Thursday, July 29, 2010

Japan Loot part 8

I'm somewhat familiar with the next item I'm about to write about. I've written about a product from this brand before and I didn't exactly praise it. However, despite it not being my favorite brand of chocolate, I will do my duty:

Another LOOK chocolate bar and this time it's Parfait A La Mode. I don't know why I'm not a big fan of this chocolate. Maybe it's the chocolate and not the filling that I have an issue with. Regardless, I tried to keep an open mind about this. At the time that Karina and Phil gave this to me, I hadn't seen it yet in markets. However, I have recently seen it on at least two occasions. Back to the candy, this time I assume it's going to be some sort of creamy substance with fruit flavoring

From left to right: Blueberry Parfait, Pudding Parfait, Strawberry Parfait, Chocolate Parfait

What's not shown in the picture is the fruit filling. Yes, right above that creamy layer is a spread of fruit jam or something. Some of it oozed out when I tried getting the picture above. Right off the bat, I really liked the blueberry parfait flavor. I don't know what it is about blueberry filling, but I really enjoy it. I'm not sure how many widely available candies have blueberry outside of fruit snacks. I also really like Meiji brand Blueberry Chocolate bars as well. The pudding parfait flavor was not my favorite. That's not to say it was bad, but it was because I couldn't tell what it was. I have no idea what pudding parfait tastes like. Moving on, strawberry parfait was good, but not as good as blueberry parfait. I could definitely smell the strawberry flavoring in it. The chocolate parfait tasted and smelled like coffee. Not exactly chocolate, but hey, it's different from the other fruity flavors. I think this was a better showing than the previous LOOK product I wrote about, but I still have an issue about the chocolate. Something about their chocolate rubs me the wrong way. Regardless though, I will state it again, this is better than LOOK Baskin Robbins.

LOOK Parfait A La Mode: 7/10

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Japan Loot part 7

Again, as mentioned in my previous entry, I am approaching the last items of the items Phil and Karina got me, and I saved one of the most unique items for this one:

Gummy sushi. The concept doesn't sound too weird, does it? I mean we have gummy burgers, spaghetti, etc. (gummy pizza, as my friend Brittany showed me via text) So what makes gummy sushi any different? That question will be answered later, so let's focus on the bag for now. There's an overly excited sushi chef packing fish on rice and there's one of those wooden things they have sushi rice in. For some reason the sushi rice container is disappointed. I'm going to assume that the question mark means that there are infinite possibilities

The sushi unwrapped. It looks very nice

I have to say that this was one of the best looking candies I've seen in a while. The colors are very vibrant and the shapes are very pleasing to the eye. I think the the rice is peach, the orange things are orange, and the red things are cherry. Now what's the difference between gummy sushi and other gummy items? I don't have a distaste for sushi. I'm not going to lie, I hate gummy burgers, spaghetti, and the like, so I was very skeptical of gummy sushi. However, this didn't look like Play-Doh or silly putty molded to look food; it actually looked appetizing. The taste was very typical, except it was a bit stickier than most gummy candies. The flavors were very good and the aromas didn't smell artificial. I liked this product, but you don't get that much at all. I suppose you should take good things in moderation, but candy should never be taken in moderation, if anything it should be consumed in mass quantities. For that, I can't give it as high as a score as I want, but if I had unlimited quantities of this candy, it'd get a higher score.

Gummy Sushi: 8/10

Monday, July 26, 2010

Japan Loot part 6

If I recall, the next candy was advertised to me by Karina and Phil as, "Hella good", so I saved this for one of the last entries.

There are four flavors, as shown on this bag. There's grape, lemon, apple, and soda. I noticed that this bag has a ziplock seal, which is very convenient for later eating purposes. I was also told that I was supposed to open a packet of some sort of powder and shake it up, so that's probably why they have a ziplock seal

Here are the candies next to the packet of powder. The colors should be self explanatory, but I'll list them anyway: grape (purple), apple (red), soda (blue), lemon (yellow)

Instructions on how to do it correctly. For all I know, I could have been doing it terribly wrong though

Candy lightly dusted in crack

What did I expect? I don't really know what I expected. Well based on what I felt, I suppose I expected something gummy, which is what I got. I had no idea what the powder would taste like. I expected something sour, but I got something...unique. It was powdered, kind of like powdered sugar. However, it wasn't sour...the best way to put it was that it was refreshing. It was cool and it was slightly sweet. It made what would have been regular gummy candies better by adding an unexpected sensation. Yes, I am confident that without this powder, the candy would have been just good, but with it I'd say it's a little better than good.

