Japanese Snack Food Review: Pepero (almond & chocolate)

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Hey look! Pepero is branching out. Also, Hey look! This is another JSF we picked up from Lucky Market and it amuses me to pieces that the Koreans are jumping on the Pocky bandwagon. Go you crazy Koreans go!

Except, could you go with a little tastier chocolate and a base stick that was a tad yummier? Please? Because I really think you could make a brilliant underdog challenge to the incumbent Pocky if only you would tweak those two items. The base Pepero stick is a tad thicker and a little bit more robust than the Pocky stick and really, the Pocky stick could stand a bit of robusting. Don’t get me wrong, the Pocky stick is tasty and brilliant but if it were as thick as the Pepero stick it could be even more brilliant. The Pepero says “Go ahead, accidentally drop my package. I’ve got thicker, more robust sticks” while the Pocky sort of looks at you all “Hey, I’m Pocky. You do NOT drop the Pocky”. We all know why we don’t drop the Pocky, and that’s because the Pocky looks like it might not survive a dropping really well, but we pretend it’s because it’s The Pocky! and we handle it with care. The Pepero, on the other hand, looks like it might not get all uptight about riding in the same bag with a couple cans of Hello Boss and also, like it might actually survive more or less intact for having done so.

But…the taste. I really want the stick to be the tasty, grahamesque stick of Pocky fame and it’s not. It’s like when you decide to get all budgety and buy the cheap store brand food and think to yourself “Well, macaroni and cheese is macaroni and cheese is macaroni and cheese” and then you find that it really isn’t. Then you spend the whole time that you are eating the store brand Macs and cheese thinking about how much it isn’t Kraft Macs and Cheese. Pepero is the store brand Pocky stick and while it does the job in terms of munchable stick thing, it does so really mediocrely.

Sadly, the same goes for the chocolate. Chocolate Almond Pepero suffers the same fate that the original Pepero does in that it’s middle of the road, serviceable, OK chocolate. If you couldn’t get anything else but Pepero, it’d be fine but if you could get but one Pocky, you’d always choose the Pocky over the Pepero. Even if the Pocky was a million dollars and they were giving away the Pepero, you’d take the Pepero but secretly deep down inside you’d be thinking “Man, I sure hope Pocky prices come down”.

Don’t’ even get me started on the packaging. People: One box, multiple packages inside the box. I don’t really want to eat all 10 sticks at once and I certainly don’t want to be eating mooshy, stale Pocky like entities. Boo angering packaging pea point deduction! Although, the absence of the freaky little Pepero guy is sort of comforting and I rather like the almond and chocolate logo. It reminds me of a lotus flower.

What Pepero does well, and gets appreciative pea points for, is the almond. You can smell a little nuttiness over the chocolate if you take a whiff of the Pepero and the almonds do not lose themselves in the chocolate of the coating. If Pepero had a good chocolate or a deliciously tasty stick and packaged themselves in several different inner packages, I could be persuaded to give them at least a 4 pea rating, maybe even a 4.5 or a 5, depending on the quality of the chocolate, stick and whatnot. But, Almond and Chocolate Pepero sells itself short so I really can’t give much more than a 3 pea rating, minus a half pea for the packaging but plus a little over a half a pea for the almond. There we are, back at an average

Rating

of 3 Wasabi Peas out of a possible 5.

2 Responses to “Japanese Snack Food Review: Pepero (almond & chocolate)”

  1. Cici Says:

    This is really interesting. I had no idea pepero was so famous- I thought it was just another random yan yan/pocky thingy. I just wanted to ask, what colour are the boxes for the different flavour of pepero? Thank you. ^^