Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Union Twist Snack


I enjoyed my last treat by Union so much (Choco-Corn! http://jsnackattack.blogspot.com/2011/12/choco-corn-snack.html) that I wanted to pick up one of their other snacks. Union is actually produced in Korea but sold in Japan (hence the kana and such on the package). This bag was purchased at Asian Food Market for about $2.69.

My choices were between a ring looking cracker and a spiral one. They both had "syrup" listed as the flavor so it came down to the shape- clearly spiral! The packaging is bright and fun and definitely draws your eye to it. Technically it's a "twist" as it says in kana.

It looks like the spirals are supposed to resemble the girl's braids...weird!

Now, this snack was pretty good but not as delicious as Choco-corn. The twists were crunchy and retained that corn taste but they lacked a specific flavor. Syrup is a really generic term...honey syrup? maple syrup? I think this was just a plain sugar syrup. It was certainly tasty and worthy of seconds but it's rather mundane flavor would keep me from grabbing this again. Next time I'm up for some Union treats, I'll stick with Choco-corn!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Sidenote: Marion Crepe


I had an awesome experience today! I went to Mitsuwa in Edgewater, NJ for my once or once every two months trip for lunch and treats. Aside from some delicious una-don (rice bowl with broiled eel), they had a special Marion Crepes booth! Mitsuwa often has a specialty booth set up and it varies depending on ...I don't know, maybe the month or something. Last month they had a booth showcasing sweet potato products from Hokkaido.

I've seen crepe trucks or booths in animes on occasion, and I've seen plenty of crepe stalls at American street fairs. However, the crepes I've had here look a lot different than the American ones....

(This is not my picture but was taken at the same exact booth at Mitsuwa in CA- my crepe looked the same minus the strawberries. See all the cool plastic crepes in the display?!)

The booth at Mitsuwa is an actual chain in Japan called Marion Crepes! They had 10 or 12 different varieties and a display case of the plastic versions so you know exactly what you are getting. Most were sweet and involved combinations of whipped cream, chocolate sauce, strawberries and bananas. A few were delightfully odd such as the tuna pizza crepe which seemed to be filled with canned tuna, cream cheese and lettuce.

(This was the paper cone...I did not have the camera with me at Mitsuwa- sorry!)

I opted for the whipped creme and chocolate sauce crepe, which was likely the most basic but totally worth it. The crepe was made fresh in front of me, rolled up into a paper cone and stuffed with not-too-sweet whipped creme and chocolate sauce. It was amazing. The crepe was warm and flavorful and was filled with the perfect amount of sweetness. For $5, I was floored. I would love too, but likely will not, drive the 45 minutes to Mitsuwa every day to try a different variety. This surprise cultural delight was an unexpected and incredible experience. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Fujiya Puff in Chocolate


This Japanese snack was one of those quick and cheap impulse grabs from Mitsuwa. At $.89, I didn't really care what was under the wrapper- the graphics are cute, it's Japanese, score. I actually figured it was a lollipop or hard candy of some sort based on past snacks.


The company who makes this snack is Fujiya. Their mascots are those unusual looking little retro kids. I've seen them make a ton of chocolate treats in the shape of their characters or Anpanman, etc. To be honest, I don't think I've ever had a snack by them so this was a worthy experiment.

The wrapping is great. The outer plastic protects the inner foil wrapper and chocolate. The foil is plastered with bright little images of their mascots and lets me know that the candy within is Puff in Chocolate. Now, that I knew it was chocolate, I assumed that inside the chocolate was marshmallow since other Japanese snacks use the term "puff" when it is marshmallow. This snack was full of false assumptions for me. The puff was actually krispy cereal bits.


Now, I have to be honest, I'm not sure if it was the candy or an off day for my taste buds but this candy tasted like chemicals. I'm talking about the serious kind I use at work in the housekeeping department of a hotel. I kind of waited a second and the milk chocolate flavor came through but I was too freaked and spit it out. 

I would consider trying Fujiya treats again, but maybe not for a little while. I'm hoping something got funky in transit and there were not actually chemicals in the chocolate.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Lotte Doraemon Cappucho Biscuit


This week I tried this ultra cute looking tube of Doraemon biscuits. For $1.99, I couldn't resist the bright graphics! PLUS there is an included Doraemon sticker with a Doraemon secret printed on it.


In case you haven't heard, Doraemon is an extremely popular children's character in Japan. He's in pretty much everything you could imagine- TV shows, manga, toys, snacks, video games...and on and on. He is a cat robot from the 22nd century.


Even the top piece of foil is adorably decorated.

This is my favorite part of the packaging. I love the bright contrasting colors highlighting parts of the character. CUTE. I usually don't go so nuts over packaging but something about the snack really gets me.

(The sticker says he's from the "22th" century...heh)

The snack is produced by Lotte, which is a Korean company that tends to make a ton of Japanese treats. This is yet another variation of the popular chocolate covered biscuit. It's actually difficult sometimes to find treats that aren't nearly identical to this. The treat itself was rather mediocre and bordered on disappointing. The layer of chocolate was thin and the interior biscuit sort of stale.

Who am i kidding? I really bought it for the packaging. The sticker was actually a surprise! I suppose I didn't really inspect the package when I purchase it and was excited to find it. Each sticker is imprinted with a Doraemon secret. I couldn't really get the gist of this one...it had something to do with kimono sashes. Ah well. What is a cat robot doing with a kimono anyway?