Saturday, February 7, 2009

Nihonjin Nibbles: Mikan Pocky

I have been away from blogging for far too long, so this will be the first of two today!

Next in the series of Japanese Junk Food to review, and one that I have been especially excited to review is Mikan Pocky.

Fig. 1: Mikan Pocky

I am familiar with the chocolate variety of Pocky, having had them before on shopping trips to the international market in Cincinnati. Every time I go I make sure to grab some.

Manufactured by Glico (the famous 'running man' of Osaka), Pocky is a thin, sweet breadstick rod with a consistency not unlike a cross between a cookie and a pretzel. The rod is dipped in chocolate of some type, be it white, milk or dark covering about 4/5 of the stick. The chocolate variety is delicious and I have to control myself from eating every one of them on the ride home. This review is, of course, not for the mundane chocolate variety but for the Mikan flavored version.

Mikan is a citrus fruit like a tangerine. Most people in the US are familiar with Clementines, and they are similar, but not the same. I always looked forward to winter just so I could get my hands on some Clementines! Unfortunately, since the radiation treatments, most fruits don't taste at all good to me anymore (notable exceptions: pineapples, bananas & strawberries) so Clementines are out. I still do, however, love the smell of citrus.

Fig. 2: Nutrition information in Japanese.

The package of Pocky is a small box with four packs of five rods. Each little pack (I think it is each little pack, I can't read Japanese ... yet) is 67 calories, which is not bad. The rods are about as long as a standard Sharpie marker and about half the diameter of a typical pencil.

Fig. 3: The open box and packets of Pocky.

As with the previous entry on KitKats, I was shocked when I opened one of the packets. It is like an orange had exploded -- the intense smell of citrus filled the room and it was wonderful! I removed a rod from the package and tasted it. At first I got a creamy texture as the white chocolate melted and it had an almost vanilla flavor to it, but as time went on I began to get a definite orangey flavor, though light and subdued. As I consumed the remainder of the Pocky stick, more of the orange flavor started coming through. At no time was the flavor overwhelming.

Fig. 4: Size comparison for a Pocky rod.

I was apprehensive at first about these because of my problems with citrus. I so much wanted to like them. Thankfully, I was not disappointed!

Hopefully by time I get up the funds and courage to travel to Japan, I will be over my taste problems so I can enjoy the little Mikans for real. Barring that, the Mikan Pocky deserve a 9/10.

Here is a take on the Mikan Pocky from the always lovely Orchid: Mikan Pocky on Japanese Snack Reviews.


Nea said...

Yum. Sounds delish! I'm sure Junko would approve. *grin*

Min_FoodLover said...

I'm a huge fan of Pocky, am ecstatic to find out that there are so many people in love with Pocky!!!