Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Kabaya Apple & Mango Gumi カバヤアップル&マンゴーグミ

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This is the last bag of sweets from a carepack from a friend in Tokyo, M.


It's a bag of individually wrapped gumi candy. There were 13 in the pack, 7 apple and 6 mango.


The pack smelled wonderful inside, so fruity and fresh. The gumi are so soft and smooth and have a texture of being almost wet.


They are really like eating jelly, much softer than any other gumi I've had. The mango did not have a strong flavour, it was much weaker than I expected, though in the middle the familiar mango flavour was present. The apple tasted like a nice juicy red apple, it was sweet but also had a sourness at the end.

These gumi were really enjoyable, the flavours were nice but not profound. I enjoyed serving these up to guests and Yasu really like the mango even though he's never been a fan of the fruit itself.


Brand: Kabaya
Calories per bag: 216
Buy it now at Daiso

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Meiji Chelsea Hokkaido Milk Scotch Caramels 明治チェルシー北海道ミルクスカッチ

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Another Chelsea review! Can't help myself because I found this new flavour at napaJapan and just HAD to try it. You know I love all things Hokkaido, and they're usually pretty good.

This flavour is Hokkaido Milk Scotch and it comes in the same format as always - a small box with a slide out tray of 10 individually wrapped hard caramels. The box is cream and maroon and looks very smart. I was really surprised by the colour of the caramel, I thought it would be a cream colour, but it looks like an average caramel colour.

The caramel itself doesn't really smell like milk, it smells of a very rich and strong caramel, almost smoky.

At first the caramel is surprisingly sweet and there is a slight coffee flavour which deepens into a rich creamy caramel. There is no coffee listed in the ingredients so the taste is probably just a fluke, but, it really is yummy. It has a really "milky" taste in the caramel which gives it a really creamy flavour that I love. The words that popped into my head while eating this were "cream caramel"...it tastes like a dessert of the same name would.

Yum! I thoroughly recommend these... a candy that is rich and decadent.


Brand: Meiji
Calories per box: 188
Website: http://chelsea-agetai.jp
Buy it now at napaJapan

Friday, November 19, 2010

Hokkaido Yubari Melon Chocolate 北海道夕張メロンチョコレート

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I received this bag of Yubari Melon Chocolates from a friend in Tokyo. They are made by Sapporo Gourmet Foods. Actually on the pack gourmet is spelled "gurmet" and I know why they made such a mistake because in Japanese gourmet is "gurume", so it's easy to get confused but still you would think they would use a translator at least to get the right spelling.

Anyway, these chocolates are half melons, made to look exactly like the real thing. Each half melon is individually wrapped and there are 12 in the packet. Each melon is green on the outside and textured to look like the outside of a Yubari melon. The inside is bright orange just like the real thing.


The melons really smell like melon and the green textured shell has a kind of sour melon soda effect which is really nice, and gives it a nice kick. The chocolate is soft, and biting in I got a hit of the soda effect, followed by the sweet chocolate that tastes *exactly* like a real Yubari melon. Yum!

The soda flavour is present in the background right until the end and really intensifies the flavour. I am so in love with these! Not only are they extremely cute, but they also taste great, like the real thing. So addictive!

If you love Melon like I do, and you see these, I definitely recommend that you get some :)


Brand: Sapporo Gourmet Foods
Calories per pack: 570

Monday, November 15, 2010

Bourbon Elise Hokkaido Milk Cream Wafers ブルボンエリーゼ北海道ミルククリームウエハース

1 comments
This week is all about Hokkaido. For some reason the products I've come upon in the last month all claim to be from Hokkaido or have Hokkaido milk or cream in them, so I decided it was time to have a themed week!

This first product was bought on impulse in a Japanese supermarket. Yasu and I were killing time waiting for the restaurant next door to open and we came across these on a shelf. Yasu immediately got excited because he always ate these when he lived at home and said they were the yummiest. So I bought a pack for him to have but I think it made him a little bit homesick.

