Tuesday, July 2, 2013
When I saw this pack of Country Ma'am cookies at Daiso for ¥105 yen I just knew I had to have them. I am a fan of strawberry flavour but more than that the image on the packet was so pretty and looked delicious. I love Japanese parfait. It's one thing I love about Japan, they do desserts so well.
So here is a share pack of Country Ma'am that has 5 individually wrapped cookies inside.
It's not the prettiest cookie I've ever seen but it does smell very nice. There is a strong smell of strawberry even when I'm nowhere near the cookie. Something that baffles me with Country Ma'am is that no matter what the flavour, every cookie has choc chips inside. Sometimes it doesn't go well but other times like with strawberry parfait flavour it is a match.
When I was little I had a Strawberry Shortcake doll and the stand out feature of the doll was it's pink curly hair and the scent of strawberries. When I smell this cookie it makes me think of that doll, the scent is pretty much the same.
To smell it is nice, but to taste it, I get a real sense of chemical/artificial strawberry taste. It is really tart and has an unpleasant taste at the back of my throat. The outside is crunchy but the inside is like uncooked dough so it is like eating glue. The only thing that really saves this cookie is the chocolate and white choc chips in the middle. In fact, after eating this I had a burning feeling in my mouth and started to get a headache. I am not sure what chemicals they put in here but I wouldn't recommend anyone trying it.
As pretty as the packet is, this is one awful cookie. I'm disappointed as all my reviews so far about Country Ma'am have been positive but this one is not anything like a real strawberry nor a parfait.
Do yourself a favour and steer clear of this one!
Monday, July 1, 2013
I've never been to New York so I wasn't familiar with what makes a New York Cheesecake different to other cheesecakes around the world. Wikipedia tells me that a NY cheesecake relies on heavy cream or sour cream, and that it is rich and has a dense, smooth and creamy consistency.
This is a share pack of 5 individually wrapped cookies, which I bought in Daiso for ¥105 (roughly $1).
The cookie is mostly white on the outside with a "baked" look, as if it has been slightly browned in the oven. It smells like yoghurt and cheese, actually quite a nice smell. It is soft on the outside and crumbles easily when bitten. The inside is quite soft, almost as if it was uncooked dough.
The taste is very much like cheese but more like an unbaked cheesecake. There are white choc chips in the centre which add a touch of sweetness to the whole thing. I think it needs the white chocolate to add contrast, otherwise the flavour of the biscuit would be too rich.
This cookie really is quite rich and the flavour is strong so I'm not sure I could eat any more than one at a time. The only thing I don't like is that it is so crumbly. When I bit into it most of the cookie fell away, and I had crumbs everywhere.
If you don't mind the crumbs, then I would recommend you try this cookie. It's really quite a nice flavour and something different to the usual Country Ma'am fare. I would definitely buy it again.
Thursday, June 27, 2013
These cookies are very dark and like the previous share pack, are individually wrapped. There are 6 in this bag, which I bought from Daiso for ¥105 (around $1).
The flavour is "almond" but actually I can't smell any almond from the cookie itself. All I can smell is strong cocoa and a slightly burnt scent. There seems to be a theme with Country Ma'am in that no matter what flavour the cookie is, there are chocolate chips inside. It's more suitable for an almond cookie to have choc chips than a matcha cookie though, in my opinion so this cookie seems interesting.
Biting into the cookie it completely crumbles, as expected. The flavour is strong cocoa and the dark chocolate chips really shine here. Unfortunately there are only the smallest dots of almond to be seen in each cookie and they don't add anything flavour or scent wise. I think this cookie should be renamed "dark chocolate chip" or something like that. Really, what was the point calling it "almond" when the almonds are non-existent.
I would have liked to have seen big pieces of almond in here so in that respect this cookie was a let down. However, I did enjoy the dark chocolate flavour and the crispy texture of the cookie, so it's not a total fail.
If you just expect a chocolate-chocolate chip cookie when you buy these then you won't be disappointed. As these have 6 individually wrapped cookies, they are also good to share with friends and family.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
While I was in Japan, I saw the Fujiya brand everywhere. Not only do they have their own brand of cake shops with the most delicious delights, but they also make every day biscuits, snacks, chocolates and candies.
