I have a soft spot in my heart for Mentos – I grew up on their corny “Freshmaker” commercials.
I got these Fuji Apple Mentos in a box of free samples from tsunami.hk. It’s a flavor that I’ve never seen in the U.S. I guess they’re only available in Asia.
Like all Mentos, it had a hard shell that cracks and splinters when bitten into. Inside, the Mentos (Mento?) was extremely chewy, with a slight grain to the chew.
The flavor was that of super sweet apple juice. While the flavor was pretty spot-on, it was too sweet for my taste, with nothing else to temper the pure sugary-ness.
I think it needed a bit of sourness or some other note to bring some complexity and to counteract that sweetness. That’s my beef with Fuji apples too, so I guess you can’t blame Mentos for being accurate. An O.
Here’s Part II of my QQ gummis round-up. See Monday for Part I, where I reviewed Strawberry, Lychee, Peach, and Orange. Today, we’ll wrap things up with Pineapple, Green Apple, Blueberry, and Grape.
Pineapple was cutely shaped like a tiny pineapple. Its flavor was heavily core-y and tastes just like a white American gummi bear. The texture was also much softer than the others.
Green Apple was shaped like a tiny version of its namesake and tasted like sweet green apple Jolly Ranchers. It had hints of granny smith about it, but it mostly tasted mellow and round.
Blueberry looked like little purple buttons (far back). The chew was very stiff and springy. To me, it tasted more like raspberry than blueberry, as there was a bit of seedy bite to it.
Finally, Grape was shaped like a tiny bunch of grapes. Its chew was possibly the stiffest of them all – a real chomper! The flavor was rather mild and lightly grapey to start. It then develops nicely as the chew continues.
I was surprised by the pleasant complexity of the grape, but aside from their cute shapes, I didn’t find any of today’s four flavors to be especially standout. So they all get Os.
The only one of the full set that I find myself craving is lychee. Can that flavor be incorporated into more American treats, please?
I wonder how well the Chinese practice of selling gummi flavors individually would play in the U.S., where we’re used to a jumbled mix. Did you know that a mix of flavors keeps our taste buds from getting bored, so we end up eating more? So single-flavor bags are probably un-American…
I picked up these bags of QQ Gummis in China. Each bag contained just one flavor. I had to visit a few stores to get this assortment – most stores only had a handful of flavors.
I ended up with a rainbow of 8 altogether: Strawberry, Lychee, Peach, Orange, Pineapple, Green Apple, Blueberry, and Grape. I definitely had some fun arranging the bags for photos. I’ll review the first 4 today and the other 4 on Wednesday.
Strawberry was very cutely shaped with the imprint of a little stem and seeds. It had a strong, sweetly strawberry scent and taste. It was a little artificial but mostly enjoyable.
Lychee was my hands-down favorite, though it had the least impressive shape (it’s the golden knobby one in the center). It smells just like canned lychees, and the flavor is spot-on as well – it tastes just like it smells! The chew was nice and sproingy.
Peach is the pink button on the top right. It sort of looks like a round peach on a stem. It’s sweet and floral, lacking all tartness, more like a white peach. This is on the stiffer side of gummi textures.
Finally, orange is shaped like a little citrus wedge. It has a lightly medicinal bite with a mildly sweet citrus flavor. Alas, it smells more like citrus than it tastes.
A nice set of fun flavors. Lychee is the only one that I would crave enough to buy again, so it gets an OM. The rest get Os.
These Meiji Meltykiss were picked up on my trip to China. They came in lots of different flavors, but I only picked up two varieties because they were pretty expensive for China (~$5-6 box). I went with coffee and black sesame because they sounded the most delicious and intriguing.
The Meltykisses came in impressive packaging. The outer cardboard box had a perforated flap that opened to turn the box into a serving piece. Conveniently, that flap that could be easily, repeatedly resealed with just a slight touch. Why can’t my cereal boxes do that?
Inside, the Meltykiss cubes were individually wrapped in pretty checkered foil wrappers. Coffee’s wrapper was blue. A strong coffee scent flooded out as soon as I tore the wrapper open.
The coffee Meltykiss was like a little cube-shaped truffle: a tan center with a thin milk chocolate coating. The texture wasn’t as smooth and melty as the name had me imagine. Instead, it had a bit of a grainy crumble when I bit into it before then melting in my mouth.
It tasted mostly of cappuccino/frappuccino – a sweeter, milder take that bypassed the deeper roasted flavors of unadulterated coffee. Still, it was quite tasty, if a bit sweet, with an appropriately bitter finish. An OM.
Black sesame came in a sea green and brown checked wrapper. Its composition was similar to that of the coffee version, only the inside filling was a purply-grey studded with black flecks (below right).
I was initially surprised at how well the milk chocolate went with the nutty, roasty, slightly bitter sesame. Then I remembered Hedonist’s delicious sesame bark, and it all clicked.
I loved how the savory black sesame mingled nuttily with the sweet cocoa. Sesame and chocolate are a stellar combination that should really be featured more often. It gets an OMG.
On the one hand, I regret not buying more boxes and more varieties of Meltykiss. On the other hand, it’s probably good that I don’t have too many of these addictively delicious fatty truffles hanging out in the house.
Today, I start delving into the substantial stash that I picked up in China. First up is two varieties of UHA high concentrated milk candy. I reviewed the original version way back in October of 2007.
