Japanese Snack Food Review: Hazelnut Milk Chocolate Pocky

Hello! It’s JSFR on the road! I’m reviewing this from Smith College in Northampton, MA on the stately steps of Seelye Hall. Really! Not only that, but I bought this Pocky at the Stop and Shop in/near/at (I’m still a little fuzzy about the geography here) town so this is also a native review. And seeings as it’s just about April here, it’s a tad on the chilly side so let’s get to the review already before I wind up with a hindersicle.

Mmmm, hazelnut… But before I get to the hazelnut, take a peek at the packaging. We’ve got Pocky, we’ve got Glico and we’ve got the artfully arranged Pocky pic but we also seem to have “LU” on the upper left as well. “LU”? What’s a “LU”?

I was wondering about “LU” until I flipped the box over and found a fun little word blurbit panel which stated:

LU is a registered trademark of General Biscuits used under license.

This product is manufactured under license of Ezaki Glico. Glico and Pocky are registered trademarks of Ezaki Glico.

We give a great deal of attention to our biscuits. If you have any questions or comments, please call us toll-free at 1-800-322-4619 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm ET).

Discover more at www.LUbiscuits.com

LU is a company of the DANONE GROUP.

It goes on with some copyright info and the address of LU, which is in France. Rungis, if you were curious. I have no idea where Rungis is. Anyway: France. Pocky is being distributed by France now! This is history in the making, my JSF Junkies, we are witness to the start of the Pocky revolution! Vive le Pocky!

I suppose this means I can’t jest about the odd little Engrish sayings now. That’s OK, Fringlish has an awesome ring to it no? Sadly, there is no Fringlish, but I do believe we have a more westernized slogan:

Heh. I am amused.

French Pocky. Since I start off a lot of reviews talking about the smell, let’s do just that. Smell is usually one of the first things, other than the packaging, which we notice here at the JSFR. Not surprisingly, Hazelnut Pocky smells like hazelnut. And I suppose Pocky, which would be slightly chocolaty and a little bit cookie/cracker stick wheaty, but mostly the smell is a nice, gentle hazelnut. This is good, the Pocky is hazelnut after all.

The stick part is the stick part is the stick part. I guess if I had the discerning taste sense of a professional food taster I could tell you the differences between the French stick and the Japanese stick, but I don’t so I can’t. There may be one but it’s got to be such a small thing that it’s really not worth going on about. Besides, the chocolate and hazelnut pretty much overwhelm the stick wheaty.

This leaves us with the chocolate and the hazelnut. The chocolate is a pretty decent milk chocolate with the smooth and the creamy and the chocolaty. It does the job and does it well for milk chocolate but I kinda miss the original Pocky chocolate bitterness. Alas. I’m not going to deduct pea points for not having what isn’t advertised but I just thought I’d note that French Pocky leans less toward the tasty bitter Asian chocolate and more toward the typical western ideal of chocolate.

And now the only thing left to talk about is the hazelnut. I was less than impressed with the hazelnuts, although my set of Massachusetts Guinea pigs were well pleased with them. Either people in Massachusetts don’t know from hazelnut, people from Michigan don’t know from hazelnut or my set of Guinea Pigs really, really were fond of hazelnut because they thought this Pocky was the bees knees. I would have gone with maybe thighs – which is by no means ass. Yet. The hazelnut is just a little bit old tasting and has the slightest chemical aftertaste to it. Maybe just enough to knock a half a pea point off for an overall rating of

Rating of 3.5 wasabi peas out of 5.

3 Responses to “Japanese Snack Food Review: Hazelnut Milk Chocolate Pocky”

  1. Sean K. Says:

    I think I did like it more than you did, but it’s not quite the bee’s knees, true. I definitely prefer the Almond Crush variety.

    I did not know you were blogging that while still here. Did you actually upload it at Smith, or after you got back?

  2. kph Says:

    French stick, Japanese stick, Thai stick. Are you *sure* you’re talking about Pocky?

  3. Boo Says:

    Hola Sean-Nate! I did everything but the uploading the last day of the con and then when I returned home (and to the Q network) I plopped my words and pic into WordPress and shot it to the moon! Or teh internets, same diff.

    Errr…I’m pretty sure I’m still talking about Pocky, badmovie. Maybe. I still can’t read non English characters and refuse to learn French (other than fromage, because everyone ought to know fromage) so I might well have started advocating something completely different. If so, I hope it’s a fun different.