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Japan

Oct
06



Chelsea Praline Scotch

Like most Japanese candies, Chelsea comes out with season flavors and varieties. I found this box of Praline Scotch at an Asian Market in New York City. I am unsure if this was a winter or spring limited edition, but regardless it seems to be no longer listed on the website. No matter, seasonal candy, unlike fruit, is quite good still as time goes on.

The color scheme and design, like all Chelsea, is gorgeous. Full of color and retro flowers, it has to be one of my favorite candy packages ever. Praline Scotch follow a golden theme, with hints of orange and purple.

The candy itself is a rich dark brown color and smells like coffee. I can’t bring myself to throw away the wrappers as they’re so pretty. If only I knew how to make origami cranes out of them.

The flavor is very nutty right away. It really captures that buttery nuttiness of pralines. To compliment it, there’s a wonderfully creamy smoothness of the “scotch”, which I believe to be is caramel. Together it’s quite sweet, and it reminds me of Nutella in a way. It’s really excellent.

As always, I am impressed with this flavor from Chelsea. Never have they made something that tasted just “ok”. If you’re never had them before, do seek them out. They’re really a shining star in the candy world.

Rating: Will Buy Again

 

Will Buy Again

Links Chelsea Website


Jul
26



Orange and Pear Gummi

Along with the Chelsea Praline Scotch from last week, these two Kajuy Gummies were bought at that Asian Market in New York City. I am a sucker for Japanese gummies, as I’ve never tasted more flavorful and wonderfully chewy gummies in all my life. I saw these and decided to try the new flavors. The decisions to buy them was an easy one!

Gummies in Japan in the past few years have sort of experienced a popularity explosion. Collagen, that grouping of proteins, has been touted as a “health item” that gives you better skin. And candy companies have been putting this stuff in gummies which has led to better sales (which is just my guess as I’m seeing more and more gummies all the time, so I figure they’re trying to keep up with the demand). These gummies here boast a whole 2700mg of collagen in each package. Impressive!

Pear: The pieces are pear shaped and have a nice golden yellow color to them. they smell strongly of apples and that floral note of pear. the flavor strongly mimics the aroma, and tastes beautifully of a juicy pear, with flavors of apples, grapes and that nice floral taste. It’s lovely and very authentic.

Orange: Has a nice rich color and a shape like little orange segments, and they even have some texture to show the pulp ripples. The flavor is extremely juicy, with nice sweet/sour notes of the orange. It’s extremely delicious. Yum.

Once again I am pleased with how extremely tasty Japanese gummies are. These were wonderful and authentic, and it makes me wish I had these as a child instead of gummi bears. I probably would have liked gummies if that was the case, but, better late than never, right?

Rating: Will Eat Again

 

Will Eat Again

Links Meiji Website


May
31



Morinaga Caramel Pumpkin

As anyone who knows me in real life would tell you, I may be enthusiastic about candy, but I’m head over heels crazy for pumpkin. I adore all things pumpkin and it’s really one of my favorite things to eat. This is why I was super excited when I saw this box of Caramel Pumpkin candy in Sunrise Mart in New York City. Pumpkin and candy rolled into one? Sign me up!

From the look of the box, I was expecting this to be one of the many “reverse Pocky” candies that the Japanese love so much. Essentially, it’s a biscuit stick with a hollow inside that’s filled with a flavored chocolate. Although, I would have realized that this is not the case here, if only my Japanese was a bit better.

The sticks come in sealed packets of two, so you get a small about to snack on without overdoing it. They’re golden in color and smell sweet and of squash. A good sign!

The texture is not crispy like I would have expected, but instead it’s dense and creamy. It’s more of a tube of chocolate, than a hollow biscuit with chocolate inside. Interesting.

The flavor is unique, but in a good way. First you taste the sweetness, then the roasted flavor of acorn squash comes through with it’s sweet, yet earthy flavors. Then you taste the caramel, which adds a nice burnt sugar taste to it. It reminds of of oven roasted acorn squash like my Mom makes, as she melts some butter and brown sugar in the center. The aftertaste is sweet, slightly squashy, but more of the caramel flavor. I have to say, I like it a lot!

This is an excellent example of a great pumpkin candy, and I’m pleased to have found it to try. It’s really yummy and it satisfies that sweet pumpkin craving I get sometimes (yes, I realize that’s strange). So if you want to try something a bit different, I’d give these a go.

Rating: Will Buy Again

 

Will Buy Again

Links Morinaga candy Website (Japanese)


Jul
10



Puku Puki Fish Chocolate Package

Isn’t this just adorable? It’s a confection based on….another confection. It’s a mock Tai Yaki, a fish shaped waffle that usually has a cream and red bean filling in it. It’s a popular street food in Japan and if you’re lucky enough to have one fresh, the flavor is so good it’s enough to make you roll your eyes back into your head. This version of tai yaki is actually more like another Japanese confection called “monaka”, which is a wafer cookie encasing the very same red bean filling. This is a fish-shaped wafer cookie with an aerated chocolate filling, a blending of two different sweets to make it something completely different. Confusing, isn’t it?

