Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Memorable Japanese Kit Kats I've Reviewed - Part 2 - The Weird Apple Vinegar

All this week we're looking back at some of the Japanese Kit Kat bars we've eaten. We're actually in Japan right now, and hopefully we've found a few more.  Today's Kit Kat bar is one that falls into the strange category. In fact it falls in the strange and likely not very tasty category. No one has ever asked for a vinegar flavoured Kit Kat bar, but here we are, and here it is.

This isn't the only foray into the weird that Kit Kat Japan has made. They've also come up with a wasabi flavoured Kit Kat, and a soy sauce flavoured bar as well. I'm sure there have been other weird flavours considering they've released more than 300 varieties in Japan alone.

What I wonder is if these crazy, likely gross flavours are still just as popular as the non-gross flavours. Do Japanese people really go for the gross, or is this even a gross concept to Japanese people. More importantly, has any of these gross flavours sold so well, that they've considered keeping them on forever?

Click here to check out our review of this not so great bar.

You can also  follow us on Facebook and Twitter to find out if we found any new Kit Kat bars while in Japan.


Monday, November 12, 2018

Memorable Japanese Kit Kats I've Reviewed - Part 1 - Two Japanese Classic Flavours In One

Last week we looked at some of the fun varieties of a classic Japanese treat, Pocky. This week we're looking at a classic British treat that took the world by storm, and then Japan ramped it up even further, the Kit Kat bar. It all started several years ago when Japan released a special green tea variety. Since then they've been breaking the boundaries of what we expect the Kit Kat bar to be. So every day this week we're posting a look back at some of the more interesting Japanese Kit Kat bars that we've reviewed. We're still in Japan, and hopefully we're finding even more.

For our first entry this week, I thought I would start with a Kit Kat bar that pretty much sums up the  flavours of Japanese candy. Japan has some pretty creative treats of their own, but they also excel at taking already established treats and giving them a Japanese spin. Two of the more common flavours to use in this kind of adaptation is match green tea and sweet red bean paste.

In the  past there have been various matcha and red bean Kit Kat bars, but this was the first time I'd ever seen them both together. It's a strange flavour combination, but it really does taste Japanese.

Click here to read our review about this ultra Japanese flavoured Kit Kat.

Also make sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to keep up with our Japanese adventures right now.


Monday Morning Breakfast Thought (quickie from Tokyo Disney)

Just got in to Tokyo Disney and we’re tired.

Click here to check out the very quick breakfast though.

Make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with our Tokyo Disney adventures.


Saturday, November 10, 2018

Opening A Classic Kyoto Candy

We’re on a train opening a special Kyoto treat known as Kotabe. It comes in many different flavours and we chose chestnut. It’s a treat you can only find in Kyoto, and it’s pretty unique. We’ll be posting the full review when we get home, but for now...

Check out the video of us opening and sampling some Kotabe.

Also make sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to keep up with our entire adventure.


Friday, November 09, 2018

My Favourite Pocky - Part 5 - The Different Stick

All this week we've been posting short blog posts celebrating our favourite Pockys that we've reviewed over the years. Today we're posting our last installment with a variation that we've only seen once with Pocky. Normally the thing that changes about Pocky are the flavour of the chocolate, the ingredients added to the chocolate, or the flavour of the cookie stick. This variant however changed the shape of the stick instead.

The flavour of this Pocky is a standard strawberry flavour, I think this is a flavour they've done a few times with a few subtle differences. This time however they changed the stick, and not in a way you might think. Instead of bending the stick, or turning it into a pretzel or something, they changed the stick from a round stick to a heart shape in the circumference. While I can't say that the idea worked well, it was pretty cool to see them go out on a limb and try something totally different.

I'm a really big fan of Pocky, and it's one of those treats that's become well known for the crazy varieties that are available. It's good to see that this company is willing to play with their classic treat, but it's also great to know that whenever you want, you can always go back to the original.

Click here to read about this fun strawberry Pocky.

As you know we're in Japan, so why not check out our Facebook and Twitter feeds to see what we're up to.


Candy In The Media - Traditional Chocolate

If you want to know how chocolate was traditionally made, this is it. Best of all, it's still made this way in some places.


Thursday, November 08, 2018

Today I Ate Something Natto So Great.

As promised, the videos from our trip here in Japan just keep coming. This video is a bit of a return of sorts. 9 years ago (or so) we visited Japan and wrote a blog post about tasting natto (the most notoriously horrible food in Japan). Today we’re giving it another try, and frankly I’m surprised with the results.

Click here to check out our second attempt at natto.

Make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with our Japan adventure.


My Favourite Pocky - Part 4 - My Main Squeeze

Make sure to check out our earlier posts this week where we featured some of our favourite Pockys that we've reviewed in the past. We're in Japan right now, hopefully finding some new Pockys to try. Today's entry is a really interesting Pocky, that's because it's a flavour of candy that you don't really see very often, grape.  Let me clear that up, you do see plenty of hard candies in grape, but you don't often see chocolate based treats in grape, and you certainly don't find too many grape cookies. But that's  not the only thing that makes this Pocky unique.

The flavour itself  was pretty interesting too, it wasn't that fake grape you might expect, it was a slightly tart, slightly more realistic grape. In my opinion, grape is an underused flavour, particularly when you're talking about a real grape flavour. That's what I like about candies like Pocky that keep coming out with different varieties, eventually they get desperate and start to explore flavours that aren't commonly used. Sometimes this ends in a wonderful disaster, but sometimes you get something really interesting. I've said it before, I'd rather try a creative disaster than a sure thing that's boring.

