Sakuraco June Box Review
Posted on June 16, 2021 Posted by Athena Scalzi 12 Comments
Hello everyone, and welcome to another installment of me trying Japanese snacks! Today I’m reviewing the Sakuraco June 2021 Box with my dad. This month’s theme is citrus, which is perfect considering summer just started! Since we’ve done this three times before, I’m just gonna run through a quick explanation and then jump right in!
Sakuraco is a subscription box company in Japan that curates Japanese tea time snack boxes, with each box of snacks containing 20 authentic Japanese snacks such as castella cakes, senbei crackers, mochi, and more. The boxes also contain one home good item, such as a cup, plate, or chopsticks. Now that you’re up to speed, let’s rate some snacks!
Komachi Chestnut Pie:
This little golden brown treat was a great start to this box. My dad and I agreed that the chestnut filling was quite good, but my dad thinks the pie crust surrounding it was a little underwhelming, and a little too bready. I thought it was pretty perfect, honestly, no complaints from me, I really liked it! Overall, it was super tasty, pretty moist, and we would definitely eat it again.
SakuSaku Seaweed Rice Cracker:
This salty snack was flippin’ delicious. Unlike rice cakes here in the US, this little snack was comprised of tiny, individual rice balls that fell apart completely differently than what we’re used to. It made for an entirely different mouth feel, but was quite pleasant. The flavor of this was really intense, like a punch of umami flavor, but super good. We would definitely eat this again.
Fresh Orange Cake:
I have never had orange cake before, and I was little skeptical how it would taste, but I can say with full certainty that it is amazing! This one in particular was citrusy but not acidic, super flavorful, moist, and even has peel pieces in the batter which definitely contributes to that fresh taste. We would definitely eat this again.
Plum & Wasabi Okaki:
If they hadn’t prepared me by putting “wasabi” in the title of these, the heat would’ve totally thrown me for a loop. It was an intense heat upon consumption, but it mellowed out quickly and doesn’t burn like crazy or anything. It definitely doesn’t taste like plum, though. It tastes a lot like shrimp, my dad and I agreed. The texture is perfectly pleasant and they have a nice crunch. We would eat these again.
I swear I get one of these in every box! Though I think maybe they’ve all been from different brands because they’ve definitely varied in size. Anyways, this one was pretty okay! It has red bean paste in the middle, but this time the paste had whole beans in it instead of just being a smooth paste. It was like having chunky peanut butter instead of smooth. My dad was not a fan of the whole beans, and said they were odd. I don’t mind the whole beans at all, but I would say that it was not sweet enough. The pancakes were great, though! My dad says he would eat it again if the paste was smooth instead of chunky, and I would eat it again regardless of the whole bean paste.
Summer Fruits Jelly:
Upon opening this snack, I commented that it smelled like hair product. I didn’t expect it to taste like that either, but here we are. This snack totally tastes like when you’re taking a shower and accidentally get conditioner in your mouth. Despite not liking the taste, and not particularly loving the texture, either, I do like the aesthetic of it. The fruit suspended in gelatin is kind of a cool look. We would definitely not eat this again.
Waraku no Sato Salt Yokan:
This little snack is slippery as an eel. Despite being named Salt Yokan, it’s not particularly salty, and honestly it tastes like red bean paste, which I like. It was weirdly dense, but in a good way. We would definitely eat this again.
I swear I’ve gotten this one before, too! But maybe I’m wrong. Taiyaki is always one of those things that I’m super excited for, and then it turns out just okay. Really, this snack was fine overall. The filling was okay, the bread was okay, nothing special or crazy about it. We would eat it again, but we are not enthused to.
Mochi Azuki Jelly:
I know the last couple times I’ve tried these mochi jelly type of cup thingies, I’ve hated them. But this one was actually pretty okay! And I’ll tell you why. This one was firmer than all the other ones I’ve tried. Much less… wiggly. Although this one didn’t have much flavor. It was very plain, even the mochi was like, unflavored. The mochi was quite dense, though, which made for a good mouth feel. This mochi jelly had a ton of beans in it, which is good if you like them, like me, and bad if you don’t really, like my dad. My dad says he would eat it again if it didn’t have the beans, and I’m undecided if I would partake in this jiggly treat again.
Cocoa and Orange Fruit Tart:
This was the snack I was most excited for, but unfortunately it did not meet my expectations. Though it did have a good flavor, as orange and chocolate is quite good together, it was ridiculously dry. Honestly, it tasted a lot like a Fig Newton, which is nowhere near orange and chocolate, but somehow also conveyed the orange and chocolate flavor. We would eat it again, despite dryness.
Hojicha Warabi Mochi:
I’m so tired of eating these gross mochi thingys with roasted soy flour, but nonetheless I persevered. This one, surprisingly, was also not as bad as usual, as it was firmer than most of these things, but not firm enough (unlike the one previously mentioned). The flavor was familiar to me, but I couldn’t place it until my dad said it tasted like jellied tea, and I realized it really does taste like black tea! I would not eat it again, but my dad said he would and he even finished the whole thing, whereas I couldn’t stand more than a couple bites.
Summer Citrus Monaka:
Much like taiyaki, these monaka wafer snacks are something I’m always excited for, but the wafer part is always awful. Usually, though, the paste inside is good enough that it makes the wafer a tolerable obstacle. However, this one had a weirdly flavored filling that I did not enjoy. To me, it tasted like someone took a bowl of black licorice and then squeezed a lemon over top of it. Literally like citrus and anise. However, my dad said it didn’t taste like anything and that it didn’t have a lot going on flavor-wise. We would not eat it again.
