10 Jul 2011, 11:51am
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Shiroi Koibito

Shiroi Koibito (which means “white lover” in Japanese…hahaha) are langue de chat butter cookies with white chocolate filling. I looove these cookies. Unfortunately they’re not so easy to procure stateside, so one has to rely on the kindness of strangers (namely, my dad’s Japanese colleagues) to gift them to you. Here’s the open box that I’ve already dug into as you can probably tell.

As with a lot of Japanese snacks, each cookie is meticulously wrapped individually. I guess it prevents you from pigging out TOO much, though I always think it creates so much waste.

Here’s a close-up:

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7 Sep 2010, 10:52pm
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Dango

I love Japanese desserts, and these are one of my favorites – kushi dango (skewered rice balls). As with all rice-cake desserts, it’s easy to go sweet or savory, and this pair does both. The one on the left is a “mitarashi dango,” drizzled with a glaze made from soy sauce and sugar. The one on the right is your standard “anko” – topped with sweet red bean paste. Both were excellent!

These dango came from my local Japanese grocer – in a pack of four skewers (two per flavor).

Yokan by Toraya

I wrote about Toraya’s mizu yokan last year, which I actually prefer over the regular yokan, but this stuff isn’t too bad either. Toraya is a pretty renown maker of this bean paste confection, so it’s often given as a gift. This one was a double pack: “Yoru no Ume” (plums of the night) and “Haru no Iro” (colors of the spring).

I haven’t opened the Yoru no Ume yet, but according to a review I saw online, it’s not actually plum flavored at all, but regular sweet red bean. I did try the Haru no Iro, however:

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28 Apr 2010, 6:37am
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Chocolat Fromage Pocky

Mmm…fromage. I love cheese in any form, so I was sure I would love this Chocoat Fromage Pocky.

I actually didn’t. =/ It also had a splash of “orange CuraƧao” liqueur in it, and that’s the flavor that really dominated the Pocky. I couldn’t taste any of this alleged “fromage.” I’m not really a huge fan of chocolate and orange, so this was a bit of a bust for me.

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31 Mar 2010, 6:00am
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Raisin Pie

I love flaky desserts, and this Raisin Pie is just the sort that I want to have for a light snack with a cup of tea. Though now that I’m staring at the name of this thing, it’s making me crave my childhood favorite Little Debbie snack, the raisin creme pies. (*___*)

This raisin pie is much more airy and not too sweet. I think it goes perfectly with a hot cup of sweetened milk tea.

Close up under the cut:

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29 Mar 2010, 6:00am
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Chocolate Crush Pocky

Now this was eye-catching. Look at this box! It’s huge! And it’s called “Chocolate CRUSH” (or “Cocoa Cookie Crunch”), which amuses me to no end. Now, because I’m such a nice person, I actually shared the box with my friend and her husband and brothers. Obviously the contents promptly disappeared, and everyone agreed that it was some fabulously chocolaty goodness that had to be procured again, preferably soon.

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25 Mar 2010, 6:49pm
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Mont Blanc Pocky

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Pocky post. X) I’ve got so many to try here, too! The latest flavor I’ve tried is the Mont Black Dessert Pocky. The first thing I think of when I hear Mont Blanc is of course, the pen. It is also however, the name of a dessert, namely a chestnut cream cake. I don’t usually find mont blanc cakes at local bakeries, but it’s a staple in most Japanese patisseries.

Like all the other dessert Pockys, this one had four packs of 3 inside. Each stick was generously coated in chocolate and then drizzled over with a chestnut flavored cream. It was nice! The chocolate didn’t overpower the chestnut, which was subtle and almost coffee-esque in aroma. I think it would make a great dessert when paired with a scoop of ice cream. ♥

A close up:

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5 Nov 2009, 7:00am
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Nata de Coco Yogurt

natadecoco

Oooooh my god I LOVE this stuff!! And I don’t even know what it is. That is to say, until I googled it just now. According to wiki:

Nata de coco is a chewy, translucent, jelly-like food product produced by the bacterial fermentation of coconut water and carrageenan.

………uh. Well, it tastes much better than it sounds, I swear. There are plenty of lovely foods and drinks that are made by fermentation, so don’t let this particular description deter you from trying “Nata de Coco Yogurt Dessert,” which can be found at your Japanese grocery.

