For years now I’ve been meaning to buy one of these boxes, and with my passion for Japan and it’s culture I couldn’t say no to the opportunity of a single purchase box with all the goodies from Japan. (Thank you husband!)
One of the main reasons why I haven’t bought a goodies box is because of the need to “subscribe for a minimum of…”, I don’t like the idea of subscribing to something without having a try first. And that’s where #Zenpopjapan appeared. I first heard of it through “Tokyo Creative” a Youtube channel with loads of information about Japan. One of their videos was sponsored by Zenpop.jp, and while they showed all the goodies they got all I could think of was: “I HAVE TO GET ONE BOX!”. Unfortunately, the one-time purchase was SoldOut! and I couldn’t use the discount code BUT, I waited until it was available and begged my husband for $25 as soon as it was available.
And here we have it! I ordered it on the 25th of October and it arrived on the 13th of November. I did have to wait a while but it was sent all the way from Japan to the UK!. I can’t complain about it when most of the post sent from Spain doesn’t arrive to the UK for two weeks if ever.
First of all, I wanted to show what Zenpop japan offers. The website has five different options: Sweets, Ramen, Sweets + Ramen, Beauty and Stationary. As a food lover, there was one only option for me…. Sweets and Ramen!
The box was a bit battered, maybe someone kicked it while in France. But all the goodies were in perfect condition. Nothing broken.
When opening the box, my eyes shined of happiness! There was a lot there that I have never tried and some you can’t buy in the UK ( or at least in the area I’m in). Let’s dig in!!
First thing I wanted to try was the “CRATZ Edamame”, I have never tried a green soybean snack before so why not be the first one? Now I wish it was the last one because it was DELICIOUS!!! You know when you want to continue eating something, normally it’s because of the addiction of it, like when you have Pringles and you keep eating them but you don’t know why as the 30th one doesn’t taste as nice as the first 4? WELL! This was the complete opposite, you wanted to continue eating because each bite was delicious! The burst of flavour was unique but at the same time, it reminded my husband and me of a coated peanut. But 10xbetter! I definitely know what I’m buying when I visit Japan at some point in my dream future.
Next, we tried the “Salted Peas Chips”, they are now quite common here in the UK with companies like Yushoi distributing them around UK supermarkets. I do love them and they have become a nice simple snack since I found them 2 to 3 years back. For those of you who haven’t tried them, imagine having a bite on a cheesy puff with the shape and colour of green beans and the flavour of well-seasoned peas. That’s basically what this is but you can find them in different flavours. This one that came with the box was the normal salted one.
The next savoury one in line after the Green Peas Salted Chips was the “Sapporo Potato Tsubu Tsubu Vegetable”. The interesting message about this packet of crisps was the fact that they wanted to show the vegetables inside of the potato crisps. The “tsubu” for what it says online it means grain but – again for what I have found online- “tsubu tsubu” means freckly. Which makes sense as, as soon as you pick one crisp up you see the freckly vegetables inside it. These reminded me of the “Veggie and Kale straws” that you can find in Aldi but less oily.
And finally the Tomato Pretz. I have seen Pretz make before in an international shop where they sold Polish and Oriental food. One of the crisps with tomato flavour was from Pretz. With that in mind, I believed I knew what kind of flavour I was going to get. I was wrong. This pack of stick biscuits/ breadsticks was very nicely done, with an easy way to open the box inside there were 2 bags. And they both had a good quantity of the product inside! Very surprised. When eating something that is tomato flavour, at least for me here in the UK, all I get is sour fake tomatoes. One bite on these and a flashback from my childhood in Spain and Sicily came to mind.
The taste of those tomatoes that you can just pick and bite in them as if they were fruit. The sweet but savoury taste. Definitely, I wasn’t expecting that!
That concluded the savoury side of this box ( EXCEPT FOR THE RAMEN!). But, because my husband and I already eat before trying this box, we decided to leave the ramen without trying for now and concentrate on the snacks and sweets. So next up in the sweet section: “Petit Matcha Cookies”. Complete honesty, I personally couldn’t taste the matcha in these. Yes, the taste was slightly different from the normal cookies bought in a shop, but it didn’t wow me. However, they are good as a quick snack as they are small bite size. But for me, the chocolate took most of the flavour.
Next, the one I wanted to try the most: Melon Soda Sours! I LOVE MELON! I could eat melon and watermelon every single day if I could. And the next thing I love, sweets. SO!!! This was the best of both worlds! The name “SOURS” makes it sounds as if it’s extremely sour, to the point of making Sid face from Ice Age.
But it wasn’t like that at all! The sweet is described as hard gummy, not something that I’ve found in the UK as most gummy sweets here they are quite soft and very easy to bite through. Whereas this gummy was tougher to bite into. THE FLAVOUR! wow! it was like eating a real melon. It was juicy and fresh and looking at the ingredients you realize that they use pure melon juice. For a few minutes, I decided to enjoy a few of these and just imagine myself on a sunny beach eating melon and enjoying the paradise view.
Only two things left in the “Sweet” section and anything with a panda and strawberries will ALWAYS get the first pick out of those two! The way the leaflet describes these cookies is “sour-sweet strawberry chocolate with strawberry powder and sour but rich strawberry chocolate”, for me they were more “amazing strawberry chocolate that melts in your mouth like a yoghurt coating on top of nice biscuits.” There was no sour involved in this snack at all, they looked cute, they tasted amazing and it is another thing that I can see myself buying in the future. I can’t really compare it to anything I have tried in the UK. Unique.
And finally, something I thought I would really like: Chocolate pie. Who doesn’t like chocolate and who doesn’t like pies?! So these two combined, what can go wrong? Well…. make sure you have a nice drink in hand because this is super dry! Not something I liked, unfortunately. It has dark chocolate, which I don’t mind at all but…. it didn’t work. The “crispy pie” is more of a “dry pie”. I can’t find a picture of it online.
I will buy from Zenpo.jp again! The cost for all of these is not bad at all (remember there’s still 2 pots of noodles not tried yet!), especially when it’s delivered all the way from Osaka Japan! For me it was worth it with the Cratz, the Sakusaku cookies and the Melon Soda Sours. The company itself was super easy to order with, their website is simple and straightforward. You can select to buy a one time only or subscribe to 3 or 6 months – I’m not sure when I will be able to get another one. Looking online this pack that I received was the “Green Goodness pack”, it was green for sure and overflowing with goodness!
As for the goodies inside, it’s made me want to go to Japan even more if that was even possible. Every single pack (while google translating) didn’t contain any of the artificial colouring and flavours that you find everywhere here in the UK. They were delicious and slightly healthy! Bonus!
I LOVED IT!