Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Tiramisu Dessert Pocky
Well over a decade ago, there was a big tiramisu fad in Japan. It was popular enough to become a regular flavor in various limited edition sweets. You can also pick up a cheap knock-off version of "real" tiramisu in most markets and convenience stores. It's sold in little plastic containers for far too high a price and the quality is very dubious, but it does tend to be some sort of cake saturated with coffee, topped with something resembling mascarpone cheese, and topped with chocolate.
Being a fan of textures, I love tiramisu, but more so because the saturated cake, creamy cheese, and chocolate make a very nice feeling in your mouth when you eat tiramisu. I should have remembered that when I decided to try out this variety of Pocky. It can have the taste, but it can't have the texture.
Like all Dessert Pocky, this box contains four packs with three sticks in each for about 160 yen (about $1.55). Each pack has 97 calories which is really not too bad for the satisfaction of three of these thickly coated sticks.
This Pocky smells like liquor, which is an immediate turn-off for me as I don't like alcohol added into processed foods. I don't mind it cooked into real food, but it always seems overdone in snacks, as if they have to saturate it to make sure the flavor stands out. The strange thing is that I didn't notice any alcohol in the ingredients so I'm guessing this is something which is buried in "flavoring".
The first bite of this carries a lot of coffee flavor with alcohol. Subsequent bites reveal a hint of mascarpone and a bit of chocolate and then there's that liquor flavor. The liquor part tastes and smells increasingly artificial as you eat more. On the bright side, the sweetness balance is spot on and there is no lingering bitter aftertaste from the coffee or chocolate.
One thing I'll note is that I usually don't have Pocky around for very long, but I kept this box around for about a month. I guess that is an indication of a lack of enthusiasm for it, but it did teach me something about the way Pocky keeps in a non-temperature controlled environment. While it hasn't been higher than 76 degrees F. (24 degrees C.) in Tokyo in the past month, the last packet of Pocky in this box seemed to have lost its freshness. The pretzel portion wasn't as crispy or fresh as I'm accustomed to and seemed to have absorbed a bit of the moisture from the coating. This is in spite of the fact that the expiration date on the box is November of this year.
I think these are pretty well done and someone who doesn't mind that fake alcohol flavor would really enjoy them. However, I just don't care for this particular Dessert Pocky and I wouldn't buy them again, though I eventually finished off the box.
This was also reviewed at Snack Love.