WOWBOX are specialists in delivering Japanese snacks and treats.
They’ve recently launched two new snack subscription boxes, a health and beauty box and a prefecture box (prefecture is the USA equivalent of a county).
You can check out the full health and beauty box review here.
This box is WOWBOX’s prefecture box. WOWBOX wanted to create a box that highlights the huge variety of snacks Japan has to offer.
Because they vary so much – from prefecture to the next (county to county) – WOWBOX is able to select the best snacks each prefecture has to offer and bundle them all together in this box.
This way you’ll get to sample only the best items each local prefecture makes.
For their Christmas 2020 prefecture box, they’ve chosen treats of all sorts from six different prefectures.
WOWBOX ships the box DHL and it takes about two days for it to travel 6,000 miles across the planet from Tokyo to Colorado. That’s madness.
You can opt to have DHL drop the box off at your door without a signature, or require them to get a signature from someone at the address otherwise they’ll try and re-deliver at a later time.
I went for the signature. Japan snacks are hot property and porch pirates are alive and well!
I like the bow decoration on the box. This would make a really unique gift for someone who loves to travel (or wants to travel…thanks covid).
The scratches you see on the photo below (top right) are only on the plastic wallet that contained the paperwork, not the box.
If you are thinking about gifting this, dress it up a little bit more with your own real bow. There isn’t’ any billing paperwork inside so it’s ready-to-gift.
I always feel like I’m lifting up a treasure chest when I open a subscription box for the first time.
Where the golden light beams out of it when you crack the lid.
It’s that level of epic-ness.
What is that and what is that and what is that?
There’s something to be said for having no idea whatsoever the identity of a food item.
The adventure begins immediately!
1.) Ponhaze Brown Sugar Popcorn (Nagoya Prefecture)
It was more than 70 years ago that the well respected Japanese Enshuya confectioners came up with this delicious snack when supplies were scarce during the post war period.
They had to use what was immediately available to them and came up with this using simple ingredients.
Using only popped corn and Okinawa brown sugar, it’s a similar idea to caramel corn in the US.
I have a thing for caramel corn, but I’ve a feeling it will have it’s own flavor style.
So these have a richer, deeper caramel flavor you’d normally get when you open a fresh bag of caramel corn.
It doesn’t have the mild burntness that I was expecting, more like creamy caramel that’s been curing for 5 years for optimum caramel-ness.
I can tell the type of corn they use is different too, more dense than the ones we find in the US, not as fluffy and airy.
They’re definitely more-ish and it’s difficult to have one. The caramel lingers long after you’re done chewing.
2.) Uni Cheese & Squid Ink Shrimp Senbei (Gifu Prefecture)
Ok hold up a minute.
Uni Cheese & Squid Ink Shrimp Senbei
Uni…Google told me that it’s the reproductive gonads of sea urchins.
Senbei is a type of rice cracker.
So this is
The reproductive gonads of sea urchins on a squid ink and shrimp rice cracker.
I regret finding this out before trying them! Still gonna try it though. 💪
The WOWBOX description for this says they also add cuttlefish to the cracker too.
Definitely a fish-y, ocean-y theme from the moment the plastic wrapper was opened.
It’s got a strong sea taste that you’ll either love or wonder what on earth they were thinking.
All I can say about this is that you have to try it for yourself. Maybe you’ll love them?
3.) Inochi Apple Custard Cake (Aomori Prefecture)
Making fruit treats for well over 130+ years, this fruit confectioner from the city and prefecture of Aomori in Japan has won many gold awards. Featured at the Japan National Fruit Fair and even taking coveted Aomori Apple medal in 2017.
Serious apple business!
I’m excited to try this.
From having the opportunity to try other Japanese fruit snacks, I know they are masters at fruit. They somehow manage to make it taste super super fresh.
This treat incorporates custard cream and eggs that makes a dense sponge cake that’s filled with the (locally) famous sweet and crisp Aomori apple filling center.
