Thursday, May 6, 2010

Asahi C's Case Fruit Nodo Ame

The Japanese market is nothing if not flooded with well-meaning products that are meant to improve your health through candy and cookies. The two big nutritional supplements are foods with Calcium or Vitamin C. For quite some time, Asahi has offered a little plastic container with tiny lemon-flavored pellets called "C's Case". Since its original inception, the brand has branched out to many products including drinks and these throat drops.

I found these at Summit supermarket in an area adjacent to my neighborhood. If you don't think that is a sacrifice, keep in mind that I had to listen to their inane ditty singing "once a week at Summit" (sung in English, no less) about a million times during my short shopping journey. They cost 198 yen ($2.13) for a 79-gram (2.8 oz.) bag. There were about 20 drops in the bag. Each candy is 9.2 calories and sugarless. Summit carried an array of sugar-free hard candies that I had never seen in my local markets so I snapped up three bags of them. You'll see the other reviews in the future at some point. I insist on sugar-free for something that I'm going to be keeping in my mouth for a prolonged period of time. My teeth really don't need a long, luxurious sugar bath, even when my throat wants something to keep it from going dry.

There are three flavors - peach, grape, and orange. I don't ask much of this type of candy except that it be sugarless and preferably have some edge to the flavor. Fruit candy is best when it has a nice little citrus bite. Here is the breakdown of these candies.

Grape: This is like the grape lollipops that you got from the doctor when you were a child (and when you were lucky that he had grape and not some gross flavor like lime), only lamer. This reminds me of when I was a child and put my lollipops in water in order to see what the water would taste like when they dissolved into it. This tastes a bit like that water. It's not bad, but it's not much of anything.

Peach: Fortunately, peach was a more flavorful offering. It was intense and had a little mouth-puckering sourness in the background. It did taste of artificial sweetener, but that's a price you pay for sugar-free candy. It actually did taste like peach, fake peach, but at least it was what you might expect.

Orange: This was my favorite of the three. If I could get a bag of only orange, I'd be happier with the whole package. The orange flavor is your classic fake candy flavor. It also had just a bit of an herbal, almost medicinal edge. One of the ingredients is "herbal extract", and I'm guessing it is only used in the orange or is most potent in this drop. 

The interesting thing about the nutrition information on this is that they tell you the numbers for the entire bag rather than each candy, as if you're going to put away the whole thing. In the 20 candies, there are 3000 mg of vitamin C (in the entire bag), .82 mg. Vitamin B, 2.7 micrograms of B12, .29 mg. of B1, .65 mg of B2, and 4.3 mg. Vitamin E. To get all of those good things, you've got to deal with Sucralose, Aspartame, and Acesulfame K.

I liked these just fine, but I wasn't crazy over them. They're definitely the sort of thing I would turn to if I had a cold and wanted to suck on something for a sore throat and give myself some extra C along for the ride. I find it hard to assign a rating because I can't say I enjoyed these enough to revisit them without a cold motivating me to do so, but I would definitely get them again if I was infected. I'm wondering if Asahi should use that as part of their marketing campaign.

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