Archive for the 'Asian (China, Japan, and Korea)' Category

Kit Kat Uji Matcha

April 25th, 2011 by Rosa

I got this Uji Matcha Kit Kat as a free sample from Tsunami.hk. Uji Matcha is a specific blend of green tea, and it’s one of the many flavors of Japanese Kit Kats.

The Kit Kat fingers were pea green colored. Even though I’ve reviewed quite a few matcha chocolates on this blog, I still find their coloring to be shocking.

They tasted creamy with a light herbal undertone and had an almost bitter lingering finish. They had no chocolate flavor – it was all tea and dairy.

I liked the crisp crunch of the cookies, but I’m not a big fan of tea in general, and matcha-flavored chocolates just really ain’t my thing. An O.

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), chocolate, cookie, Nestle, O, review | 2 Comments »

Kit Kat Framboise

April 22nd, 2011 by Rosa

These Kit Kat Framboise were free samples from Tsunami.hk. I love trying different varieties of Japanese Kit Kats! I’m also amused that these Japanese Kit Kats were named in French – framboise means raspberry.

Everything about this Kit Kat was pretty. The pink polka dots and ribbon on the outer box made it look like a little present, and the inner wrappers were pleasantly retro with their pink polka dots and chocolate brown tips.

The fingers themselves were pretty as well. The wrapper’s color combination of pink and chocolate brown was echoed in the actual chocolate: the creme filling between the wafers was pale pink.

It smelled pretty artificial, but thankfully, that scent didn’t detract from the Kit Kat’s taste. It had a strongly bright berry flavor with slightly seedy raspberry notes. The flavor packed enough of a punch to stand up to the creamy, dusky milk chocolate.

The wafers were crunchy and toasty and provided a nice contrast that highlighted the fruity chocolate. I loved this and wish it was available in the U.S. An OMG.

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), chocolate, cookie, Nestle, OMG, review | Comments Off

Chinese Bai Nuo

March 25th, 2011 by Rosa

I bought these Bai Nuo chocolate bars while I was in China last fall. Bai Nuo Foods is located in Shanghai… and that’s about all that I know about them.

The picture of the treat on the wrapper is absolutely luscious: a dripping liquid chocolate center surrounded by a crispy cookie/wafer roll, all covered in chocolate with rice crisps and/or peanuts.

The reality? Well, see for yourself:

Not quite as appetizing as the wrapper photo but still not bad. My chocolate center had solidified and the roll of cookie wafer wasn’t as visible, but the rice crisp-studded chocolate shell looked good.

The roll had a great crunch when bitten into. It was dry and crispy with an undertone of nutty peanut butter toastiness.

The chocolate flavor was understated throughout. I think this confection was all about the crisp and crunch. I enjoyed it, though it was a tad too dry for my taste. An OM.

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), chocolate, cookie, OM, review | Comments Off

Guest Post: Chinese Candy Grab Bag – Mystery Peach Gummi

March 9th, 2011 by Neil

Last week and this week, I’m turning the reviewing over to my friend Neil. He’s from upstate New York but is currently living in the Netherlands. Ironically enough, his guest posts are about Chinese candy.

Today is Neil’s last post (for now, at least). Thanks for the funny and thoughtful work Neil!

A labmate went home to China to celebrate the New Year and brought back a lot of candy to share. I asked her to select some for me. Here were my impressions.

(NB: I originally thought the picture on the wrapper was of cherries. It’s definitely of peaches. This knowledge makes the review funny-ha-ha-Neil-can’t-recognize-fruit as opposed to just funny-ha-ha.)

Finally, I consumed the red treat I could not find any English for. The packaging required some dexterity, as it had cute gold twist-ties.

It’s exotic and fun. An image of cherries on the label thankfully gave me a hint of what flavor to expect, one in conflict with the physical appearance of the candy itself: a translucent yellow cylinder, the size of half of my thumb. The exterior was textured in a speckled way.

