Happy New Year! We can finally leave the tough year of 2020 behind, and see Valentine's Day looming close. This February, WOWBOX specially selected snacks that are full of festive atmosphere.
Our Premium Boxes 'Prefecture Box' and 'Healthy & Beauty Box' contain carefully selected snacks from Japan's 47 prefectures local artisan and historical shops. These are exquisite delicacies that cannot be bought in your local supermarket. This month's theme is 'Valentine's Day' with must-have flavors such as chocolates, strawberries, and other treats that will surely make your February just a little more special. These Premium boxes will sure be a little delicious reward for yourself or a great gift for that special someone you love.
Now lets go unpack and reveal some highlighted snacks inside each WOWBOX so that you know what unique surprises you may expect!
Prefecture Box Valentine Themed
Fukuoka 116-year-old Shop - Ishimura Manseido
Located in Fukuoka, Japan, Ishimura was founded in the 38th year of Meiji (1905) with the concept of 'preserving, breaking, and separating,' that is preserving tradition, breaking the mold and being innovative, separating from the mainstream and being original. This concept brought the development of their popular souvenir treat 'Tsurunoko' and the 'White Day' event founded in 1978, which started the 'White Day' craze and continues to this day.
Ishimura main store in the Meiji Period／ Photo Credit：Ishimura Manseido's Official Website
If you're familiar with Japanese culture, you might have known about their unique Valentine's Day gifting culture. Girls will gift chocolates on Valentine's Day (2/14), and guys will need to gift back on White Day (3/14). But, do you know how 'White Day' even came about?
In 1978, Ishimura's president occasionally saw an article in a girl's magazine about them wishing to receive marshmallow as a gift in return for Valentine's Day, and he thought of creating a "day of gifting back for Valentine's Day". That is how Ishimura not only created the popular 'Tsurunoko' with chocolate (marshmallow chocolate) but also selected March 14 to launch this treat!
The event was a big success and became popular all over Japan. Until now, on March 14, White Day is still celebrated when people give reciprocal gifts to those who gave them gifts on Valentine's Day.
Ishimura's promotion for White Day event ／ Photo Credit：Ishimura's Official Website
Thanks to the success of 'Tsurunoko' and 'White Day' event, Ishimura's merchandise has expanded from traditional Japanese confections to include foreign confections that match the modern taste. This time 'Prefecture Box' and 'Healthy & Beauty' will each include a snack from Ishimura's confectionery shop! A perfect treat included and is suitable for Valentine's Day is the「Cafe Marche Soft Chocolat in Prefecture Box」。
Are you a chocolate lover? This soft chocolate (extremely thick chocolate) is a new launched sweets that is a perfect Valentine Day dessert! The soft skin is covered with rich chocolate sauce and covered in cocoa powder. It is a chocolate heaven that spread in your mouth after every bite.
There is a total of three soft chocolates in this exquisite designed box. If you like chocolate, you must not miss this Ishimura Manseido treat! It is a popular item that is suitable for afternoon tear or coffee time!
Feve - World Pastry Champion's Creative Beans
If you have been following WOWBOX, then you might remember that we have included Feve's sweets many times before. Feve was founded by the Japanese chef Hiroki Tsujiguchi, who has won many world pastry championships and appeared in the reality TV show Iron Chef. Hiroki Tsujiguchi's concept is turning simple beans into fashionable yet nutritious sweets. The brand, the pretty packaging design, and the unexpectedly unique taste of the snacks makes Feve a favorite among many in Japan and rightfully so.
What's the better way to celebrate Valentine's Day with creative and cute bean treats? This time we have included two Feve snacks in each 'Prefecture Box' and 'Healthy & Beauty Box.'
For 'Prefecture Box' we have selected 'Peanut x Strawberry Milk' and 'Soy Milk Rice Crackers x Camembert Cheese Black Pepper.'
Peanut x Strawberry Milk
When it comes to peanuts, most people think of peanut butter in a jar or steamed peanuts in shells. After Hiroki Tsujiguchi's uses his magical creativity, he turns peanuts into cute and modern treats! The crispy and refreshing peanuts are coated with strawberries and smooth milk, and paired with dried cranberries for a mixture of texture and flavors! It is a creative flavor combination that can only be found at Feve.
With a pink flower packaging design, we are sure it will also put a smile on your face when opening this snack to eat the treats inside.
Soy Milk Rice Crackers x Camembert Cheese Black Pepper
Okaki (rice cracker), a traditional Japanese snack, is given a twist by Hiroki Tsujiguchi to have a western flavor! When making the rice crackers, the soy milk is kneaded in with the refreshing taste of soy flavor. The cracker is then seasoned with Camembert cheese and black pepper, creating a unique and innovative flavor! Combined with the natural dried burdock, every bite is supreme happiness.
Since it contains traditional Okaki, using Mount Fuji as a packaging design inspiration is perfect! Feve has always been colorful and creative and the packaging reflects just that with the fusion of the Japanese and Western flavors!
