KarePax is a monthly subscription service wherein you give them a monthly fee of $26 via the Internet and they send a box international snacks to your domicile.
Does this sound familiar? It should, because it’s the exact same premise as MunchPak!
There is one thing that sets Karepax apart though – they include comics!
Now, there’s nothing wrong with some healthy competition, and the idea of including comics sounded like fun, so when Karepax offered to send me a free box, I gladly accepted.
Let’s get the vanilla facts out of the way before we get to the contents: according to Karepax, for your $26, you get between 11 and 13 snacks from 3-4 countries, as well as a handful of small candies and 2-3 comic books.
Sounded like a good deal to me, but would it live up to the hype?
My box arrived promptly and, much like with MunchPak, I felt like I was having a tiny Christmas. The box was bigger than a MunchPak, and for good reason. Let’s get down to it, because this is going to be a big one.
As you can see.
Here are some of the small candies. I will admit that I have not tried them all yet, because there’s a lot of stuff here and I’d probably die if I tried to eat it all. I call this collection the “somewhat disappointing part of your trick-or-treat haul”.
There’s a little package of Whoppers. A hard candy labeled “lemon” but with coloring that looks confusingly like it should be lime. Some chocolate coins that look like Mardi Gras gelt. And some Japanese coconut candy.
Some More Interesting Small Candies
Here we have a Japanese corn candy, shaped so accurately like a cob of corn that it’s disturbing but also adorable, because it’s tiny, and candy.
Also Japanese are these Flower’s Kiss candies, one with a picture of a sunflower and one with…uh…well, I’m not a botanist and I don’t read Japanese, so I’m not sure.
We also have a package of Hi-Chew. I swear I get a Hi-Chew in every MunchPak. I have Hi-Chew coming out my ears. Hi-Chew is pretty tasty, but damn, one woman can only masticate so much. This time, I got mango.
Last but not least we have a Boyer Mallo Cup. The Internet tells me that these were first made in the 1940s, and the packaging looks like it hasn’t changed a lick since then. I love when manufacturers do that.
The Internet also tells me that Mallo Cups were the first cup candy made in the United States. Way to go, Mallo!
Japanese Kit Kats
I would have included these as “small snacks”, but Japanese Kit Kats are way too fascinating to not have their own section. I don’t know why, but Japan makes Kit Kats in like, 700 different flavors. It’s amazing. I would subscribe to a Japanese Kit Kat-only snack program. Go Google if you don’t believe me.
Since I can’t read a damn word on these wrappers besides “YouTube”, I had to try to figure out what flavors I had using the power of the Internet and search terms like “Japanese Kit Kat green wrapper”.
This was surprisingly useful, as it seems my best bet was that the green wrapper one was green tea-flavored. The flecked moss green color of the candy supported this, as did the flavor. It tasted like white chocolate with a little green tea flavoring, and was actually really good. I felt lucky, because this is one of the JKK flavors I’ve always wanted to try.
It seems that the black wrapper Kit Kat is “otona no amasa” flavored, which I guess translates into “Taste of Adult”. Leave it to Japan to make a Kit Kat sound absolutely dirty.
What this actually means, however, is that this was a Kit Kat marketed more towards adults than children, which is supported by the snazzy-looking black wrapper that looks like it got dressed up to go to a charity ball.
The chocolate had a darker hue than a normal Kit Kat, and that’s exactly what it tasted like. Less sweet and more bitter than a regular bar, but not quite as bitter as most dark chocolate I’ve had. This totally makes sense, as most kids I know are not fond of dark chocolate.
I got no Internet love for the third Kit Kat, but luckily there were a few helpful pictures on the wrapper, namely a wine glass and a big ol’ bunch of grapes. I was surprised that Google turned up absolutely nothing on this one. Did I somehow grab a rare Kit Kat? Are they like Pokemons?
The candy bars looked exactly like white chocolate. And holy shit, they tasted exactly like white chocolate and wine. Actual wine! Not just grapes, but wine, with all the acidity and a lot of acridness. So, not good wine. But my taste buds were completely transfixed. I’ve never tasted any candy remotely close to this. I kind of want to save the second bar for posterity or something.
Now we’re going to move on to the “big” snacks.
