Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sweet Box Apple Pie

Several months ago, one of my husband's students brought back a box of "apple pie" from Korea and gave it to my husband as a souvenir. That box had about 10 or 12 little pies in it and he slowly ate them. I had just one.

Fast forward to today when my husband and I amble down to the local QQ (99-yen shop) and meander around looking for band-aids and various snacks. Among the pile of snacks elegantly displayed in their original cardboard boxes and stacked at the back of the shop are these Sweet Box apple pies. The style of the box design as well as the picture of the pie on the box looks very much like the Korean pies that he got as a souvenir. Out of curiosity, and because he kind of liked the pies, we picked up a box.

Note that this box only contains 5 pies and cost 99 yen (about a dollar) and the Korean one had twice as many. The origin of the pies is China, but the distributor is Japanese. My guess is that these are exported to various countries with different packages based on their ultimate destination.

One can't expect much from this sort of thing. The best you can hope for is a happy surprise. Of course, I wasn't going to be surprised because I had the Korean ones already. The main problem with these "apple" pies is that the apple portion is so sparse. Most of it is "pie". And by pie, I mean a very dry, flaky crust, which is half pie and half cracker.

The smattering of apple filling tastes a bit like super thick apricot and apple jam, and is not very sweet. Because of the distribution, the first bite is mostly dry pie with the tiniest hint of the fruit. The second bite of filling is a bit better, like a tart apple, but there's so little of it that it's not worthwhile.

On the bright side, each 4 cm by 8 cm pie is only 63 calories. You're not getting much for the investment. I think these might actually be useful for pairing up with ice cream. The texture of the dry pie would probably add something to a sundae concoction, especially if you paired the ice cream with some sort of fruit sauce.

All in all though, these are really not very good. The pie is substandard. The filling is fine, but too sparse. About the only good thing is the price, and even then I think you could do better with your 99 yen on something infinitely tastier. I won't be picking these up again.

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