Monday, December 9, 2013

Asahi Balanceup Salty Vanilla アサヒ クリーム玄米ブラン 塩バニラ


Don't ask me why but Balanceup is a favourite snack of mine. I think it's because it is not only filling but it is made with real bran and always comes in interesting flavours. It is meant to be more of a convenience food, for example, to replace cereal in the morning or a snack at morning tea time if you're busy and don't have time to grab a proper meal.

The snack consists of two layers of bran crackers sandwiching a thick layer of flavoured cream, in this case salty vanilla cream is in the centre. The bran crackers are quite thick too (about 2mm) so they give a decent crunch when bitten into.

These crackers have a pleasant smell when the packet is opened and the outside of the bran has a sweetness to it, and lots of bits of bran inside the cracker make for a very crunchy experience.
The vanilla cream in the middle is sweet and has a slight hint of maple flavour followed by another hit of vanilla and finally some saltiness at the end so it seems like having sweet then savoury.
I'm not sure why the vanilla cream tastes like maple but I have noticed it before in other flavours so maybe it's coming from the crackers when it gets mixed with the cream.

The flavours are not strong but they are not weak either. This was quite enjoyable and I ate the whole bag in one sitting (4 crackers!). The bag is made up of 2 individually wrapped bags of 2 crackers each so it's great for portion control and also the crackers won't go stale if you don't eat them all at once.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Tirol Chocolat Au Orange チロル ショコラ オランジェ


I have a million Tirol reviews coming up! When I was in Japan this year I bought so many limited edition packs in Daiso and brought them home with me...but I haven't gotten around to reviewing them yet! Soon!

This Tirol was sent to me by a blog reader in Japan (thank you S!), and it's a flavour I did not see in my travels but is one of those classic flavours that just works. Chocolate and Orange.

Chocolat Au Orange as you can tell by the packaging is dark chocolate melded with orange. This is also a premium size Tirol so it's larger than the usual size.

I'm not usually a fan of dark chocolate, I prefer sweet milky chocolate over the bitterness that dark chocolate usually brings, and this Tirol smelled strongly of dark cocoa so I wasn't sure I would like it.
However, when I bit into it the chocolate was smooth and soft and the middle layer consisted of a sweet, mochi-like orange jelly that just melted in my mouth. The sweetness of the orange jelly contrasted well with the dark chocolate (which by the way wasn't bitter) and by the end of eating this chocolate I wanted MORE! Luckily S was kind enough to send me 3 pieces!


Chocolat Au Orange Tirol is not overly sweet, it is just right, a very stylish chocolat that you would expect to be in a fancy chocolate store. Tirol has made this really well, and I hope that you get to try this one, or they make it again some time in the future!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Tohato Green Tea Caramel Corn トハト 抹茶キャラメルコーン 🌽


I've had this packet in the pantry for a couple of months now but it was only today I decided to bring them out as my 2 year old son was wanting something different to munch on and he loves matcha flavor anything. 

I didn't realize at the time I bought them that these were bigger than usual, the packet states they are "でっかい" which means "very big".

They are really big and unfortunately have a shape and colour like doggy doo-doo.

Although the flavor is matcha (green tea) it is overpowered by the strong, very sickly sweet caramel flavor, and not only that there is some kind of raw sugar coating on the outside which means after one piece I am screaming for some water.

I do like Caramel Corn usually but I am disappointed with these because of the sweetness, it is too much, especially for a mega size corn.

The only plus is that my son and I held up the pieces to our face to make happy and sad faces, and my son thought it was big enough to be talked into like a telephone. :)