Sunday, December 27, 2009

Mrs. Fields Cookie Recipe Chocolates

Mrs. Fields Cookie Recipe Chocolates

One of my favorite cookbooks is my Mrs. Fields cookie recipe book. There are some fantastic cookies to be made, and I've certainly never been disappointed by a cookie purchased at a Mrs. Fields store. For these reasons, I did not fear these chocolates when they showed up in my stocking this Christmas.

Mrs. Fields Cookie Recipe Chocolates

These were purchased from Target by my mother, and the box says they cost $1. The three flavors included were Dark Coconut Macaroon, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, and Brownie Truffle. The cookie dough flavor sounded especially up my alley, since I am a huge fan of cookie dough ice cream.

Mrs. Fields Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Chocolate

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough was first on my list to try. I feel I should mention that none of these chocolates had much of a smell. Anyhow, inside was a lump of cookie dough. I could taste the mediocre chocolate shell, but the cookie dough center had none of the vanilla or salty flavor that actual cookie dough has. It shouldn't have surprised me, but this was just painfully sweet.

Mrs. Fields Dark Coconut Macaroon Chocolate

Dark Coconut Macaroon was next, and again, the first thing I noted was the overwhelming, throat-burning sweetness. Aside from that, there was creamy, sticky coconut paste inside. It tasted like a Mounds bar, which wasn't bad, since I like coconut.

Mrs. Fields Brownie Truffle Chocolate

Finally, I sampled Brownie Truffle, which was like a chocolate coated chunk of brownie. Unsurprisingly, this one was also ridiculously sweet. The filling was grainy (I felt sugar granules) and almost chalky. It was slightly better and much more authentic than the cookie dough flavor, but really, at this point, I was not in the mood.

I don't pull this rating out very often, but both my husband and I found these to be just too sweet to enjoy. We split each piece, so I can't even imagine finishing all of them myself. They were edible, but far too cloyingly sweet for me to ever want to consume again. It's nice that they tried to diversify, but Mrs. Fields should definitely stick to cookies.


Here is a link to another review of these chocolates.

Mrs. Fields website (but these chocolates can't be found on the website)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Kanro Ramune and Cola Candy

Kanro Ramune and Cola Candy

I've never been big on hard candy, with the exception of two kinds: sour candy and fizzy candy. Both is even better. But actually, the first thing that drew me to these candies was the "cute bottle shape" advertised on the front of the bag. The fizz just sealed the deal.

There were four flavors in the pack (Ramune, cola, pineapple, and green apple), based on soda and Ramune flavors. The pineapple seemed especially exciting, because I was reminded of the pineapple Fanta I used to drink before it disappeared from the shelves of Target.

Cute wrappers!

I was disappointed that the colors of the candy were so muted. The photo below is pretty accurate, and I had been expecting something a little more vivid. Still, as promised, the bottle shapes were very cute. Here is the rundown of the flavors.

Kanro Ramune and Cola

Cola (brown) was first on my list, because I hadn't had any cola flavored candy in a long time.I'm surprised there isn't more cola candy in the USA, because Coke and Pepsi are so popular. Anyhow, the flavor was very typical for cola candy, like a super-sweet sip of cola. It was fruity and tart, and the fizzy texture mixed in with the hard candy was really fun, especially because the fizz foamed in my mouth. My only complaint is that the hole in the center (presumably for the fizzy stuff) made the candy get a little sharp (as in cut the roof of my mouth) as I ate it.

Pineapple (yellow) was such a disappointment. It tasted like a white gummy bear or a cheap sucker, in that the pineapple flavor was dull and hardly tart at all. It was not a true pineapple flavor at all, with maybe too much pina colada influence. The fizz was still fun, but this one lacked the little bit of sour bite that the cola had.

When I bought these, I didn't really look at the flavors hard, and just assumed the pale green was melon (common in Japanese candy). Unfortunately, it was actually green apple. The favor was a decent fake apple, though my experience with apple soda is limited.

