Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Calbee French Salad Potato Chips カルビー ポテトチップス フレンチサラダ


Sorry for the lack of posts! I have a backlog of Japanese snacks to get through so expect to hear from me more in future. 

Amongst my backlog are packs of Japanese potato chips. Starting with the first pack - French Salad by Calbee. 

Opening the packet there was quite a strong tang that wafted out, similar to that of a French salad dressing which is described by Google as 
"a term originally used for an oil-and-vinegar-based salad dressing. In the United States during the 1950s, manufactured "French dressing" was developed. The term has come to mean the manufactured version, which is sweet in taste and colored red from the use of paprika and tomatoes."

The chips themselves had specks of green and red on them and were a light yellow colour.

They were very crunchy and salty with a mild tang of vinegar, so if you like salt and vinegar chips then you would like these. Japanese husband did NOT like these, his complaint was that they were too tangy (but again he doesn't like salt and vinegar, so there you go)

Overall, not a bad flavour. I'm not sure I would buy it again, but it was good to try once. 

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Morinaga Bake Creamy Cheesecake 森永 ベーク クリーミーチーズ 3種のチーズ

Thanks to Jenny-Sama for sending this to me from Tokyo! :) 

This pack of Morinaga Bake uses 3 kinds of cheese in the snack: camembert cheese, cheddar cheese and cream cheese.

The pack is foil wrapped inside the pack, and for the some reason was very hard to get open. But once I did open it, the smell that wafted out was divine. 

I could smell the cream cheese, and a very creamy cheesecake aroma. My husband also had a sniff and declared that it "smelled yum".

There are 10 pieces in the pack and they are a light golden colour and brown around the edges. 

They are very soft to bite into and inside resembles the texture of baked cheesecake when you bite into it.

Each piece has an initial sweetness, with a quite strong hit of cheese, creaminess and also a slightly bitter flavour at the end. I can't distinguish all three flavours individually, but I can taste the cream cheese most. I think the bitter is from the cheddar cheese. The camembert is represented here mainly in the very soft texture.

I would recommend this to cheese and cheesecake lovers alike. If you have a craving for cheesecake and for one reason or another you can't fulfill that need, then this Bake would suffice. 

A big thumbs up for Morinaga Bake Creamy Cheese!

Have you tried it? What did you think?

Friday, May 20, 2016

Sakura Red Bull さくら レッドブル


Japan has four distinct seasons and Japanese snack makers use this to their advantage by releasing limited edition products to keep consumers interested.

This year the big hype was about Sakura (cherry blossom) flavoured snacks. Sakura Pepsi got a lot of airtime, and rightly so. (See my review here)

I didn't see anything online about Sakura Red Bull but it piqued my interest enough to buy it! (Thanks napaJapan for making this available to your customers!)

The Red Bull can is pink and smaller than usual. Even the ring pull has the Red Bull logo cut out. 

The Red Bull is similar in colour to the Sakura Pepsi, a very pretty pink colour. 
Where the Sakura Pepsi is light and floral, the Red Bull Sakura is strong and I got more of a cherry-cough-medicine flavour.

The familiar tang of Red Bull is present in the background, followed by the cherry taste. 

I don't drink Red Bull very often, but I'm sure if I did I would probably like this more than I do. I find the flavour too tangy for my liking. 

The cherry flavour while strong, takes a back seat to the tartness of the Red Bull. 

It was interesting to try. My son loved it, my husband wasn't so keen. 

Definitely give it a go if you get the chance, although if you have to choose between the Pepsi and the Red Bull go with Pepsi! 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Calbee Kappa Ebisen Lotteria Ebi Burger かっぱえびせん ロッテリア エビバーガー


The males in my household are big fans of ebi senbei and kappa ebisen in particular so I was excited to buy these from napaJapan to try!

This is a collaboration of Calbee with Lotteria and the flavour is based on their Ebi Burger (shrimp pattie burger).

I've never tried it but I assume it would be nice? (Please let me know if you have tried it in the comments!)

Upon opening the bag there is a strong smell of ebi and something that smells like tartare sauce. It makes sense as the picture on the front of the bag shows the burger with cabbage and a white sauce flecked with green.