Jammie Dodgers are a popular British cookie, or biscuit if you live there. They are made of shortbread and raspberry jam, and are apparently named after Rodger the Dodger from the comic The Beano. I can’t do any more research on this because this review is already taking me about 20 hours.
The package proudly touts that Jammie Dodgers have “no added nasties”. But they are “full of jammie mischief”. Fucking adorable.
Shortbread cookies are less sweet and more crumbly than most American cookies, and the raspberry jam was more like a thin layer of raspberry glue. Jammie Dodgers aren’t my cup of tea, but who am I to go against an entire country of snackers? I’ll blame it on different palates.
Smokis are a Serbian snack known as “flips”. If you’re intrigued by the idea of Serbian snack food, you’re not alone. But hey, everyone’s gotta snack.
Flips are peanut-flavored, peanut-shaped snacks made of cornmeal grits. If this doesn’t sound appealing, again, you’re not alone. They don’t taste appealing. They taste and feel like styrofoam packaging with some peanut flavoring that has a bad aftertaste. I guess it’s appropriate that a Serbian snack would taste depressing.
Kinder bueno is made by Ferrero, which technically makes it an Italian snack. I figured it was most popular in the UK, but it turns out it they didn’t start marketing it there until 2004. It’s really an international snack, popular from Germany to Gibraltar. We’re just a little slow here in the States.
I’ve had Kinder bueno before, and I think it’s one of the most delicious and well-crafted snacks that you could pick up at the store. (If you lived in another country.) The chocolate is delicious, the wafer is thin, light and crisp, and the cream hazelnut filling is smooth and wonderful. These really need to catch on here.
Delicje Orange European Biscuits
Delicje comes to us from E. Wedel, a Polish confectionery company that is apparently very well-recognized in Poland.
While you might think “European Biscuit” just means “cookie”, especially after reading about Jammie Dodgers, you’d be wrong. In this case, it’s actually more like a Jaffa Cake.
What’s a Jaffa Cake? I was about to go into it, including some interesting details about old tax laws regarding cakes versus biscuits, but holy shit, I’m getting really deep down the snack food rabbit hole here, so just read this.
Delicje are a wonderful combination of soft, dense sweet cake and orange jelly goop covered in chocolate that doesn’t taste at all cheap. I would have much more preferred a berry as opposed to orange jelly, but the overall concept is high quality and highly snackable.
Churritos Fuego Hot Chili Pepper & Lime
Churritos are made by Barcel, a rather prolific Mexican snack company. At first, I thought it was funny that they would boast the “same spicy flavor as Takis”, until I realized that Barcel also makes Takis. Given that Takis are rolled corn chips, doesn’t that make Churritos the exact same thing?
I should have read the bag better, because I would have seen that these are “corn snack sticks”, not rolled corn chips. They look sort of like shoestring fries, and they’re crunchy without being gum-stabby, which Takis can be.
If you’ve ever had Flamin’ Hot Cheetos con Limon, that’s pretty much exactly what Churritos taste like. Hot chip flavoring with a hint of tart lime. These were tasty.
Nestle Sütlü Cikolatah
Check out my umlauts, ladies. This one was a little tougher to research because most of the websites were in Turkish. Which makes this from Turkey, heads up. “Sütlü” translates to “milk” and I’m going to go out on a limb with cikolatah, so it looks like we’re dealing with a milk chocolate wafer bar.
This is your typical chocolate-covered and chocolate layered wafer bar. It’s pretty good, but there’s nothing particularly special about it.
Holiday Crispie Pop
I was going to call this “Mysterious Snowman Lollipop Dude” but then I spotted the name on the back of the wrapper. It is made by the Long Grove Confectionery Co. in the good ol’ USA, which looks like an adorably wholesome little company. And that’s all I know about it.
I was delighted to discover that Holiday Crispie Pop is a Rice Krispy treat dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with big sugar crystals. The chocolate was fairly good quality and it was a fun eat. Good job, Long Grove!
Walkers Simply Roast Chicken Crisps
If the Walkers logo looks familiar to US residents, that’s because it highly resembles the Lay’s logo. This is no accident, as juggernaut Frito-Lay acquired the UK brand in 1989. And, Frito-Lay-style, they have a huge corner of the crisps market across the pond.
