Japanese Snack Food Review: Caramel Pocky

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Not to be outdone, here’s a new flavor of Pocky. I have completely lost track of who is winning the Pretz/Pocky war but my suspicions are that Pocky just might have double the entries that Pretz does. You know, I might as well just go and count them up. Hold on a minute. Ok, tallying up all the entries reveals that Pocky is just eeking out Pretz for the win by a small margin of 5. (15/10 Pocky’s favor, in case you were curious). Of course if you count the Pocky knock-offs then my first WAG was more spot on but I’m not. As of today, it’s still anybody’s race so manufacturers: Keep your Pretz and Pocky coming.

That way, everybody wins! Mmmm, Pocky. Mmmm, Pretz.

Today’s Pocky also marks a couple new adventures into JSFRing. Adventure the first is that I found a new Favorite Little Asian Grocery Store right around the corner from TheRCK and Mssr. Gonkweasel’s place. It’s just down the road from the most Korean of Favorite Little Asian Grocery Stores but actually has a name I can remember: Lucky Grocery. It’s in the same complex as Lucky Kitchen too so either they are both owned by the Lucky family or Lucky is the Asian equivalent to “general”. It doesn’t have the huge selection (or live fish) that Hua Xang does but it does have quite a bit of stuff that I hadn’t seen.

Adventure the second, and somewhat related to Adventure the first, is that I had some new Guinea Pig assistance to help with the review. Everyone, meet my newest Guinea Pigs; TheRCK and Mssr. Gonkweasel. TheRCK and Mssr. Gonkweasel, this is everyone.

Right. Caramel Pocky. I’m going to get the bad of the review over with first because it’s a nitpick of mine and it makes me cranky. I’m talking about the small packaging. I am fortunate that I picked this up at Lucky Market for a buck and change (versus Wizzywig where I had first seen it for about three dollars) but still. A buck and change for a single package of Pocky versus two-ish bucks for the larger sized two to four pack Pocky makes me cranky. Even the Pumpkin Pocky of yore had two packages. I’m feeling very wooled here and I’m not liking it one bit. I am on to your capitalistic practices Glico! You don’t fool me one bit with the halving of the content but only knocking the price down by a third. Hrrmph!

My second pick is purely an aesthetic one and that is that I’m not really fond of the light on light make-up of Pocky. I prefer more contrast between my chocolatesque goop and my Pocky stick. Will I knock off pea points for it? Mmmmaybe, but only really tiny fractional pea points. Call them annoyance pea points which stack up on top of other deleterious pea point circumstances and help decide on a firm pea point rating.

Now the good. The stick is the famous light graham stick that I’ve done in at least 10 if not more Pocky entries. It’s light, it’s crunchity, it’s the Pocky stick. The goop, however, is the new element. It smells very pleasantly of tangy citrus and mellow caramel. It certainly isn’t a deep, buttery, Kraft caramelly smell by any means but more a light, caramel cheesecake smell. It’s rather different. The taste is also the same odd combination of citrus-y tart and light buttery caramel, although with the taste the caramel is more pronounced. Again, this isn’t a Pocky stick dunked in a pot of melted Kraft caramels. I’m wondering if Glico purposefully added a zest of lemony flavor to the caramel Pocky coating or if the white chocolateish Pocky goop has a natural lemoness about it. Either way, it’s a surprising if not tasty flavor to find paired with caramel. Mssr. Gonkweasel, who is caramel’s number one fan, proclaimed the lemony caramel “delicious” so I guess it’s not a bad thing after all.

Scanning the good and contemplating the bad (and knocking a half pea point off for shorting the package of delicious, lemony caramel Pocky) I’ve added up all the pea points and come up with a

Rating

of 3.5 Wasabi Peas out of a possible 5.

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