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Freedom Japanese Market review

A brand new box for us here (and one that I am delighted to receive), Freedom Japanese Market bring snacks direct from the Land of the Rising Sun. Time to limber up the taste buds for some oriental flavours and dive in.

Cheesecake flavoured caramel corn

Going on the ‘biggest package first’ principle, I opened this with great anticipation (full disclosure: I’ve previously had a treats box from Japan and the puffed corn were my fave item). And I was not disappointed. Super sweet but delicately flavoured (you could tell they were aiming for cheesecake). Yummy.

Nagewa crisps

Beef consomm√© doesn’t sound the most promising of flavours for a ring-shaped (or any-shaped, for that matter) crisp, so this package was approached like a challenge on a TV game show when you know something not very nice is going to have to be consumed. How wrong I was. These were delicious from start to finish. Crunchy, very strongly tasting and perfect.

Premium Umaibo

The first of four packages that looked the same but different. This one had a mozzarella and tomato salad pictured on the front. This might end badly… Turned out to me not terrible. Apparently it was mozzarella AND camembert flavoured, but ended up just being cheesy puffed corn.

Shimi Choco Corn

Stepping away from the puffed corn sticks for a moment, to the puffed corn stars. These little strawberry chocolate guys sure pack a punch in the taste department – gone is the cheese, here to stay is the synthetic strawberry. I really like these.

UFO Ramune

I got two of these, but four flavours were listed on the description – yogurt, peach, apple and cider. Not sure I could tell you which of these I had, but is was sugary and tasted of something and was gorgeous.

Umaka!

‘Ramen chips flavoured like champon, a Nagasaki noodle dish made of seafood and veggies’ – despite this description these (you guessed it) puffed corn snacks were surprisingly tasty. Nothing like the fishy broth I expected.

Teriyaki Umaibo

Puffed corn stick number 2 – and teriyaki is a taste I know and like. This was an attempt at that taste – and not a bad one. The format it’s delivered in though, I don’t quite understand, which leads me to…

Pizza Umaibo

Now this one tasted like pizza! Out of the three puffed corn sticks so far, this was closest to the taste it was meant to be. Could be because I had pizza for dinner, though.

Kabuki Cracker

Expected sweet, got savoury. This kabuki cracker was made of rice (I also suspect a touch of seaweed made its way in there too) was crunchy, tasty (once I realised this was not a candy) and made a change from puffed corn.

Mix Fruit Mochi

Mochi are the thing I remember from the last Japanese snack box that was gorgeous (if small). So small in fact that they came with their own toothpick to make the package-to-mouth journey easier. They were fruity and yummy and not made of puffed corn and chewy and I think my favourite item so far.

Caplico mini

Shaped like an ice-cream cone, this wafer had chocolate and strawberry all the way to the bottom. Now that’s what I call a Japanese candy snack!

Un-Choco

The cute dog (?) packaging hides a teeeeeny package of teeeeny chocolate balls that are, somewhat inexplicably,grape-flavoured. I guess because Japan.

Ume paper

This paper thin candy was pickled plum flavour, so it was both sweet and sour. At the end of a mostly delicious box, this was one candy I couldn’t eat. Pickled. Plum. I am saying no more.

Chewing Straw Candy

I left this bonus item for last (thankfully, because I would have HATED for that pickled plum disaster to be my lasting impression). It was also the most recognizable candy, being just like a sour straw. It was really, really tasty.

Ken and Sanae of Freedom Japanese Market are to be applauded for curating such a great box. My one beef would be the amount of puffed corn snacks. Who knows, maybe that’s a staple snack in Tokyo for the salary man on the go. This box has really opened my eyes to a new world of snacking. It even comes with an origami of the month (this month a katana [sword] in celebration, of all things, of Children’s Day. I got the $24.99 Original Pack ($12.99 [fewer options] and $45.99 [double the Original] options are available), and with free shipping from Japan represents excellent value in my opinion. I really like Freedom Japanese Market box and it definitely gets my seal of approval. If you add My Box Addiction to the order notes when you subscribe you will get a free bonus candy in your first box.

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