Ramune (blue) was last, and for those not familiar, Ramune is a popular Japanese soda with a lemony flavor. The candy was like the soda - fizzy and sour. I tasted lemon and lime, and was really pleased with the tartness.

The cola and Ramune flavors really stood out for me, even though the other two weren't bad. I would probably buy these again, but I have had better soda fizzy candy overall (such as the Kasugai Jiwa Jiwa soda candies).

B, but cola and ramune alone would get an A-.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Kabaya Lemon Pure R

Kabaya Hello Kitty Lemon Gummies

I will admit without hesitation that I purchased these Kabaya lemon gummies purely because Hello Kitty was on the package. I am a fan. But, according to my past experience, Kabaya does gummies quite well. Pure R is a line I've never tried before, and according to the Kaybaya site, the current flavors are grape, strawberry, and ruby grapefruit. This lemon flavor doesn't seem to be available anymore.

These were a little old when I purchased them, but not expired. However, the website shown on the package, advertising a Pure R/Pureal and Hello Kitty cell phone campaign, is no longer working. I'm not sure how to romanize the name of this candy, and it seems Kabaya isn't sure, either because this package says Pureal but their website says Pure R.

Lemon Gummies

At first, I was worried, because the open package smelled like lemon cleaner. Thankfully, the gummies themselves (which were pretty big) didn't taste like lemon. They were nice and sour, and with a fairly authentic lemon flavor.

Where these got interesting was the texture. There was a somewhat hard shell (which can be seen in the photo above) around a soft, sticky gel center. The shell reminded me of a skin that might form over pudding if it sits too long. It didn't detract from the flavor, but it put me off a little bit. These were addictive, but not as good as other Japanese gummies. My husband couldn't get enough of them, and loved the flavor and texture.


Kabaya website

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Morinaga White Peach Hi-Chew

White Peach Hi-Chew

Somewhat recently, Hi-Chew released a series of "World Fruits" flavors, which included this White Peach flavor. The area around Mt. Fuji in Japan is known for white peaches (among other things), explaining the image of Mt. Fuji on the package.

White peaches, according to a little online research, are popular in Asia and less acidic than yellow peaches, which tend to be more popular in the United States. Both types are available where I live, but I haven't had as much exposure to the white variety.

I also noted that on the English Morinaga website, there is a link to a "Massage from the President." Oops.

White Peach Hi-Chew

I was a little surprised at the scent of these, because the candies definitely smelled peachy, but they also reminded me of butter. The flavor was sweet and a little acidic (and a little buttery), and much like a white peach. It was quite juicy, and the tartness intensified with every chew.

These were good, but not one of my favorite Hi-Chew flavors. The flavor was fairly authentic, and certainly different from the taste of a yellow peach. My husband thought much more of them than I did, but for me, there was something just a little off that prevented me from scoring these higher. Maybe it's just peach candy in general.


Morinaga Hi-Chew website

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Wonka Everlasting Gobstopper Snow Balls

Wonka Everlasting Gobstopper

Despite my irrational childhood fear of the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, I loved Everlasting Gobstoppers. In the US, we call this type of candy a Jawbreaker, but Everlasting Gobstoppers suit me better because they are chewable. It was great fun to check what color they were, and taste the different flavors. However, when I had some a few years ago, I noticed they were smaller than they used to be, and had fewer layers.

These holiday "Snow Balls" are actually just Gobstoppers with Christmas colors, and the flavors are the same as the original. On a side note, the snowman on the front looks like he might have something extra in his pipe, if you catch my meaning.

Everlasting Gobstopper

Red was the normal red Gobstopper, a weak cherry flavor (I think), then it changed to a mild, sour, citrusy orange. After just 2 layers, I was at the center, which tasted mostly like citric acid and just a bit like banana. The texture of the center was harder and chalkier than a Sweetart. Maybe some good comparisons would be antacids or chewable vitamins.

Green seemed like watermelon to me, but it was hard to identify. I think it changed to orange as well, which was a bit of a let down. The white tasted familiar (lemony), but I couldn't place it. The next layer was definitely lemon, although it only tasted like a cleaning product.

