Monday, July 6, 2009

American Cherry Hi-Chew

What is the difference between an American cherry and a Japanese cherry? I'd say about 500 yen (about 5 dollars) per 4 oz. (about 118 grams). Nyuk, nyuk. That may be a lame joke, but it's the painful truth. Japanese cherries are sold in small plastic compacts that hold about 12 cherries for $4 or $5 (between about 400-500 yen). American cherries are sold at Costco in freakishly huge honking plastic boxes for about 1000 yen ($10) for about 4 lbs. (about 2 kg.).

The kind of person who can consume Japanese cherries on a regular basis.

As far as I know, there is no predictable difference in taste between a Japanese cherry and an American one. As was said on Seinfeld, fruit is a gamble and there is always variation in both so there is no uniform difference in sweetness, texture, or acidity that I've discerned. That being said, I'm not wealthy enough to eat Japanese cherries on a regular basis. They are clearly for the monocle and sash-wearing set.

These cherry Hi-chew candies are part of Morinaga's "world fruit" series. The other type is a type of Peruvian cherry called "camucamu". Morinaga is holding a campaign where purchasers of the two Hi-Chew flavors can win some sort of kewpie doll trinket which shows it's oh-so-cute face and hands stuck in some colored plastic balls meant to resemble fruit. If you need more plastic junk in your life, you can send in part of the label and hope for the best.

Yes, it actually looks rather purple rather than red or pinkish as one might expect a cherry-flavored candy to look.

The Hi-Chew itself is pretty much par for the course. The texture is chewy, gum-like and a bit like latex. The chew is long-lasting and flavorful throughout. The flavor is somewhat tart cherry with a good balance of sweetness and cherry bite. To me, it doesn't smell particularly good. It smells a bit chemical-like and reminds me of cherry Kool-aid or Pixie Stix. Fortunately, huffing Hi-Chew isn't really necessary so one can enjoy the candy and ignore the smell.

This is a nice Hi-Chew, and a definite repeater if you're a fan of this type of candy and cherry flavor. I like cherry a lot and would certainly consider this again if I were in the right mood. I'm just not big on the Hi-Chew experience overall.


Kelly said...

I think Aus is in the same league as Japan when it comes to cherries, unfortunately. I love cherries fresh, but here it costs about $30/kg, meaning 100grams is $3, way too expensive for more than a little treat now and then. :(

I saw this cherry hi-chew but all too often cherry candy comes off as being bad tasting cough medicine, so I wasn't very interested in going there.

Orchid64 said...

Costco here sells American, Chilean, or other American (as in North or South America) cherries for about 50% of the price of standard "cheap" Japanese cherries, and even they are expensive compared to U.S. prices.

A lot of the Japanese cherries are also anemic looking. They look like under-ripe strawberries in that they are red on the bottom and whitish on the top.

ebidebby said...

I feel lucky now, got a huge bag of cherries yesterday for $2 US. But I'm glad that Hi-Chew did a decent job with cherry. As Kelly pointed out, cherry is a tough one! But Hi-Chew usually seems to hit the right notes when it comes to fruit flavors.

Anonymous said...

Ohhhh gosh - Hi-Chews are just the BEST! I lived in Japan for a summer when I was in college and ate more grape hi-chews than I care to share :) LOVE your blog - I miss Japan so much!!!

Orchid64 said...

Hi, Iowagirl, and many thanks for your kind words and for taking the time to comment!

My husband has been picking up more Hi-Chew lately so more reviews of those are to come, including some summer specials. :-)