What I have here is a box of original Fujiya Milky with the iconic image of Peko-chan, the company's mascot, on the front.
Inside there are 7 individually wrapped candies all bearing the Peko-chan mascot. The candies are small, round, and white in colour. There is no distinctive smell from the outside.
The candy is hard, not soft and chewy as I expected. The flavour is quite bland, and I suspect it's aiming to be "milky" which is sweet and creamy.
To be honest, Japanese people probably love these because it reminds them of their childhood. I don't have the nostalgia associated with Fujiya so I don't feel any enthusiasm for this candy. It's too bland.
In saying that though, I'm sure it would be great as a treat for kids, and my Japanese husband loves them.
You can buy this box of Milky Candy from Oyatsu Cafe.
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Posted by Kelly at 9:11 PM
Today I have a share pack of cookies by Fujiya called "Country Ma'am". In the past I have reviewed a black sugar version and a kinako version. Today I am reviewing a pack with 20 individually wrapped cookies inside. 10 are Vanilla flavour and the other 10 are fragrant Matcha (green tea) flavour.
I bought this bag of cookies from Ichimaru Supermarket in Tokachi for ¥258. It's quite a big bag and 20 cookies seems like a lot but actually each cookie is quite small - about 3.5cm in diameter.
The vanilla cookie is referred to as a "Chocochip Cookie Vanilla" on the wrap, but on the actual bag is only called vanilla. However, I think most people would think of this as a "choc chip" cookie as the most predominant smell is chocolate. The outside is crispy and the inside is soft and there is a slightly burnt and sweet caramel flavour. The milk chocolate chips give a hint of chocolate but only when you bite into them directly. Otherwise there is a vague caramel/vanilla flavour present. While it's still nice to eat, it's over rather quickly and it's not the strong vanilla flavour I was expecting.
The fragrant matcha cookie is green in colour and crispy on the outside. When biting into it I inhaled a strong scent of matcha. The flavour is very much green tea but there is a surprise inside : chocolate chips! Again the chocolate chips don't add much unless directly bitten on. This is a very strong flavoured cookie so if you like matcha then you would enjoy this cookie. There is a slight vanilla flavour right at the end that is not unpleasant but seems mismatched with matcha.
I'm not a big fan of the vanilla cookies, they are just "ok" but I really like the matcha flavour cookies. This bag of 20 cookies was great value because I shared them out with friends as part of a "Japanese snacks gift bag" when I got home. They are individually wrapped so they are the perfect kind of snack you can hand out to friends who like to try Japanese foods.
It's also a good pantry filler because you can keep a few in your bag or in my case nappy bag, and take them with you when you go out for a quick snack or when my toddler asks for a snack in the supermarket I can ply him with a cookie. :)
You can visit the Fujiya Website for more interesting Country Ma'am flavours.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Posted by Kelly at 10:26 PM
I've been saving this box of chocolates. I received it from a friend in Japan a while back but I held onto it because the box is so pretty.
These chocolates are based on Japanese style strawberry shortcakes which are usually made from a soft sponge cake with layers of strawberries and cream. I find a Japanese shortcake to be much less sweet than a Western version.
|Japanese style Strawberry Shortcake courtesy of Google|
They are made by Fujiya - a well known sweets manufacturer in Japan. Their mascot is Peko-chan - a girl in pigtails with her tongue hanging out the side of her mouth.
The top of the box is one big photograph featuring shortcakes. In the middle is an image of what the chocolate is supposed to look like. A biscuit layer on the bottom, followed by cream, then a layer of strawberry, covered in milk chocolate with a fleur-de-lis imprinted into the top.
Inside the box, each chocolate is encased in a bright strawberry red packet, there are 9 in the box.
The chocolate is quite a good size, 3cm diameter, and 1cm high. It smells milk chocolate mixed with strawberry. Biting into it the first thing I tasted was strawberry, but it wasn't very sweet. In fact the second flavour I tasted was the chocolate, and although it looks like milk, it tastes quite dark. The chocolate was much stronger than the strawberry so it was overpowered. In regards to texture, the biscuit on the bottom is crumbly, so biting into it there is the taste of strawberry and a texture of crumbly biscuit, then the dark chocolate. I couldn't really taste the cream element, that was somewhere in there with the strawberry and probably contributes more to the texture than the flavour.
