Archive for the 'Morinaga' Category

Hi Chew Fanta – Orange and Grape

February 22nd, 2013 by Rosa

These Hi Chew Fantas were purchased at an Asian grocery store in my hometown. I think this is the first time that Hi Chew has partnered with another brand for their chews.

From the outside, the Hi Chew Fantas looked like standard Hi Chew fare – rectangular prisms of a colored center enveloped in an off-white shell. The Hi Chews carried a surprise, however, as the stiffly sproingy chews were embedded with bits of crunchy, compressed sugar candy that added a subtle fizzy effervescence.

Orange was tart with an undertone of zesty orange flavor that mellowed as the chew progressed and the crunchy candy bits disappeared. It did a pretty good job of capturing the flavor of orange soda, though it tasted less artificial than its soda counterpart.

Grape, too, started out sour and then mellowed out as I chewed it. It didn’t taste like real grapes, but it also didn’t taste quite like grape soda, as it was more floral and rotund.

These Hi Chews were a fun twist on the original. I enjoyed the added fizziness of the candy bits, and the flavors, as usual, were bright and intense. I hope they add more Fanta flavors to the line. An OMG.

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), chewy, Morinaga, OMG, review | 1 Comment »

Hi-Chew Shikwasa (Okinawa Lemon)

February 3rd, 2012 by Rosa

My friends Nana and Justin have been having great adventures while living the expat life and chronicling it all in their awesome blog. They’ve been kind enough to send me great candy finds from abroad, including my all-time most popular review: Crunky Nude Balls.

Recently, they mailed me a bunch of Japanese candies, including this pack of Lime Shikwasa Hi-Chew. I originally thought these were lime, but Debby and Nana cleared that up in the comments. A Shikwasa is a tart Japanese citrus fruit with a green rind and golden flesh.

Also, there’s all kinds of fun stuff going on on that wrapper in addition to the Shikwasas. Nana has a great explanation in the comments.

I’ve reviewed a bunch of Hi-Chew in the past. Like all Hi-Chew, it comes in a pack of individually wrapped rectangles. The chew started off sproingy and then softened and became stickier.

These were a pale pistachio green with a white center. The flavor was amazingly juicy and spot on.

It was incredibly sweetly limey and zesty with the perfect edge of pithy bitterness. As the chew went on, the zestiness intensified and took on just a hint of herbal grassiness.

There was no sourness to it, and the sweetness level was perfect – tasty without being cloying – with just the right tidbit of bitterness to set it off.

I couldn’t stop popping these and would change nothing about them. Well, I would change one thing: bring them to the U.S. please! A ZOMG!

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), chewy, Morinaga, received as gift, review, ZOMG! | 6 Comments »

Hi-Chew Mango (Review)

July 8th, 2011 by Rosa

I received this pack of Hi-Chew Mango as a free sample from Morinaga USA, along with my packs of Hi-Chew Peach and Banana. I thought I’d already reviewed them, but it turns out I had just written a news post about them.

The Hi-Chews had an orange-yellow center surrounded by an off-white shell that didn’t photograph well. Just imagine this, but slightly more orangey. The flavor, however, was flawless!

It tasted just like a fresh, juicy, perfectly ripe mango. I have no words to describe it other than as a perfect distillation of real mango into a candy chew.

As the sticky chewiness developed, the unique mango seediness became stronger and lingered a bit in the finish. I found it intoxicatingly delightful and almost better than the real thing. An OMG.

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), chewy, Morinaga, OMG, review | 1 Comment »

Hi-Chew Banana

June 20th, 2011 by Rosa

I got a pack of Hi-Chew Banana from Morinaga USA in the same box that had my Hi-Chew Peach sample. I wasn’t too enthusiastic about trying it because I generally really don’t like banana flavored candies.

Artificial banana is not my thing. Banana Runts? Run away!

Fortunately, the Hi-Chew banana didn’t taste artificial at all! Instead, its banana flavor was surprisingly genuine, like the actual fruit instead of some chemical approximation.

The chew started off with a mild sweetness and just a hint of banana scent. As I chomped away, the overtones of real banana flavors became stronger before ceding ground back to a pleasantly fruity sweetness not unlike the base flavor of the Peach.

