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Alethea & Athena
Tokyo Treat 
17th-Jul-2016 06:01 pm
I think today I can finally post about Tokyo Treat. I may have mentioned it in the past. It's one of those silly subscription boxes that are all over the internet these days. We had signed up for NatureBox, because we thought it might be a good way to slowly go out of our comfort zones and try new foods, but most of their snacks were either flavorless or super spicy. They had two things that we really liked, and then they discontinued them both because they used corn syrup or something silly like that, so we were thinking of canceling our subscription, and then these ads came up for Tokyo Treat. I don't know why we went for this one over Dokidoki Crate or Japan Crate, possibly because we heard Japan Crate once had bootlegs, and Tokyo Treat claimed to be shipping straight from Japan so obviously they're legit, right?

Anyway, we were tired of our one snack subscription and here came along a new one that was more appealing for coming from our beloved Japan (I think there's a video that says that means we have a fetish...), and that gave us the motivation we needed to finally face the gauntlet of trying to cancel a subscription of any kind. Nature Box tried to offer us coupons and other discounts, but we were like, "There's nothing we want to buy from you. How about we just pay you nothing?" (It's not their fault; that's just procedure on stuff like that. They seemed nice enough, but they weren't serving our needs, so it was time to let them go.)

And thus began our happy relationship with Tokyo Treat. We only get the small box, because we ain't made of money, but so far it's been pretty awesome...even though we usually get treats that we don't like, or that we're too afraid to eat, so we go through them slowly. Actually, part of that is that we started the subscription right around when I was getting all my dental work done, so I wasn't in the mood for trying foods. But! there's all kinds of interesting snacks. We got curry flavored potato chips, which tasted more like meat than curry spice, which was good because we're not real big on curry, but it still really weirded us out, so we're not thinking of searching any local import stores for more.

And we got jam senbei, which we read about in Kamakura Monogatari, so we were excited to try those...and they were actually kinda gross. The jam (it's like the kind of "jam" you might find in something like a Lunchable) was plum flavored, and since plum is a fruit, we assumed it would be sweet, despite our knowledge of the incredible sourness that is umeboshi. But we thought that was just from the pickling process. Anyway, this jam was salty and smelled like glue. The cracker part was good, though, like the cheap ice cream cones. The other things in the first box were green tea flavored, and we're not sure how tea-flavored things fit in with our religion's health code (tea is bad; tea flavors? I don't know), so we tried them and discovered that we're not real big fans of green tea flavor anyway. Maybe the flavor is different from the tea itself; it seemed kind of fruity, in an unidentifiable sort of way. It wasn't bad, but just not something I really cared one way or another about.

The second box was a little bit more of a success, but we've been having a hard time making our way through it because they sent some ramune candies in a pack of three, and a single lollipop that you dip in what looks (according to the packaging) like some sort of fizzy sugar a la Pop Rocks. We have to figure out how to divide those up before we can eat them. But we had the KitKats, which were regular, but with chocolate cookies crumbs mixed in the outer chocolate coating, and they were delicious. And we ate the chocolate pencils, and the candies that came inside a little plastic microphone. There was also some giant squid thing, that we've pretty much decided we're not going to eat. We'll see if Gaston wants to try it.

The third box came with an anime theme! So we got some Pokemon fruit snacks with evolving flavors! (If you eat a lemon one and a soda flavored one together, they evolve into lemon squash! And since squash was the kind of flavoring they used for Hiyori's Jungle Savate, we're pretty excited to try that.) We also got the fortune-telling chocolate that was featured in the anime Dagashi Kashi, and now I'm interested in watching that series, but also worried it will make me want snacks all the time. We also got some shrimp crackers that I'm afraid of but feel like we ought to try because shrimp is "ebi" like Ebisu, and they're just crackers with flavoring on them, so come on and try it! And some Brazilian orange Pocky! But we only tried one thing so far, and that's the milk flavored potato chips. The idea was just too intriguing to pass up. They were pretty good, too. Just like potato chips flavored with sugar and I guess evaporated milk. The flavor is something we tend to associate with vanilla, possibly because maybe most vanilla ice cream actually has very little flavoring and so tastes more like milk and sugar than vanilla.

Those are our adventures with Tokyo Treat so far. Soon after we signed up, they started advertising their new subscription box, Yume Twins! We couldn't resist it, because it's cute Japanese merchandise, and they named it "twins" like they came up with the idea just for us! And I want to talk about the cute things we've gotten from them so far, but I think I've talked enough today. It will be good to save some material for during the week when I'll surely have nothing else to talk about but work.

