Monday, October 12, 2009

Pucca Chocolate Biscuits

The is a plethora of tiny cookies with thin shells and a cream filling on sale at supermarket checkouts in Japan. The only one I'd sampled before was Koala's March vanilla, and I was not a fan of it. Since most of these cookies are designed for kids and are quite cheap, I hadn't really felt compelled to sample another until I read ebidebby's review of Pucca creamy caramel. The fact that the Pucca cookies are covered in pretzel rather than a thin cookie shell piqued my interest. Pucca seem to be a sweet version of Combos pretzel snacks, albeit ones with a thinner pretzel portion.

A 58 gram (2 oz.) box of these cookies costs about a dollar (98 yen). There are 272 calories in the whole box and the ingredients include cocoa masses, cocoa butter, rye flour, butter oil, and cheese powder. Fortunately, the cheese powder didn't lend any bizarre flavors to the cookies as was the case with my previous experience with chocolates that had cheese powder. The rye flour, no doubt, makes the brown pretzel shell.

The shell is bland and unsalted, but carries a distinctive taste and smell. Before biting into one of these, they smell just like your average pretzel. Despite how thin the shell is, it lends a good flavor to the mix. This is unlike the white cookie shells on similar cookies which don't seem to do much other than hold the cream filling. The chocolate center is soft, but not liquid. It's a bit like a firmer, less sweet, and milk chocolate version of an Oreo cookie center. The sweetness level is perfect and eating a lot at once does not take you up to a cloying level of cumulative sweetness.

I really enjoyed these, much to my surprise. I'd very much recommend sampling them and would buy them again if I was in the mood. I could see having a craving for Nutella fulfilled by these in a pinch. The filling doesn't have hazelnut flavoring, but it does have the same satisfying sense of chocolatey richness as Nutella.

If you like the little characters in the Pucca commercial, you can download some desktop pictures featuring them here.


Anonymous said...

These remind me of "fish"... darn, I forgot their name but they are by Peperidge Farm?

Looks like a pretz on the outside.. YUM

Orchid64 said...

Hi, Snazzy, and thanks for reading and taking the time to comment!

I think that you're talking about goldfish crackers by Pepperidge Farms. I love those things, but they're not sold in Japan!

Marvo said...

I'm surprised the shell was unsalted. Isn't salt used to enhance flavor? Also, what's the deal with Japanese and cheese?

Orchid64 said...

Hi, Marvo, the marvelous. I think salt would have been nice, but maybe they were worried that it might be a bit much with the chocolate. It's also possible that getting salt to stick to the shells might cause some problems with something filled with chocolate.

I'm not quite sure about why cheese powder is put in so many sweets in Japan. It's a bit of a mystery really. It could be part of nutritional enhancement or possibly it has a binding quality? Unfortunately, I don't know anyone in the snacks business so I can't ask anyone in authority. It's a great question though, and I'd love to track down the answer!