Monday, October 31, 2011

Chestnut Pucca

Despite my initial reservations about the show, I found that I learned to love the T.V. series "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer". In Japan, incidentally, Fox used to promote it as "Buffy, the cross lover." Fortunately, they gave that promotional slogan as it made sound like she was doing something impure with a crucifix rather than running around stabbing vampires with bits of sharpened wood. 

A lot of fans of that T.V. series felt that the secondary character of "Willow", played by Alyson Hannigan, was more attractive, more interesting, and generally a more appealing part of the show. She wasn't the name character and more people were familiar with Buffy, but she had a quality that those who were paying attention appreciated. I personally had no favoritism, but this situation, in which a more widely-known character is actually of lesser quality than a secondary character, reminded me of the standing of Pucca in the Japanese snack world.

The "Buffy" of Japanese pretzel snacks is "Pocky", but Pucca is a much better presentation of a similar concept. Pocky dips the stick in flavored coatings, Pucca has a crispy pretzel shell full of flavored cream. In my opinion, Pucca carries a much better, earthy rye flour pretzel flavoring and the concentration of the filling inside provides for a stronger burst of flavor. The shell is very crispy and delicate and provides a better contrast (and crunch) than a Pocky stick. 

The only question about this presentation of Pucca for me was whether it was going to do right by me in terms of the chestnut filling. Mainly, was it going to convey the essence of chestnut and be properly, but not overbearingly, sweet. I'm pleased to say that it hits the nail right on the head in terms of conveying a creamy chestnut flavored enhanced with vanilla. The filling is a lot like the cream in an Oreo, though it's a bit more solid. 

You can find Pucca all over the place, and this version will probably be around until the weather turns warm again. It's usually 100 or so yen per box ($1.21) and each box is 46 grams (1.6 oz.). The entire box has 241 calories. While this isn't my absolute favorite Pucca (that honor stays with the original chocolate version), it is a very tasty variation. If it were just a little salty or a little less sweet, it'd be getting a "very happy" rating. As it is, it's still good, but just avoids being great. 


Anonymous said...

Haha - I love your posts (both in this blog and your other current and past blogs). They are so well written and I love your unique insight into Japanese culture. Also, your food/snack tips were so useful when I went to Tokyo last month and I'm sure will be again when I go to Tokyo/Kyoto this Christmas ! Keep up the wonderful work!

Roger (London)

Orchid64 said...

Thanks so much, Roger! I really appreciate that you read and that you took the time to comment so kindly!

Japan-Australia said...

Pucca is a great snack. I have some Pucca Chocolate and Vanilla that I'm just about to try :)

Japan Australia

Kevin said...

The only thing that Pocky has over Pucca is I enjoy scraping/sucking the chocolate off of the pretzel (like peeling the skin off of a grape)... always have. But, yeah, the pretzel could use a little work!