This pack contains 10 wrapped packets containing 2 sticks each. The sticks themselves are the same kind of texture and colour as an icecream cone. They smell very creamy from the outside and the wafer texture is hard and crunchy. There is white chocolate cream in the centre made using Hokkaido milk, and it's a really pleasant flavour, not overly sweet like some white chocolate.



Yasu complained that there was less chocolate in the middle than there used to be, and it did feel a bit lacking I have to say, but apart from that these were absolutely delicious!! I love the creaminess of the white chocolate cream and the crunchy texture of the wafers, it all goes together wonderfully. Better still on a hot day, the cream inside melts and it's almost like eating an icecream.

I'd say these are mostly put out in people's homes when guests come over (I saw a lot of these types of wafers/biscuits for afternoon tea when I visited family in Hokkaido), and Bourbon in particular seems to be the afternoon tea snack of choice in the Tokachi area from personal experience.


Brand: Bourbon
Calories per pack: 19
Website: http://www.bourbon.co.jp

Friday, November 12, 2010

Tirol Chocolate Mix 8 Pack チロルチョコミックス

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Tirol Chocolate is one of our family's favourites. It's great that a chocolate so cheap is so good, and there is so much excitement when a new flavour is released.


I purchased this Mix pack of 8 Tirol chocolates from napaJapan. I have already tried 3 out of the 4 flavours. The one I wanted to try in this pack is the Matcha Milk. I have tried a similar Tirol before called Uji-Matcha with mochi in. This one seems to be a bit plainer though and is just a mixture of matcha and milk.


You can see reviews for the other 3 flavours in the pack here and here.

The chocolate on the outside is a very matcha green which is nice and authentic. It also has a very faint smell of matcha. Biting in, the chocolate is smooth and melts easily and has a very creamy flavour that ends with a bitter but very familiar flavour of matcha. The milk is the first flavour to appear and then melds into the matcha. The chocolate inside is softer than on the outside and almost reminds me of a mousse.


I really enjoyed this Tirol. While it doesn't knock your socks off with matcha flavour, it's more of a subtle flavour that builds up towards the end but not overly so. I imagine this would go well with some Japanese tea, as it would not overshadow but complement.


Brand: Tirol
Calories per box: 280
Website: http://kinotake.jp
Buy it now at napaJapan

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Morinaga Chocoball Double Choco 森永チョコボール・ダブルチョコ

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I like to buy the new flavours of Chocoball for Yasu when they come out as it's his favourite childhood snack. I find that napaJapan always has the latest flavours of Chocoball too, which is really good!

This Chocoball is called "double choc" and it's white chocolate on the outside, with milk chocolate and rice crispies on the inside. The outside smells really creamy and like white chocolate and biting into it you can immediately taste the white chocolate followed by the inner crispy shell, the smooth milk chocolate and lastly, some crunchy rice crispies.

The flavours all go well together, and I like having the crunchiness in the middle. It kind of reminds me of coco-pops cereal because it has a similar chocolatey flavour with crispy texture.


I'll definitely recommend these as a nice light chocolate hit or snack on the go. :)

Brand: Morinaga
Calories per box: 145
Website: http://kyorochan.jp
Buy it now at napaJapan

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Meiji Hokkaido Cheese Caramel 明治北海道チーズキャラメル

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I just love presents from friends, don't you? A couple of days ago I received a parcel of goodies from a friend in Tokyo. Thank you M! It was so unexpected which made it all the more lovely.

I'm back on the cheese snacks again - this time with caramel! Meiji has come up with some Hokkaido Cheese Caramel. Cheese and caramel are not exactly two flavours you would expect to see together, however it seems to work for this treat!

There are 12 individually wrapped square caramels in the bag. Each caramel is 2cm x 2cm in dimension and just over half a centimetre in height.


