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

Japanese Kit Kat – Wasabi

February 4th, 2011 by Rosa

As promised, here’s my review of the Wasabi flavored Japanese Kit Kat from my globetrotting friends Nana and Justin. My review of the Sweet Potato version that they also sent along posted on Wednesday.

These also came individually wrapped, two to a package, and were a pale green. The famous Kit Kat wafers were dry and crispy and covered in wasabi tinted white chocolate. They smelled neutrally sweet.

The chocolate tasted first of sweet, milky cream. Then a light horseradish kick came through. All of that kick was totally through the olfactory system – when I pinched my nose, it wasn’t noticeable.

There wasn’t any noticeable chocolate flavor, just creaminess with a slight spiciness. It had just the right amount of kick to make it weirdly addictive and intriguing. Any more would have been overwhelming, while any less couldn’t have been noticed.

I give this an OM. It earned the extra M through sheer novelty, but I truly enjoyed the confection. Nana was less of a fan.

I have about a half dozen of each weird flavor to give away. My way of passing on Nana and Justin’s generosity! For a chance to win some Wasabi and Sweet Potato Kit Kats of your own, leave a comment on the ZOMG, Candy!’s Facebook discussion page for a chance to win at least one of each. I’ll randomly select three winners on February 11th, midnight EST, so get your comments in before then!

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), chocolate, cookie, giveaway, Nestle, OM, received as gift, review | 7 Comments »

Japanese Kit Kat – Sweet Potato

February 2nd, 2011 by Rosa

My friends Nana and Justin have been living and blogging abroad for the last few years. They’ve been a generous source of awesome foreign candy.

Their latest gift was several Japanese Kit Kats in Wasabi and Sweet Potato flavor. I’ll cover Sweet Potato today; Wasabi will be reviewed on Friday. And stay tuned for giveaway news, as Nana and Justin sent me more than I could ever eat!

I love how the tear-away notch on the right of the wrapper is mirrored by an extra triangle on the left. Each individually wrapped package had two prettily pale yellow fingers that had to be characteristically snapped apart.

I was both excited and nervous about trying these. Excited because I love sweet potatoes in just about any form (steamed, roasted, french fried, etc). Nervous because the sweet potato and sesame version that I tried a couple of years ago wasn’t great, though that also didn’t taste much like sweet potato.

Lack of sweet potato flavor was definitely not an issue with this Kit Kat. The flavor was totally spot on – starchy and sweet, with some root vegetable earthiness. It tasted just like a real sweet potato.

Unfortunately, though the flavor was exact, it was really off-putting when combined with the dairy, buttery creaminess of the Kit Kat chocolate. I got totally weirded out and couldn’t handle it. A .

Come back Friday for the wasabi-flavored Kit Kat review and details on how you can try to win some Japanese Kit Kats for yourself! And you can find Nana and Justin’s take on their website.

Category: --, Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), chocolate, cookie, Nestle, received as gift, review | 3 Comments »

Little Friend’s Mushrooms – Chocolate and Redbean Chocolate

January 21st, 2011 by Rosa

Today’s review is of chocolate mushroom cookies that I picked up in China. The brand name literally translates to “Good Friend”, but I labeled them “Little Friend’s Chocolate Mushrooms” when I uploaded the photos, so I’m not sure which is technically correct.

They were all over the place in Shanghai, so I bet that they may be available in local Asian groceries/Chinatowns.

At any rate, these were definitely a cute confection. They were little mushrooms comprised of a butter cookie stem with a solid, fluted chocolate cap.

The cookie was nicely crunchy and very lightly, neutrally flavored. The cap in the pure chocolate version was milk. The chocolate was snappy with a lightly sweet and mild cocoa flavor, and its melt was creamy but not thick.

(They may look bloomed in the above photo, but they were actually just a little dusty/scratched from being all in a jumble together.)

While these chocolate mushrooms were fine, they were too mildly flavored and boring for me. I think Meiji’s Chocorooms are way better – Meiji’s version’s flavors are more intense, which makes the mushrooms addictive.

I’ve actually bought several boxes of Chocorooms, but I always eat them before I get around to photographing them for review. I was happy to share the remainder of the Little Friend’s Chocolate Mushrooms with friends, who eagerly finished them. They get an O.

Little Friend’s also comes in a Redbean (sic) flavor, where the cap is chocolate plus red beans. I guess because it’s red beans, the mascot is a girl in pink instead of a boy in blue, though the chocolate cap atop her pink curls kind of makes her look like she’s in drag.

In China, red beans and green peas are common dessert additives. I’m not sure why, as I hate their mushy grittiness, and I feel that the vegetal earthy flavors of beans and peas don’t belong in dessert, but it’s just a cultural thing, I guess.

I found the red bean flavored mushrooms to be unpalatable. The caps tasted of the strong, savory earthiness of refried beans plus the blandly sweet cocoa of the chocolate, which to me just does not mix.

But my vegetarian roommate from New Orleans eats a lot of red beans, and she adored the red bean mushrooms, enough to polish off the box. So who knows – you may not feel like these warrant the that I’m giving them.

Category: --, Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), chocolate, cookie, O, review | No Comments »

Mentos Fuji Apple

January 10th, 2011 by Rosa

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.

If you want another take or two, Cybele from Candy Blog and Debby from Snack Love have reviewed these as well.

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

QQ Gummis – Part II

November 17th, 2010 by Rosa

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…

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), gummi/gummy, O, review | No Comments »

QQ Gummis – Part I

November 15th, 2010 by Rosa

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.

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), gummi/gummy, O, OM, review | No Comments »

Meiji Meltykiss – Coffee and Black Sesame

November 5th, 2010 by Rosa

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.

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), chocolate, coffee, OM, OMG, review | 2 Comments »

UHA High Concentrated Milk Candy

November 3rd, 2010 by Rosa

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.

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), chocolate, coconut, hard candy, OM, review | 1 Comment »

Kit Kat Milk Coffee

October 4th, 2010 by Rosa

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!

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), chocolate, coffee, cookie, Nestle, OMG, received as gift, review | 4 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 »