Gummy Candy w/ Powder: 7.5/10

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Japan Loot part 5

Coming up, I have another candy which I don't know anything about. When I asked Phil what it was, his said, "It's like...Fruit By the Foot..." I received two packets, each of them is a different flavor. The first one I will be writing about is...

Judging by the bag, it looks like it's cola and soda flavored. There are tentacles or something wrapping around the bag. Yep, that's about as much as I can derive from the bag

I tried pulling out a "piece" and realized it was all one long thing, so I broke it off. Anyway, it's a slightly slimmer version of a gummy worm I'd say

So the flavor reflected what I thought it would be, which was cola and soda flavored. The flavors were like those of any other soda or cola flavored candy found anywhere else and I enjoyed it. The texture reminded me of a slimmer gummy worm. Overall, this candy reminded me of cola and soda flavored gummy worms, which is to say it was pretty good.

Soda and Cola flavored Gummy String: 7/10

Based on the picture, I'm sure it's safe to assume that this is grape flavored. However, what's the difference between green and purple grapes? This candy will answer that question

Again, it's one long strand until you break it off

So what's the difference between purple grapes and green grapes? Well...I couldn't really tell the difference between the two grapes. Maybe the purple had a slightly more intense grape flavor, but that's it. Other than the fact that purple grape was a little stronger, I couldn't really tell a difference between the two. However, I do enjoy grape candies, so this one was quite a delight. The texture was the same as the previous mentioned candy. Overall it was pretty good as well.

Purple Grape and Green Grape flavored Gummy String: 7/10

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Japan Loot part 4

Okay, this time I've finally decided to not do a review on the remaining chocolate candy that Phil and Karina got for me, and I've decided to do it on:

Grape Soda and Grape flavored gumies. When I saw this bag, I thought this was an interesting concept and wondered as to how grape soda would taste different from grape. The picture of the grape soda looks pretty refreshing, but it looks like there's tons of ice in there. I also wonder what that mascot with the sunglasses on top is all about

Top grape, bottom grape soda

I decided to try the grape flavored gummy first. The flavor reminded me of a Kasugai Gummy or any other sort of muscat/grape candy, but it was the texture once again that really won me over with this candy. The chewiness seems just right, and I was glad that it wasn't too chewy nor was it too soft. When I tried the grape soda one, my first impression was, "Well, this certainly is soda flavored." I honestly could not taste or smell any sort of grape flavor in the soda one. I wouldn't say I was let down, but the grape soda could have been better if it had some trace hints of being grape flavored. Overall however, the excellent texture and the grape flavor made this one very good.

Grape Soda and Grape Gummies: 8.5/10

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Japan Loot part 3

This next item was brought to me because Phil said that he saw my post about chocolate and strawberries:

Chocolat Dessert: Dessert of Strawberry & Milk. The box and pictures reminded me of Melty Blend. I noticed that on the picture of the strawberry, they have milk or some sort of cream being drizzled on it, but no chocolate to be near it. Anyway, I thought I would want to write about something that wasn't chocolate after reviewing the Purple Yam Crunky yesterday, but I felt like strawberries and chocolate regardless of that

A picture of a cube outside its wrapper. I tried dissecting it to get a good look at the middle. Things did not go well

The flavor, like with Milka Strawberry Yogurt, made sense. I feel like I'm beating a dead horse, but people love chocolate covered strawberries, so I think it's time that strawberry chocolates were more widely available in my area. I don't know about the rest of the U.S.A., but I don't see Hershey's Strawberry Chocolate bar or anything being made. The closest thing I've seen are Strawberry Whoppers and PB&J M&Ms.

Back to the candy at hand, I thought it was very good as well. The strawberry smell and flavor was apparent as I put the candy in my mouth, and as it melted I tasted the chocolate. I noticed that if I chewed right through the candy though, the chocolate would overwhelm the strawberry. The only downside I would say to this candy is that it was a little too sweet, but that's not always a bad thing. Again, Phil and Karina are 4 for 4.

Chocolat Dessert Strawberry & Milk: 8/10

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Japan Loot part 2

And here's the second installment of Japan Loot.

A bag of gummy soda flavored candy. I was told by Phil and Karina that the melon soda flavored was the best tasting one. I've never been that big of a fan of melon soda (refer to my adventure with the Brothers Wong), so I wasn't TOO excited. However, because you don't really see melon sodas outside of Asian supermarkets, and because I had no idea what "white soda" was, I had to try this candy next.