Taste The Natural Flavor of Setoda Lemon Buns
The owner of the Shimazaki shop was thinking day after day how to use the lemons grown in Setoda to make delicious and healthy natural snacks, and this lemon bun turned out to be his answer!
Carefully selected Setoda lemons located in Hiroshima, with more than 100 years of ancient planting technology, are grown to be additive-free, wax-free, and high-quality that you can eat with peace of mind, even the skin are edible.
Making full use of the skin and pulp of the Setoda lemons, they make sure to preserve the natural fruit fragrance and taste of lemons! Everything is hand-made from start to finish, so you can have that delicious taste of hand-made treat!
In order to lock the naturally sour flavors of the lemons, but at the same time removing the acid from the taste, the peel will be boiled for three hours, and towards the end, sugar is added and simmered for one hour. The result is a creamy lemon filling, with the moist taste of the buns that will not disappoint!
Healthy & Beauty Box Valentine Theme
Setting Off the White Day Event Craze By 116-year-old Fukuoka Ishimura
As previously mentioned, 'White Day' was created by the owner of Ishimura confectionery shop, so we thought it fitting to include another of their snacks into 'Healthy & Beauty Box' for Valentine's Day!
We have selected the 'Strawberry Chocolate Marshmallow' that uses the same exclusive marshmallow recipe as their chocolate marshmallows that are sold during 'White Day' back in the days, but of course with greatly improved updates and more flavors!
Ishimura is popular for their Tsurunoko creations, a manju-like marshmallow sweet stuffed with tasty egg yolk filling! So it is no surprise that Ishimura also creates marshmallows treats as part of their foreign-inspired lineup.
Using their signature marshmallow from 'Tsurunko', the marshmallows are kneaded with freeze-dried strawberries and has a yummy chocolate cream filling in the center! Ishimura is also picky with the quality of their raw ingredients, so you can rest assured that these treats are of high-quality.
It's delicious and fragrant! A sweet and soft take on the treat that you would want to gift.
Okinawa's Unique Brown Sugar & Pineapple Pulp - Ryukyu Chocolate
Speaking of Okinawa, the first thing that comes to mind is definitely brown sugar! The mineral-rich Okinawa brown sugar is not only healthy but also has a unique brown sugar aroma. This time we included chocolate made with natural Okinawa brown sugar and 72% Ghana cocoa powder. Since only two raw materials are used, it is different from ordinary chocolate with a soft texture. It has a more crunchy texture and is also great for brewing into a drink!
The polyphenols from cocoa and minerals from brown sugar make it easy for you to take in nutrients. The golden ratio between the two allows the slightly bitter chocolate to be rubbed into sweet brown sugar, and the dried pineapple pulp is added to increase flavors and texture. The gentle and rich natural sweetness exudes a relaxing aroma!
A World-Renowned Pastry Master Turns Simple Beans Into Fashionable Sweets
The two Feve included in 'Healthy & Beauty Box' this time are both "Valentine's Day Limited Packaging"! Feve is founded by Hiraki Tsujiguchi, the world's dessert champion, which was introduced in previous section. Through the master's creativity, the simple beans have become fashionable yet nutritious treats.
Pecan x Milk Chocolate
Smooth milk chocolate covered with pecans, and then sprinkled with cocoa powder becomes a must-try chocolate for Valentine's Day! Paired with chocolate pecans, white chocolate flavored rum grapes for a combination of flavors and texture.
This packaging designed for Valentine's Day overturns the usual concept of Valentine's Day being pink and red, taking a more adult perspective for their package design. Delicious, healthy, and unique flavors make this Valentine's Day sweets very different!
Broad Beans x Butter Chicken Curry
The crispy and nutritious fava beans are wrapped in mellow and delicious butter chicken curry with thick sliced potato chips. The unique spicy and rich taste of butter chicken curry, coupled with fava beans, makes this snack absolutely addictive! Fave beans contain a lot of vitamin B2, also known as beauty vitamins, and are an excellent snack for your health.
With a red packaging and big heart, this unique snack fits perfectly for Valentine's Day!
Japanese Lucky Bag 2021
One-Time Purchase ONLY! A Japanese Lucky Bag, also known as Fukubukuro (福袋), is a Japanese New Year custom in which the 'lucky bag' contains undisclosed items full of limited or favorite products.
'Lucky Bag' is filled with snacks that will surely make 2021 a bit more special! Inside you will find an array of treats ranging from buzzed-about convenience store sweets to regional creations wowing your taste-buds.
Enjoy Something Special This February
If you are searching for something unique and different to gift your loved ones or yourself this Valentine's Day, then consider a WOWBOX with special themed snacks that will impress! Remember to Subscribe Before 1/31 in order to receive your February Valentine's Day Themed Box! Click to subscribe for 'Prefecture Box' or 'Healthy & Beauty Box'.
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