Monday, May 23, 2011
Glico Pocky Mint
Not too long ago, I said in comments that the flavors that are exotic-sounding to foreigners like green tea, sweet potato, chestnut, sakura (cherry blossom), etc. aren't really a sign of Japan's adventurous nature with flavors, but a reflection of the fact that they have different flavor norms. Back home, we have cinnamon, mint, and peanut butter as our flavor norms. Note that I chose those three flavors because they are relatively rare finds in sweets in Japan. As if to make a liar out of me, Pocky came out with this mint flavor. I'd like to say very loudly for all Japanese snack makers to hear that they don't combine chocolate and peanut butter very often. Please make a liar out of me again.
I found these mint Pocky at 7-11 around at various other places including markets, snack shops, and other "konbini". I can't remember what they cost exactly, but for some reason the figure 127 ($1.56) sticks in my mind. There are two packs with eleven sticks in them each. Eating an entire pack (1/2 the box) will set you back 126 calories or 11.5 calories per pretzel stick.
When you open the package, you are greeted with the familiar smell of mint mingled with chocolate. The first bite is stronger on the mint than the chocolate. The bittersweet chocolate flavor only starts to settle in around the third stick and the mint cools your tongue. The pretzels are a little on the soft side, but still add a nice textural element. They do nothing, however, for the flavor. Unlike Pucca, which add a nice rye flavor to whatever they are combined with, Pocky pretzels tend to be more of a bland vehicle for the coating.
I liked these quite well, though I really could have done with a little salt on the pretzel and a stronger chocolate component. If you're thinking Girl Scout "Thin Mints" or even "After Eight" mints, think again, but if you're looking for something mild with a nice crispy texture, these will nicely fill the bill. Pocky fanatics should be delighted. As someone who is all well and good with the Pocky concept, but not really on board with any sort of aggressive relationship with them, I was happy to sample these, but I'd probably go for something more intense to get my mint on in the future.