White soda gummy on the left, melon soda gummy on the right

I tried the white soda gummy first. The first thing I noticed was that I really like the texture, it was a cross between gummy worms and soft gummy bears, so they weren't too tough and they weren't too soft either. The flavor was like blue colored soda candies, so it wasn't bad, but it wasn't overly impressive. However, due to the texture, I enjoyed this candy quite a bit.

Next was the melon soda gummy. This candy really did taste like melon soda. As I've stated previously, I'm not a fan of melon soda, but I'll be damned if this gummy wasn't really good. Its texture was the same as the white soda gummy, and as I stated, I really liked the texture.

White Soda and Melon Soda Gummies: 8.5/10

Next up we have...

I'm going to assume Purple Yam flavored Crunky. While Phil and Karina were in Japan, I asked Phil to get me something ridiculous. This was his response. I've had Crunky before, and I've always viewed it as a ricier Krackel bar or Crunch bar. Even though purple yam is well known among the Asian community, there aren't many purple yam flavored candies available in the U.S.A.

Alright, so you may be asking, "Where's a picture of the candy, you jerk?" Well my response is I had a picture, BUT it got corrupted and I didn't feel like taking another picture. Lucky for me, the candy basically looks like it does on the box, so you're not really missing out on much. I didn't really taste the purple yam. Maybe it was just colored with purple yam. It didn't taste quite like chocolate, so I know that it was flavored with something. However, I'm not sure what it was flavored with. Despite the mystery, I still liked it. It was creamy and there were many little crunchy bits in there.

Purple Crunky: 7.5/10

Monday, July 19, 2010

Japan Loot part 1

I would like to thank my friends, Karina and Phil, for taking time out of their vacation to go look for some candies for me, I really appreciate it guys!

Karina, Phil, and I had dinner at Sumiya where they handed me a grocery bag of colorful packages and packets:

Candy on my bedroom floor. I wish my floor was candy

My friends went candy by candy to explain them to me. I said that I would try to write an entry tonight, and I decided to try the candy that interested me the most:

I was told that this was something like grape flavored cotton candy. I was also told that it pops in your mouth. Yes, this interested me VERY MUCH

A pinch of cotton candy

The texture was basically that of pre-packaged cotton candy. The taste was like muscat or just regular grape candies, so it was delicious. Also I didn't notice any popping until it all melted in my mouth. The popping wasn't as strong as Pop Rocks, but it was noticeable. Overall, I found this candy to be quite enjoyable. This candy set the bar for the rest of the candies that were gifted to me, so I hope the other candies surpass this one (the Poifull will NOT surpass this candy).

Grape Popping Cotton Candy: 8/10

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Takis Guacamole and Takis Crunchy Fajita

Not too long ago I did an entry on Takis Fuego and mentioned that perhaps their guacamole flavor would taste better. I decided to finally put that up to the test and see if that was true. I also noticed that there were other flavors of Takis I had missed out on, so I decided to pick up Takis Crunchy Fajita as well.

A bag of Takis Guacamole. I like the silver bag, but the chip, or taco as they call it on the bag, is a bit odd colored

A Takis Guacamole chip (taco). It looks more appetizing out of the bag than inside

When I opened the bag the first smell I thought of Salsa Verde Doritos. It had a green pepper and lime scent to it. The flavor, to be quite honest, was disappointing. It seemed to lack flavor and after eating a few, they tasted just like corn chips. I didn't detect any sort of guacamole flavor, which was disappointing. I would call this Salsa Verde Doritos Lite. Maybe I came in expecting too much, but advertising guacamole automatically raises my hopes.

Takis Guacamole: 6/10

Continuing, as I mentioned before, I also purchased Takis Crunchy Fajita.

When I think of fajitas I think of an iron skillet full of meat and vegetables. The bag just doesn't really scream that to me. It's rather generic, but it's the contents of the bag, not the bag itself that makes the snack

Takis Crunchy Fajita resting on the bag

When I opened this bag I thought of Doritos as well. It wasn't necessarily Salsa Verde, but I definitely thought of Doritos. I thought that, after my last misadventure, I would be disappointed again. However, this one was probably the best of the three flavors I tried. It wasn't too sour like Takis Fuego and had much more flavor than Takis Guacamole. After eating a few, there was a bit of a heat coming from the chip, but this wasn't meant to be hot anyway (I don't think). The flavor was a good mix of salty, spicy, and slightly tart. I still have one more flavor to go, but so far Crunchy Fajita is in the lead.