Today I'm thankful for the neat new things we get to try with Tokyo Treat, milk flavored potato chips, the kitten coming out from under our couch before we had to go to bed (there's some other material to talk about; we opened the door for Page last night but before she could get outside the kittens were at the door and wanting to explore our apartment, so we let them in and one of them headed off in one direction and disappeared; she was nowhere to be found...until I went upside-down and looked under the couch; Page has long ago torn the bottom covering off so if you can fit underneath, it's easy to get to a point where you can stand upright (if you're a kitten), and she just stayed there and played with the toys Page had knocked under there until the neighbors came out and called them over for food), having orange Pocky to look forward to, and the excitement that the Tokyo Treat people show in every email.
17th-Jul-2016 11:04 pm (UTC)
Yay, Japanese snacks!! Today I got a surprise gift of some green tea Kit-kats and one package of green tea Kinoko no Yama, from my friends who are in town for their brother(/-in-law)'s wedding next weekend! :D (and I got to see their super-duper-adorable almost-1 daughter~!) It made me so happy and now I'm pondering what sort of local treat I could share with them in return...

On the subject of flavour, I found the green tea taste of the kit-kat reeeeeeaaally mild. Mostly it just tasted sweet with a tinge of something else; the tea itself has much more bitterness (in a good way...). So (not that I know much) I wouldn't think Japan's green tea snacks violate your health code as far as being too much like tea itself, or containing any measurable amount of caffeine. But if you don't like the flavour anyway, you don't have to worry about it either way.

Haha, I was gonna say "if you don't want the weird snacks, I'll eat them!" but if you've got Gaston or other local friends around to try things, that's probably unnecessary :)

Dagashi Kashi!! I wanted to watch that too. But there was some reason I never did... oh, probably because it was a Funimation show and I don't have patience for ads but I also don't care enough about anime to pay money for a subscription. (and I don't have time for watching shows in general.) So there I am.
18th-Jul-2016 02:14 am (UTC)
Japanese snacks all around! Yay! It's so hard to think of what to share with visitors from other countries, though, because I feel like all the major stuff we would think of has already started a chain everywhere else. Or maybe that's just because we're in the LA area (which seems to be an amalgamation of everything) and never leave our home, so we don't know what delicacies are specific to the various cities roundabout...

It wasn't green tea Kit-Kat; there was a green tea brownie that was glazed with a green tea chocolate, and a candy bar that wasn't Nestle's Crunch but was basically the same thing, only with green tea. We didn't really pick up on the bitterness that so many anime and manga characters have led us to believe is part of green tea, maybe because it was similar to the bitterness in chocolate and blended or something, but that fruitiness just had us going meh.

We will keep you in mind! The first box had something that was labeled as super spicy (which might not be that spicy, since apparently the Japanese are sensitive to spiciness, if our experience with Japanese people and Americans at the gyoza place was anything to go by), and we had recently had some sriracha stuff that made us pretty averse to spiciness, and we know Gaston doesn't like spiciness, so we know there's some stuff he may not want, either, and in that case, we could send it to you! ...If we could ever get to a post office. That reminds me, we still have those Noragami gachapon keychains...

Oh, Funimation. They're being kind of obnoxious these days, because now they have their very own streaming service, which means we can't just watch their shows on Hulu. And that's bad because when we want to relax and watch anime, we'd rather do it on the couch in front of the TV and not at the computer where we've been working all day, and our Wii doesn't have Funimation Now, it has Hulu. So we've started a few shows of theirs this season, but we may not care enough to continue them...
18th-Jul-2016 09:49 am (UTC)
Oh right, I figured it wasn't green tea kit-kats that you got, but my guess was that (since the green tea ice cream I've had on various occasions also has a really mild flavour) probably most/all of those green tea snacks are low in actual green tea content and flavour. If I were to compare it to coffee-flavoured snacks and candies available here, those have a much stronger resemblance to their original.
18th-Jul-2016 05:26 pm (UTC)
Ah, coffee-flavored snacks--now there's something I wish we had more clarification on. I mean, it would show up in Jelly Bellies and we'd smell it at the grocery store, and I like that flavor. But of course, part of the point is to use our good judgment.
19th-Jul-2016 01:56 pm (UTC)
In the name of science, you might like to know that I tried the green tea きのこの山 today and they are considerably less sweet than the kit-kats, with a stronger green tea flavour that actually has some bitterness. Maybe I shouldn't be surprised that Nestlé veers sweeter on the scale than Meiji. (oh hmm, I just googled green tea kit-kat and found an article that declares there are actually different recipe formulas for the candy and that some are sweeter than others. so maybe there is a more bitter, true-to-original version out there...)
20th-Jul-2016 01:22 am (UTC)
I don't think either of the green tea snacks were Meiji or Nestle. The crunch bar was Lotte and the brownie was...something else, but we threw away the wrapper and the picture in the Tokyo Treat booklet is too small to make out a brand.
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