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.
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Posted by Kelly Azuma at 10:43 PM
Friday, September 6, 2013
Posted by Kelly at 7:54 PM
This was a snack I picked up in Japan in May and am just getting around to review it. Ever since we came home life has been so hectic I just haven't had a chance to review the snacks bought especially for this purpose so most of them are still in the pantry.
Tonight we were looking around for something for dessert and I pulled these out. My 2 year old son was very interested in the box and kept asking me to open it.
Originally, when I bought it, I was in a hurry and grabbed it from the shelf because I thought it was plain white chocolate flavour. But after opening the box tonight I discovered it is actually "yaki-imo" (roasted sweet potato) flavour.
It's a nice surprise because I actually love sweet potato, and even more so when it's roasted!
This pack is a box containing one wrapped bag of snacks. When you open the box (like a lid) it has a bag inside decorated with mushrooms and trees, and you tear it open from the middle outwards. If you don't eat the whole box at once, you can simply close the lid and save them for next time, so it's very convenient.
Kinoko no Yama are very cute. They consist of a pretzel stick with the top part of the mushroom being the chocolate. In this version the chocolate is white chocolate but with the addition of sweet potato, so it is a golden colour. It smelled vaguely of caramel.
The pretzel stick is just a plain pretzel stick and although it's quite nice and crunchy there is no real flavour. The chocolate is nice and smooth and there is a subtle flavour of sweet potato. It's not a bold hit of sweet potato as I expected. It's quite sweet too so you don't need much. The smoothness of the chocolate and the crunch of the pretzel stick are a nice combination.
I really enjoyed this snack and I found it was the perfect size for my 2 year old's hand, he gobbled most of them down before my husband and I could get any! If you like sweet potato then I definitely recommend you try this one. It's a quirkier chocolate flavour but not too weird as to be inedible.
These are available online at napaJapan too (but I think only limited quantities are left) -- Kinoko no Yama Roasted Sweet Potato
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Posted by Kelly at 10:19 PM
I heard about this regional pack of Tirol on the Tirol Facebook page and a friend in Tokyo was kind enough to track it down and send some to me.
This Tirol is based around a Japanese sweet or "wagashi" called Ikinari Dango - a steamed bun with chunks of sweet potato in the dough, with anko (red bean) in the centre, a local specialty of Kumamoto.
The black bear featured on the wrapper is the mascot for Kumamoto and his name is Kumamon. "Kuma" is Japanese for bear.
I'm happy to be able to try both types of this Tirol. So lets start.
The chocolate on the outside is orangey-yellow and when I put it to my nose there is a strong smell of sweetness and something earthy. In the middle there are two layers, on the bottom is a dark yellow jelly and on the top is a red-brown paste. I'm certain the jelly is representing the sweet potato and the paste is the red bean component. I can really taste the red bean in this chocolate and it's very accurate in flavour and quite sweet. Unfortunately it kind of overruns the sweet potato which is a bit too subtle. The last flavour I can taste after eating is still the red bean.
This is quite pretty because it's a lavender coloured chocolate covering a white inside. There is only one layer inside this chocolate, a yellow jelly surrounded by a white chocolate which I think is meant to be the sweet potato. This has a much stronger flavour and the sweet potato is more apparent. There is no red bean to drown it out, so the flavour is loud and clear. There is some earthiness to this chocolate and I think some people might be put off by it. I really like it though.
I did like both of these chocolates even though the Satsuma-imo was not as strong on the sweet potato as I expected. I'm a big fan of red bean so I did enjoy this one a lot. The Murasaki-imo was bigger on the sweet potato with the exclusion of the red bean.
I've never actually tried Ikinari Dango but I can say after having these two Tirol I really want to try the real thing! Maybe I need to take a trip to Kumamoto! ;)
I would have to say I liked the Satsuma-imo the best, simply because I like the red bean. If you get a chance to try this I would very much recommend it. The colours and inside layers remind me very much of eating Japanese sweets so even if you're not usually a fan of these flavours I recommend them just for the experience and nostalgia :)
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Posted by Kelly at 8:30 AM
Yasu and I are big fans of potato. That includes sweet potato. I often make potato and sweet potato bakes, potato salad, sweet potato chips, and sweet potato mash.
So, when I saw that there were two new Kit Kat's that were sweet potato flavoured, I had to try them.
In Australia we have something that looks like the Okinawan Sweet Potato, the only difference is that it is white in the middle where the beni-imo is purple throughout.
Satsuma-imo, or the regular Japanese sweet potato is very popular, and in winter in Japan they have street vendors that go around the neighbourhood selling baked sweet potato's, so this sweet potato often elicits fond memories of childhood, akin to how Aussie kids think of Mr Whippy. It's also the main ingredient in daigaku-imo (also another Kit Kat of times gone by).
The satsuma-imo Kit Kat has had a few incarnations but this is the first time I will be trying it officially for my blog.
It's actually lighter in colour than I thought it would be. On the package there is a picture of what looks like beni-imo piped into a little rosette, the colour is a dark purple so I thought the chocolate would also be that colour. The chocolate on this Kit Kat is a light lilac colour and has a funny texture. I can't really describe it except to say its very soft and crumbly and reminds me of the outside of Ohagi.
The smell is very familiar to me, pretty much the same as a red sweet potato here. The chocolate on the outside is soft and very sweet. The sweet potato flavour comes through immediately. I like the soft texture. The wafers lend abit of saltiness to the flavour which I really like, though it is not the exact flavour of a beni-imo. It is nice though, delicate is the word that comes to mind about this one.
This is a golden yellow colour and has the same Ohagi texture as the beni-imo Kit Kat. It smells quite earthy, a little bit buttery, but nothing really enticing. Like the beni-imo the texture is soft, which I like. The flavour is really hard to pin down, it doesn't have alot of the flavour of a satsumai-mo, I get a flavour that reminds me of white wine, butter, some sweetness, abit of salt, and some creaminess, but nothing really exact. I've had satsuma-imo in Japan and it didn't taste anything like this. Unfortunately for me, I felt this was way off the mark. It really had the texture but unfortunately no real characteristics of the flavour.
Yasu and I both liked the beni-imo the best. We felt that the flavour was very true to the vegetable and the texture made us feel like we were eating a real one. I'm thinking about buying a bag of the beni-imo, and I'd definitely recommend it to you to try.
I wouldn't buy the satsuma-imo again though, that was pretty disappointing. Though some may like it. :)