Takis Crunchy Fajita: 7/10

Monday, July 12, 2010

O'Zack Gyutan Shio-Aji

My first encounter with O'Zack brand chips came a few months ago. The flavor that caught my eye was some sort of cheese flavor. What made them interesting was that they had pictures of blue cheese on the bag. Rarely are there blue cheese flavored snacks, so of course I had to get them. The smell was faintly of blue cheese and the texture reminded me of Popchips. I then tried kimchi jigae flavor which tasted pretty much like kimchi. I had a general idea of what the previous flavors would taste like, but I didn't know what the next flavor would taste like.

Looking at the picture, I assumed that it was some sort of beef flavored. I looked on the internet and apparently gyutan means beef tongue. Shio-aji...I'm going to assume is what it's seasoned with. Anyway, beef flavored chips? Count me in!

What the chip looks like

My first impression when I ate these chips were that they had a citrus flavor and aroma. I figured that they were seasoned with some sort of citrus. I also noticed that it had a slight smoky scent to it, which I guess was the grilled part of the chip. The taste and smell were oddly familiar to me. They didn't really remind me of grilled meat.

It took me a while to figure out what it was, but I figured that it reminded me of "Hot Dog on a Stick". It may sound crazy, but the citrus smell and the flavor all reminded me of getting a Hot Dog on a Stick and some lemonade. This, of course, means that I liked this chip. Even though it didn't remind me of grilled meat, it reminded me of something very good. Overall, I liked these chips, and I would buy them again.

O'Zack Gyutan Shio-Aji: 7.5/10

Sunday, July 11, 2010

LOOK Baskin Robbins

As the days get warmer, it gets harder and harder to do entries about chocolate candies. They may melt, become deformed, or something along those lines. By the time I'm ready to write about them, they're already destroyed. However, I'm still going to try my best on "good" days, or days when it's not too hot to store chocolate. Luckily, this candy bar made it through in pretty good condition:

Yep, this is apparently a collaboration between Baskin Robbins and LOOK. If you're unfamiliar with LOOK candy bars, generally they're bars that are sectioned into four different flavors. I've had only two varieties before and this one definitely caught my attention. Who knew that Baskin Robbins would join efforts with LOOK? I think this would have interested many people

What LOOK candy bars usually look like

From left to right: Strawberry Cheesecake, Jamoca Coffee, Orange Sherbet, and Vanilla

As soon as I opened the packaging, there was a strong citrus smell coming from it. What I found was that the most powerful flavor was definitely the Orange Sherbet. It had a very strong orange taste and was quite tart. The weakest one was Strawberry Cheesecake; there was no way you could tell it was either strawberry or cheesecake. Jamoca was quite weak as well as it offered only a slight coffee flavor and smell. The vanilla tasted creamy, but lacked any sort of vanilla scent.

I think I liked Vanilla the best as it was sweet and creamy. The next best was Orange Sherbet because it had a nice tangy flavor to it and was very true to the flavor. The other two were very lacking. Overall, I think I expected more of this bar than I should have. The box made it seem like it would be great, but the experience was good at best.

LOOK Baskin Robbins: 6/10

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Takis Fuego

For some time I've wanted to do a piece of Takis. Ever since a student brought them in and other students have started liking them, I felt that this was worth investigating. One student named them, "Fake Hot Cheetos". Regardless of whether they would be like Hot Cheetos or not, I love Hot Cheetos. Just putting that out there. Anyway, this product comes in different flavors like guacamole and...well I'm not sure. I'll have to double-check the next time I'm at 7-11.

This bag is certainly different from a Cheetos bag. It's more along the lines of a Doritos bag if you ask me. Apparently I get some sort of prize for eating these. I'm not sure what it is. Maybe my bag was defective. Anyway, there are 80 cards, and I should collect them all. I'll make sure to take not of that

A Taki resting on the bag. Notice how it looks like a rolled up tortilla

When I ate this, I noticed the lime flavor immediately. I think that's the most dominant flavor with this chip. The heat doesn't really come on unless you eat many of them in succession. The texture of the chip is reminiscent of a rolled up and deep fried tortilla. It's definitely different from a Hot Cheeto. It just tasted and felt different in general; I would not have called these "Fake Hot Cheetos". They were definitely good, but maybe they were just a too heavy on the lime.

I feel compelled to try the guacamole flavored ones because I have a feeling that they might taste better than these. Guacamole makes almost every savory food better in general. Anyway, if you'd like to change up your chip routine, I would recommend trying these as they're pretty darn good.

