July Unboxed: Natsubate 夏バテ

by Danny Taing

July Bokksu's 'Summer Fatigue' theme is our first foray into curating seasonal boxes and thanks to the positive response from our subscribers, it most certainly will not be our last! Originating in Shintoism and tracing back to Japan's agrarian past, celebrating seasonality is an integral part of Japanese culture that continues to this day. And nowhere is this emphasis more apparent than with food and snacks. From citrus fruits in the summer to mochi in the winter, Japanese people eagerly anticipate and enjoy seasonal foods at their peak freshness. Thus, we are delighted to present this month's seasonal box, 'Natsubate':

July 2016 Bokksu

Natsubate 夏バテ

Natsubate literally means ‘summer fatigue’ and is a term used to describe the lethargy and fatigue brought on by the hot, humid summers in Japan. Over the years, Japanese people have developed various methods to combat natsubate from regulating their body temperature to eating certain cooling foods. To help you avoid natsubate this summer, this month’s box includes some cooling foods commonly eaten by Japanese people.

Mizu Yokan 水ようかん
by Imuraya 井村屋

Mizu Yokan PackagedMizu Yokan

Yokan is a general term for a thick, jellied dessert typically made with red bean paste, agar, and sugar. Mizu Yokan is a type of yokan that is made with more water than usual. It is often chilled, sliced into smaller servings, and served during the summer due to its refreshing taste.

Yubari Melon Pure Jelly 夕張メロンピュアゼリー
By Hori ホリ

Yubari Melon Pure Jelly PackagedYubari Melon Pure Jelly

Yubari Melon Pure Jelly is made from the crisp and juicy slice of a Hokkaido-grown cantaloupe called the Yubari Melon. We recommend eating this jelly either chilled or frozen.

Mikan Jelly みかんゼリー
By Zao Highland Farm 蔵王高原農園

Mikan Jelly PackagedMikan Jelly

Mikan means mandarin orange, which along with other citrus fruits, are commonly eaten throughout the summer to stay cool. We recommend chilling this tangy jelly before enjoying its sweet orange flavor.

Yuzu Mochi 柚子もち
By Ito Seika 伊藤製菓

Yuzu Mochi PackagedYuzu Mochi

Yuzu is a citrus fruit originating in East Asia that is commonly added to desserts and drinks due to its aromatic smell and refreshing taste. We recommend taking small bites instead of popping the whole snack into your mouth to achieve a flavorful balance of yuzu and mochi.

Monaka もなか
By Tenkeiseika 天恵製菓

Monaka PackagedMonaka

Monaka is a traditional dessert made of azuki red bean filling sandwiched between two crisp mochi-based wafers. We’ve chosen two traditional flavors of monaka for you to try: red bean(粒あん) and chestnut(栗粒).

Mugicha 麦茶
By Maeda-En 前田園

Mugicha PackagedMugicha

Mugicha is a roasted barley grain tea that is caffeine-free. It has a toasty, nutty taste with slightly bitter undertones. Mugicha is considered a cooling beverage and is typically served cold during the summer.

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