Category: Pocky

Chicago Mitsuwa

Chicago Mitsuwa

If you haven’t been to one, you wouldn’t know that Mitsuwa is almost as close as someone in the United States will get to visiting Japan without actually leaving the US.

Mitsuwa is the largest Japanese supermarket in the United States (so says their website.) I’d say that’s only about half right. It’s more of a mini-mall; it has a grocery store, with produce, fresh meats, baked goods, and all the standard grocery things you’d expect in a store. Then it goes further with rows outfitted with rice cookers, beauty products, bento boxes, and the things that no good Japanese person would do without.

By half right, I’ve really only described half the store. The other half is other storefronts; a Japanese book and music store, video store, ceramic ware, and the food court. Now, an American is only used to a food court at the local mall, with the slew of fast food joints that they expect. The Mitsuwa food court is completely different. Each store is pretty unique; given that I’ve been to both the Edgewater NJ Mitsuwa and the Chicago Mitsuwa, I’ve seen that they’re different in stores.

Basically, you can get your standard Japanese quick lunch fare. One store serves ramen, another udon and soba dishes, pre-made sushi, and even Korean dishes.

This past business trip I made to Chicago, we were a scant 3 miles from Mitsuwa; we ended up eating lunch there 3 out of 4 days. The prices were adequate (the cost of 2 jumbo chicago hot dogs, a box of fries and a pop cost about the same), and the food was something you have trouble finding outside of most asian districts in big cities.

So I happened to pick up (with much restraint) 3 boxes of Pocky I’ve never seen before.

Pocky Mint
Mint Chocolate Pocky

Mint Chocolate Pocky. It tastes a bit like those Andes after dinner mints, so you should definitely pick some of these up and put them in a glass so your guests can have a minty refreshment after dinner.

Also, Pocky Milk Chocolate Salty ☆ I found Milk Chocolate Salty☆ Pocky. This was your normal pocky, with some salt embedded into the chocolate. It gave the chocolate a different taste, but shot the sodium counter through the roof.

Lastly, the oddly named ピーナッツNutcream Pocky. Really, this is a creamy peanut butter pocky, instead of the normal chocolate pocky. Quite tasty.

Meiji Fran Patisserie Chocolate

Meiji Fran Patisserie Chocolate

The Meiji Fran Patisserie chocolate covered cookie stick:

Fran Patisserie

This Fran consists of Almonds, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, cacao, wheat flour, and vanilla (at least what it says on the front of the box. The back adds things like shortening, condensed milk, and salt.). The cookie stick is chocolate in flavour, and is your standard Fran stick (i.e. larger than the Glico Pocky cookies). The hazelnut and macadamia nuts are imbedded into the chocolate, but are smaller in size than the typical Pocky Crush bits. A sweet first taste, it finishes a little bitter, and unless you nibble the chocolate off the stick, you really don’t taste the nuts, except in a light aftertaste.

Morinaga White Birch Chocolate

Morinaga White Birch Chocolate

Last in the Winter Chocolate list is Morinaga’s White Birch No Koeda.

Morinaga White Birch No Koeda Chocolate

As it says on the label, it comes with 12 packs with 4 sticks per pack. Each pack has a different food, including Cashew, Tea, and Sugar Beet. Mind you, not all these ingredients are included in the chocolate. I’m guessing that the ingredients are meant to remind the eater of the wintertime in Japan, and the shapes of the sticks to look like the twigs of the White Birch.
The overall flavour is a bit different in that there is no large crunchy cookie stick. There’s still a crunch, although minor, and a light vanilla chocolate taste.

Winter Chocolate Pocky

Winter Chocolate Pocky

Next in the winter-themed Pocky is the Glico Fuyu No Kuchidoke Pocky, or the Winter Chocolate Pocky.

Fuyu No Kuchidoke Pocky from Glico

This is your normal pocky, with an added dusting of Cacao, making the initial taste dry but bitter, until you get through to the inner milk chocolate.

Not your typical Pocky, and unless you’re a fan of bittersweet chocolate, you may want to stick with your normal Pocky.

Kabaya Hard Stick Vanilla

Kabaya Hard Stick Vanilla

Stopped off at the Crown Palace to pick up takeaway last night, so I went next door to the Asian Food Grocery store that exists next door and picked up some new pocky. I’m guessing since it takes a while for boat-shipped candy to make it across the Pacific, that’s the reason for the Winter-Themed Pocky.

First up is From Kabaya, the Vanilla hard stick.

Kabaya Hard Vanilla Stick

This is an attempt at a vanilla flavoured pocky from Kabaya, but the difference here is that the cookie stick is HARD! Vive la différence! The stick is indeed a harder crunch, a louder sound, but still tastes the same. The chocolate is a vanilla flavoured, so it’s more of a milk-based chocolate. Each pack is about 18 sticks, and it come with two packs.

Beware White Rabbit Candy

Beware White Rabbit Candy

Just as a heads up, with that entire melamine scare in China, stay away (for now) from all Chinese Milk candies, like the ones I’ve listed in the pocky pages.

The candy company that manufactures White Rabbit candy, Guan Sheng Yuan Group have suspended manufacturing of their milk candies.

I didn’t review specifically the White Rabbit candies, but with the sickening of almost 100,000 children in China, I’d stay away from all milk candies from China.

You can see the milk candies I had reviewed on the hard & soft candies page on the Pocky Pages.

Meiji Lucky Mini Almond Chocolate

Meiji Lucky Mini Almond Chocolate

Meiji is a competitor to Glico in the Japanese snack market. Their product Lucky is their version of Pocky. So the Meiji Lucky Mini Almond Chocolate is half sticks of Lucky, with almonds.

It comes in a slide out tray, sectioned into the two suggested serving sizes (about 10 pieces), though weight-wise it’s just more than a Snickers bar.

The chocolate seemed a bit dry and old, as if it had been sitting on the shelf too long. But the almonds were of a decent size.

Bakery Flat Style Pretz

Bakery Flat Style Pretz

As my wife is loathe to do, she let me into the local asian grocery store after we had Sunday Dim Sum. And, of course, I had to get, oh, about $20 worth of new Pocky and Pretz to bring home.

Tonight, since I was coming home late, it was catch-as-catch-can for dinner, so I decided on the ever popular chocolate peanut butter and honey sandwich and the new Bakery Flat Style Pretz.

Bakery Flat Style Pretz and a Sandwich

The bakery Pretz is a little different that the normal pretz, in that it’s a “flat style,” which means that instead of nice round-ish pretz, they’re flattened to more resemble a bread loaf. In essence, one bakery pretz stick is about the size of two normal sticks, laid side to side.

Pretz sized with a pencil.

The top of the pretz is coated with a light glaze of sweetener to make this pretz a little sweeter than normal.

The box comes with 4 packs of pretz with approximately 10-15 pretz within.

(Also added to the original Pretz Page)