Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Lotte V.I.P Milk Chocolate


Today we have Lotte's V.I.P Fresh Cream Chocolate bars. I purchased this snack on my last Mitsuwa trip and found it on sale for only $1.99! I don't usually break for milk chocolate but this packaging looked so fancy that I had to give it a shot.I'm not sure that the V.I.P part is relevant but I suppose they were trying to class it up.

Doesn't the box really draw your eye? The gold bound box is very beautiful and the subtle pattern in the background is pretty elegant (for a candy wrapping of course).

I always appreciate the care put into the box design with these treats from Japan. They protect the product within beautifully and really add a bit to the excitement of trying what is inside. The size of the individually wrapped bars are perfect. It is just enough to be satisfying but you don't feel obligated to eat a ton, like you would a Hershey bar.


The taste was good (for milk chocolate) and reminded me more of a Nestle bar - a little bit more creamy and slightly sweeter than Hershey. I enjoyed it and the rest will surely make a great mid-afternoon sweet treat.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Koikeya Don Tacos


Today I have a truly excellent treat- Koikeya's Don Tacos. This is everything I look for in a snack: off kilter, familiar yet exotic and interesting packaging. I barely skimmed the label yet the name alone, Don Tacos, grabbed me. In the US, this treat would most assuredly be politically incorrect. I purchased this bag at Mitsuwa for $1.99.

I won't go into the mascot- he's a veritable dichotomy of absurdity and awesome- so we will move on to the roasted corn. This roasted corn looked incredibly delicious and catches your eye. Living the entirety of my life in the US,  I have a certain expectation of corn chips but this image alone should have tipped me off to the actual taste of the product.


These little corn chip characters on the back are great! Their wacky expressions and berets are a blast.

The chips are small, about one or two bites each and the bag is one serving all together. My husband and I both tried one at the same time and the reaction was exactly this: "This was...not what I was expecting." The corn chip itself was familiar but the flavored powder on top was a uniquely Japanese profile of soy sauce, roasted smokiness and sugar. I expected some sort of chili powder/cheese flavor since that's typical here but I couldn't have been more wrong! My initial thought was that I did not like it but it has since grown on me. I've heard tell there are other flavors of Don Tacos. I promise to share any additional Don Tacos discoveries!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Calbee Satsumariko Sweet Potato


During a lovely trip to Mitsuwa, I picked up a few more treats to review including this snack which initially reminded me of my childhood favorite- French's Potato Sticks. In essence, they were potato chips in a thin straw-like format, but to an 11 year old they were incredible. Calbee's satsumariko are similiar in the fact they are chips in the shape of fries, however, Calbee's version are of the sweet potato variety.

(Satsuma means sweet potato)

The packaging is adorable! I love the bright color and argyle patterns. It's sort of funky and got me excited to try the product. I've seen plenty of sweet potato flavored products (including a Pucca item!) and I find the way they display the potato interesting. It's always open at the top with a fluffy, mashed potato texture.

The little comic is puzzling. Granted, I can't read all of the kanji, but the gist is the crane is commenting on the beauty of the tree/branch/whatever and the bug is saying that it is expensive too.

The sweet potato sticks themselves are uninspiring. They are very very crunchy, almost too hard to chew. The initial flavor is bland, thought there is a hint of sweet potato in the after taste. Surprisingly, the first ingredient is actually sweet potato but it does not add as much impact as I had hoped. On to the next snack!