July 2013: Taste of Japan- Tasting Bar from Jungle Stand Review

by Courtney C Horne @FireezDragon

This is my second Tasting Bar. Like last month, this month follows a theme of the foods being from an Asian nation.  This month’s box comes from Japan flavor wise.

The Tasting Bars always have 6 tastes and I find that each one is enough for 2 or 3 people to get to try the item. I wasn’t completely blown away by any one taste like I was last month but the box also did not have repulsive dried squid- which is a plus.

Tastes of Japan

Details on each taste follow the cut.

The Baked Cake (Issa Tsutsumi Manju) is a tiny steamed cake filled with a  bean paste. The bean paste has a remarkably chocolate like flavor but the cake contains no chocolate. It was pretty pleasant flavor wise and very very dense. I think it was probably my second favorite taste in the box.

Bean Cakes

The Nori Koiwa was a rice cracker snack that had a lot of savory flavor along with some sweetness and a hint of seaweed. It was pretty good- flavorful and easy to snack on. I could imagine eating a bag of it. Interestingly it also had by far the shortest ingredient list in the box, containing only wheat flour, corn starch, rice flour, sugar, palm oil, seaweed, and baking powder. I think it’s simplicity was part of its charm.

Rice Snacks

Next the Age Ichiban (Rice Cracker). This was very crunchy and tasted pretty strongly of soy. It was almost too hard and it had way to strong of a soy flavor for me. I felt like I couldn’t get the soy flavor off my tongue. It was the only item in this month’s box I actively disliked. It wasn’t like the dried squid from last month; I didn’t spit it out, but it was not something I would choose to eat again.

Rice Crackers

The Hitokuchi Kurobo was a cake-y dense sweet item that they described as the sweetest taste in the box but I didn’t not agree. It was sweet but in a weird molasses heavy way that I think killed some of the sweet flavor. It was very dense and while I didn’t actively dislike it I also was perfectly willing to give away the extra piece of it.

Sweet Cakes

Second to last is the Taruyaki Goma Senbei. This rice cracker was considerably better than the other one in the box. It was not nearly as hard and the soy flavor was much more tempered. The black sesame seeds added a lot to it. It was about as pleasant as a rice cracker can be.

Sesame Seed Rice Crackers

Lastly, my favorite taste in the box, Strawberry Caramel Corn. This is very simple to describe- powdered strawberry flavor on what is essentially puffy Cheetos. It was so brilliant that I found myself asking why Cheeto wasn’t making a ton of different flavored options. I think cheese is great and all but this strawberry Cheeto-like item opened my eyes to the amazing potential out there for the puffed corn snack world.

Strawberry Puffs

I think the Tasting Bar from Jungle Stand is my current favorite food subscription box. It is ten bucks a month and you can sign up here.