This was not an extra layer of granulated sugar, or if it was, it was extra fine and fairly well embedded. The texture of the piece felt dense but squished quickly, just the right level of gumminess. (Is it obvious I’m not normally a candy reviewer? I have marginally more experience with beer writing.)

The cherry flavor, though present and natural-seeming, was not what I’m used to with Haribo cherries or Jolly Ranchers. I am again reminded of how I’m “spoiled” by American SUPERDENSEFLAVORPACKING in so many foods. This also merits an OM.

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), guest post, gummi/gummy, OM, review | Comments Off

Guest Post: Chinese Candy Grab Bag – Xida Corn Flavor Jelly

March 7th, 2011 by Neil

Last week and this week, I’m turning the reviewing over to my friend Neil. He’s from upstate New York but is currently living in the Netherlands. Ironically enough, his guest posts are about Chinese candy.

A labmate went home to China to celebrate the New Year and brought back a lot of candy to share. I asked her to select some for me. Here were my impressions.

This past weekend, I had Surinamese food for the first time. The woman behind the counter, when asked about desserts, offered us cornmeal-based cookies on the house.

I haven’t thought of corn before as a basis for sweet things, but with the addition of the Xida Corn Flavour Jelly (XCFJ) to my belly, I’ve had 2 in 3 days. I hesitate to call it a trend, as it’s probably just that I’m opening my eyes to a worldwide phenomenon.

The XCFJ was sized and shaped like a very fat baby corn. It was sticky to the touch and had a fair amount of give, as is to be expected. The first bite was full of corn flavor and a fun, expected, gummy chewiness.

I wondered if this was just dyed, molded corn syrup? If so, kudos to Xida for figuring out a novel way to plump me up. Sometimes it was almost savory, but other times the sugar came through.

I couldn’t decide on whether it was more like canned corn, popcorn, corn oil, or corn on the cob. Finally it hit me: it’s like the Finger Lakes Distilling corn whiskey I bought from FLD’s first batch (the recipe’s changed for the better), minus the alcohol and plus some gooey fun!

I rationed my final bites to be sure of what I was tasting. Yep. Corn, corn, and nothing but the corn, so help me cob.  I’d call it at least an OM.

If you sat me down in a movie theater with a bucket of these and a 32 oz. Diet Coke, I’d probably eat a lot before the opening credits then feel a good bit overwhelmed, but not disappointed with myself.

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), guest post, gummi/gummy, OM, review | 1 Comment »

Guest Post: Chinese Candy Grab Bag – Cadbury Hazelnut

March 4th, 2011 by Neil

This week and into next, I’m turning the reviewing over to my friend Neil. He’s from upstate New York but is currently living in the Netherlands. Ironically enough, his guest posts are about Chinese candy.

A labmate went home to China to celebrate the New Year and brought back a lot of candy to share. I asked her to select some for me. Here were my impressions.

(NB: I originally thought the picture on the wrapper was of chestnuts. It’s definitely of hazelnuts. This knowledge makes the review funny-ha-ha-Neil-can’t-recognize-nuts as opposed to just funny-ha-ha.)

The Cadbury Chestnut, as I think of it, was the one most similar to candies I’m familiar with. It presents as a brown nugget that could be mistaken for butterscotch or milk chocolate.

Biting it in half yields a few drops of a sweet sticky liquid in the center of a chewy, but not impossible, bulk. It required a fraction of the chomps that the White Rabbit did.

Here, I have to admit that I’m unsure what chestnuts in their natural state taste like. Come to think of it, I don’t know if I’ve had them roasted over an open fire either. This had “peanut butter” written all over it for my naive taste buds, which have surely been abused by an overconsumption of capsaicin and hops.

I would have liked a bit more liquid than solid, but given that the liquid was a surprise, the manufacturers have probably made the right choice when it comes to making a mess of customers’ chins, hands, and sweaters. This is definitely another OM for me.