I’m not sure of these is exactly a “candy”, as a good chunk of it is the wafer outside. Still, the chocolate filling is giving me enough reason to bend my definitions a little.

 

Puku Puki Fish Chocolate

So this is a very simple treat. The wafer exteriors are light and crispy. The flavor is bland with a little hint of vanilla, but otherwise nothing terribly noteworthy. The interior chocolate is soft, and the aerated chocolate reminds me of a Cadbury Wispa. The flavor is sweet and lightly of chocolate. It has a creaminess to it and it’s very smooth in he mouth, contrasts nicely with the wafer exterior.

I really liked this.

Rating: Will Eat Again

 

Will Eat Again

Links
Meito Sangyo Website


Jun
09



Kitkat Sweet Potato Box

Continuing on with my reviews of all the Japanese Kit Kats I’ve acquired in the past couple of months. I’ve been following (and tasting!) the Japanese Kit Kats for a few years now (since 2006) and I have to say I’m impressed with the new and fun flavors they keep coming out with. When I began it felt like I was limited to green tea, red bean, strawberry and maybe soybean thrown in there. Now the flavors reach all over and I really can’t say what to expect next. I like that.

Sweet Potato:

I was immediately interested in this Kit Kat when I first laid eyes on it online. I think the only other Kit Kat that got me so excited were the Pumpkin ones that came out for the past two Halloween seasons. I love sweet potatoes, so I was horribly curious as to how they’re lend themselves to this candy.

First, the sweet potatoes shown on the box is a type of dish called daigakuimo where Japanese potato/yam chunks are fried, then covered in a sugar glaze and black sesame seeds. If you ever get the chance to try this, and you’ll often see it in bento boxes in Asian markets, I do recommend it.

Ok, back to Kit Kat. The fingers have a wonderful light orange creamy color. They smell sweet and very strong of vanilla and cream. I’m reminded of thick homemade custard or pudding. The flavor mimics the aroma perfectly, as it’s very creamy, sweet and heavy on vanilla and caramel flavors. I’m sad to report I get no official sweet potato flavor here. I could get really disappointed by this and let it drag my whole experience with this Kit Kat. Yet, I find myself enjoying it for that really rich custard taste, so much so that I don’t care if it’s supposed to be sweet potato. It’s tasty just as it is. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the packaging that lied to me, not the flavor elements of this one.

 

Kitkat White and Yellow Peach Bag

White and Yellow Peach:

This bag of minis are white chocolate based peach flavored Kit Kats. The packets inside are colored either pink or yellow, yet I haven’t been able to taste a difference between the two.They certainly look different from one another though. The pink one is a creamy white, and the yellow a light orange color. For some reason slices of cheddar and American cheese come to mind. They both smell very juicy and peachy. I take a bite of one then the other, and I repeat the process a few times to just say they taste basically the same. The flavor is sweet, lightly of peach which is very juicy and floral with a perfumey smell. The flavoring isn’t too strong, and just enough ti cut the sweetness of the white chocolate. 

 

Kitkat Passion Fruit Bars '09

Passion Fruit Kit Kat

This is an interesting little Kit Kat, as it was included as a bonus in a box of Nestle flavored coffee drinks. I’m guessing they’re some sort of Valentines Day release, as the packages are covered in hearts. This have a dark chocolate outside with a passion fruit creme between the wafers. The bitter dark chocolate compliments the intensely fruity, juicy tartness of the passion fruit. It’s nice with notes of pineapple, apple, cherry, plums, peaches. The bar is beautifully bright and fragrant and really, really tasty. I’m reminded on one of the old regional Tokyo Kit Kats that came out a few years ago that was also stellar.

 

Kitkat Yuzu Bag 09

Yuzu:

The bar is has a milk chocolate base, nice and looks like a normal Kit Kat. It’s the smell that tells you there’s something different about this one. It’s a very bright smell of citrus with a strong tart note, and a kiss of hazelnut. It tastes like a normal milk chocolate Kit Kat, and despite the added flavors, and the chocolate remains the main flavor in this. It’s supplemented by very nice tart citrus note, it’s neither orange nor lemon. I also get a hint of hazelnut there too, which I find confusing as there’s no hazelnut in this Kit Kat. Very interesting. I really like it and overall I’m reminded of the flavors of Manner Biscuits that my Mom is crazy for.

Two thumbs up Japan! Keep ‘em coming!

Rating: Sweet Potato:
Hoard

 

Hoard

Others:
Will Buy Again

 

Will Buy Again


Links Kit Kat Japan Website


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