Takis Fuego: 6.5/10

Monday, July 5, 2010

Milka Strawberry Yogurt

Milka is a brand of chocolate that is made by Kraft. Milka brand chocolate bars can be found in stores such as Target. I highly suggest getting the Milka White Chocolate bar. Anyway, Milka is sold not only in the United States, but it is produced overseas in Europe. One can find only a few different kinds of Milka brand chocolate sold in American stores. However, like Kit Kat and Oreo, there is a larger selection of Milka brand chocolates at ethnic stores and markets. Again, I suppose it's because different flavors wouldn't sell as well in the large chain stores.

This is Milka Strawberry Yogurt. As you can see, one of the main selling points on this wrapper has to to do with it being milk chocolate. I don't understand why they wouldn't sell strawberry flavored chocolate in the United States. People love strawberries and chocolate, so why not combine the two? Maybe they've done test groups and the results were unfavorable. Regardless let's move on

A square of Milka Strawberry Yogurt

Well, as I stated earlier, people love strawberries and chocolate (unless you're allergic, of course), so it's a mystery why big candy makers don't make strawberry and chocolate bars. They'll put raisins, cranberries, and raspberries in chocolate, but they don't have strawberries. Step your game up big candy makers and try selling those products in the United States.

Back to the chocolate bar, I found it to be delightful. I don't want to say that it tasted just like strawberries and chocolate, but it was a good re-enactment of the combination. It had just enough tart to counterbalance the sweet. It was also very creamy. Milka chocolate bars in general, I have found, are typically very creamy. If these were available in big chain markets, I'm pretty sure there would be people who would buy them.

Milka Strawberry Yogurt: 8/10

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Japanese Corn Snack and a new scale

I've decided to switch my ratings to a 10 point scale. I switched because after asking a few people, they said that they would prefer things to be rated on a scale of 1 to 10 instead of my original of 1 to 5. I hope that I won't have to resort to using 0, seeing as how that would go below my scale, but if I ever run across a candy that bad, you'll know.

Anyway, I ran across some interesting chips when I went to a Japanese market. I usually don't bother looking in any aisle outside of the candy aisle, but I'll sometimes go see what's interesting in the snack aisles. I saw some foreign Doritos, snacks I didn't know, and then I saw these:

This looked pretty delicious. I don't know what this is supposed to be, but I think that's a fondue pot in the middle with some garlic bread on the side. On top there's a picture of a sommelier or butler smelling a glass of wine. At the bottom right there are pictures of two chips with the number 2 next to them. I assume that this means that there are two types of chips. Also, if you notice, this was made by the Frito Lay corporation.

A picture of the back. There's a website in the lower right corner with a little butler or sommelier holding a glass of wine

One type of chip

The other type of chip. Notice its uncanny resemblance to a Sunchip

Based on the packaging alone I was pretty excited to try this. I was less than amazed when I ate these though. Okay, so as I've said before in past writings, this didn't amaze me. I really was expecting more based on the packaging. I expected garlicky toast and fondue flavored chips. What I got were the bastard children of Sunchips and Doritos. Neither of them had the consistency or texture of Sunchips or Doritos; they had a bit more of a grainy texture. The flavor and aroma was interesting. It was a bit like Sunchips French Onion except just a little different. Overall, these were okay, but you can get a bigger bag of Sunchips or Doritos for a much more affordable price.

Japanese Corn Snack: 6/10

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Mixed Juice Kit Kat

Maple Kit Kats are a reasonable flavor. Green Tea Kit Kats seemed reasonable. However, there are some Kit Kat flavors that are available in other countries that really make me think. Ginger ale Kit Kats come to mind. I came across another flavor that really piqued my interest and made me ask, "Why?"

According to the English label, these are Mixed Juice Kit Kats. I don't know why someone would make this. Using the pictures, I assume that it's a strawberry-banana milk shake type of deal. However, as you can see on the upper right corner, there's a peach. This was truly a mystery.

An individually wrapped mini bar

The mystery unwrapped

What this Kit Kat tasted like, as I mentioned before, was a strawberry-banana shake. It was a nice blend of aromas as well, because if it smelled and tasted like Banana Kit Kats, I don't think that I would have liked them at all. Correction, I definitely wouldn't have liked them at all. However, things that are strawberry-banana flavored are generally solid. I suppose that's the best way to describe this bar, solid. I wonder what Peach Kit Kats would taste like, just in case Nestle was reading this.

Mix Juice Kit Kat - 4/5