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), Cadbury, caramel, guest post, nuts, OM, review | Comments Off

Guest Post: Chinese Candy Grab Bag – Beijing Su

March 2nd, 2011 by Neil

This week and into next, I’m turning the reviewing over to my friend Neil. He’s from upstate New York but is currently living in the Netherlands. Ironically enough, his guest posts are about Chinese candy.

A labmate went home to China to celebrate the New Year and brought back a lot of candy to share. I asked her to select some for me. Here were my impressions.

Beijingsu comes like a little hard satiny pillow. It reminds me of candies I saw as a kid but haven’t thought of in years, the sort your grandmother had, but my mother did sometimes.

It smells of sesame. Like the White Rabbit, I had a hard time judging what its flavor would be like based solely on its pearly-grey-with-unevenly-spaced-brown-stripes appearance.

A quick bite revealed two important facts. The outer appearance was just that, covering an interior of brown grainy filling. Also, the shell shattered quickly, giving way to the crumbly, meringue-like filling.

The sesame flavor was not as present as hoped for, instead being more subtle. I happily finished chomping and wondered how many I could eat in one sitting.

Aspects of it reminded me of my take on cotton candy, which leaves me pleased but somehow not sufficiently sated. OM.

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), guest post, OM, review | Comments Off

Guest Post: Chinese Candy Grab Bag – White Rabbit

February 28th, 2011 by Neil

This week and into next, I’m turning the reviewing over to my friend Neil. He’s from upstate New York but is currently living in the Netherlands. Ironically enough, his guest posts are about Chinese candy.

A labmate went home to China to celebrate the New Year and brought back a lot of candy to share. I asked her to select some for me. Here were my impressions:

White Rabbit, previously rocked by a variety of contamination scandals, has kept its name in China, thereby sticking Jefferson Airplane in my head for the remainder of the day. Mildly daunted by the possibility of contamination, I remembered that despite various food aversions, I do take some risks when it comes to food safety, particularly when there are sweet rewards to be had.

The White Rabbit candy looked to me like a vanilla Tootsie Roll, a confection I haven’t seen since my move out of the U.S. Its hardness was beyond that of a Tootsie, however, and I’m unsure whether to chalk this up to this instance of the candy or if this is common.

Once upon a time, in my 8th grade Earth Science course, I learned the Mohs hardness scale for minerals. I’d say this rated a 2.5 on the Mohs.

Upon first bite, flakes of the Rabbit came off. I believe they were rice paper, but it’s a little disconcerting [note from Rosa: It is rice paper, and it's totally edible]. That bite took a lot of power.

The flavor struck me as a combination of vanilla (perhaps due to visual priming), sugar, and milk: something akin to a vanilla milkshake or Upstate Farms’ Intense Vanilla Milk. The sweetness wasn’t too intense, so it was a pleasant, even relaxing flavor.

Unfortunately, the required mastication is frustrating, taking away from my enjoyment of the candy itself. I am tempted to try another, giving the Rabbit another chance, but not before I give these other candies a chance. Solid O.

More to come from Neil on Wednesday!

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), chewy, guest post, O, review | 3 Comments »

Pumpkin Pocky

February 23rd, 2011 by Rosa

I found these Pumpkin Pocky at my the local Asian grocery store in Austin, Texas. I’m a sucker for all things pumpkin, so I just had to try these.

If you’re unfamiliar with Pocky, they’re thin biscuit sticks mostly covered with a layer of chocolate or other frosting-like coating. These Pumpkin Pocky were coated with orange frosting.

The biscuit had a crisp crunch and a light buttery toastiness but was otherwise rather bland. The orange coating had the muted taste of pure pumpkin with a creamy undertone and a very mild – so mild I maybe imagined it? – tinge of cinnamon.

I really enjoyed the understated tastiness of this treat and its mix of creamy and crunchy. But again, I’m a sucker for all things pumpkin! An OM.

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

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 »