Although it didn't have nearly as much strawberry in there as I expected, it's actually very accurate to what a Japanese style shortcake is like (minus the chocolate). I find the sweetness in a shortcake is downplayed, to the point of being non-existent.
If you find strawberry flavoured chocolate, or chocolates in general are too sweet for your tastes, then I'm sure you would like these. I would like these when I'm dieting because they don't make you crave for more. Each chocolate will set you back 38.8 calories, which I think is pretty good.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Posted by Kelly at 2:44 PM
I've long been a lover of all things Matcha flavoured, and I especially love the Uji Matcha from Kyoto which has a special flavour all of it's own.
I was very happy to receive this new release Milky chocolate from Jay @ napaJapan. I'm a long-time fan of Fujiya chocolates and I have collected a lot of memorabilia from Japan including the Fujiya boy and girl dolls, lunch boxes, pencil cases and other homewares bearing the iconic characters.
The packaging of the chocolate is just as cute as I would expect it to be, and opens like an envelope or small purse to reveal a sealed foil packet containing a tray of 12 individual chocolates.
The chocolate smells sweet and creamy, and has a malt-like aroma similar to that of Milo. The Matcha smells strong and is immediately noticeable when biting into the chocolate. The centre is smooth, creamy and irresistible. The chocolate is smooth on the tongue, cool, and really like eating milo with a spoon. I can't get over how malty it is! Yum!
The Matcha is the star without being overpowering. These chocolates are light and fun without being vague. They have enough of a flavour hit to get me going back for more. I can't stop...
Definitely, definitely, recommend these to all Matcha lovers out there! Mmmm ;)
Monday, April 12, 2010
Posted by Kelly at 4:43 PM
I had another break from blogging over Easter - sorry guys. Copious amounts of sweets and chocolate meant that I was sick to the eyeballs of sweet stuff.
Now back to review this bag of Milky Caramel. It's not just the average Milky candy, as in a certain flavour. It's a caramel that has a milky cream filling.
Each pack has about 11 individually wrapped candies inside. They are small and glossy, about 2cm x 1cm.
These are best eaten at room temperature. I tried them out of the fridge and they were too hard and chewy and the inner cream didn't really make much difference.
But, when I had them at room temperature they were melt-in-the mouth, soft, and the inside was soft and melty.
This candy tasted like coconut when I first popped it in my mouth. It was quite sweet too. There is a vague taste of caramel flavour but not full-on like a butterscotch caramel. The inside tastes like an original milky, it's very creamy and I could taste the cream.
These were really sweet, so one was enough for me. Yasu really enjoyed these and ate nearly the whole bag, but even he only had one per day.
Overall, these are not the most special Milky around, but they do taste nice and are very creamy, but also very sweet, so if you like that combination and you see it around, I would recommend them to you. If not, it's nothing to cry about if you missed getting these. :)
Friday, December 4, 2009
Posted by Kelly at 2:00 PM
Fujiya is a sweets company that is well known for its female character Peko-chan and the male counterpart Poko-chan.
Unfortunately they have gained notoriety over the past couple of years because they used ingredients past the use-by date, or mislabelled ingredients and expiry dates on products they manufactured. As a result some Fujiya outlets closed their stores temporarily and just this week I've heard another case where the branch in Osaka did not put expiry dates on the products properly.
As a result of this Fujiya lost a lot of long-time customers; but because they did make a recovery onto the scene again seemed to be regaining ground they had lost.
In any case, Yasu and I have always been fans of Fujiya. In my case I have quite a few Peko-chan dolls and rare memorabilia, and one of Yasu's friends has a sister that works for a Fujiya outlet in Tokachi which we like to visit.
We have always been a fan of milky too. So that is why I picked up these two bags in Hokkaido, the Melon flavour especially resonating with me. These were bought at Seria for 105 yen each, around $1 and they both contain 14 individually wrapped candies each.
On the Fujiya website they have a few different flavours; original, salty balls, black sugar, caramel, strawberry milk, and even throat lozenges.
The new website expressly for Milky they have information about all the new snacks, flavours passed, horoscopes, information on how the candy is made, and you can join to get access to special features. It's worth taking a look, it's really pretty!