This isn’t my favorite Hi-Chew flavor, but I enjoyed it much more than I expected to. Kudos to Hi-Chew for making banana not just palatable but even enjoyable. An O.

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), chewy, Morinaga, O, review | No Comments »

Hi-Chew Peach

June 15th, 2011 by Rosa

I’ve reviewed Hi-Chew several times on this site. Most of them were gifts from friends or businesses in Asia, so some of them were flavors that aren’t sold in the U.S. The Hi-Chew that I’m reviewing today is U.S.-specific.

The company that makes Hi-Chew, Morinaga, has a U.S. subsidiary that sells Hi-Chew in strawberry, green apple, mango, melon, banana, and grape flavors. And as of last month’s Sweets and Snacks Expo, a peach Hi-Chew flavor is now available in the U.S. I got a free sample pack to review from Morinaga.

The Peach Hi-Chew had a light pink center and a lightly floral scent. It started off with a very mild, not very sweet flavor. As its bouncy chew developed, however, the sweetness grew.

Honestly, it didn’t taste much like peach to me. It just tasted mild and floral and sweet, maybe more like a muted strawberry. I was surprised, as Hi-Chew is usually really spot-on with their fruit flavors.

Though it wasn’t as peachy as I would have liked, it was still quite enjoyable with its pleasantly light flavor. An OM.

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), chewy, Morinaga, OM, review | 3 Comments »

Hi-Chew Assortment – Canned Peach, Melon, Grapefruit, and Cherry

February 16th, 2011 by Rosa

Here’s a quick round-up of a bunch of Hi-Chews that I got as free samples from Tsunami.hk. If you’re not familiar with Hi-Chews, they’re like Asian Starbursts, only chewier and more genuinely flavorful.

Canned Peach is an unusual flavor for any candy. I think the Jr. part of the wrapper refers to the fact that this pack was about half the size of normal Hi-Chew packs. The chews themselves were totally normal sized.

Those chews were a pale orange color. They tasted floral and rather artificially sweet with mango undertones. I guess they’re supposed to taste less genuine because of the canned part of the name. An O.

Melon (far right in the trio) was cantaloupe flavored. Its flavor was spot on, with a melony high overtone, though I found it a bit too sweet overall. Another O.

Cherry (center in the trio) was rather blah. It had a mild red fruit flavor but was otherwise unexceptional. Yet another O.

Grapefruit had a zesty bite with that slight citrusy bitterness that’s distinctive of grapefruit. There was a hint of sweetness of this chew, but it was really all about the bite. My favorite of the bunch and a deserved OM.

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), chewy, Morinaga, O, OM, review | 2 Comments »

Hi-Chew – soda flavors

September 3rd, 2010 by Rosa

These soda flavored Morinaga Hi-Chews came as free samples from Tsunami.hk. Look at the lovely effervescence on those wrappers!

They came in three flavors: lemon soda, cola, and white soda. If you’ve never had them before, Hi-Chews are individually wrapped, rectangularly shaped chews that are usually fruit flavored.

Their chew is bouncy and mostly not sticky, except when you get to the end. Then they can get really sticky and worm their way into the nooks and crannies of your teeth.

The three flavors were easy to visually distinguish. Cola was an unappetizing shade of brown with just a tinge of booger-green.

Fortunately, its flavor was spot on. It tasted genuinely of cola, with notes of lemon and caramel.

Lemon soda was the pale but vaguely psychedelic color of lemon meringue. It had a supremely zesty bite with a hint of pithiness.

That light bitterness was nicely ameliorated by the taste of brightly sour lemonade. I really appreciated its complexity and the fact that it didn’t coddle your tastebuds.

White soda was the one that was most foreign to my tastebuds. When I tasted it (not consulting my helpful translation notes from Tsunami.hk), I was expecting ramune flavor, which is citrusy.

Instead, it initially tasted neutrally sweet with a faint strawberry fruitiness. Then, it transitioned to carrying a hint of liquid sour yogurt, which is a yogurt-flavored drink that you can buy in Asian grocery stores (the name’s literal translation from Chinese is “sour milk”). It was nothing like ramune!

