Monday, January 23, 2012

Meiji Spicy Choco Stick Cinnamon & Black Pepper


Sorry for the delay folks! I was on a trip to Florida then had to rush back due some family health issues. All's well in the end...and I did get a chance to go to Mitsukoshi market in Disney's Epcot! Epcot's Japan pavilion is pretty incredible with it's meandering paths and recreated buildings, but Mitsukoshi takes the cake. It is an actual, and very old, department store chain in Japan. Cool stuff XD

So this week I tried Meiji's Spicy Choco Stick. There were a few varieties, though the other flavors escape me now...I thought the cinnamon and black pepper combo seemed the most appealing.

My favorite part of this packaging is that little red blurb that claims it goes well with alcohol. No lie, I did have these with a glass of wine but I don't know that it made a huge difference with the flavors.

This photo even shows serving it IN a glass of some sort of unnamed liquor. They really are going for the 21+ crowd with this, huh?

As for flavor, I'll admit I don't quite get this trend of spicy/savory/sweet combination. I've had chili chocolate before, bacon chocolate, sea salt chocolate etc etc but I'm never quite as impressed as I'd like to be. If I want chocolate, I want sweet chocolately chocolate. This falls into my "huh?" category as well. I didn't taste ANY cinnamon in the chocolate or biscuit. The cracked black pepper was VERY prevalent and was baked into the biscuit. It did take like fresh black pepper though, not wimpy stale pepper. My husband, who liked the chili and bacon chocolate, liked this as well.

I like the direction they are going in with the off kilter additions and mature flavor profile (and the suggestion to consume with alcohol ;) ) but I personally would not buy them again.

I should be back to regular updating now!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Toko Cola Ramune


Now, I may get speared for this but I'm only iffy on ramune. I've tried a bunch throughout the ages...original, melon, strawberry...but I always find the flavors a bit too fake and too sweet. I saw cola flavor this past trip to Asian Food Market so I thought I'd give it another shot since I'm a big fan of cola.

Total English on a package always put me off a bit, but it does say "Made in Japan" on the back so my fear was somewhat releived. I don't know if Toko makes all ramune but they make this flavor.

(That's the glass ball in the top compartment after I opened the bottle)

I think my grudge against ramune is due in part to the bottle itself. Yes, it is cool. Yes, it is novel. For me, however, they are hard as heck to open. I guess I have weak hands or something but I either need someone else to open the bottle or a tool like a wooden spoon handle (and yes that is how I opened this bottle). If you haven't had ramune, there is not a traditional cap but a small glass ball blocking the opening that you must push down with a plastic device given to you. The ball then rests in the top compartment while you drink, although it irritatingly gets in the way of the opening on occasion.

OK now for the flavor- do you know those gummy cola bottles? This tastes like them but lightly carbonated. Very sweet with only a slight cola flavor...definitely not my idea of a refreshing cola beverage. Less sweetness, more cola and more carbonation is needed to make this a viable ramune option. Sorry ramune- you have not earned any more points in my book!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Bourbon Tomato Chili Crackers


With a basket full of sweet things at Mitsuwa, I decided I should try a savory flavor when I saw the display of Bourbon's crackers. It kind of amuses me when I see a name like Bourbon- where did that come from? This is a Japanese company that makes cookies and crackers yet they are named after an American whiskey. Heh...

As you can see, there are a TON of flavors of these crackers and at under $2, it was an easy choice.

The packaging is great, once again. The little plastic tubes really protect the product and so, depite coming all the way from Japan, not a one is broken. There are 2 servings in the tube at 130kcals each, which is similar to your average Wheat Thins serving.

Now, I'm kinda torn on the flavor. I didn't get chili at all at first. After consuming maybe like 10 crackers, I could taste a whisper of spice. The tomato hits you in the face when you first eat it. It's similar to the tomato flavor of a mass-produced generic marinara sauce in powder form. Not disgusting but a little too tomato-y to be natural. After the first cracker, it seemed less potent and little more savory and I certainly enjoyed the following crackers more than the first. I would not get this flavor again but the texture of the cracker was good as was the value and so I may pick up some of their other varieties.