The candy is the usual size and shape, but each candy is half the normal colour and half the flavoured colour. Banana is white and yellow and Melon is white and green.
Has a very "banana milkshake" smell to it. The banana flavour is quite light, not overpowering at all. It's also quite sweet, more sweet than banana taste in there though. Very soft and easy to chew, but I'm disappointed in the strength of the banana flavour in there. The bag says there is 2% banana essence, I guess that is why. It would have been better with 10% perhaps. This candy leaves a sweet taste at the back of my mouth that makes me really thirsty.
The candy doesn't really smell like anything. The melon flavour is really strong on these and it's very similar to the real thing. There is a hard part in the middle of the candy that I didn't experience with the Banana. There is alot of creaminess in here towards the middle, a "milky" flavour really comes out and it's not unlike a less sweet condensed milk flavour. I really liked this but for the hard middle.
The Melon flavour is definitely my favourite. I love that burst of creaminess in the centre. Shame about the hard part, if only the texture of the banana and the flavour of the melon could be combined, it would be a real winner.
I would buy these again because they're cheap, they're abit "natsukashii", and they're good for sharing. They also have lots of different flavours coming out regularly so it's fun to try them every now and then to see what's on offer. I know kids love these too!
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Posted by Kelly at 10:00 AM
Kinako is only just a recent discovery for my tastebuds, but it's one I surprisingly enjoy. Kinako is soybean flour which is made by toasting soybeans and grinding them into flour.
I picked up this bag in Seria for 100 yen or around $1. It contains 5 individually wrapped cookies, each about 3.5cm in diameter.
They are a golden brown colour, mainly due to the fact that theire is caramel colour included in the ingredients.
Breaking the cookie in half it is crispy on the outside and soft and moist on the inside. There are noticeable white chocolate chips in the middle, I had four chips in mine.
The flavour is unlike other kinako I have tasted. The first taste offers up a slightly burnt flavour, not unlike burnt caramel. Its only at the very end that I get to the slight peanut like flavour that kinako often has. The white chocolate chips don't really add alot to this cookie, mainly because the burnt caramel flavour is the major player here and the white chocolate are mere bits that only provide a burst of flavour if I bite directly on it. It doesn't enhance the flavour though, just detracts from the main theme.
I would have preferred this without the white chocolate chips. They weren't really sweet but they just took away from it flavour wise. If the chips weren't there I could have concentrated more on the actual flavour of the kinako.
I've never tasted Hokkaido kinako before, so I wasn't sure if it was true to the flavour, but asking Yasu who is from Hokkaido, he said it's very much Hokkaido kinako, so obviously it's just me who really prefers the regular non-Hokkaido kinako.
These were ok, but I wouldn't buy them again. Yasu said they were just okay, which doesn't inspire much confidence in me. They're ok for a buck, and the good thing is if you don't like them they're individually wrapped so you can give them away to unassuming people. :)
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Posted by Kelly at 7:58 AM
I bought these on a last minute shopping trip to Seria in Hokkaido. I bought them primarily as souvenirs; in my family food seems to go down much better as a gift than a scroll.
105 yen seemed like a good price for a pack of 5 individually wrapped cookies. I bought too many though, and have now ended up with a few left over, hence this review.
I'm not a diehard mango fan, but I do like the flavour. I love white chocolate though, so the two combined, in my mind, seemed like a good match.
The flavour is actually mango pudding, and the bag states that apple mangoes were used. The cross-section of the cookie on the image shows 2 rather large white choco chips.
The cookies themselves are small and round, about 3cm diameter. There is a sweet smell of mango, and the colour is a light orange. I found one small white choco chip in my cookie, but maybe I got the runt of the litter.
The cookie is soft in the middle with what tastes and feels like mango puree. The flavour is light, not too sweet, and the texture of the cookie is a little bit hard on the outside but soft and smooth in the middle.
The chocolate chips really don't add much to the flavour, the mango is the star here. I don't mind that though. I thought this cookie was really well done. It's a nice little treat to serve with afternoon tea, or as a small snack after dinner. It's got a hint of sweetness that is just right. I really like the lightness of the mango flavour, and I'm sure this is very close to the real mango pudding.
Luckily I have two more packets of these to chow down on, but I would definitely buy them again, if I'm not sick of them in 14 cookies time.