These were pretty disappointing. I would have liked a bigger flavor variety (grape, for example), and more layers. The flavors left something to be desired as well, especially the lemon. Although these brought back memories of my childhood, they just weren't as good as I remembered. Whether the flavors have actually changed, I'm not sure, but the size change alone detracts from the novelty value.


Wonka Website

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Nestle Vegetable Juice KitKat

Vegetable Juice KitKat

I have been hanging onto this KitKat for a while, a little afraid to try it. My husband has already eaten one, and despite his lack of any strong feelings on it either way, I've been wary. To give a quick bit of background, Ito En is a beverage company, and this KitKat is based on their Jujitsu Yasai (vegetables galore) line of veggie/fruit juices. Based on the ingredients in the picture, the particular juice recreated here is probably similar to American V8 Splash, though I've never had Ito En juice, myself.

This KitKat has already been reviewed on several blogs (Japanese Snack Reviews, Jen's KitKat Blog, KitKat Addict, pretty pretty yum yum...) but sometimes I feel like having candy and not reviewing it is a waste. So, I worked up the courage to eat the KitKat that had been taunting me from storage for just over a month.

Nestle Veggie Juice KitKat

The bar smelled strongly of apple juice or cider, and reminded me of the Apple Vinegar KitKat from earlier this year. This was encouraging. At first, the KitKat tasted like apples, too, tart with creamy and decently balanced white chocolate mid-notes.

Then, something happened towards the end and aftertaste, and I suspect it was the vegetables kicking in. It got just a tiny bit bitter and very suddenly, the sweetness reminded me of overcooked carrots and overripe bananas. Still, I had no trouble finishing the bar, and I have to admit, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I can safely say that I would not choose this flavor again.


KitKat website

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Dagoba Seeds

Dagoba Seeds

Being the nerd that I am, the first thing I thought of when I heard about Dagoba chocolate was Star Wars. However, it is an organic chocolate brand that was acquired by Hershey in 2006, so that Hershey could get in on the organic food boom.

Compared to some brands of organic chocolate, Dagoba isn't terribly expensive. If I remember correctly, the bar cost just under $3. This particular bar, Seeds is 68% cocoa, and according to the package, it also contains hemp, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds, as well as Balinese sea salt.

Dagoba Seeds

This bar was a beautiful shade of dark brown, and even though the perforations didn't work very well, it had a fantastic snap. It smelled and tasted a bit spicy (not in the hot pepper way, maybe it was the hemp). The saltiness was also easy to pick up, and complemented the slightly fruity finish of the chocolate (with just a hint of sour).

I was hoping for a little more of the nutty texture, but my husband liked how the nuts didn't interrupt the chocolate much. The saltiness did bring out the flavor of the sunflower seeds in particular, and the combination was interesting. Overall, it was a good dark chocolate bar.


This bar was also reviewed at Chocablog and Gluten Free is Life.

Dagoba website

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Ferrero Mon Cheri and Pocket Coffee

Ferrero Mon Cheri and Pocket Coffee

My dad's job has always given him chances to travel internationally at least once or twice a year, and even though I've moved out and grown up (somewhat), he still brings souvenirs for his kids. On a recent trip to Italy, he bought these two Ferrero candies and divided the boxes among the family.

Neither of these candies were quite what I expected. The Mon Cheri seemed like they would be a generic chocolate covered cherry, and I assumed the Pocket Coffee would be solid coffee flavored chocolate. I was completely wrong on both accounts.

Ferrero Mon Cheri

The Mon Cheri smelled like a cherry chocolate, but when I bit into it, some of the strongest liquor I've ever tasted in a candy came pouring out. It actually burned a little going down. There was also a candied cherry inside for texture, but the flavor was dominated by chocolate and liquor. It was delicious, but packed quite a punch. I'm not a huge chocolate/cherry fan, but this was unlike any other liquor or cherry candies I've tried, so I was very impressed. My husband, who loves chocolate covered cherries, liked these even more than I did.


