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by Mina Okamura April 16, 2018

Hao Thai from California

Member since August 2016

 

This month's Member Spotlight is Hao Thai from San Francisco! If you couldn't tell from the picture, Hao loves Bokksu and has been with us for over a year.  Not only are his thoughts on Bokksu insightful, his love for Bokksu is so great he shares his Bokksu snacks with the whole office! We can't thank you enough for your kind support, Hao! Read more about what he thinks of Bokksu here: 

1. How do you feel about being selected as our first Bokksu Member Spotlight?

I was pleasantly surprised. I've been sharing my opinion about Bokksu and it's snacks with my coworkers and friends, but haven't given much thought to a more public forum.

2. What do you find most exciting about Japanese snacks?

I am always impressed by the theme and concept of each month's box, and look forward to what the Bokksu team will create next to tie a bunch of snacks and teas together. It's easy to just throw random items together, but to coordinate and associate them with one color, region, season, etc. is impressive. What will the curators come up with next?

3. What made you fall in love with Japanese snacks?

I've always been impressed by the patterns, designs, and packaging of Japanese snacks. Most of them are miniature pieces of art and I'm hesitant to open them up. You won't find such delicate, creative, and colorful snacks in the Walmart candy aisle. I also like how Japanese snacks are not afraid to play with flavors of fruit and tea, and where texture is as important as taste.

4. What was your favorite snack and/or favorite theme in our past boxes?

I don't think I have one favorite snack, or if I remember a particular one, I probably couldn't name it. However, my favorite ones have been the seaweed and seafood flavored savory snacks, ie. the ones with an umami flavor. When I get home from work, I love having them with a glass of beer or chardonnay as a snack while making dinner.

5. On average, how long does your Bokksu last before you finish the whole box?

I have to confess that I don't finish the entire box by myself. I take one of each item and then share the rest with my office mates. They're snapped up in a couple days. Like dimsum and tapas, the boxes are an experience best shared, and since I place them around the water cooler, they become water cooler talk.

6. What Japanese snack would you like to see in a future Bokksu?

I don't remember if I ever saw any in the previous boxes, but it would be interesting to try some sour Japanese snacks. I grew up on sour patch kids in the US, and my parents always enjoyed the Chinese dried sour plums. It's risky as most people probably wouldn't enjoy a sour Japanese snack, but it would be something different.

7. What is a future theme you would like to see Bokksu do?

One of my colleagues, who loves chocolate, suggested an all chocolate theme. For me, I've found it intriguing to see how the Japanese repackage and reflavor common snacks and candies from the US or other countries. Seeing the different KitKat varieties was fun. Maybe future themes, if they exist, could be the Japanese take on Tim Tams, Toblerones, or Cheetoes.

8. How would you describe the feeling you get when you’re about to open your Bokksu?

This will sound cheesy, but opening up a Bokksu box is like seeing what you got in your Halloween bag after a night of trick or treating. There's all these different and colorful miniature versions of candies and snacks that you're not used to seeing everyday. With it all layed out on the kitchen table, it's hard to decide which one to eat first.

9. Where in Japan would you like to visit one day? Why?

I would love to visit Okinawa one day. From what I've heard, it's still Japan but not what you would normally think of as Japan in terms of culture, food, and environment.

10. What is one Japanese food you just can’t get enough of (doesn’t have to be a Bokksu snack)?

Sorry to leave the Bokksu snack sphere, but the food I can't get enough of is sashimi. I haven't met a fish I didn't like, that is sliced up and served raw so only the simple flavor of the fish comes out.

Mina Okamura
Mina Okamura

Born and raised in Tokyo, Mina left her job at a Japanese motor company and moved to NYC in search of adventures and food. A self-proclaimed doughnut connoisseur, Mina will not hesitate to eat anything and everything sugar. She spends her spare time taking street photos with her Canon DSLR.


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