Each senbei is flecked with red and green bits too, and they smell strongly of shrimp. They are very crunchy and moreish. 

The taste is quite different to the regular ebisen, in that the tartare sauce is strong in flavour as well as scent. It's amazing to me how much it tastes like what I imagine the burger to be like in real life!

Mr 5 who is a diehard ebi senbei freak didn't like these, but my husband and I are currently fighting over the bag. As is so often the case, I bought one to try and end up regretting not buying more of them. 

I definitely recommend these. If you've tried the burger, drop me a line and let me know how these rate against it! :)

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Pepsi Sakura ペプシ桜


There was much hype surrounding the release of the limited edition Sakura flavour Pepsi both in Japan and overseas. 

Friends expressed their eagerness to try it and then when they did they said it was awful and more like a cough medicine than cherry blossom. 

I knew I had to try this. Not only do I love Sakura but I love trying seasonal and weird products that Japan releases. 

So, I ordered it from napaJapan and it arrived last week. I was trying to find a good time to try it, but once my 5 year old son found out I had Sakura Pepsi I never heard the end of it!

To get him off my back I decided that he, my husband and I would try it all together. Tonight.

The bottle is very pretty - Pink Sakura on a black background. When the bottle was opened a light, floral scent wafted out.

I was nervous about trying it, I was sure I would be disappointed if what my friends said was true.

I poured three glasses and we all took a sip. Mr 5 loved it straight away and he sculled it!

My husband exclaimed that it was like cough medicine, but he liked it. He could taste cherry and he got a floral scent and taste.

When I took a sip I thought it was very light and not at all what I expected. I found the Sakura flavour not too strong but pleasantly there. I only got a hint of cherry, though I kept tasting musk like the pink musk lollies! 

This Sakura Pepsi was very sophisticated. It had a lot of depth. There was the cherry blossom flavour, followed by musk and then right at the end a light taste of cola. I liked tasting all the layers, and because it was fizzy I felt I could drink this instead of a an alcoholic drink! 

I really loved this Pepsi and I want more! It was so beautifully executed by Pepsi both in design and flavour. 

I thoroughly recommend you try it before it disappears off the shelves. Sakura season is nearly over, it has reached Hokkaido now and the blossoms will fade soon.

Next: Spring Edition Sakura Red Bull. Will it be as good as Sakura Pepsi or better?

Koikeya Rich Consommé コイケヤ リッチ コンソメ ポテトチップス


Consommé is not a flavour that is used very much when it comes to Western snacks, but it seems to be popular in Japan. So I wasn't surprised to see potato chips come out in consommé flavour.

What is consommé exactly? According to google it is "a clear soup made from richly flavoured stock or bullion."

Koikeya is a brand that is new to me but it appears to be a cheaper snack company. This is a 60 gram pack which is quite big but has a lot of air inside and the chips don't even reach half way to the top of the bag. 

When I opened the bag the smell that immediately greets my nose is one of beef stock. It's not really that pleasant.
It's like smelling a stock cube directly.

The chips are golden and have a powder coating that is slightly orange. They are crunchy, but the powder is quite strong and very rich. There is a taste of stock and also a sweetness. There is a slow burn that starts with the first chip and builds up after eating more. I can't find anything in the ingredients other than onion powder for the heat. They also are very salty.

Overall, I found these to be ok. I felt they were too rich for me but husband and son both loved them. 

Definitely try them if you get a chance though, and see for yourself! I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments. 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Cheetos Minions Banana チートス ミニオンズ バナナ味


My 4 year old has been going through a phase where he loves the minions. He saw the Minions movie and collected the toys from McDonalds. 

Everywhere we look here in Australia there is minions merchandise, so it's hard not to get caught up in the fever. 

So when I saw these Cheetos online, my interest was piqued enough to buy a pack. Cheetos usually come in cheese or other savory flavours. I wondered how banana would taste.

Opening the bag I could see light yellow Cheetos with brown specks. An aroma like a cinnamon candle wafted out. Then I read the top of the bag and it said it is "cinnamon scented banana flavour".