The funny thing about these caramels is the dairy products used in them are from my husbands home town of Tokachi! Even funnier is they are sold all the way over in Tokyo. I guess Hokkaido produce is getting more popular these days, people want to experience the country taste.

I took the caramel out of the bag while editing the photo's and all I could smell was a lovely creamy smell that kept wafting up to my nose. The caramel is smooth and glossy with a few hash marks on the top. It's easy to bite into and quickly softens. Mmmm.


Remember the Hokkaido Cheese Tirol? Well the cheese flavour is exactly the same! It's quite strong and rich and really creamy. The caramel really takes a backseat, though the chewiness of the caramel and the soft smooth texture really add to the all-over experience of the cheese flavour.

I'm a big fan of these!! However, if you didn't like the cheese tirol, I'm pretty sure you won't like these caramels, because the cheese component is very strong.



Brand: Meiji
Calories per bag: 294
Website: http://www.meiji.co.jp
Buy it now at: Family Mart Japan

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Meiji Chelsea White Peach Milk Candy 明治チェルシー白桃ミルクキャンディー

2 comments

I'm a long time fan of Chelsea, and so when I saw this pack of Chelsea White Peach flavour I knew I had to try it.

The box is a very cute pink with the same flower illustrations as always but made for Spring. The box slides out with individually wrapped candies on a tray. The contrast between the black tray and the pink wrapped candies is gorgeous.


Each candy is glossy and smooth and like a dark milk tea colour. The peach flavour is apparent straight away. It's lovely and strong and stays there the whole way until the end. It really tastes the same as a white peach and definitely reminds me of eating the fruit, even down to the way the skin tastes. We both really loved this Chelsea flavour and I wouldn't hesitate to buy it again - if I could find some!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Meiji Cheese Kugel 明治チーズクーゲル

1 comments

 This came in a care package courtesy of napaJapan and the front of the pack says "大人のチーズスナック" - Cheese snack for adults. It also says in English down the bottom "Delicious cheese snack".

The main point of this snack was that it was a different kind of cheese snack that you would expect. The form itself was like a hard candy. The outside reminded me of Mentos, it was white and smooth, but instead of coming in a long roll, it came in a small re-sealable bag.

Each one smelled quite strongly of cheese. They weren't hard to bite into. It was quite surprising to bite into one and find a honeycomb shaped web of golden orange inside. Therein contained most of the flavour.


We ate these over the course of a couple of weeks because the cheese flavour was just so strong and on the nose. These were unique because they weren't the average "snack" that you would expect to be flavoured with cheese, but I won't hunt them down because they were too strong for me. 10/10 for novelty status though!!

Catchup Post

3 comments
It's been a while since I last posted anything - August 6th to be exact. I've been suffering from morning sickness - well all day sickness really and I just couldn't stomach looking at anything that resembled food.

I now also have a health problem that stops me from eating chocolate or drinking tea/coffee/chocolate as well as citrus foods so it has limited the scope of items I can review in future unfortunately.

However, I did try a couple of food items just before I got pregnant but didn't post them so I will review them next.

Thanks all for your patience. I've still had so many hits per day, up to hundreds even while I haven't been posting so I really want to say thank you to my readers who still come here. :)
I will try to be a better blogger in future. :)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Lotte Black Black Chewing Gum ロッテ ブラックブラック ガム

2 comments

This sample was kindly provided to me by napaJapan. It was hiding in a box of goodies and I didn't know it was there until I turned the box upside down and it fell out. I was surprised as it's a gum I see quite often in Japanese supermarkets but have never thought to try. I'm not a big mint gum fan, I prefer fruity flavours. Also, this gum just sings "otaku". You can get it at Anime conventions and websites, it's probably the most well known Japanese gum of all.

This was sitting on the computer table waiting to be reviewed, and Yasu saw it and said "hey, where did you get black black from?" I told him it was all his if he wanted it, I only needed one stick. He happily made off with the rest of the pack so I guess this bodes well for reviewing.

