, or try to crack open with your teeth after a while and chew the gooey centres. They had a really nice flavour and had a nice texture. They didn’t disintegrate in your mouth, and didn’t go sharp and break into sharp bits even if you crunched through them. Grape was a really excellent flavour, as was the orange one – they were all good, but these were our favourites.

OkashiOctGrape

Grape Gumi

These were so sour and sugary and excellent! Quite a large packet for what you got inside though (and it was a small packet) – I don’t really get why they make a large tent-like package for a few pieces of sour gummi! These were still very good though, and I loved every piece.

OkashiOctCollon

Collon Strawberry

These were a bit of a non-event. I had a few but they didn’t overwhelm me with their taste or texture, and now I’ve come to write about them I can’t remember much else about them. Oh well, they were still okay!

OkashiOctSakuSaku

SakuSaku Panda

These were excellent, I want to try more of these some day! They were biscuits with a backing of chocolate that’s supposed to make the biscuit look like a panda – you can kinda see it, but unfortunately mine melted in the post which makes it a little hard to see. These were really quite yummy, the biscuit part was very decent and all in all I could probably eat a whole box of these far too quickly.

OctHalloTirol

Tirol Choco and Pumpkin Box

These were quite nice! I preferred the chocolate ones to the pumpkin, but that’s to be expected. The shape of the chocolate is quite neat, and the biscuit crunch inside was excellent. The packaging is really quite well-done, making this something you could easily give as a gift to someone.

So far we’ve only had a few of the chocolates, but the ones in the black wrapper were chocolate, and the colourful ones were all pumpkin flavour. Tirol is one of the better names in chocolate, so if you see any you can probably rely on their quality.

OkashiOctPeko

Peko & Hello Kitty Fruit Chocolates

A bit melted but still good. Japanese chocolate seems to have a delicate flavour and these didn’t disappoint. It’s smooth and light, and having each piece individually wrapped means it’s easy to stick to one or two pieces instead of over-indulging. Very cute wrappers too!

OkashiOctCaplicoStrawberry

Caplico Mini – Strawberry flavour

So I think mine may have melted a bit in the post this time. We had one in a previous box that was much larger – and I really didn’t like it! This one was much more pleasant, I’m not sure if it’s because it was melted or if the recipe differs between the mini and normal one (not too sure why it would), but this one was really quite yummy. I wouldn’t mind having these again! The cone has a good crunch and the topping was sweet, but didn’t seem to be as overly sweet as I found the original sized one to be – the flavour also stretched all the way down the cone, and the mini size was perfect to try something sweet but not feel you’ve overindulged.

OkashiOctCountry

Country Ma’am – Vanilla Flavour

Country Ma’am is another excellent brand – everything is always so damn nice. I’ve had these before from Okashi Connection in a previous box (I think it was another add-on?) and they were in one of the boxes earlier before I signed up. Excellent quality. The biscuits are small but packed with flavour – so much chocolate, yet it’s not overwhelming. It has a nice texture – quite a bit of bite in there, but then it’s soft inside in a pleasing way.

I really could buy a box of these biscuits and just live with that brand as the only biscuits I could ever eat again – forever – and be quite happy really!

~~~

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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