Thursday, February 21, 2013

Kellogg's Brown Rice Flake Brown Sugar & Honey ケロッグ 玄米フレーク 黒糖&ハニー


I was browsing at Japanese snacks on Rakuten when I came across this packet of brown rice flakes made by Kellogg's. Kellogg's are familiar to me as the brand of cereal my son most likes, they make a lot of breakfast foods that are popular in Western countries. I was a little bit surprised to see that they make this kind of snack for the Japanese market and in such a Japanese flavour!

This pack weighs 40g and I'm pretty sure it's just one serving. Brown sugar, which in Japanese is pronounced "kokuto" and originates from Okinawa, is made by boiling down sugar cane until it has a deep rich brown colour. In Okinawa it's known as a health food and lots of people take it to ward off fatigue. Added into this mix is honey which on the packet it is said to match with the brown sugar very well.

What I thought of as a snack when I purchased it, is actually a type of breakfast food and on the back of the packet they refer to it as "cereal". I'm not sure if Kellogg's want you to eat it with milk, with a cup of tea, or by itself. But as they refer to it as a "biscuit", I think I might just eat it that way.

Opening the packet there is a strong smell of molasses and a sweet scent. Each biscuit is quite flat,
and measures 3cm long x 2.5cm wide. There are 14 biscuits inside. When I bite into a biscuit there is a satisfying snap and crunch. The first thing I taste is oats, and sure enough when I look on the ingredients list there is oat flour used.

The big punch of brown sugar and honey flavour that I expected is not there. The brown sugar is only apparent right at the very end, with a vague sweetness that must be the honey. The smell of the brown sugar is actually stronger than the flavour in this biscuit which is a disappointment. The oat flour here is the star of the show, and although I don't mind it, it reminds me more of a muesli bar than what it is supposed to be.

It does taste healthy, so if that is what Kellogg's were going for then they nailed it. It just doesn't live up to the image on the pack of a big pile of brown sugar covered in oozing honey. It's only a vague representation of that.

I must admit, I ate the whole pack. They were somewhat moorish, I do like oats, and I don't think anyone else in my house will eat them. Personally, I would have to eat these while having a drink as they made me quite thirsty. I guess a nice cold glass of milk or a hot cup of tea would do the trick.

If you have tried these, what did you think? 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Fujiya Strawberry Shortcake Chocolates 不二家 苺ショートケーキチョコ


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.