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Japan

Aug
29



Pocky Salty

I wasn’t terribly surprised to see this box of Pocky Salt sitting on the shelf at my local-ish Japanese Market. Salt has been an “it” gourmet food thing for a few years now. Most major candy companies who consider even a little sliver of their product to be gourmet have tried it. Off the top of my head Lindt, Godiva, Michel Cluizel, Kit Kat (Japan), come to mind, but to list them all we’d be here all day. So seeing that Pocky is finally giving it a go, I say good for them. It’s not a food fad that is over by any means, so I was happy to see them trying something new. I tossed the box into my shopping cart to take home.

The box is pretty and I like how they tried to make the box look “salty” by adding sparkles. It does give the effect of salt crystals catching the light and shining on the sticks of Pocky.  It’s fun, blingy and seems very Japanese all at the same time.

Inside the box there’s two packets of Pocky. It’s hard for me to understand how they decide on dividing the pocky sticks into packets. It seems every time I open a box of Pocky it’s a different number of packets inside. I know it doesn’t matter, but it does make me curious.

The sticks of Pocky look like normal Pocky. Slender with a coating of milk chocolate. I don’t see any granules of salt on the outside, no covered up in the chocolate. I take a bite, and the flavor is pretty consistent to regular Pocky. You taste the sweet, smooth milk chocolate and the slight buttery vanilla flavor of the biscuit stick. It took me a few bites before I tasted the salt. I think it was on bite three or four when I finally got a hit of salt. It was as if a singular large chunk of salt was just sitting there, waiting for me. I took some more bites, to see if perhaps the first few were dudes. Again, I tasted nothing until I hit another single chunk of salt. Very strange. I mean, it’s good, but in no way does it feel that the salt in this Pocky is evenly distributed.

I think, considering how infrequently I tasted the salt in this Pocky, that if you want to give a salted candy a try as your first time, this is a good candy for that. The salt is infrequent enough so that if you can still enjoy the candy, but you still get a taste of what the inclusion of salt is like. It’s like a baby toe into the hot tub. Even as an experience salted chocolate eater, I still liked these. It’s hard to go wrong with Pocky!

Rating: Will Eat Again

 

Will Eat Again


LinksPocky Website (Japanese)


Aug
27



Pocky Winter Coffee

I was pleasantly surprised when I found this box of Winter Coffee Pocky during my last rip to Little Tokyo. The “winter” varieties of Pocky are my favorites, with the extra layering of chocolate and the dusting of cocoa powder on top. For the past few years Pocky has been releasing just a normal, everyday chocolate flavor during the winter. It is awesome, let me tell you. So I was quite surprised when I saw that this past winter they decided to change things up a bit and come out wit ha new flavor: Winter Coffee.

The package has less of a “wintry” feel to it than the other Winter Pocky, which used cool blue tones and white on the package. This one is green, a nice forest green. Perhaps they are trying to evoke the jungle where the coffee beans come from.

Opening the packet I get a rich aroma that I can only say is the wonderful mix of chocolate and coffee. I taste my first Pocky stuck, and immediately I get the slight bitter cocoa powder dusting. The the rich chocolate comes forward, sweet and rich, but full of wonderful earthy coffee notes. The biscuit serves as a palette cleanser, not really carrying a flavor of it’s own, but allows the chocolate to shine and to provide a nice crunch. All I can say is, this is beyond delicious and terribly addicting. 

Both my fiance and I really loved this Pocky. It’s so familiar, yet just that hint of a different makes it even yummier. I found I really craved this Pocky with my morning coffee. Considering how importing these candies from Japan takes time and a means a more limited supply, I would really recommend trying this Winter Coffee flavor if you happen to see it.

Rating: Hoard

 

Hoard


Links Pocky Website (Japanese)

 


May
21



Pineapple Gummis

One of the few things that I wish the candy world had more of is pineapple gummis. I love pineapple candy so much! I feel I don’t see it often enough. The only true “mainstream” candy that I can think of that is pineapple flavored is in the Lifesavers roll. Or used to be? I can’t even remember anymore since they’ve switched those flavors up so much over the years. Regardless, pineapple candy is awesome, so I was super excited to see these pineapple gummies on the shelf when I made my recent visit to Mitsuwa Market.

