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by Danny Taing March 24, 2016

Last month, we introduced our subscribers to some of the most delicious western-style snacks being produced in Japan today. This month, we wanted to impart a more traditional experience by including products such as Yokan from a snack maker dating back to the 16th century! Many subscribers reported back that their palates were very satisfied with this month's assortment of traditional Japanese snacks so you can be sure that some of these items will appear again in a future bokksu.

And now, we are happy to present March's Tasting Guide! Please note that due to logistical reasons, the listed Yukari from Bankaku was not available this month so it was replaced with Green Tea Mochi. For ease of reading, the image text is also written below.

Toraya

Founded in the early 16th century in Kyoto.

Yokan

Yokan is a thick, jellied dessert typically made with red bean paste, agar, and sugar. Though yokan was first introduced to Japan by China in the late 12th century, the modern form of yokan has its roots in the Edo period in the 19th century when agar and sugar became more available. Due to its rich taste and grainy texture, yokan is usually sliced into smaller servings and enjoyed with green tea.

Ogura Sansou

Founded in 1951 in Kyoto.

Ogura Yamashunju (Arare)

Similar to senbei, arare is a rice cracker made from glutinous rice but is differentiated by its smaller size and distinctive shapes (hence the name “arare”, which also means “soft hail” in Japanese). Each of the eight arare in this pack was carefully crafted to represent an aspect of the four seasons. For example, the pink star-shaped arare (pictured above in lower right) represents freshly fallen cherry blossom petals.

Minamoto Kitchoan

Founded in 1947 by Okada Toratarou in Okayama prefecture.

White Peach Mochi

Mochi is a rice cake made of mochigome, a short-grain glutinous rice. The mochi itself has a wonderfully soft and chewy texture while the white peach filling adds a sweet tinge to every bite.

Bankaku

Founded in 1889 by Kakujirou Ban in Aichi prefecture.

Yukari (Shrimp Senbei)

Each senbei (rice cracker) is created with seven shrimp pieces using Bankaku’s original double-baking method developed during the Edo period. Every crisp bite of this delicate cracker infuses the mouth with bursts of shrimp flavor and a pleasant grainy aftertaste.

Tea Pairing

Sencha is the traditional steamed green tea of Japan. Steaming (instead of pan-firing like in Chinese teas) prevents oxidization of the leaves and preserves the tea’s fresh taste and vivid green color. Sencha tea has a grassy or pine-like flavor that is refreshing and invigorating.

Danny Taing
Danny Taing

Danny is the Founder of Bokksu, which is the culmination of his passions for delicious foods and Japanese culture. He spent four years living and working in Japan, where he often traveled to different regions and tried as many local snacks as he could find.


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