Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween!

To all my readers, it's been a while since my last proper blog. I have loads of new posts in the works. If you pop over to my Facebook page Tasty Japan, you will see my updates for Halloween 2017.

Wishing you all a spooktacular Halloween, hope you get to eat lots of cool Japanese candy!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Pocky Strawberry Heartful ポッキーつぶつぶいちご ハートフル

Thanks to Jen who sent me this delightful snack to try.

It's called "Heartful" because the pretzel stick is pink and actually supposed to be shaped like a heart. If you see my photo you will find they didn't quite accomplish this but it was a nice marketing idea!

The chocolate on the stick is quite thin but it is full of flavour. The "tsubutsubu" which is small bits of strawberry is very tart and exactly the taste of a real strawberry so it feels very realistic. The pink pretzel stick is also very sweet and has a slight strawberry flavour so this is actually quite a nice little snack.

It comes in two packets inside the box which is great as you don't have to eat the whole contents at once and you can share with someone else!

Overall I really like this Pocky, it is just a shame that the stick wasn't heart shaped, but I do love the name of it and all the pink!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Morinaga Bake Sweet Potato 森永ベイク スイートポテト味

A big thanks to Jen for sending this over to me in a big box of goodies :)

Sweet potato is a seasonal flavour of Japan, usually for Autumn and Winter, and we don't really ever see it related to any sweets or snacks in Western countries. For this reason I was kind of taken aback when I saw the packaging and flavour, but I do like sweet potato, so I thought this would be an interesting review.

Firstly, the packaging does really stand out but it has a lot going on. It has a lot of text and a big W on the front. If you don't read Japanese then you wouldn't know what is going on. But it is saying that it's sweet (as expected), and it has been baked to perfection, like one of those roasted sweet potatoes that street vendors sell.

Inside the packaging there was a black tray containing 10 pieces of Bake separated by a thin divider. 4 pieces on one side and 6 pieces on the other. I'm not sure why they were separated like that, there seems to be no real reason why.

There were a lot of crumbs in the black tray and I guess while making it's way to me in the parcel it was bashed around a fair bit. The piece of Bake is quite crumbly though, and even picking it up crumbs fall off the side.

The Bake pieces smell very sweet and there is a scent of sweet potato but also an odd smell...I just can't put my finger on it. It's crunchy on the outside and soft and cake-like on the inside. What I wasn't expecting was such a high level of sweetness. It tastes only of screamingly sweet cake with a hint of fake sweet potato. Oh, this is bad. Sorry, but it's so so bad. 

I love the crumble and the softness of the cake inside, but the taste is horrible. They have tried too hard and delivered the "sweet" part of the potato way too much. This is an odd tasting snack and you will need a big glass of water after eating a couple of these.

I would recommend avoiding these altogether.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Caramel Corn Tiramisu 大人の cafe time キャラメルコーン ティラミス


I love Caramel Corn but I don't buy it as often as I would like to - there are so many different snacks released by Japanese companies all the time! 

However the flavour of this intrigued me. Tiramisu - something I love to eat if it's made in a traditional way. How would coffee flavour go with caramel corn? 

The bag is a bright orange and dark red that you can't miss, it looks more like it's geared towards Halloween. 

Each corn is a burnt gold colour and tastes strongly of coffee but also has a faint hint of chocolate too. They've done a good job with these, it really conjures up a feeling of Tiramisu with each bite. 

The satisfying crunch of each caramel corn and the strong hit of coffee in my mouth, it's a match made in heaven.

I'm not sure how long these will stay around for but if you get the opportunity I highly recommend you try them.

Bourbon Mochi Chocolate Berry Fromage もちもちショコラ・ベリーフロマージ ュ


The box of this Mochi Mochi Chocolate by Bourbon attracted me from the very beginning. Bright pink and with a fantastic image of cream cheese and berries covered in sauce on the front. It looks very inviting.

The box has two individually wrapped packs of 4 mochi balls each. They don't look as appetizing as the cover of the box I have to admit.

The mochi on the outside however was soft and smooth to bite into. The fromage inside was light in flavour with a slight taste of white chocolate and a strong hit of both blueberry sauce and what we thought tasted like alcohol. Upon checking the ingredients we found that these do in fact contain alcohol!

Surprising, as I've never seen fromage or mochi containing alcohol. Interesting to be sure, but the alcohol and blueberry overpowered the fromage so in this case I really feel it wasn't needed as an ingredient.

Overall, these were not as good as the box promised, they didn't look anywhere as good and the flavour was a miss. But the mochi and fromage inside was soft and smooth, and the blueberry sauce was very nice. If you like strong alcohol in snacks then give these a whirl!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Tirol Papaya Lemon チロルパパヤレモン


Papaya is not exactly a fruit I eat very often. It seems very exotic to me, so I hesitated when this flavour was released. I was curious enough to purchase it though. 

I must admit I don't eat papaya very often, maybe once every few years, so I don't know much about it. But paired with the lemon I thought it would be interesting.