The package is a good size, just enough for yourself without being to much. The gummies looks like little wedge pineapple slices and the’re very cute. They smell extremely tropical and fruity. The gummis are soft to the touch, they squish lightly when you lightly squeeze them They almost look like they have a shell or “crust” on them.

The texture is very strange. I’d say it’s more like a jelly than a gummi. I was right as there is a shell texture to this. The outside is slightly harder and grainier, and inside is a smooth, pristine jelly. The flavor is incredible. It tastes just like a real, fresh pineapple. They really capture the juicy, fruity, sweet flavors here. These are a little tart, as it reminds me of pineapple juice, so there’s a bit of bite to them. Still, they’re simply amazing in regard to their flavor.

I really loved these gummies, even though the texture is a bit strange. Even though my fiance absolutely loved the texture, so it just goes to show it’s all opinion based! I just wish I could find flavors like this more often.

Rating: Will Eat Again

 

Will Eat Again

 


Mar
07



Zerosh Pink Grapefruit

These package of ZeroSH gummies that I found in Mitsuwa Market interested me in many ways. First was the name, because when I see “Zero” on things it makes me think of diet food. “Zero calories” and “Zero carbs” and the like comes to mind. Which, I realize sounds strange coming from someone whose favorite candy bar is the Zero bar. Second, was the very intense bright pink images on the package. It screamed pink grapefruit to me all the way down the aisle. These things together made me wonder things like “Are these zero calorie gummies?” and “Are these gummies made with artificial sweeteners?”. The only way to answer these questions, besides becoming fluent in Japanese, is to taste them.

The package makes them look similar to the Haribo gummi rings. Instead the shape is much different, more like a hollowed out oval. They have a dense coating of granular sanding sugar on the outside and they’re a nice shade of pink.

The flavor is very nice. It’s very authentic to pink grapefruit; bright, zesty and sweet. The granulated sugar coating gives it an extyra tartness which enchaes the flavor of the grapefruit. The coating also gives it a nice crunch and the gummi texture is on the tougher, chewier side. Overall I really liked it. Dense, chewy and authentically flavorful.

So as far as the “Zero” goes I really am no further along in figuring out. The candy didn’t taste like it was zero calorie or if it was made with artificial sugars. I guess the best way to conclude it is English words are cool to use, whether or not the meaning has any connection to the item it is selling.

Rating: Will Eat Again

 

Will Eat Again

 


Feb
20



KitKat Pumpkin Cheesecake

I found this bag of Pumpkin Cheesecake Kitkats when I was out doing some shopping in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles. There’s a ton of adorable little shops down there, and it’s my “to-go” place for much of my holiday shopping. While there, I came across these Kitkats. I’ve had many a Pumpkin Kitkat in my time, and I’m always game for trying them. I’m such a sucker for pumpkin anything. Despite being somewhat pricey due to the fact they’re imported, I snatched these up and excitedly took them home.

The package on these is so adorable. Halloween is long and gone, but I still can appreciate the rich brown and orange color scheme and the adorable Jack ‘O Lanterns with their happy grins. The one with the heart shaped eyes is especially cute. Inside the main bag there’s a bunch of smaller, individually wrapped two finger bars. A nice serving size as it’s not to big, not too small.

The Kitkat smells sweet and slight cream cheesy. The color is an pale golden yellow.

The flavor is very sweet and cream cheesy at first. It’s very delicate as there’s more white chocolate in there to cut the tang of the cheese. You do get a hint of pumpkin, which, I am happy to report, is more like the plain squash part of pumpkin instead of pumpkin pie. I like the real flavor of pumpkin a lot, so I’m happy this isn’t dragged down with a lot of cinnamon and nutmeg. The result is this nice blend of the flavors described that does taste like a delicate, Japanese cheesecake. It’s awesome!

I am really smitten with these. They’re be a treat I’d buy regularly if it wasn’t for the limited availability and the import price. Still, I am going to enjoy the rest of my bag to the fullest. These are a terrific little afternoon pick me up, and they’re also diving with coffee. I recommend these highly to any fan of pumpkin. Mixed with Kitkat, it’s a match made in heaven!

Rating: Will Buy Again

 

Will Buy Again


Links Kitkat Website (Japanese)

 


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