First up, the chocolate version. The front of the bag shows an oozing lozenge-looking thing. The back labels the outside as milk and the inner ooze as chocolate.
The (individually wrapped) candies themselves were actually more like marbles with beveled edges. The hard candy milk portion had lovely cream, dairy, and vanilla high notes. It was like really deliciously fresh vanilla bean ice cream.
The hard candy had a slippery, glossy melt. It was pretty easy to crack and cleaved cleanly, revealing the chocolate center.
While the chocolate on the wrapper looked oozy, the little dollop of chocolate in the center was solid. Its flavor was just meh – like cocoa powder – but it was a nice surprise.
The coconut version had a slightly different texture – it had a softer, satiny mouthfeel. The coconut flavor was immediately noticeable as an airy, fresh nuttiness. Once the outer layer dissolved, the coconut flavor lessened as the creamy milk flavor became more apparent.
It too, has a chocolate center, which was unexpected. My fault, really, as that red ribbon on the front does say that it has a chocolate center (though I could get the gist of that text with some effort, I’m functionally illiterate, so I didn’t take it in at first).
I enjoyed these. They’re a nice departure from the usual fruit-flavored hard candies that we have in the U.S., but I won’t be that crushed when my bags are emptied (partly because I’ve seen the original version in Asian grocery stores in the U.S.). An OM.
This Kit Kat Milk Coffee came courtesy of my roommate’s boyfriend, Steve. I’m not sure how Steve got his hands on it, but I’m so thankful that he thought of sharing it with me!
I can’t read any of the Japanese text on the packaging – if any readers know, feel free to leave a translation in the comments! I think the cherry blossom in the bottom left corner means that it’s a Limited Edition/seasonal flavor.
Like all the Japanese Kit Kats that I’ve had, these came in two individually wrapped sets of two fingers each. More packaging makes it less environmentally friendly, but it does help with portion control.
I probably would’ve eaten my way through all four fingers if they hadn’t come separately packaged (tangent: what a weird sentence out of context). That would’ve been bad, as it would have meant no sharing.
This Kit Kat was made from white chocolate. I’m usually not that big on white chocolate, but this was a pretty tasty white chocolate. It tasted fresh, creamy, and milky.
From the looks and taste of it, the coffee flavor was stashed in the cream that sat within the wafers. It tasted deep and crazy roasty, like a fresh brewed pot of coffee.
There was a light bitterness to coffee, but that only added to the genuine flavor. The coffee taste lingered in the finish, long after the chocolate had melted and the airy, crisp wafers had been crunched away.
I loved this bar, with its great mix of textures and solid coffee flavor. An OMG from me. If you want other takes on it, check out what Jim and Jen had to say!
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!
These Meiji Pupurun Grape Gummis came in my generous free sample box from Tsunami.hk. They came in a conveniently resealable bag with a cute mascot and an intriguing rendering of the gummi’s cross-section.
Each gummi was the size of a gum drop but with a rounder domed shape. They had a stiff outer shell that was thickest at the top. The center was a softer gummi that was just shy of an oozy goo in texture.
They tasted sweet and juicy with a nice floral flavor that I thought was more strawberry than grape. The finish, however, had a noticeable grape taste that tasted quite genuine and was not at all medicinal.
While there was nothing revolutionary about the flavor of the gummis, I absolutely loved the texture. The solid flavor combined with their unique texture earned these an OM.
I got these Japanese peach gummis in my generous free sample box from Tsunami.hk. They’re solid proof that the Japanese are darn good at making gummis (along with creepy robots).
The gummis came in a resealable bag with a luscious white peach and a blue um… condom-like button promising 2600 mg of… something. The gummis themselves were an opaque mustard yellow and shaped like idealized Asian cartoon peaches.
I loved their soft, bouncy texture. It was a pleasure to feel them sproinging against my teeth. For me, that’s the ideal gummi texture.
They tasted sweet and floral, with a hint of citrus flavor. If I hadn’t known that they were supposed to be peach, I would have guessed that they were orange or fruit punch.
Either way, the flavor was refreshing and delicious. I liked that the sweetness wasn’t overpowering or artificial tasting. It was just sweet enough.
A great combination of flavor and texture earns these guys an OMG. My bag disappeared far too quickly.
Leave it to the Japanese to decide that Ginger Ale would make a good Kit Kat flavor. I’d read reviews of Ginger Ale Kit Kats onothersites, but it sounded so weird that I still really wanted to try one for myself. Lucky for me, there was one in my free sample box from Tsunami.hk.
The Kit Kat was a yellow-ish white chocolate. It smelled exactly like soda, though I thought the scent was more citrusy than gingery. I’d say more like Sprite or Fresca than ginger ale.
The bars’ outer white chocolate coating was super soft and melted in my fingers. It tasted of overly sweet white chocolate with a hint of citrus.
Most of the “ginger ale” flavor lay in the cream filling sandwiched between the crisp wafers. It tasted weirdly sour and effervescent. Every once in a while, there was a sharply piquant crystal of sour lime flavor.
I wasn’t a fan of the combination of white chocolate and citrus and effervescence. The whole thing had an awful finish that I found off-putting.
Flavor-wise, I thought it merits a –. But I am glad I got to try it. It’s definitely a taste experience!