Sakuraco May Box Review
Posted on May 31, 2021 Posted by Athena Scalzi 24 Comments
I absolutely had to get this one in before the end of May, so welcome to another installment of me reviewing Sakuraco’s monthly snack boxes!
This month, they focused on the fact that it’s the end of Spring, and mentioned a really neat holiday called Children’s Day! Also with the end of Spring comes the last of the cherry blossoms, so this month’s theme was “mochi and sakura”, which I found kind of odd considering March’s theme was sakura, but I like sakura so I’m not mad about it. I did find it interesting that March was sakura, April was matcha, and June is citrus, but this one is “mochi AND sakura”, but it’s whatever.
Anyways, let’s just dive right in!
First up, we have the Fig Doryaki:
This soft, cake-like treat was really yummy! I personally am a huge fan of fig, and this snack was totally fig-tastic, not to mention the fig spread is mixed with red bean paste, which I’m also a big fan of! So, yeah, this was a very good start to the box. I’d give it an 8/10.
Following this, I tried the Rikishi Mochi Monaka:
I have really mixed feelings about this one, because the red bean paste inside was some of the best I’ve ever had, but the wafer was so unsatisfying and weirdly textured. I’m not sure what the logo thingy on the wafer is supposed to be, but I think it adds an interesting look to an otherwise pretty dull looking snack. For real though, the red bean paste was super duper good, I wish I could have just the paste without the wafer, but there’s really no way to separate them. I’d give it a 7/10.
Next up is Plum Mochi:
Okay, this lil’ pink blob absolutely slaps. This thing is a perfect pillow of deliciousness. Not only is the mochi the most wonderful soft texture, but it’s a super appealing color, too! I thought the sour plum jelly would be too tart, but it ended up being the perfect contrast to the extra sweet marshmallow fluff around it. It was a truly delicious combo, and this is for sure my favorite item in the box. Obviously, this is a 10/10. I am hoping that it is possible to buy a huge package of these, they’re so amazing.
After that, I tried the Sakura Mini Baumkuchen:
Honestly, this little cake was pretty good! The taste and texture were both very similar to pound cake, and who doesn’t like pound cake? The sakura flavor in it was rather subtle, but despite it being pretty faint, it was pleasant! It was a nice size, too, since it was a “mini” baumkuchen. I’d give this cake a 7/10.
Fifthly, I had the Sakura Sable Cookie:
I really wanted to like this cookie more than I did, just because the texture was super enjoyable for a cookie. It was like that perfect softness where it’s not too soft, but the taste was kind of off to me. It wasn’t, like, bad, but it was just a little odd. It tasted almost like it was supposed to taste good, but something was wrong with it and it made it taste off. I know that’s kind of a weird way to phrase it, but I really feel like maybe it wasn’t supposed to taste the way it did? I’m not sure. Anyways, I’d give it a 5/10.
Next, I went for the Mitarashi Mochi Monaka:
This was a truly unique snack, flavored unlike anything I’ve ever had before. The monaka wafers were nothing to write home about. Per usual with any of the “wafer” snacks, the wafers are weirdly textured and too dry to be good. The inside was the fascinating part, though. The description said that “Mitarashi sauce is a fresh, sweet and slightly spicy soy sauce”, and honestly I can totally see it. It had that undertone of soy sauce flavor, but milder and sweeter. I wouldn’t say it’s like, the best thing I’ve ever tasted, but it was interesting and good enough to earn it a 6.5/10.
Following that, I tried the Kanten Sakura Mochi:
These jelly-like cubes were super odd, but I wanted to like them because I adore the color and perfect bite-size-ness of them. They tasted like… grass? I’m not sure, but whatever it was wasn’t very good and it certainly didn’t taste like sakura. The texture was fine enough, but the flavor was totally lacking, so I’m going to have to give this a 3/10.
Next up, I gave the Sakura Cream Sandwich a try:
Let me just start out by saying that I totally loved these cute cookie sandwiches! The cookies are so adorable with their sakura trees on them, and super thin, making them extra crispy. The vanilla cream was really sweet, but it worked well with the sort of plain and mild flavor of the cookies. This cookie sandwich tasted very much like a “vanilla wafer” type of snack, the rectangular kind with the waffle pattern on the wafers that are layered like a lasagna. Overall, I’d give it an 8/10.