Turns out white soda is yogurt flavored. Who woulda thunk it?

Cola and lemon soda get OMs for their tasty flavor complexity. White soda gets an O for being sort of weird but at least interesting!

These guys made me wish that American mass produced candy could be as adventurous as Japan’s sweets.

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), chewy, Morinaga, O, OM, review | 1 Comment »

Hi-Chew – strawberry, grape, green apple, and pineapple

October 8th, 2008 by Rosa

In addition to a bag of Crunch Ball Crispy Candy, Nana and Justin also mailed me a nice assortment of Hi-Chew candies in strawberry, grape, and green apple. They were so good that when Asian Food Grocer, an online retailer of Asian food, snacks, and candies contacted me with an offer to send me my choice of their products to review, I asked for a pack of pineapple flavored Hi-Chew. In hindsight, I should’ve asked for Hi-Chew in every flavor they sold; they’re good, and Asian Food Grocer sells Hi-Chew in flavors that I haven’t seen at my local Asian grocery store. Missed opportunity, I guess. But I’m not too sad, as I got other Asian candy goodies, the reviews for which will post later.

Let’s start with the three Hi-Chew from Nana and Justin.  If you’ve never had them before, Hi-Chew are small rectangular chewy candies with wonderfully bright fruit flavors. They come in a stick of individually wrapped candies, and their chew is fairy non-sticky and almost bouncy. I think they’re like the Starburst of Asia, but better because their fruit flavors actually taste like fruit. For example, I usually don’t especially like strawberry flavored candy, but I enjoyed the strawberry Hi-Chew because it tasted so genuine – you could almost taste a tinge of strawberry seeds.

Similarly, grape Hi-Chews actually taste like grapes, without any whiff of cough syrup artificial grape flavor. They taste like sweet black grapes. The apple didn’t taste at all like an apple Jolly Rancher. Its flavor was more subtle, more Fuji/Braeburn sweet than Granny Smith tart.

My favorite of the Hi-Chews I had was the pineapple. I can’t express often enough how Hi-Chew taste so vibrantly of actual fruit. The pineapple Hi-Chews were bright, sweet, slighty tart, and carried just a hint of the slight bitter astringency of a real pineapple’s core. Pineapple flavored candies aren’t too common in the U.S. I wish they were more ubiquitous, and I wish they all tasted like a pineapple Hi-Chew.

The pineapple Hi-Chew gets an OMG; the other flavors get an OM. Hi-Chew in general are pretty easy to find near the checkout counters of Asian grocery stores, though flavor selection does vary.

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), chewy, Morinaga, OM, OMG, received as gift, review | 5 Comments »

Morinaga Choco Balls

July 2nd, 2008 by Rosa

These Morinaga Choco Balls were amongst the wide assortment of Japanese candies given to me by my friend Michael. It took me a while to find the name of these. The Morinaga logo is fairly clear in the top left corner (they make the pretty ubiquitous Hi-Chew candies), but the Choco Ball 40th Kyorochan seal is harder to notice. I wish I knew what Kyorochan means – maybe Choco Balls are celebrating a 40th anniversary? If so, then I’m not surprised that they’ve been around for so long. One taste of these Choco Balls had me addicted.

The Choco Balls are basically a crunchy chocolate cookie inside a shiny white chocolate coating – think Whoppers, but with different flavors. Usually I don’t enjoy white chocolate, as I find it way too sickeningly sweet, but here, it’s delicious. Like many Asian chocolates, the white chocolate shell has a creamy, fresh milk essence that’s refreshing. Maybe that’s why that toucan-looking thing on the box has a dairy cow print body.

The balls are perfectly-sized for popping, making it easy to get addicted.They’re smaller than Whoppers but bigger than M&Ms, and wonderfully, uniformly spherical. The clever packaging has a built-in spout near the top, and I found myself constantly reopening it to pour more Choco Balls into my hand so I could pop them in my mouth. I wish they came in a bigger box, as mine was all too soon emptied. An OMG for sure.

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), chocolate, cookie, Morinaga, OMG, received as gift, review | 8 Comments »