The packet is very bright and has images of both fruits. Inside there are 6 individually wrapped chocolates. Also inside the packet was a small package of lemon sauce or ジュレ. 

So to eat this I put the chocolate in a small dish and poured the sauce on top. 

The papaya Tirol itself is quite sweet. The orange chocolate on the outside doesn't taste much like anything, it's only when you bite into it that you hit the white fluffy meringue and papaya flavour sauce. Then you experience the papaya Tirol. 
If you then pour the sauce on top you get a very sour punch with the sweet chocolate and meringue, followed by the sweetness of the papaya sauce.

I wasn't too keen on this Tirol because I thought the flavours were mismatched. But my husband and son loved this one and exclaimed how yummy it was.

It really depends on what your taste is, if you like tartness then you would like this. Or if not, then don't put the sauce on top. But overall it was a fun experiment!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Chocoball for Adults Rich Strawberry 大人のチョコボール濃い苺


We've always been a big fan of Chocoball, so when I saw this Chocoball for Adults I knew I had to try it.

I was expecting it to be bitter, but it was much nicer than I expected. The outside was a glossy red and pink mottled colour.

Unlike the usual hard shell that Chocoball usually has this version had a think crispy layer that gave way to the same colour chocolate inside with darker chips of strawberry.

The chocolate was very creamy and tasted like real strawberries do, not the usual fake "flavouring" that some companies use. 

My husband liked the flavour but asked me why do I think it's called "Chocoball for Adults? What makes it so?" And my response is that the glossy exterior makes it look sophisticated. As well, the strawberry chips add another dimension to the strawberry chocolate and this is what sets it apart from the usual Chocoball that is aimed at children. The packaging also looks premium with the black packaging and bright red and gold graphics.

I might add that my 5 year old son also loved this so they appeal to not only adults but children too - which might make it hard to have your own snack if you're a parent! ;)

In all, a very good product from Morinaga and highly recommended.

Dars Uji Matcha ダース宇治抹茶


Morinaga make a lot of yummy snacks and one product they do especially well is Dars. I'm a big fan of their white chocolate, it is so creamy.

Matcha is also another flavour I love in everything, I love it as a tea or added to savory and desserts. So I was excited to try it.

This Dars uses Uji Matcha from Kyoto that is ground up into a fine powder and mixed into the chocolate. The Matcha flavour is strong and blends well with the outer layer of smooth dark chocolate.

I definitely recommend this as within seconds of pulling out the tray half of the Dars were gone. My 5 year old son started gobbling them and wouldn't stop, he loved it so much. I think I got 3 pieces total, but would have loved more. 

Friday, September 9, 2016

Tirol Sesame Mochi チロルごま団子


I am a big fan of traditional Asian sweets and also a big fan of Tirol as you might guess from the amount of Tirol products I review.

So when I saw this Goma Dango release I knew I had to try it. Besides, the packet is so cute, and there are two flavours inside, not just one! Good value right there :)

This pack contains 7 individually wrapped pieces. 4 of the "金" (white sesame) and 3 of the "黒" (black sesame).

Each chocolate piece contains either black or white sesame seeds, azuki (red bean paste) and mochi gummy.

White sesame is a creamy white chocolate on the outside and it has a sweet smell. The middle is soft and then chewy as my teeth hit the mochi. There are lots of white sesame seeds inside so the sesame taste is quite bold, but it's not overpowering. However, I'm not sure why the azuki paste (which is more like a sauce) is there because it's not very apparent.

The black sesame is a grey and black mottled white chocolate on the outside. Biting in, there is an ample amount of black sesame seeds but I couldn't locate the azuki paste. The black sesame seeds are not very strong in flavour so the white chocolate is centre stage followed by the texture of the sesame seeds. A major let down as I expected the black sesame to be the best but it's actually too sweet and not interesting enough.

That's a shame, and possibly the reason why there were only 3 in the pack. Did Tirol know they bombed out?

Either way, this was a fun pack to try out, even though it wasn't as reminiscent of traditional Asian sweets as I would like.

Have you tried these and if so what did you think!? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Royce x Tirol チロル x ロイス


A while back Tirol teamed up with the famous Hokkaido chocolate manufacturer Royce to make a premium Tirol (which is a little larger than the regular size).

It sold out very quickly but I managed to buy some pieces online. Unfortunately because it contained Nama cream, most online stores would not send it overseas. Mine was sent during summer and leaked inside my parcel, and the Tirol ended up mutilated, but still edible - however I didn't take photos of the disaster so the above image is the result of a Google image search.

The chocolate itself was quite dark so it seems it had a rather high cocoa content. Inside it was soft and kind of chewy. Because of the Nama cream the chocolate was creamy and had a very milky taste. Even when melted, this Tirol was everything I expected it to be and was a really good representation of Royce. It's just a shame I only had 9 pieces because I could have easily eaten double that! 

I hope that like some of the other Tirol releases this will make a comeback in the future! :)