There are 9 individually wrapped flat sticks in the pack. Each stick is a dark grey colour with a white powdery coating. From the outside the gum smells strong and putting it in my mouth the mint is so powerful and strong.

I was careful not to try this at night because it has caffeine in it, and obviously it's good for a pick me up. This gum is so minty it burns my throat and gives off considerable heat so that even when I stop chewing it, the heat is still there. Japanese people seem to be a fan of all things minty and menthol and I have tried health care producst like eye drops and lip balm that has such qualities. I, however, am not a fan of it, and I don't like this gum. It's too minty, burny and hot. It just makes everything from my lips to my throat burn like hell.



Maybe Japanese people who are already used to these kinds of products in the market probably like it, as Yasu does, but if you don't like your mint extra extra strong then I would say give it a wide berth. If anything, this gum will definitely get rid of any other undesirable taste in your mouth and will definitely freshen it, so I guess if you didn't have any toothpaste and you had this gum instead, you could use it that way.


Brand: Lotte
Calories per box: 75
Website: http://www.lotte.co.jp
Buy it now at napaJapan

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Asahi Mitsuya Cider Melon Candy 三ツ矢サイダーキャンディー・メロン味

4 comments

Whenever I go to Japan, one of the first drink brands I check out is Mitsuya Cider. They always seem to have really interesting and great tasting soda's. The most memorable one I have tried was condensed milk soda which was really nice!

Yubari Melon is a fruit and flavour that is dear to my heart. Hokkaido is my husband's home and is also home to the wonderful Yubari Melon which is used in cakes and desserts, candies, soda's, snacks and so much more in Japan.

So it's no wonder I was excited when napaJapan gave me this bag of Yubari Melon Mitsuya Cider candies.

The bag is small, and (71g) and holds about 20 individually wrapped candies. The candy is small, round and green, a colour that reminds me more of green apple.



From the minute the candy hit my tongue I started to get the fizz sensation that is reminscent of a soda. The Yubari melon flavour is prominent and sweet, but not too sweet. This really tastes like melon soda and there are no harsh chemical flavours that some candies have when trying to recreate a fruit flavour.

I really loved these and handed them out a party to Japanese and Aussie friends who all gave them the thumbs up too!

These are one of the best candies I have tried and I recommend them! You can buy these now at napaJapan as well as other flavours in the range - Grape soda and Regular Cider.


Brand: Asahi
Calories per bag: 264
Website: http://www.asahi-fh.com
Buy it now at napaJapan

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Pocky Dessert Chocolate Banana Cake ポッキー・デザートチョコラのバナナケーキ風

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I'm on a bit of a roll here. I just reviewed the Strawberry Custard Cake Dessert Pocky and now I'm going to review the Chocolate Banana Cake version!

I've heard mixed things about banana flavour in snacks, it would appear that it doesn't translate very well. That being said, I've always liked fake banana flavour so it's never been a problem for me.

I like the idea of making a dessert into a snack that can be eaten as a dessert. It's so much easier than carrying around a whole cake, and it's convenient to store! :)

This Chocolate Banana Cake Pocky is the same format as the Strawberry Custard one. It has a thick coating of banana chocolate around the pretzel stick and then it has a piped chocolate effect all over the top.

I love the style, it looks elegant and fun.




Smelling the stick, I am quite surprised to find that it smells more like rich cocoa than banana. There is a very vague banana undertone but it's not the prevalent scent.

Biting in, the chocolate on the top is soft and smooth and once again reminds me of icing on a cake. The chocolate is the first flavour that hits my tongue and it has a dark edge to it, and then boom! pow! the banana flavour takes over. The banana flavour is not close to the real thing, it's more of a "fake" banana, but it is sweet and light and I really like it. The chocolate and banana flavours combine near the end and go very well together. Overall, the chocolate is very strong and overpowers the banana.