Pocket Coffee was another surprise. It smelled strongly of coffee, and it was a little hard to smell the chocolate. There was a crispy, grainy layer just below the chocolate, and a little online research told me that it was a layer of sugar. It made for an interesting and tasty texture mixture. Oh, did I mention that there is actual strong liquid coffee in this? The chocolate and sugar adds an excellent balance to the bitterness of the coffee. This is not a good bedtime snack, but I'd recommend it to any coffee or espresso fan.


Candyblog and Slashfood have both reviewed Pocket Coffee, and Jim's Chocolate Mission has a review of Mon Cheri.

Ferrero website

Monday, December 7, 2009

Nestle Peanut Butter KitKat Chunky

Peanut Butter KitKat Chunky

Just under a year ago, I reviewed a Canadian peanut butter KitKat bar, and it may have been a bit stale. In the interest of fairness, I jumped at the chance to review this fresh peanut butter KitKat (from the UK).

When I first saw this bar at an import food store, I thought it was a peanut KitKat bar, as the word peanut is so much bigger than the word butter on the package. For this reason, it sat in storage for a few weeks until I pulled it out again and noticed the true flavor. I am a big fan of peanut butter chocolate.

KitKat Peanut Butter

This bar smelled really good, like sweet chocolate and roasted nuts. The peanut butter layer was very thick (about half of the height), and when I bit into it, the peanut butter stuck to the roof of my mouth. Despite the nostalgia brought on by this situation, it's not something I'm used to with peanut butter candy. The peanut butter in this bar was thick, gooey, and sticky.

One difference I did like about the peanut butter was that it was less sweet than a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup (for example), but this may go hand-in-hand with the texture. It was much more like peanut butter from a jar than from a candy bar, but I could have done with a bit more creaminess.

The wafers seemed especially crispy, but that could just be the bigger size. The chocolate was mild and the whole bar was a very good combination of textures and flavors. It was quite filling! The only thing that I didn't love was the peanut butter consistency, but the flavors were great, so I think I can let it go.


Nestle website

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Godiva Holiday Truffles

Candy Cane and Gingerbread

Godiva may not be the best boutique chocolate, but it is readily available. It feels like I'm eating a lot of Godiva chocolate these days, but when I bought those Halloween truffles, I signed up for their Chocolate Rewards Club. It's free, and you can get a free truffle from their stores every month. There are other perks, but the free truffle is the only one I have used.

Candy Cane and Gingerbread

It's nice that there's no purchase required to sign up or get the free monthly truffle, but only certain truffles are available for free. Special molded ones tend not to be, but they do offer some seasonal ones! Here, I have Candy Cane and Gingerbread (acquired November 27 and December 6). I had meant to get Egg Nog for December, but it was sold out. The foil wrappers were cute and festive, but not as impressive to behold as the molded chocolates (see the link to their home page below).

Godiva Candy Cane

First, the Candy Cane had a strongly minty smell when unwrapped. It tasted a lot like peppermint ice cream, the pink kind with the red and green candy bits inside. I was impressed with it because the white chocolate was quite tasty. It was well balanced and very fresh, and not too sweet at all.

Godiva Gingerbread

The Gingerbread smelled like ginger and other cookie-type spices. My husband and I were both surprised to find that it actually tasted like a mild gingerbread! Despite having the potential to be sickeningly sweet, it wasn't. This was a nice, fudgey truffle. I was pleased that neither of them exhibited the oiliness that Godiva truffles sometimes do.

I may be inflating the rating simply because these were free, but they were both very pleasing truffles.


Godiva website

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Glico Strawberry Mobaccho

Strawberry Mobaccho

These came to me from a friend as part of a late birthday gift, and thought I was happy to try them, my expectations were pretty low. The blandness of Matcha Mobaccho still brings the memory of disappointment. Kelly at Tasty Japan also reviewed the strawberry version a few months ago.

The cup sure is cute, though, even cuter than the matcha flavor. The violet-red drizzle looks great against the silver, and would probably make a fantastic shade of lipstick. According to the nutrition facts, the whole container is one 280 calorie serving, but I can't imagine eating all of the pellets at once.