Roast Chicken probably sounds like one of those wacko flavors that Frito-Lay is always tossing on shelves for a few months for hype value, but in reality it’s one of the staple flavors of the Walker brand. If you think that’s crazy, consider some of their other current and former flavors, like Prawn Cocktail, Marmite and Lamb & Mint Sauce, just to name a few. Roast Chicken is relatively tame by comparison.
Roast Chicken boasts that it’s made “with free range chicken from Devon”, which is impressively specific for mass-manufactured potato chips with flavor dust on them. The flavor dust does, in fact, list Devon Free Range Dried Chicken Breast as an ingredient. Disturbing, but authentic.
Upon tasting, “weird” is the first adjective that comes to mind. Unsurprisingly. There’s hints of garlic and onion, but the main ingredient I taste is “what?” If I pretend, I can taste chicken, but I’d never guess that’s what they were if the bag was blank. They’re not inedible, they’re just really odd.
Nongshim Honey & Apple Honey Twist Snack
If the name Nongshim sounds familiar to you, you’ve probably eaten, or at least seen, their Bowl Noodle brand of ramen on store shelves. They’re the big styrofoam ones next to Top Ramen that say “I can afford ramen that costs more than ten cents” or maybe “I don’t own a bowl”.
Nongshim is South Korea’s largest processed food manufacturer. I don’t have a full list of their products, but I figured they were only in the noodle biz. I guess they’ve got a lot of foods floating around out there, including Twist Snacks.
Honey Twist Snacks are very crunchy and have too little sweetness at first, but the more I chewed, the more the light honey glaze came through. I didn’t taste too much apple, but the honey was sweet without being cloying.
Swoffle Caramel Filled Stroopwafel
Swoffle Stroopwafel is easily my favorite snack name out of the whole bunch. It is, apparently, a “traditional Dutch treat”, but the brand Swoffle is wholly American, based out of Massachusetts.
Swoffle apparently decided they needed to make a gluten-free, healthy, organic, non-GMO stroopwafel. I’m sure the 19th century bakers who used leftover ingredients to make their stroopwafels would just shake their heads at this.
The stroopwafel smells like pancakes and syrup, which is awesome. It’s like a big, flaky, chewy piece of sugar and molasses. Not the best travel snack, but worth the sore jaw from chewing if you want a sugar fix.
I’m not going to review the comics, because this is not Comic Book Betty. But my two comics came in a nice sleeve. It’s a super fun idea, and I could totally imagine flipping through the pages while I munched on a stroopwafel.
I’m going to turn into an 8-year-old now, so bear with me. Wacky Packages are the best thing ever. They’re not just stickers, they’re trading cards. My first reaction when I saw these was “What the shit?” Then I looked at them for a few more seconds and said, “Oh my god…they’re like Garbage Pail Kids for food.”
I had to sleuth out that their true name is Wacky Packages. They’re made by Topps, and, to further blow my mind, they’ve been around since 1967 and I’ve never heard of them. They don’t just parody food brands, they parody all brands, from toothpaste to motor oil.
I got Bumpkin Dimwits, a parody of Dunkin Donuts, and Ditz, which is obviously Ritz. They’re completely juvenile and groan-inducing and I want to collect every single one of them that ever existed.
So there you have it. One KarePax box, two comics, two Wacky Packages stickers, and 28 snacks of varying sizes. I had my doubts about this service and its ability to rival MunchPak, but after doing this review, I am completely sold. I hate to fawn, but I have to admit – I’ve switched my loyalties and my subscriptions, at least for a few months. KarePax has won me over.
I also like that there’s a level of customization – you can opt out of comics for some extra snacks, or request youth-oriented comics. You can also specify peanut allergies, meat-free, or just give them a couple of flavors you don’t like so they leave those out.
If you’re interested in a box of your own, the company has given me a discount code for $10 off a 3, 6 or 12-month subscription. Enter KPXRV459 at checkout.
[Disclaimer: I received these snacks for free from KarePax. This in no way effects the objectivity of my review.]
- Score: 5 out of 5 Bumpkin Dimwits
- Price: Free
- Size: One box
- Purchased at: Delivered for free; available at http://karepax.com/
- Nutritional Quirk: There’s so many snacks in here, you would probably die if you tried to eat it all in one sitting. Or at least vomit.