The pretzel stick is nicely crunchy and goes really well with the chocolate coating.
To me this didn't really resemble a "cake" like the Strawberry Custard Pocky. These flavours were more akin to a mousse or whip. It's still in the range of dessert though and I do like it, but I have to say that out of the two, the Strawberry is the one I like more.

I think the Strawberry Pocky was done better because it fits more with the cake theme, so it's something I can imagine more than this one.


Brand: Glico
Calories per box: 97
Website:  http://pocky.jp/products/dessert/index.html
Buy it now at napaJapan

Monday, July 19, 2010

Pocky Dessert Strawberry Custard Cake ポッキー・デザート 苺のカスタードケーキ風

5 comments




Introducing the latest flavours in the Pocky Dessert range courtesy of Jason @ napaJapan, a plumper and more elegant version of the original Pocky. I reviewed the Mont Blanc version back in March when these were also released.

Like the Mont Blanc version, these have a double coating - a layer of yellowish white chocolate coating the pretzel stick and a weave-like design of strawberry chocolate over the top.



The smell is very sweet and all I can smell is strawberry! Biting in, the strawberry chocolate on the top is very soft and the texture reminds me of icing on a cake. The flavour is like that of a strawberry sponge cake. The custard chocolate underneath has a flavour of vanilla, it's buttery and rich like a good sponge cake.

The pretzel stick underneath is crunchy without being overly so. The blend of custard and strawberry is absolutely gorgeous and I can't stop eating this Pocky! It really is like a nice dessert, in fact I could eat this for dessert any day! It's decadent without being too rich. The strawberry is mildly sweet and has a few tart notes bursting out without making the chocolate sour.

Yum! is all I can say on this one! I definitely recommend these! 

You can find another review of this Pocky at 8tokyo.com 

Brand: Glico
Calories per box: 97
Website:  http://pocky.jp/products/dessert/index.html
Buy it now at napaJapan

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fujiya Milky Uji Matcha ミルキーチョコレート 宇治抹茶

2 comments

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 ;)

Brand: Fujiya
Calories per box: 252
Website: http://fujiya-milky.com

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Glico Cheeza 52% Cheddar チーザ52% チェダーチーズ

4 comments

I like cheese. Most people like cheese. But do they like strong cheese? Really really strong cheese?

I'm willing to say no. When the Tirol Hokkaido Cheese chocolate came out most people were shaking their heads in a very definite NO.

This is why I think that this flavour of Cheeza 52% won't suit everyone. This has the same cheese flavour as said Tirol. It is strong, pungent, and rich.


The biscuits themselves are triangular shaped with holes, and very crunchy. Eaten by themselves the flavour quickly builds up to breaking point - after about 5 pieces Yasu couldn't take any more - but with a beer in hand and a Cheeza in the other, this is when an epiphany is reached.

Cheeza 52% is good as a snack with a beverage, but not good on it's own unless...well unless you're like me, and like the flavour of cheese so it burns your throat.

I enjoyed this, and Yasu did but only with a beer. I'm not sure this is suitable for everyone, if you like your cheese mellow and mild I wouldn't recommend it to you. If you like your cheese loud and obnoxious then this is for you! :)


Brand: Glico
Calories per 38g bag: 199
Website:  http://www.glico.co.jp/cheeza/
Buy it now at napaJapan

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Nissin Cup Noodle Curry カップヌードル カレー

6 comments
Picture borrowed from the Nissin website.


Cup Noodle is something I think of as "otaku food", it's the essential food of those kids that start off with an interest in Japan and then develop a full-blown obsession with it. It's sold alongside hentai manga, sailor uniforms and black black gum at Anime conventions.

Seriously though, it's my husband's favourite easy meal. It combines two elements of popular Japanese food into one small bowl - Curry and Noodles.