Enough talk lets try one.
This is a very soft sponge, quite dense and has hints of vanilla. The whole treat has a noticeable weight to it.
In the middle there’s a sort of apple sauce – but it’s way better.
Wow, so I tried the sponge, then the apple filling in the center – but when you mix them?
Oh my gosh! America needs this! ✅
It’s like a super creamy custard with fresh cinnamon spiced apple sauce. It tastes like a bowl of apple crisp, custard and vanilla bean ice cream all mixed up.
The Japanese manage to incorporate fruit into their packaged food products so well. It never tastes artificial, too sweet or over the top. It’s perfectly balanced.
This is definitely in my top 3 for best Japanese treats.
4.) Tokyo Danish Carameliser (Kanagawa Prefecture)
These sweet treats started in a decades old Japanese confectionary shop and were given a new lease of life by a French pastry chef called Hiroki Tsujiguchi.
Hiroki first made them for friends and they soon became a hit and gained popularity.
Hiroki decided to launch the treats officially and….here we are.
These treats are made by using caramel and cream that’s cooked slowly and spread on Danish bread.
They add a sprinkle of French vanilla natural sea salt for the finishing touch. They say that the delicious aroma from these candies instantly makes you want more.
These melt in your mouth but have a great crunch if you don’t have the patience!
They have a super buttery, caramel taste that’s really rich and coats the mouth. You can taste it on your lips for a good 10 minutes after eating one.
They have an almost croissant flavor and flakiness but with a crunch. It keeps you wanting to go back for another bite – and that’s exactly what I did!
Everyone will love these 🧡
5.) Mochiya Potato Chips (Chiba & Shizuoka Prefecture)
These chips were created by a restaurant called “Mochiya” who made a different kind of potato chip than we’re used to seeing in the US.
They used mashed potatoes and rice, instead of slicing the potato.
The chips are thick and are lightly fried and sprinkled with rock salt.
These chips are delicious. It’s like a McDonalds french fry crossed with a pringle. The thickness is nice and they would work amazing with a sub or sandwich.
They’re also super crunchy! Expect to be heard munching away on these.
I couldn’t tell they have rice in them, they taste great and I really prefer them to the thin chips that are normally found in the US.
Are these the perfect chips to accompany a sandwich? Maybe!
6.) Ande Chocolate Danish Bread (Kyoto Prefecture)
Bread is as popular a matcha in Kyoto, Japan.
This company called ANDE made this chocolate danish bread that has a shelf life of one and a half years.
The chocolate flavor that WOWBOX included in this Japan snack box is the most popular flavor and is often sold out in stores.
The can preserves the freshness of the Danish and it also acts as a convenient way to transport it without it getting crushed.
Wow so this was an experience just opening it!
It’s a chocolate bread mixed with a croissant and a Danish. It pulls apart beautifully. Looking at how it’s made, I think they roll then fold the pastry into a cylinder shape.
The chocolate taste is quite mild, it would be perfect with coffee or tea or a big glass of milk and there’s a lot of it, so it can be shared between 3-4 easily.
I love the idea of the can – protecting the Danish and also keeping it fresh.
This was a great way to end the tasting experience. When was the last time you had a chocolate Danish in a can from 6,000 miles away?
Round up & Final Thoughts
WOWBOX is a really unique idea. They ship Japanese snack experiences, not just random food in a box.
All of the products are premium, full size and are typically found on the shelves in the local Japanese shops.
For a gift, this is an amazing idea.
They’ll be able to spend quite a bit of time checking out all the different items in the box – even reading the packaging is an adventure.
The recent popularity in boxes like WOWBOX really does make it super easy to try completely new food items in the comfort of your own home. If you know someone how loves to travel, this would be a perfect Christmas or birthday gift.
They might not be able to travel much recently because of COVID, why not bring the travel experience to them?
You can check out more details and order a WOWBOX from their website here.