Coming into the final stretch of snacks, we have the Fukuruko Shiruko:
I loved the appearance of these so much, and I was really hoping to love the taste just as much, but this deceivingly adorable snack is actually super gross! This snack was the only one I’ve seen that requires like, preparation, or actually doing something other than opening the package and eating it straight out of the box. For this snack, you had to pour 100ml of hot water over the blowfish after poking a hole in the top of its head. The wafer fell apart and all the stuff on the inside came out and turned the water from regular water into red bean and mochi porridge. The instructions said to mix in the wafer to the porridge, which was just the most soggy mothertrucker you can imagine, as you can see from the photo. I could barely take ONE bite, it was so awful. The wafer was like if you had put a piece of Wonder Bread in a glass of water, and I almost gagged swallowing it. WET BREAD IS ALWAYS BAD. This was just so unpleasant on so many levels, it’s absolutely a 1/10 for me.
Tenthly, we have Hime Sakura Kuzumochi:
I could have sworn this was the exact same mochi that I disliked from the March box, but it’s actually a different one, despite looking and tasting practically identical. This little bowl of mochi was so hard for me to even try, I knew I was going to hate it. And I did! The texture was like gelatinous slime, the flavor was super unpleasant, and it’s really a shame because the package it’s so flippin’ adorable. This is a solid 2/10 for me. I felt bad because there’s so much of it, and I just chucked the rest, so it feels like a waste.
Finally, we have ANOTHER mochi, the Azuki Warabi Mochi:
This mochi has whole red beans throughout its jiggly self, so I thought I’d like it more than the previous mochi, because who doesn’t love red beans? While it did end up being slightly better than its predecessor, it was still super icky and I couldn’t take more than two bites. The thing that made this one better was it was more firm than the previous one, so it wasn’t quite so snot-like. It tasted kind of like grass, which seems to be a weirdly common thing with the snacks I’ve tried. Maybe it’s a me problem. This earned itself a 3/10. Definitely not good but not the worst thing ever.
To top things off, we have the home good included in the box, the Sakura Owan Bowl:
In the previous two boxes, the items that came in it were both ceramic, so I was a little disappointed with this little plastic bowl. It looks pretty nice in the photo, but it feels kinda cheapy to me. The sakura shape on the bottom is super cute, at least, but otherwise it’s just a very small plastic bowl. The description says it’s dishwasher safe, but not microwave safe, which is interesting.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention the tea! This month was Sakura Sencha Tea. I did not try it because I feel it’s unfair to review something I know I have never liked, but here’s what it looks like if you’re curious:
It is a bitter green tea, and I do not like green tea, and I hate bitter things, so. It is good I did not try it!
Overall, this box was not my favorite, but it did have a couple really great snacks! I just don’t like mochi as much as I thought I did, I guess. I think it depends on the kind. So, yeah, this box was pretty okay! All three Spring boxes were good enough for me to sign up for the next three months, so get ready for the June review! And have a great day!
I loved your plum mocha review so much I wanted to buy it. Unfortunately…
I can see I’m going to need a box just to compare notes. Anyway a long delayed family visit is in the offing. So I’ll try the July box as a treat and/or adventure.
Looking forward to the next round. And I like tea (though not, especially, green tea, more lapsang souchong).
I’m curious whether this company has seen your reviews, and whether they have ever replied to them.
I’m always so delighted by these reviews – I’m half Japanese but have never been able to tolerate traditional sweets (red bean paste, mochi, all of it is just…. not my thing). So it’s really lovely to see somebody with no particular connection to these foods try them and either enjoy them or validate my dislike! I hope you continue to be intrigued/charmed by your box!
Oh – rikishi means sumo wrestler and the pattern on those sweets is an umpire’s fan. (He uses it to award points etc I think.)
Hiya Athena –
The logo on the Rikishi Mochi Monaka is a Gunbai – a type of samurai war fan used to signal troops.
thought you would like to know.