They call it “yogurt,” but the binding is more like the consistency of pudding or almond jello (anin-dofu). It tastes like coconut, which I suppose should be to no surprise. The nata de coco was, I’m assuming, the translucent cubed chunks inside the yogurt. These had a decidedly chewier consistency, much like konnyaku. It’s a very “clean” sort of chewy-ness, so it doesn’t stick to your teeth, which is nice. I really love this snack! =9

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Honey Apple Rice Crackers

rice cracker

I saw this adorable bag of “Kotsubukko” rice crackers at the Japanese grocery and had to pick it up. (^___^) Look at those weirdly cute looking creatures with bangs! At least, I think they’re bangs… I’m not sure what most of those animals are, but they’re so funny looking (especially the smiling frog-type-thing on the far right). Rice crackers are a tasty alternative when you want a snack that isn’t oily like potato chips or so-fake-they-can’t-be-good-for-you like Doritos. Actually, these tiny pop ’em size rice crackers are very strange indeed, because I have experience eating “uni flavored” ones, and loving it. It’s still a mystery to me why I liked it, since I kind of hate uni.

This particular pack was “honey and apple” flavor, which sounded much more pleasant than sea urchin. It’s also “calcium fortified,” whatever that means. (I’m sure it had just as much calcium as those milk Pockys that made the same claim..) Anyway, these were delicious! I’m not sure I tasted much apple, but there was definitely a nice hint of sweet honey, which contrasted well with the salty soy sauce.

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19 Oct 2009, 6:43am
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Almond Pocky

almond pocky

Almond is one of my favorite flavorings in the dessert world, so imagine my surprise when I spotted this almond pocky at the shop this weekend! I’ve only seen almond encrusted Pocky before, never one where the icing itself was made from almond paste.

According to the box, almond Pocky was first introduced in 1971, the second flavor that came right after chocolate. How surprising! I had always figured that chocolate and strawberry were the two original flavors. It turns out that many fans of the original almond begged for them to make it once more, so they’ve revived it in this “limited edition” version. Ah…nostalgia in a box. ♥ (Er, not that I was around in ’71 during the first wave of almond Pocky…)

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18 Oct 2009, 11:02am
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Milk Coffee Pocky

milk coffee pocky

Like the “Milk” Pocky, this Milk Coffee Pocky also features the same anthropomorphic cartoon cow and similarly claims to have “calcium”! Might as well protect your bones while snacking on good eats, I guess?

I was a little wary to try coffee flavored sticks after my disastrous encounter with the cappuccino Lucky Stick, but I had great faith that Pocky could get it right.

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Horn Chocolate

horn chocolate

Underneath the flap of this box is a quirky little command (in English): “Enjoy milk-flavored chocolate & cookies.” I wonder what “milk-flavored” chocolate is supposed to taste like. It’s not something I can discover in this box, despite these puzzling words, because obviously they meant to say milk chocolate, not milk-flavored. X)

This chocolate flavored “langue de chat” cookie is wrapped around a whipped white chocolate filling, creating an interesting shaped thing that resembles a slim lighter. The box describes this cookie as combining both bitter and sweet for a very “mature” flavor. It’s a strange idea that milk chocolate can be bitter, as I’ve never really heard it described as such. However, it did have a much more subtle sweetness compared to American chocolate, which contrasted nicely with the sweeter white chocolate.

Upclose:

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13 Oct 2009, 6:48am
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Green Tea Marshmallows

ocha hime

This cute little package is actually called “Ocha Hime”, which translates to “Princess Tea.” Lol. These are green tea flavored marshmallows filled with sweet bean paste. Matcha green tea and sweet bean is of course, the classic ‘wagashi‘ combination (usually done with rice cake), but I’ve never seen it come together like this before. Genius! It’s like East meets West in the confectionery world. The package claims that they use green tea from Kyoto and red beans from Hokkaido for a lovely harmony of flavor.

A close up view:

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Chocoliere

chocoliere

Mmm…more Bourbon cookies. I’ve already covered my top two favorites from this brand, and here is the third. There’s actually nothing particularly remarkable about these “Chocoliere” cookies, aside from their fun dippable shape (though I’ve never actually dunked it in coffee before). I find the cookie part a bit dry, and I’m always hoping that the chocolate part would be a little creamier. The flavor is pretty good though, not too sweet and not too bland.

I’d post a close-up picture of the cookie, but it came out a little fuzzy… m(_ _)m

10 Sep 2009, 11:24pm
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Lucky Stick

luckystick

I was browsing the snack shelf at the Japanese grocery store when I spotted this Pocky Imposter! Sitting right next to the real deal, even. The ever Engrishy “Lucky Stick” biscuits came in two flavors that day – strawberry or cappuccino cream. Strawberry’s kind of standard and boring, so I opted for the cappuccino.

First off, when I opened the box, I was hit with that sickeningly sweet instant flavored coffee smell (very similar to those “International Coffee” mixes by General Foods). Visually, I could tell that there was only a very thin layer of cream. Perhaps I’m just accustomed to getting more generously coated icing, like they have on the thicker dessert Pockys.

As for the final assessment after taking a bite: the artificial coffee flavor was not very good at all, and left an unpleasant aftertaste in my mouth.

I guess they were trying to emulate the Pocky but totally missed the mark. Not even close, Lucky Stick. Not even close.

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