Strawberry Mobaccho

Once opened, these smelled like tart strawberry (kind of like Fruit Roll-ups). However, the taste of the strawberry chocolate was almost completely drowned out by the "pretzel" center. There was just a mildly pleasant strawberry taste hidden behind crunchy, fairly bland biscuits. Also, these left my mouth feeling faintly oily.

These certainly didn't taste bad, but they were underwhelming. The chocolate coating is so thin and soft that it melts away quickly before I could even taste it. I suppose if you really just wanted to satisfy a crunchy craving, these might do the trick, but there are numerous better choices out there.


Glico website

Monday, November 30, 2009

Kanro Pure Grape Gummy

Grape Pure Gummies

Kanro Pure gummies have been a favorite of mine for a few years now. The lemon flavor got me hooked, and I've liked many other flavors I've tried in the past. My love of sour candy goes back to my childhood, and when combined with Kanro's typically authentic-tasting fruit flavors, the brand has been quite reliable.

A friend of mine from far away came to visit and brought these (and many other treats, reviews to come soon) as part of a late birthday gift. The gummies themselves are heart-shaped and coated in sour sugar, and I find them rather photogenic!

Grape Pure Gummies

When I opened these, the smell of concord grape juice was strong, and although it was a little fake, it didn't smell too much like medicine. The first taste of the gummies is simply sour, followed by grape juice. The balance of the flavors was just about right, not too sour or too strong.

These most reminded me of grape Jolly Ranchers or the better grape popsicles. The texture of the gummy (which, according to the bag, should be like real fruit) was firm and a bit leathery, and the sour sugar was coarse and tart. Whether you chew them up right away or savor them a bit longer, these are tasty gummies.

These have also been reviewed at Pockywatch.


Pure website

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Godiva Halloween Truffles

Godiva Halloween Truffles

What a belated review. Halloween has come and gone but the decent into cold weather indulgence has just begun. It starts with candy at Halloween and seems to end with candy at Easter. In an attempt to pace myself, I started tasting these on Halloween and finished them a few days ago.

I'm no chocolate connoisseur, but it seems like Godiva is overrated. In the US and in Japan (probably other countries, too), Godiva has the reputation with many people of being just about the best chocolate there is. It's tasty, for sure, but not usually worth the money. However, these truffles were so cute that I couldn't resist ($11). The four flavors were Caramel Apple Tombstone, Candy Corn Ghost, Blood Orange Bat, and Death by Chocolate Skull.

Caramel Apple Tombstone

The white chocolate smell was strong, and it was full of runny caramel. The textures were great, but the caramel almost tasted spiked, as if the apple flavor had made it ferment. It was quite tart and fruity, though not specifically apple.

White Chocolate Ghost

The ghost was super cute. The filling was buttery and had a good, thick texture. It tasted more like a buttercream frosting than candy corn, but the white chocolate was very well balanced, and I felt it was some of the best white chocolate I've had.

Orange Chocolate Bat

The bat was kind of cute, except for the hole on it's nose. The flavor was the same kind of orange flavor as a fruit gem. The filling was tasty, if a bit too sweet and greasy. I liked how I could taste the orange zest, and my husband liked this one the best.

Halloween Godiva

Death By Chocolate Skull was by far my favorite to look at--it's gorgeous--but not to eat. It was good, but tasted almost exactly like a Lindt dark chocolate truffle to me, and therefore not really worth the price. Click here to see the inside.

Overall, the set gets a B-.

Here's another take on the set.

Lion Cream Soda Candy


In Japan, the term cream soda refers to melon cream soda. Personally, I am a big fan of melon soda, because there's something very exciting about a neon green beverage (like Ecto Cooler). These candies were purchased for me by my sister, and were made by a company called Lion. I've linked their website at the end of the review, so if you visit, prepare yourself for an onslaught of cute.

As with many imported snacks, there was a large nutrition label pasted over half of the package, so I couldn't really see any of the candy description. The little blurb the front says it's pleasantly creamy, more or less.