That plum mochi does sound good.
Also I love those vanilla waffle wafer cookies that you compared the little sakura tree sandwich cookies too.
Summer pudding is the obvious ‘wet bread can be scrummy’ thing, but also French Toast!
Just found out I have a RL friend who also gets these boxes, and she already got and loved the June citrus one. (Sorry if that’s a spoiler haha)
Thanks for doing these! I always enjoy reading your reviews. I bet a box of the Sakura Cream Sandwiches would be pretty tasty also.
I have lived in Japan on and off for much of my adult life and have only somewhat learned to enjoy traditional sweets. My Japanese friends and family will ooh and aah so I know it is a me problem rather than an issue with the sweets.
Two observations with green tea; use water at 160 – 175F and steep no more than 30 – 60 seconds at the higher temp range and 60 – 120 seconds at the lower temp range. Some delicate teas will even be fine at the 110F mark so err on the lower end of the temp range. The fussier types will also rinse the cup with hot water just prior to pouring the tea to prevent the relatively cool teas from cooling too much.
Second, the slight bitterness of the tea pairs really well with the -to me- cloying sweetness of bean paste sweets. A sip of tea, a nibble of the sweet will give you an optimum experience.
Nooooo…. I was going to go looking for it too!
Unrelated to the current post-I made the ginger sandwich cookies you blogged about; they were a hit! I’m glad you mentioned how much extra frosting it made. Since I was making them to share, I doubled the cookie recipe, but left the frosting as is, and still ended up with frosting left over.
The reason the bowl can be dishwasher safe but not microwave safe is because some types of plastic absorb microwave energy and get hot/melt. I’ve had plates like that before and the plate would get hotter than the food, lol.
I can’t wait for the world to get back to normal-enough-to-ship-plum-mochi! Those sound wonderful.
As for the strange flavours of some Japanese foods: yup. Me too. I’m not sure I’d describe it as grass, although that’s close enough that I know the flavour you mean. It’s not bad, it’s not good, it’s just so bizarre it’s offputting anyway.
For me, the even stranger thing is that if I keep trying something like that, sometimes the flavour settles into “hey, that’s nice.” Sometimes it settles into “sawdust!” But it doesn’t usually stay merely weird.
I want these boxes SO much but I’m too cheap to sign up.
Also, they won’t estimate shipping till you sign up and fill out all your info. Just as a rough approximation, could you say what your shipping was?
Not sure whether I should thank you or not, but I just signed up for the next box. I find it hilarious that your negative comments were almost as enticing to me as the positive ones – I kept thinking “it couldn’t be THAT bad, could it?”, and apparently I’m willing to pay to find out! (Side note, for reference: I live in New Hampshire, and my shipping costs came to $12 and change.)
My favorite line this time – “not so snotlike” – a good thing! I love the cookies with the trees on them and the look of the little blowfish. I don’t like plums much, and I am not a fan of jelly candies in general, so a lot of these are probably not to my taste. But I did enjoy your rundown. From the occasional comments, I wondered if your taste buds were still a little off from the bout with Covid.
“Baumkuchen”? Clearly a little cross-cultural thing goin’ on. Wonder who was the German pastry chef that introduced those?
After reading your reviews of the previous boxes, I got this mochi box for my significant other, and… wow, our reviews are very similar to yours. What was up with the snot blocks? And the soy dust is literally a manufacturing byproduct that does nothing to improve those gelatinous cubes.
But lots of the cookies are cakes were great! Thanks for writing these reviews, and getting us to try something new. :D
I liked the plum mochi best, too. And the mochi soup was truly disgusting.
I think I liked more in the May box than you but yes, the soup thingy was very very weird
I’ve really enjoy my Japanese snack boxes I’ve gotten from Bokksu. They are a bit more varied than some of the other snack boxes I’ve seen. Just a thought if you wanted to try another Japanese snack sorta thing. Oh and the Bokksu ones do come with tea as well. Check them out if you are interested!
Are your tastebuds pretty much recovered from COVID?
We are currently nibbling our way through the June box and enjoying it a lot!