I've seen one other flavour of these Pocky Squeeze treats before, I forget what flavour it was, but I'm hoping to see more. I would be really keen to try this in a raspberry or maybe something interesting like a dragon fruit.

Click here to see what we had to say about this Pocky.

If you want to find out what we're up to in Japan, make sure to follow us  on Twitter and Facebook.


Wednesday, November 07, 2018

My Favourite Pocky - Part 3 - Panda Pocky

All this week we're looking back at some of the Pocky we've reviewed in the past, today's Pocky is one that grabbed my attention right on the shelf.  I don't like to admit that I'm a sucker for a package or a gimmick on a candy, but I am. This is probably a perfect example of how a candy company can take a simple premises and turn it into something much more with a clever name and fun package.

What you have here is cookies and cream Pocky. The stick is the same, but they use a white chocolate with cookie bits on the outside. It's a simple idea that's been done a million times in the candy world. The thing that makes this Pocky great however is the cool package. In fact if you check out our Pinterest feed, you'll see that I've made this package the cover image for the "candy I've eaten" section. I love this package so much. It's simple and very clear. I would seriously buy a Panda Pocky t-shirt and wear it every day.

I'm sitting here years after writing the review and I can't for the life of me remember how these tasted, yet I can probably redraw the package from heart. That's how powerful some marketing can be. It's strange that Pocky can be a real hit or miss when it comes to marketing their different varieties. On yesterday's post we saw an example of a really weird marketing idea that even felt a little off putting. Today we're celebrating one of my favourite package designs ever.

Click here to read the review of this really good looking Pocky.

We're in Japan right now, follow us on Facebook and Twitter to find out what we're up to.


Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Sampling McDonald’s Carbonara Fries In Japan.

Managed to get my hands on the legendary McDonald’s Carbonara fries today, and I made a little video of me preparing them. They actually weren’t that bad, they’re actually good enough that I’d get them again. I’d also be interested in more “strange” sauces for my fries at McDonald’s.


My favourite Pocky - Part 2 - Manly Pocky

Remember, all this week we're looking at some of the Pocky varieties that we've already reviewed. We're also in Japan right now, and might be discovering some new ones. Today's Pocky is one of the first varieties of this treat that I'd ever sampled, and it was a little strange.

I've seen a few other candies, and in particular chocolate bars, that have gone with a "for men" campaign. The problem I've had with these candies is I've never actually been around to see the advertising campaign itself that goes with it, which I assume would explain why women can't eat this particular candy. So to me I always see these as being a little sexist. From what I remember about these Pocky, the only difference between these Pocky for men and the regular ones is that the chocolate is dark.

The macho man in me wants to believe that for some reason there's a food that only I, as a man, can handle, but it couldn't be further from the truth. Even more to the point is the fact that most women I know prefer dark chocolate. I would say that the first introductions to dark chocolate, and the appreciation I have for it has come from women. So I really don't understand this variety at all.

Click here to read our review of this sexist Pocky.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook as we search Japan for a Pocky for women.


Monday, November 05, 2018

My favourite Pocky - Part 1 - Classic Pocky

All this week (while we're in Japan), we're going to look back at our favourite Japanese cookie treat, Pocky.  Pocky has become so popular all over the world that some people might not even know that it got its start in Japan in 1966.  By Japanese standards it's a new candy, it really ushered in a new trend of candy from Japan being distributed all over the world.

The first Pocky we're going to look at is the classic Pocky, the one that started it all. The great thing about this treat is while it's very simple, it really works. Better yet is that they really haven't changed it that much over the years. Even though we'll be looking at different Pockys all week, the classic Pocky has everything that makes this treat great. The thin layer of chocolate and a cookie stick that has probably one of the most unique and satisfying textures of any cookie treat.

This classic treat has become so popular all over the world, that it's started to become manufactured outside of Japan. The good thing is that it seems that the other factories/manufactures are getting it right.. I've had Pocky in a few places around the world, and each version seem to hold up to the standards of the classic Japanese variety.

So all this week we'll be looking at different Pocky treats that we've reviewed (and maybe while we're here in Japan we might find a few new ones to taste), but it's important to note that the origin of all of these varieties is very solid. Not many treats can pull off so many varieties. It takes a simple yet well executed treat to spawn so many great versions.

Click here to read our classic Pocky review (it was one of our first reviews that we posted, so it a little short).

Make sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to see if we come across any new Pocky on our Japanese adventure this week.


It’s Our Monday Morning Breakfast Thoughts From Japan!

In this special episode Chris is at KFC in Japan, and he’s enjoying a biscuit. The thing about these biscuits is they’re good, really good, maybe better than the biscuits you get at KFC in the USA.

Check out the video here, and make sure to follow us on YouTube, Facebook or Twitter to keep up with all our travel videos.


Friday, November 02, 2018

Candy In The Media - Making Your Own Candy Only Better

I really love Bon Appetit's series of videos with Claire Saffitz where she attempts to make gormet versions of popular treats. These are treats that we eat all the time, but she wants to give them a gourmet twist.

Click here to check out her attempt at Kit Kat bars and Lucky Charms.