Happy New Year! On the first day of 2013, I got the flu. As luck would have it, I also ran out of scheduled reviews. Adding insult to injury, my order from NapaJapan arrived while I was buried beneath a mountain of blankets, cough drops, and lotion tissues. The box, jam-packed with Tirol chocolates and matcha-flavored treats, stared at me for days, taunting me. Now that I can taste and enjoy food again, it's time to dive in!
I'll start with Uji Matcha Chocolate Crush Pocky. The city of Uji (near Kyoto, Japan) is home to many beautiful temples and shrines, The Tale of Genji Museum, and it's famous for matcha, so it's a great place to visit if you're in the area. During a brief visit to Uji in 2009, I had the most delicious chadango and matcha ice cream of my life. Next time, I'll try to get there before all the historical sites close.
In this flavor, an azuki (red bean) Pocky stick was coated in matcha cookie bits, then dipped in milk chocolate. All I could smell was the milk chocolate, so I was a bit worried it would overpower the matcha flavor (most of the matcha chocolate snacks I've tried use white chocolate). I was right; the matcha was there, but it was very subtle. The stick didn't taste like azuki at all, but it was pink.
The matcha cookies were crispy and light, easy to pick out from the denser, cracker-like crunch of the stick . The combination of textures was fun. Neither the cookies nor the stick were very sweet, so the sweetness of the milk chocolate was balanced nicely. Although I would have liked more matcha flavor (let's face it - I always want more matcha), milk chocolate with a hint of matcha is pretty tasty.