Posts filed under ‘Asian’

Asian Candies IV

More Asian candy, including one actually bought in Asia. Oooh!

Japanese Money Chocolate

This chocolate bar was given to me by my suitemate’s Japanese friends who came all the way from Japan to visit her. I have no clue what it’s called; I’ve chosen to dub it Japanese Money Chocolate because it came wrapped up to look like a piece of Japanese paper money and had a fake paperboard piece inside as well. I didn’t get a picture of it before I unwrapped it, but here’s a terrible shot of the wrapper, if you want to take a look.

The bar was quite prettily imprinted with playing card suits. Why, I don’t know, but why not? It was darker and smokier tasting than what I expected, and it was filled with rice crispies, giving it a nice toastiness. It looks rather greasy in the photo (and it was greasy in person), but the chocolate was actually pretty nice, smooth and not at all oily. I ate the whole bar (about the size of a credit card) in one sitting. An OM.

Sanrio Bubble Gum

This bubble gum found me via my friend Cassie, who bought them on a Sanrio store shopping spree. Aren’t the wrappers adorable? I tasted the green one: Chibimaru kiwi fruit. The gum also comes in other flavors (raspberry, lemon, orange), which I didn’t taste.

The gum came in three attached but breakable segments and was snow white. I expected it to be green like the wrapper or like kiwis, but whatever. It was lightly sweet and fruity with a velvety texture, almost fuzzy on my tongue. An interesting textural sensation with a nice, light flavor. I’d give this gum an O. The flavor lasted for an annoying short time, and because the gum came from the Sanrio store, it was probably overpriced.

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December 5, 2007 at 8:00 am 1 comment

Asian candies III

Nestle Choco Milo

A tiny cube of chocolate cookie – the densest, crunchiest tiny cube of chocolate cookie I’ve ever had. It was super hard, and it only got away with being so nearly impossible to crunch because it was about 1 cm x 1 cm x 1 cm. Though tiny, the Choco Milo is delicious. Its chocolate flavor is reminiscent of that of hot cocoa, and it strikes a perfect bittersweet balance. OMG. Unfortunately, I grabbed this one out of a dish at a party of an acquaintance and have no idea where to find more.

Kasugai hard candy

Kusugai (BUY!) makes a lot of great Asian candies; their gummies are especially popular and deliciously faithful to their fruits’ taste. From my first quick glance at the wrapper of these Kasugai hard candies, I expected these to be a mix of individually wrapped candies of different flavors. A pineapple here, an apple there, a… bell pepper? Wait. There are vegetables on the wrapper too! My Chinese reading skills are nearly nonexistent, but I do recognize the second character as one that usually means “vegetable”.

These pleasantly light and sweet candies were all the same color – orange – and all the same difficult to pin down flavor. I definitely tasted pineapple; the bell pepper, not so much. I’d describe these as V8 Splash (BUY!) flavored candy. Again, they were pleasant enough, but not something I’d want to eat again and again. Just an O, but a positive one.

Mikakuto Tokuno Japanese Milk Candy

I didn’t know what these were called but managed to stumble across them on Amazon (BUY!). The cow and barn motif (which I find adorable, by the way) match up, so I think it’s safe to assume they’re the same candy.

I think I’ve yet to meet an Asian milk candy (BUY!) I didn’t like. To me, they’re all pretty much the same. They’ve all been a milky, creamy vanilla, but such a delicious vanilla, with that extra bit of vanilla essence oomph that elevates it to the next level. That oomph is difficult to describe. It’s like the difference between generic vanilla ice cream and the best homemade vanilla ice cream (oh Blue Bell, why haven’t you made it to New England yet?) you’ve ever had. Which makes this way better than a vanilla Tootsie Roll. In this particular brand of milk candy, the vanilla flavor is more that of vanilla extract than vanilla bean, but it still works! An OM.

October 12, 2007 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Asian candies II

As promised, more Asian candies!

Juice hard candy

I don’t what these guys are actually called – the wrapper just says Juice and has some pictures of fruit on it – but I love them. I realize that’s not very helpful if you want to try to find them yourself, and I apologize. All I remember is that they came in a red bag that was square and rather flat, and I bought it at Asia Market in Austin.

The flavor is difficult to describe; I’d call it a light, citrusy fruit punch that’s the perfect amount of sweet. The texture is perfect, as it’s crunchable and cleaves cleanly if you choose to chomp on it, but it melts beautifully in your mouth if you choose to savor it. Though I’m usually a hard candy chomper, I always try to force myself to savor these because they’re so good, and I usually succeed. An OMG on the ZOMG! scale.

Coco Coll

This coconut milk candy has the look and mouthfeel of a Werther’s Original (BUY!), and it melts and cleaves in the same way. While I have negative to ambivalent feelings towards coconut itself, I love coconut milk, and I love this candy. It’s lightly sweet and milky, with just the hint of coconut essence. Another OMG, if only because it’s managed to undo a lifetime of Mounds induced coconut-candy prejudice. And isn’t the wrapper gorgeous?

Li Hing Sour Patch Kids (BUY!)

These are courtesy of Catherine, my chocolate-hating (!) suitemate from Hawaii, who brought them from, you guessed it, Hawaii. I adore Sour Patch Kids (BUY!), so I was excited to see how the Hawaiian version would stack up.