All you need is a means to heat water, and 3 minutes. It's as easy as boiling the water, pouring it into the cup, shutting the lid closed for 3 minutes and then the noodles are cooked and it's ready to eat.



I've seen Yasu consume copious amounts of Cup Noodle over the years and wondered what the attraction was. Seeing as I have a Japanese Snack blog I decided to review it because it does fit well into the snack category.

When I opened the lid on the cup noodle the smell of curry that wafted up was quite pleasant. It reminded me of House Vermont Curry. The taste was mild, rich and sweet with an undertaste of beef stock. There were small cubes of vegetables floating around in the sauce such as spring onion, carrots, potato, and corn. The noodles were flat and soft, and went well with the curry and vegetables.

I really enjoyed this and tasting it today made me totally change my mind about it. I thought it would be something I would never eat, but I could see this being a great snack for myself too.

I found it interesting to read the ingredients list on the pack which among other things mentions cheese and peanut butter! I'm not sure what they bring to the party or how much is contained within but it's certainly funny to see them listed.

I will definitely buy and eat this again soon!

The Cup Noodle website is quite interesting and has all the flavours listed as well as downloads and games.


Brand: Nissin
Calories per cup: 404
Website: 
http://www.cupnoodle.jp/

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Morinaga Hi-Chew Ichigo Daifuku 森永ハイチュウ いちご大福

2 comments

When this pack of Hi-chew first came out, it really made me excited. I saw the image of the daifuku (a Japanese sweet made from rice with a red bean filling), and it looked so yummy.

I later asked Jason @ napaJapan (who I have known for a very long time) to send me one to try and he complied (thanks Jason!). The pack has been sitting with some other candy - developing a bit of a backlog here - waiting to be reviewed.

So today I finally got around to opening the pack and guess what? It's nothing like the image on the front. Now I know why they put "写真は味のイメージです" (The photo is an image of the flavour), because it is only meant to taste like the real thing, not look like it! Doh! :(

I had expected it to have the red bean filling and a strawberry type filling, but really Ladies & Gentlemen, it's just a hi-chew. It is white on the outside and a soft pink colour in the middle.


There is a very sweet smell of strawberry from the outside. When I pop it into my mouth there is a light strawberry flavour that is quite floral. The hi-chew is soft and chewy and the middle has a flavour reminscent of strawberry flavoured hubba bubba. The strawberry flavour reaches a peak at the end of the chew, but is not really tart. It's very refined in taste, has chemical notes here and there, but in all, quite nice. For what it is, it's a nice candy. A little bit bland, but hey, if you like Strawberry and you like it kind of plain, then this is for you.



Brand: Morinaga
Calories per box: 225
Website: http://www.morinaga.co.jp/hi-chew/
Buy it now at napaJapan

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Nestle Mixed Juice Kit Kat ミックスジュース キットカット

4 comments


The colour of this Kit Kat is a bit surprising. It's the same colour as the cheese on a McDonald's cheeseburger. I kid you not.

It's a bright yellow orange, that I guess is representative of juice, but it still reminds me of cheeseburger. The bar encompasses the flavours of Peach, Banana, and Strawberry. I've never actually tried that combination together in a juice but I'm sure it would go together well.



The bar smells very much like banana from the outside. Biting into it however, is another story. It's kind of weird but I get a taste like tomato ketchup. There is also a very strong chemical taste which ends up being banana. There are some very fake peach notes. The peach in this kit kat is very similar in flavour to the Peach in the Tirol Mix Pack. I don't like it as much in the kit kat as I did in the Tirol. There are only very vague hint of the strawberry, a little bit of tartness here and there, but mostly overtaken by very sweet peach and chemical tasting banana.

I'm usually a fan of the fruitier kit kats, but I can't say that about this one. It's just too sweet and the fruit components really taste fake.



Brand: Nestle
Calories per mini bar: 69
Website: http://www.breaktown.com/
Buy it now at napaJapan