Showing posts with label passion fruit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label passion fruit. Show all posts

Thursday, May 22, 2014

McDonald's Salt Caramel and Mango Passion Orange McFlurry (product announcement)

When I was growing up, McDonald's had two ice cream options. You could have a shake or a pathetic little sundae made up of vanilla ice cream and some anemic chocolate sauce. Because I am not a fan of any fast food, and less of a fan of the golden arches than most other types of said cuisine, I hadn't really noticed the whole "McFlurry" business. I have a hazy recollection of when they were introduced and that they were either a collaboration with Dairy Queen or a rip-off of their "Blizzard" concept, but that's pretty much it. I've never had one in either Japan or America, but every nerve in my Spidey sense says they are probably pretty sweet.

The specimens above are new McFlurry flavors - salt caramel (252 calories) and a mixture of mango, passion fruit and orange (230 calories). If someone were to force feed me one of these, I'd go for the fruity one, though I have to say that the salt caramel one could be intriguing. The funny thing about these is not the flavors. Though they are somewhat unusual, the whole salty sweets thing has been a big fad for years now (it was in force when I left in March 2012) and passion fruit is the only slightly uncommon element in the fruit one. The bizarre thing is that McDonald's plans to offer these only between 10:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. It strikes me as weird that they'd choose such a time period as it makes these seem more like "brunch" options than a sweet treat. Personally, I think offering them from 1:00-4:00 would have been a better choice, but I'm guessing this limit is based on the effort and time it takes to make them than when consumer demand might be highest.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Random Picture #183

The truth is that I am suspicious of any fruit that promises to deliver "passion" (those are passionfruit KitKats int he picture). As much as I love fruit of all kinds, I can't say that it's really lit a big fire in my soul. Sometimes, it may light a fire in my gastrointestinal tract... some apples don't sit well with me, but it's not so much with the passion.

Though I haven't written much about KitKats lately, I haven't exactly been hurting for opportunities to procure them. The truth is that they just are not inspiring me much. The above is a bag of passionfruit "adult sweetness" minis that I passed on. Nestle Japan has converted most of its standard KitKat offerings outside of the regional souvenir ones to the less sweet "adult sweetness" line. This is actually a good thing since most of the white chocolate variants were too cloying, but I'm still not convinced that I want to sink $6 into buying a whole bag of minis that I may not enjoy. If any of my readers have sampled these, let me know what you think. If you thought they were great, I may go back and give them a chance.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Passionfruit Adult Sweetness KitKat (product information)

Nestle Japan has (finally) stepped up and released a new and somewhat interesting variety of KitKat. Just in time for summer, you can pick up a passion fruit KitKat and allow it to melt in your backpack. The web site for this candy says that it has some mild acidity and, because it is part of the "adult sweetness" line, there are finely crushed biscuits in it. The truth is that I've never eaten said fruit and I have no idea what it tastes like, so I guess that step 1 would be to try the fruit. Step 2 would be to try the candy bar. Step 3 would be to write my impressions of it. That being said, while I can say this sounds interesting, it doesn't sound "inspiring". If you've given this a try, let me know what you think.

If you'd like to give it a try, Candysan is offering it for a short time for 180 yen/$1.83. They will stop selling it because they won't ship chocolate throughout the summer due to the potential damage from heat. Personally, I'm going to have a peak at Japanese markets in my area and see if I can find some in their air conditioned shops for something less than the price of gold.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Ohayo Tappuri Mango Yogurt

"Ohayo" means "good morning" in Japanese and "tappuri" means "plenty". At first, I thought this was talking about "plenty" of yogurt, which seemed odd considering that this is 4 tiny little portions melded together. Though you only get about 70 grams (about 1/3 cup) of yogurt, the "plenty" applies to the amount of fruit. So, yes, you get about three bites, but each one is packed with fruity bits! Somehow, it still seems like lying in advertising, but I'll grudgingly let them off the hook because this is so tasty.

The company that makes this, Ohayo, has one of those quaint and highly contrived company philosophies which sounds like it was designed by a 12-year-old. It has priorities that all begin with the letter "S" (yes, in English). They are "safety, specialty, service, speed, slim, and smile." On the bright side, the company president actually manages to adopt a grim little smile for his profile picture on the web site because he can't have such a philosophy and adopt the usual grim or stoney look of most businessmen in Japan, so that's one benefit of having a goofy philosophy.

Ohayo is a dairy products company and this is my first experience with their products because I rarely consume yogurt with fruit and sugar mixed in. I usually eat plain yogurt if I'm going to have it, but my change in employment circumstances drew me to this. I now have to pack a lunch a few days a week and these looked like they'd be a nice, sweet finish while still bringing just a tad more to the table nutritionally. Besides yogurt and yogurt drinks, they make pudding, ice cream, and fruit/dairy combo products like smoothies.