Uji Matcha Cake:
For the final snack, we tried this matcha cake. It was super good! It was moist, soft, had a subtle yet delicious matcha flavor, and was a huge portion, so you get a lot of bang for your buck. The beans didn’t seem to bother my dad this time. We would definitely eat this again.
Here are my dad’s top three snacks from this box: Plum and Wasabi Okaki, Fresh Orange Cake, Hojicha Warabi Mochi
These are my top three snacks: Fresh Orange Cake, Chestnut Pie, Seaweed Rice Cracker
Honorable mention: Uji Matcha Cake
Now that you’ve seen all the snacks, here is the home good that was included!
Japan’s Four Seasons Serving Tray:
Honestly, I really like the design, and a serving tray is a cool thing to include. However this piece is not dishwasher or microwave safe, and it just feels like cheap plastic. It does look nice, though, so it’s alright in my book.
And of course, here is the tea that I don’t try because I feel it’s unfair to review something I know I dislike.
Matcha Infused Genmaicha Tea:
This month’s box was definitely my favorite one yet! It makes me so excited to see July’s. I hope you enjoyed looking through all these unique snacks. Be sure to tell me in the comments which one you’d most like to try! Or if you also subscribe to Sakuraco, tell me which one was your favorite from your box. And have a great day!
This definitely sounded most like a box I would like of all the ones you’ve reviewed. I have to agree with you – the chestnut pie and the orange cake would top my list too.
These Sakuraco unboxings are my favorite of your posts, Athena. I always enjoy them. Your descriptions of the jelly snacks amuse me. :) It’s especially fun to hear how your tastes and your dad’s differ on some of the snacks. Which makes me wonder — you said your sense of taste and smell were affected post-COVID. Is that still happening? Do you think it accounts for some of the differences?
Although you aren’t planning to drink it, you might still want to brew the Genmaicha tea for the sensory experience. I’m not sure how the matcha will affect the scent, but in general, rice tea smells like the puffed rice cereal that we got as kids.
I just really can’t get into the jelly things. At all. The matcha cake was odd, I was the only on in my group that liked it, but some went uneaten.
Having had the experience twice now, I can’t see spending the money for things that mostly I don’t like. The novelty isn’t worth it.
The jelly things are always my favorite parts and I thought the Hojicha jelly was the best of all they’ve sent so far. I really loved the tea flavor, I think it’s been my favorite thing out of all the boxes.
I was also disappointed by the salt jelly not tasting salty though. I was excited by the description because I love salty dessert type things and the flavor was ok but I couldn’t detect any saltiness at all. It just tasted like red bean to me. And the outer texture was a little disconcertingly slimy. I like red bean but it wasn’t as unique as I’d hoped.
I was surprised how good the seaweed cracker was. I like seaweed flavored things usually but they are rarely stuff I’m overly excited by. That cracker was really delicious, I think it’s the best seaweed snack I’ve ever had. I could have eaten handfuls of them.
As someone who really loves tea I’ve found all of the teas included in these boxes really excellent with the exception of the plum tea in the second box. It didn’t taste like tea or have a distinctive plum flavor (I was expecting it would maybe taste like the pickled plum they use as a condiment or in sushi, etc). It tasted more like miso soup than plum. The taste wasn’t bad but it wasn’t anything tea-like and not really something I’d be craving when I want a hot drink. It might be okay as part of a full meal, but I didn’t drink the second packet and that’s the only thing out of any of the boxes I didn’t finish.
One thing I wasn’t thrilled about in this box was that the orange tarts had lard in them. I’m not a vegetarian (anymore) but I prefer vegetarian options when possible and lard is something I usually avoid. I wish they’d offer a customization option for people with food preferences to avoid certain types of ingredients being included in their boxes.
LOL. The plum crackers were salty because umeboshi are pickled plums, not fresh. They are a common Japanese snack, super salty, very sour. I love them, but they are not at all sweet, so if you don’t know what to expect, it can be a surprise.
I generally love Japanese food, we have had quite a few great Japanese restaurants here since the Toyota factory nearby was established. They manufacture engines for many Toyota vehicles — I hope they are able to refocus the facility towards electric motors and away from internal combustion engines.
We’ve also visited Japanese restaurants from coast to coast, Seattle and San Francisco to NYC and Washington DC and enjoyed most of them a great deal. I don’t care for sea urchin nor octopus, which is tougher than goat meat! Squid is OK, tho…
Anyway, great sushi and other Japanese foods are available here in central WV. But many of the items described in these reviews don’t really hit my sweet spot. I’m glad you’re tasting them and reviewing them, though.
I’m really curious about hojicha jelly now! As soon as I saw you mention tea in the description I thought of the coffee jelly from Saiki K, so I looked back at the picture and sure enough saw the kanji for tea there. So I plugged the whole word into my dictionary and it says that ほうじ茶 means “roasted green tea”. So I guess it’s made from tea!
Is Orange cake not a thing in the US? It’s pretty common here – the most popular would be orange and poppy seed, but just plain orange is around as well.
I signed up for a box thanks to your reviews – though I was as much curious about the items you hated as the ones you liked! But my timing was such that I missed the window for the June box, and got the July one over a week ago. I will say that the July box was AWESOME, with a melon theme; if anything I’m worried now, because I want another box but I can’t see how it could be as good as that one…
This was my 3rd box and the best so far. Those jellies are just odd, certainly not like anything we here in the USA are use to.
I wanted to thank you for posting these reviews. I bought a subscription for my wife as a present and she loves the boxes.