The open package had a vague melon aroma, and the candies themselves were individually wrapped and were about the size of a Jolly Rancher. Maybe if I had been able to get the nutrition label off I would have known, but these were fizzy candies! I was pleasantly surprised by the fizziness, and the flavor was exactly like melon soda. If you've never tried it, it tastes like honeydew melon in the same way that Sprite tastes like lemon.

The flavor was fantastic, sour, and bright. The candy wasn't creamy at all, but had a cream filling. However, it was so runny that as soon as there was an opening in the candy shell, it slid right out before I could taste it! The little bit I did sense was very weak, and was drowned out by the melon and the fizziness. It didn't add anything for me, and I would have rather the candy been solid melon soda all the way through. Still, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend these if you come across them, just don't expect the pleasant creaminess.


Lion Website

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lotte Matcha Shake Crunky

Matcha Shake Crunky

Sometimes my craving for matcha is so strong that I will pick up a matcha flavor of a snack that I know I don't like. On that note, I present a review of Matcha Shake Crunky. According to the box, it is a limited edition release for this year.

I was amused that this flavor was called "Matcha Shake" and not just matcha, but I chalk it up to the Japanese marketing cycle and its demand for "new" and "different" products. This is not the first matcha Crunky, and I'm sure it won't be the last, but it might be the only "Matcha Shake" Crunky.

Matcha Shake Crunky

The bar smelled of a mild matcha, but the first things I noticed when I took a bite were the crunchy bits. As I remembered, they were bland (just a bit salty) but provided a good texture. The bar had a mild matcha finish and a very sweet aftertaste (common in white chocolate products).

I could definitely taste the green tea flavor, but it was in the background. The sweetness was probably supposed to be the shake element, but I didn't get any milky notes from it. I did like it better than regular Crunky, simply because of the matcha flavor, but it was nothing special.

This bar has also been reviewed by Kelly at Tasty Japan, along with several other flavors of Crunky.


Lotte website

Monday, November 9, 2009

Nestle Smarties


As I've mentioned before, in nearly every country but the United States, Smarties are candy-coated chocolates made by Nestle. Until I was in my 20s, I had never tasted these non-sugar disk Smarties, so this review is probably biased.

Naturally, I can't fight the temptation to compare them to M&Ms. Right away, the different colors of the Smarties appealed to me (pink and purple as standard colors!), and they were also slightly bigger than plain M&Ms.


There wasn't much of a scent (the cardboard smelled stronger than the candy), and the taste immediately reminded me of Halloween chocolate - a blend of candy and chocolate flavors stewing together in a vat. The candy coating seemed to add a sugary flavor, and because it is pretty thick, these were very crunchy.

I was reminded of Cadbury Mini Eggs (the chocolate eggs coated with a spotted candy shell to look like bird eggs) as well, but Smarties are much smaller than those. As a result, the chocolate seemed dominated by the shell. Although I don't think I'd turn these down if they were offered to me, I think I'd prefer plain M&Ms...but that's only if plain M&Ms and Smarties were my only choices.

Check out this head-to-head comparison at Candy Blog.


Nestle website

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Nestle Sour Orange KitKat

KitKat Sour Orange

This KitKat has been around for a while and has been reviewed by numerous blogs (Melon Soda, Japanese Snack Reviews, KitKat Addict, Jen's KitKat Blog, just to name a few), but I was still very happy when my sister bought me a bag. It had been a long time since I had tried a Japanese KitKat (not since Ume Soda in August) and I was in a slump.

Sour Orange KitKat

I loved the shiny foil bag, and although the bags of mini KitKats are always a little more expensive, I felt this one would be worth it. I was interested to see how they would live up to the claim of being suppai (sour) orange.

Sour Orange KitKat

The minis were a little melted, but still in tact. The scent was very similar to a Terry's Chocolate Orange, which was one of my favorite special treats from childhood. The milk chocolate had a good sweetness and soft texture (which may have been because they melted a bit), but the sour flavor made these special for me.