The Cheetos taste buttery at first and then sweet. Then there is a big hit of cinnamon and a very vague taste of banana. Even though this is 'banana flavour', the banana has really been overlooked. This should be called 'cinnamon donut' as it tastes more like that, and the smell reminds me of a car air freshener or a cheap scented candle.

My 4 year old was underwhelmed and told me he didn't want anymore after having only two Cheetos. I had three for this review, my husband had one piece and said he didn't like it. Now we have a mostly full bag going to waste...

A shame really, as it could have been really good. But I guess they better just stick to savory flavours and leave the sweets to a candy maker.

Too marks for trying though.... :)

Monday, March 14, 2016

Tirol Tsum Tsum Honey Lemon チロル はちみつレモンチョコ・ツムツム


If you're not familiar with the Japanese game Tsum Tsum made by the creators of the chat program LINE, then you should be because it's everywhere!

I was introduced to the game mid-2015 by some Asian friends who had been playing for ages, and I quickly became hooked. 

The characters are all from Disney and are very cute. It's simple to play, you just have to link up lines of the same character to erase them from the screen to earn coins within 60 seconds. If you add friends on LINE you can send each other hearts (lives), and try to beat their score.

It's only natural with the game being so popular that Tsum Tsum related products would soon follow, and now collaborations with Japanese snack makers. The first one of which I have seen is Tirol - one of my favourite snacks.

This bag is covered in popular Tsum Tsum characters and contains 7 individually wrapped chocolates. The wrapper is represented by different characters but the chocolate remains the same - Honey Lemon.

It is a very simple concept; a biscuit covered in flavoured white chocolate. The chocolate has a light yellow colour, and smells like a mixture of soap and honey. 

The biscuit is quite firm but crunchy and biting into it I immediately get a feeling of nostalgia. The honey lemon cough drops from my childhood, these are exactly the same flavour! I'm not sure whether that is a good thing though, it is chocolate after all. It's a weird combination. I can't quite get used to it. I do like the strong hit of honey though. 

I can see this is probably aimed at kids or to bring up a feeling of childishness, the flavour is something most people are familiar with. 

My 4 year old son loved them and had great fun choosing which character to eat next. Our bag had an uneven amount of characters, but the one Mickey Mouse was saved until last by my son because he's so special. 

I would recommend these simply because the concept is simple and fun for all :)

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Cheetos Salty Prawn チートスえび塩味


These were in a box of snacks that I bought from napaJapan. It was the last bag of snacks and I pulled it out one Saturday afternoon while we were watching Japanese baseball on TV. 

My son heard the rustle of the pack and came running as he loves savory snacks.

We opened it together and when we put our face in the bag to smell we both immediately withdrew because the smell of prawns was so strong and overwhelming. My husband refused to have any at all based on the smell alone but later relented and had one. His first words were "it's too salty!"

My son had a few and then didn't want anymore which is totally unlike him. So I was left with basically the whole bag of these salty prawn Cheetos, which I have to admit were extremely salty, and even though the smell of prawn was strong, the taste wasn't. There was some sweetness in the Cheetos which downplayed the prawn flavour, but combined with such a great amount of salt, I was soon reaching for a glass of water. 

Two out of three people who love prawn flavoured anything rejected these, so this will give you a good indication of what these Cheetos are about. I thought they were ok but the salt content worried me. They conveniently left off the amount of salt in the nutritional table on the back of the packet. 

After I had eaten a few of these my lips started to burn and tingle which is usually a sign that a product contains MSG. I wouldn't eat them again and you should try them at your own risk. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Aero Green Tea Latte えーロー 抹茶ラテ


I bought this from Japan when they were having a "green tea fair" so all snacks on a particular aisle had powdered green tea as a main ingredient.

The pack has 22 individually wrapped pieces. There is a thin layer of semi-dark chocolate covering the green tea bubbles. Biting in is a satisfying snap as my teeth cut through the bubbles. The green tea is there but very subtle, annoyingly it takes a back seat to chocolate. I was disappointed by this but Mr 3 loves it and keeps asking for more!