This contains both  mango and passionfruit bits in generous amounts for such a small portion. It's only 56 calories, but then it really isn't all that much volume. This is more like a few bites of dessert than yogurt, but it's a very nice mix of intense fruit flavors, moderately sour yogurt and sweetness. It's also cholesterol-free, if that is something important to you. These days, everything in Japan seems to be labeled with regard to cholesterol content. That's a bit odd considering that this is hardly a place where heart disease is the highest risk (cancer is the biggest killer). Frankly, I'm not one of those people who is convinced that dietary cholesterol plays a big role in the formation of bad cholesterol in the body, but that may be me justifying my love of eating eggs for which I'll keel over some day soon.

These are delicious little additions to a meal. If you're the kind of person who craves a bit of a sweet but doesn't want to eat candy, I'd definitely recommend giving this a try to fill your sweet tooth. It's not as good for you as plain yogurt, but it's a damn sight tastier and more convenient for eating on the go. You can find these at nearly any fair-sized supermarket in Japan, along with some other variations like blueberry, kiwi, strawberry, and peach.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Nescafe Happy Pack w/Raspberry & Passionfruit KitKat

Nestlé loves you. No, really, it does. If you don't believe me, buy this Nescafé "Happy Pack" because it's their valentine to you. You can tell by the fact that they have plastered hearts all over everything. In fact, I'm sure that they would have made a heart-shaped KitKat to put inside of it had it not defied the laws of nature and snacking.

Even the insert in the box is shaped like a heart that you unfold. Nestlé knows that you'll be more receptive to their promotional materials if they give them to you in a geographic shape which expresses the company's affection for you.

The "Happy Pack" showed up at a local discount snack store for 168 yen (about $1.70). It includes 3 packets of flavored instant coffee and 3 mini size passionfruit and raspberry KitKats. Each mini bar has about the same amount of candy as 1.5 fingers of a conventional KitKat. I'll admit that I mainly bought this for the KitKats, and, to do justice to them, I need to rate the box's contents separately.

The three types of flavored instant coffee are green tea, orange and caramel latte, and café latté. I drank the café latté only. I'll admit that up front. I sent the green tea one to Marvo at the Impulsive Buy (along with one of the KitKats) and the orange one is still sitting around. I was very careful to prepare the coffee precisely as the directions state. That is, I carefully measured out the 130 ml. of water that was required. It was thick and foamy, but so very bland. It tasted just like regular, blah, instant coffee, weak and inoffensive, with too little coffee and too much powdered milk. The thing that is keeping me away from the last packet is the fact that this stuff is just full of corn syrup, and it doesn't taste sweet.

Because I would definitely not buy the instant coffee portion of this again, I'm giving the coffee an appropriately low rating.

The mini raspberry passionfruit KitKats mainly smell like raspberry. The outside of them is noticeably darker than the usual KitKat bar and has a nice bittersweet chocolate flavor. It complements the berry flavor very nicely and is also a nice mix with the limited sweetness of the passionfruit. If there is anything about this to complain about, it'd be that the raspberry completely overwhelms the passionfruit for the most part.

Because I'm not a super great fan of bittersweet chocolate, I can't really give this a very happy rating, but if I could buy these bars without the lame instant coffee, I'd definitely get them again. I think people who are fans of darker chocolate might really go for these and it's certainly one of the nicest fruit KitKats I've ever had.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Tirol Passion Fruit Chocolate (Premium)

Tirol, maker of small chocolates which can be purchased in bite-sized quantities, offers two versions of many of their candies. The "premium" size is bigger, can be purchased individually and has a better quality filling in some cases. The "regular" size is about 2/3 the size of the premium version, is sold in multi-packs and has a scaled center which is not always as good. I learned this when I purchased both a premium and regular size version of their kinako mochi candy. The premium one had a softer flavored mochi center surrounded by a syrup/sauce. The regular one had a "mochi gummi" in it which was more rubbery and had no sauce/syrup. Clearly, the premium is better in more ways than just size, though it is more expensive.

When reading these reviews, it's important to keep in mind that the small version, should you get your hands on one, may not live up to the rave reviews of the larger version. And, yes, that means this is going to be a good review of this candy.

The passion fruit flavor is so new that it does not yet appear on Tirol's web site, or it's so regional that it is the first time I've seen it in Tokyo. The wrapper says "Okinawa", so that could mean the passion fruit was grown there or these are usually sold in Okinawa. I found it at a Family Mart convenience store while I was paying my water bill (in Japan, you can pay your bills at such stores). It cost 40 yen, as do most premium Tirol candies. Each square is 58 calories and the ingredients list includes passion fruit concentrate and "powder", so Tirol went out of its way to get some real fruit flavor in this.

When you open the package, it smells strongly, but pleasantly, of passion fruit. When you bite into it, you get a tangy, slightly perfume-like hit of sweet passion fruit flavor. The outside is soft and easy to bite into, but still firm and does not melt in your hand. There's a firm jelly center in the middle which probably carries a lot of the flavor, but it's hard to separate the coating's taste from that of the filling. The flavor is strong, but not overwhelming. The balance of citrus bite, fruit flavor, and sweetness is excellent. I don't even like passion fruit, but I liked this.

It amazes me how good this is at a fruit-flavored confection. There are so many ways to mess up when incorporating fruity flavors into candy, but none of those problems are in this one. By all means, seek this out and sample it.