Brand of Candy
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
LinksPocky Website (Japanese)
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.
Links Pocky Website (Japanese)
I love candy orange slices. When I was a kid I was allowed to grab a few from the bins when I went to the grocery store with my Mom. To this day they’re a candy that I enjoy. I’m a little sad to find that they’re getting harder to find nowadays, but I hope that’s just the candy trend right now and hopefully they’ll stat showing up more frequently. So imagine my excitement when I was contacted by Jelly Belly asking if I’d be interesting in trying some samples to review. Being a big fan of jelly belly, I said yes, but I didn’t know what they planned on sending to me. These Sunkist Orange Slices where in that package.
I admit I haven’t had the Sunkist version of orange slices, only Brach’s and some other “store brands” whose name I don’t remember at the moment. These orange slices are smaller and softer than the ones I’m used to. They still carry the same shape with the rippled top of accentuate the orange slice shape. These are most squishy to the touch, and the granulated sugar is has a nice texture to it.
The flavor is similar to the Sunkist Gem orange flavor. It’s bright and fruity, with great sweet and zesty accents to make it come across as very “juicy”. Because these are smaller and softer, they’re very “pop-able”, you find yourself eating a bunch instead of stopping at one or two. Very yummy and very addicting.
Even though these are smaller I can easily imagine them as additions to vanilla ice cream and as decorations on top of cupcakes. They’re perfectly addicting as is but I can’t help but think of creative ways they could be used in other sweets and desserts. I think the orange slice is a really overlooked classic candy, and these Sunkist Orange slices are a wonderful addition to the genre.
Rating: Will Eat Again
Links Sunkist Orange Slices Shop
Sunkist Gems have been around for as long as I can remember. I have eaten them a bunch of times over the years, when I get that special craving for citrus gummi candies. One of the grocery stores that I used to frequent back East (I still love and miss you Wegmans!) had a large candy bin section, with a big barrel of individually wrapped Sunkist Gems. I’d go through and pick out the grapefruit and lemons ones for myself as a treat every so often. They’re so yummy! Jelly Belly PR recently contacted me asking if I’d like to try some samples for the blog. Being such a big fan of their products I said yes, not knowing what they’d be mailing me. Lo and behold, I had a bag of Sunkist Fruit Gems!
The gems are round discs, a little smaller than the size of a poker chip, and stand at about 1/4 inch tall. They’re colorful, but in a muted colored with fruit juice kind of way, and covered with a coating of granulated sugar.
The gems come in five flavors:
Orange: This flavor is really great. It has nice nice orangy flavor to it that’s zesty but sweet. It almost has a tangerine taste to it from the zest, but it’s smoother than that. The flavor comes across as very juicy and satisfying. Really yummy.
Lemon: This flavor is awesome. It’s tart, zesty and juicy. All that a lemon should be. The nuances in this reminds me of limoncello. Very flavorful and so delicious.
Grapefruit: I was looking forward to this one the most. This one is smooth, so smooth. The flavor is a bit more delicate than the lemon and orange, yet the flavor is that richness of grapefruit I expect and look forward to. It has a great, juicy taste that is both sweet and sour, with a hint of bitterness. Really yummy.
Raspberry: Raspberry is sweet and lightly floral. It has a nice juicy berry-ness to the flavor but it’s not very intense. Other than that it’s just sweet with no real defining notes.
Blueberry: Blueberry is sweet and has an perfumey flavor to it. I taste berries, but not specifically blueberries. Something about it is oddly “red” though, like hints of red licorice laces. It’s tasty ,and out of all the flavors in the bag I had the most of this one.
I do feel a little disappointed with the Raspberry and Blueberry flavors, not because I didn’t like how thy tasted, but more because I miss how these were a citrus fruit mix. The lime flavor got booted and these were added in. It does add more to the rainbow of colors. I shared these with my fiance and he just raved about them. Little did I know that these are a childhood favorite of his (I’ve never seen him by them himself) so he really enjoyed having these again. We both really enjoyed these and now that I know how much he loves them, I’ll be buying these more often!
Rating: Will Buy Again
Links Sunkist Fruit Gem Shop
I recall seeing a press release from Jelly Belly a few months ago announcing that their new flavors were going to be Snapple themed. I felt excited about this, since I know Snapple makes some unique drinks that they could use as good inspiration. Some time has passed, and I’ve seen product sample photos on other blogs. I was biding my time until I encountered them in stores, then Jelly Belly PR reached out to me and asked me if I’d like some same to review for the blog. I took them up on their kind offer, never thinking to ask what they planned on sending my way. To my delight, I saw a bag of the Snapple flavors once I received the package from them.
The package is nice and pretty straightforward. I really commend them for posting a flavor key on the back, so you know what flavors are included and what they’ll look like. It’s easy this way to pick out your favorites first, or search for that one flavor you want to try. I immediately went for the pink lemonade, in case you were wondering.
Fruit Punch (purple): The flavor starts off very fruity and you get notes of peaches, cherries, pineapples and oranges. Very tasty and you do get that sense of fruit punch.
Kiwi Strawberry (deep pink with spots): This is very sweet and fruity. I do taste strawberry with very “pink” flavors. It almost heads into “cotton candy” in terms of its sweetness. It’s very good, but I get no hint of kiwi in there.
Mango Maddness (TM) (orange): This one is immediately mango. It hits you with that sweet, tropical flavor. It’s very juicy, and you get the notes of mango with peach and passion fruit.
Cranberry Raspberry (pinkish red): This one I really liked. The raspberry is very sweet and jammy. The flavor is spot on. The cranberry adds a beautiful tartness to it that really rounds out the flavor. Super yummy.
Pink Lemonade (light pink): This one starts off zesty with a sweetness to it, just like real lemonade. It tastes a little bitter at points, but the moments are infrequent and the flavor is very nice.
Interesting flavors, but seem to play it on the safe side. None of these are actual Snapple flavors I ever bought as a drink. I would have been interested to see them do some of their iced tea flavors. Or, and I know this is far fetched, but the flavors from that “Elements” line (which was out in the late 90s) that I felt was really unique. I really liked these jelly beans, I just felt that the flavors are very similar to what Jelly Belly already offers. I’ve also already bought a few bags to nibble on at work since doing this review. They are tasty!
Rating: Will Buy Again
Links Jelly Belly Website