Visually, the Li Hing version is already at a disadvantage. While regular Sour Patch Kids are bright, glittery, and covered in sugar, these guys are darker and kind of slimy. They’re also not shaped like regular Sour Patch Kids, but I prefer the Li Hing as they make me think of long-haired girls in hula skirts.

The texture is also not that of a real Sour Patch Kid. It’s much too firm, like Dots, and got horribly stuck in my teeth. The Li Hing Hula Girls also aren’t bright and fruity like real Sour Patch Kids, and as far as I can tell, they’re not sour. So basically these candies neither look nor feel nor taste like Sour Patch Kids, which makes me think that the Aloha Gourmet company may be treading on copyright issues, but they seem to be a rather small company, and I certainly don’t want to get them in trouble.

The Li Hing part of the candy is the rather unattractive brown coating (you can kind of see it in first the picture). The taste reminded me of the salty-sweet Asian plum candies my parents love so much, and lo and behold, Wikipedia says that li hing mui is a salty, dried plum (while I speak Mandarin, the name didn’t register because it’s in Cantonese). I don’t mind the li hing taste because I ate it as a kid, but I agree that it’s an acquired taste that not everyone would enjoy.

I think these Li Hing Sour Patch Hula Girls suffer because of the underlying gummi rather than the Li Hing flavor. A quick search shows that other companies seem to make versions using actual Sour Patch Kids, which would probably taste much better and be more texturally pleasing. I like the Li Hing flavor enough to want to try the other kinds of Li Hing coated gummis that I never knew existed. I give these an O for the execution, but I think a version with real Sour Patch Kids or other gummis would warrant an OM. The only logical next step would be to go to Hawaii and taste for myself – for the sake of this blog, of course.

September 24, 2007 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Helly Kitty sugary things

food-blog-pictures-050.jpgI picked these up at Dave & Buster’s along with the SweeTarts Squeez. They’re technically not Asian candy, but Hello Kitty is Asian, so I’m filing her as such. I didn’t expect these to taste good, since the toy is the selling point here, and they didn’t. But that doesn’t matter, because it’s a tiny Hello Kitty eating watermelon, and it doesn’t get much cuter than that.

food-blog-pictures-051.jpgThe little pink and white beads of candy are slightly smaller than Tart ‘N Tinys and taste faintly fruity. They’re made of compressed sugar with a light sugar coating, like Sprees and Tart ‘N Tinys. My blind taste test revealed that the white ones and the pink ones both taste the same. I’d guess that the faint fruit flavor is strawberry, but I’m probably biased by the pink color. Because it’s Hello Kitty, the pinkness may just serve to attract girls and could have nothing to do with the flavor of the candy.

The candy doesn’t taste bad, but it doesn’t taste like much and really isn’t worth eating. Besides, I think it looks pretty inside the container, so I’ll leave it like it is.

August 24, 2007 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Asian candies I

I am Asian, so you will be reading about a lot of Asian candy. Consider this part I of an open-ended series.

Lotte Cafe Coffee chewing gumfood-blog-pictures-016.jpg

This gum tasted like weak coffee with too much sugar and cream. The flavor didn’t last very long, and once it was gone, the gum took on an unpleasant taste and texture. I was not a fan, but my mother, who likes her coffee weak with lots of sugar and cream, loved it. Go figure.

Meiji Apollo strawberry/chocolate thingies BUY

food-blog-pictures-015.jpgThese little cones are adorable and delicious. It may be hard to tell from the picture, but they’re about the size of a peanut, sans shell. The pink top is strawberry (I think it may be flavored white chocolate), while the brown bottom is milk chocolate. The texture is wonderfully creamy, and the sweet strawberries ‘n’ cream smell is incredible. I’m a dark chocolate lover and usually find milk and white chocolate to be too sweet for my taste. These candies are on the sweet side, but I don’t find them offensive or cloying at all. Interestingly enough, they may be named after NASA’s Apollo command module.

Ramune Soda Fizzy Candy BUY

ramune-soda.jpgI polished these guys off at the restaurant, so I apologize for the poor photo from Amazon.com. The candies are snow white in color and look kind of like pills. Size-wise, they’re like fat Tart N Tinys. Taste-wise, they taste like Ramune soda, which can be found at any Asian grocery store. Ramune soda bottles have a very distinct shape. The bottles are stoppered with marbles. To open the soda, you break the seal and push the marble into the bottle’s uniquely shaped neck, where it rattles around while you drink the soda. The fizzy candy makers have tried to emulate the bottle’s shape with their plastic container, a design note that I appreciate.

Ramune soda (and, by correlation, ramune soda candy) is supposed to be lemonade flavored. I find the taste to be more of a generically crisp citrus flavor, which is quite enjoyable, if unremarkable. The fizzy part of the candies is far less noticeable than that of the Jones Soda candies, but the Ramunes taste much better and have no lingering aftertaste. The citrus flavor isn’t that strong, but it doesn’t have to compete with an overpoweringly sweet sugar flavor, so the citrus really comes through. The compressed sugar Ramunes are also slightly softer than the Jones candies, somewhere between a Sweet Tart and a Smartie.

I would definitely buy the Apollo candies again, and the Ramune candies are maybe worth another taste in the future. As for the coffee gum, I’ve given the rest of the pack to my mother. Good riddance.

Edit 09/05: The Apollo strawberry candies are worth a ZOMG!, the Ramune candies an OM, and the gum just an O.

August 14, 2007 at 8:00 am Leave a comment


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