Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Hokkaido Milk Soft Candy


This week I tried one of my purchases from Disney's Epcot's Mitsukoshi. I didn't really know what to expect from this product and really, I don't even know WHY I picked it up. Maybe it was the cow.

This product mentions Hokkaido...I don't know if it's actually from there but to the best of my knowledge, that region is known for farming so perhaps there is some correlation there. All sorts of yummy things are mentioned on the front including cream and butter. In English, it talks about how there is calcium and that it is healthy. Do not be fooled, my friends, for the nutrition facts inform me that there is only 1% of the daily requirement of calcium in one candy.

This bag cost me $3.99 and there are about 10 candies inside. Not great, deal-wise but now we get into the best part- the candy itself. Man oh man did this unassuming white blob surprise me. It's DELICIOUS. It's soft and chewy and tastes just like sweet cream with a little bit of butter richness. I've never, ever had a candy like this and can't equate it to any American candy I've had. I could eat, like, the whole bag, but in the interest of calories, I'll hold off (26ish for each candy).

If this is what I get for picking up rather boring looking, random products then I better do it more often.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Kasugai Strawberry & Yogurt Ramune Candy


Sitting around the apartment with a fever today...and it was not made better by Kasugai's Ramune Strawberry & Yogurt candies. I don't know what it is but if it's related to ramune I'm bound to think it mediocre at best and disgusting at worst.

I picked these up at Mitsukoshi in Disney's Epcot for $1.29. Not a bad price considering most stuff at Asian Food Market/Mitsuwa is $1.99 minimum, even for a small pack of candy. Mitsukoshi definitely has things I don't see elsewhere...I've never seen these candies up North.

There's about 30 little candies in the bag and they are either strawberry or yogurt (pink or white). Rereading this I see I'm complaining a lot today (maybe it's the fever?) but I typically haven't had luck with asian yogurt "flavored" things. Yogurt by itself it weird and tangy and we tend to add flavor to it to make it less...itself. Why would you want just a candy that is just yogurt flavored? I see it a lot, though, in Japanese treats.

The candies dissolve in your mouth instantly, sort of like the Coris Whistle Ramune candies, into a chalky powder. If that isn't appealing enough, the super fake/chemically tasting flavors will get you next. I surprisingly thought the yogurt flavor a hair more palatable but they were honestly kind of gross.

I know I have another ramune related candy from Mitsuwa in my collection...I may avoid it for a while.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Misuzu Castella Cakes


I love pastries. They are really one of my favorite things on the planet. If I could eat muffins, cakes, cinnamon buns, etc everyday I would be the happiest person alive...and probably very overweight...and have diabetes. My soft spot for these sort of things found me drooling over these very cool looking individually packaged doughnuts at Mitsuwa. I've NEVER seen them there or in Asian Food Market before and I was immediately smitten. They had retro font packaging and were..I'd sat about 3 inches in diameter. They were also about $6 for only a few doughnuts...and so I found these small (though not round) mini-cakes for $3.49. Yay!

This is like the best of many worlds, my friends. I've already described my enchantment with Japanese pastries in general. These are also small, adorable, and a great pastry to have with some tea/coffee without being high in calories or fat.

There are 4 servings in the pack with amounts to 5/6 cakes per serving. In total it's only 118 kcals! Cool!

The mini cakes are about 1.5 inches in about a bite or two each. The cake is sweet and a little spongey and it covered by a nice crunchy layer of sprinkled sugar. They tasted very fresh despite being imported and consumed over the period of a week. I figured this would mean they are chocked full of preservatives (like Entamen's cakes) but the ingredient list is very short and there's not really anything crazy on it.

These are day I may suck it up and buy the expensive doughnuts but for the price, these were a fantastic discovery.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Puccho Apple Cider Candy

こんにちは みんなさん!

Today I tried one of the many Puccho candy varieties. I've never had one before but there are a ton of flavors. This was an impulse buy from my last sojourn to Asian Food Market. It was $2.29 for the package which contains 10 candies.

There are a lot of bubbles on the package...I don't really know why since apple cider nor chewey candies have bubbles.

The side displays what one should expect of the candy. The main white chewey part is apple cider soft candy, the white pieces are "shuwashuwa kishiritsubu" (I honestly don't know what it's trying to say but I think these were the sour pieces), and the red pieces are just apple gummies.

Despite the fact they are well within the expiration, the "soft gummy" was a bit hard. It took some persistence to chew but it was pretty tasty overall. It was both really sour and really sweet but balanced. I don't know that I would be able to tell any difference between this and just plain apple flavoring though! I may try some of the others eventually...but I still feel like this is more expensive than I wish to pay for a candy.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Food of the Gods- Melon Pan


Just wanted to stop by this morning to make you all a little jealous- I am currently consuming one of the foods of the gods for breakfast- melon pan. I don't know what it is but I LOVE Japanese/Asian breads. They have this innate sweetness to them and despite other breads with fancy fillings (red bean, cream, etc.) melon pan always tastes so great. The bottom part is normal delicious sweet bread and the top is like a soft crunchier cake.

(The Japanese blurb says something about delicious things and secrets/tricks...weird.)

Went to Mitsuwa on Sunday and got a few cool items to review...I will be posting a full post tomorrow so stop back soon!

Also on a pastry side note...tried fresh taiyaki at Mitsuwa and while it was pretty good, I just am never 100% into read bean paste (too thick and sweet). It was a cultural experience, however, and I am better for it! For those of you who don't know what taiyaki is a very popular street treat in Japan and basically consists of waffle dough cooked on fish shaped plates with red bean paste filling inside. Have any of you had melon pan/taiyaki/other Japanese breads?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Glico Butter Pretz


Pretz (pronounced purettsu) is one of those old school Japanese snacks. It's been around in the US as long as I can remember drooling over Pocky as a new and exciting foreign specialty as a dorky high school student. Ahh those were the days...

While other friends and family went nuts for the snack, I was a little put off by how basic it seemed. If I'm gonna eat a Glico biscuit, it darn well better be covered in chocolate and called Pocky!

I didn't even try Pretz until a few years ago when I saw "Pretz Meets Wine" on the shelf at Asian Food Market. Now, if my snack requires me to consume wine, you know I will purchase it post haste. The box was large and colorful and showed the fancy cheese flavors baked into the little biscuit straws. By the way, it did go well with wine.

(Look at how easy that is to open! )

Since I have NEVER seens Pretz Meets Wine again, I decided to stop trying delude myself into thinking it would magically appear and buy a normal Pretz. The little box was $1.99 and contains one pouch with approximately 30 or so little biscuits. They weigh in at about 124 kcals for the whole box.

(pictures of light small cylindrical objects never come out well...)

The flavor was good! It assuredly tasted of butter but was not overpowering, just a subtle richness. I like the shape of the biscuits much better than traditional crackers for snacking purposes (with wine or otherwise ;) ). I'll likely pick up other flavors of Pretz to sample. The "salad" flavors worries me though...salad as a flavor doesn't make much sense to me.