It was like there were bits of Tang powder between the layers, and although it wasn't a kick in the face, the orange flavor was surprisingly vibrant and fruity. It reminded me of a chocolate covered fruit gel, only with crunchy wafers. My husband and I both loved them, and they went over well with many of our friends.


KitKat website

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Walkers Roast Chicken Crisps

Roast Chicken Crisps

Normally, I prefer sweet snacks, but occasionally, I do get the craving for something salty and savory. These chips fulfill both of those requirements. They were purchased from the UK import section at Jungle Jim's International Market. When we're in the Cincinnati, Ohio area, my husband and I always try to stop in, and it's always worth it.

As these crisps were imported, they were rather pricey ($0.79 for a 34.5 g bag). There were several flavors available, including prawn, but I went for the roast chicken and my husband got steak and onion. The price tag stopped us from buying more. Walkers is part of Frito-Lay and called Lay's in the US (thanks, Anon). You can see a list of current flavors on the Walkers Wikipedia page.

Roast Chicken Crisps

The chips smelled a little like chicken broth, but as they were flavored with spices and not animal products (the bag says they are suitable for vegetarians), they didn't smell meaty. The taste reminded me of a bouillon cube or the flavor powder from chicken ramen. I was very pleased that they neither tasted nor smelled like dog treats, as savory snacks sometimes do.

The texture of the crisps was good, too. They were neither too thin nor too thick, which gave them a good, fresh crunch. They had a nice level of saltiness and I imagine these would go well with a mild beer. I can't see myself craving this chicken-soup-in-a-chip taste, but they were a nice break from the flavors available in the US.


Walkers website

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Trident Strawberry Twist

Trident Strawberry Twist

Sometimes, fruity gum can be overpowering. It takes me back to the days of gigantic mouthfuls of Bubblicious or Bubble Tape, when I didn't mind that my gum started to taste like a rotten banana after a few minutes.

These days, I've developed a taste for fruity gum with a hint of mint, but I still like to venture back to fruit gum every now and then. During one such mood, I bought a three-pack of this Strawberry Twist gum from Target. I'm still not sure what the twist was.

It smelled strongly of tart, sweet, fake strawberry. At first, the gum was very sour on the tongue, but there was an overpowering sweetness that masked the fruit flavor. Once the tart flavor was gone, there was really no point in chewing this gum.

This gum wasn't really bad, but it was so artificially sweet that it was quite a chore for me and my husband to get through the whole three pack. It didn't take long for both of us to become sick of this flavor.

The ladies at Gum Alert also reviewed this gum.


Trident website

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Japanese KitKats on the Radio

Recently on Public Radio International's The World, there was a piece about Japanese KitKats and the Japanese marketing cycle in general. My sister informed me about it, and I wanted to share it, too. Click here to listen. There's also a link to one of the Flickr Japanese KitKat photo groups.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Meiji Cheesecake Takenoko no Sato

Takenoko no Sato Cheesecake

I am a dessert person. However, cheesecake is not one of my favorites. It's so rich that I can't ever seem to eat a whole piece (even though I can put away a lot of cake), and I'm lactose intolerant.

Still, I purchased this cheesecake Takenoko no Sato because the line hardly ever steers me wrong. These are much bigger than the normal chocolates and they come individually wrapped. The flavor is Takesato's cheesecake, although I don't know if Takesato is a real person.

Takenoko no Sato Cheesecake

The smell of these reminded me of cheese cracker sandwiches or Cheese Whiz, which was a big turn off. After touching them, my fingers smelled like that, too. I could smell a little white chocolate sweetness, and my husband thought they smelled just like cheesecake. Luckily, they didn't taste like electric orange cheese.

The chocolate itself was sweet, but not cloying, and the cookie center reminded me of shortbread. It lacked the sharp tang that often comes with cheesecake, but I didn't mind. I was too busy being impressed with the mildly sweet white chocolate and vanilla flavor. As usual, the textures went well together. Even though the chocolate was very rich, in a nice small portion, I was pleased.


Meiji Website (Japanese)