OMG Pocky!!

September 21, 2008

Quick note from Linny (the blog’s de facto editor): I have done a few posts on our JUMBO toys, but it takes a real writer like Rachel to come up with a JUMBO post on all things Pocky. Seriously, if your mouth doesn’t water for those pretzel-esque snacks after reading her comprehensive review below, you’re missing out on a Room Candy certified yummy snack! Bravo, Rachel! I humbly bow to thy prowess with the written word.

———————————————————————————–

If you are or have ever been a fan of anime or manga — or Japanese pop culture in general — you’ve probably come across Pocky. The little cream-coated cookie sticks were a staple of my teenage life. They fueled me through marathon weekends at OhayoCon, fanfic-related writers’ block…even the sporadic late-night finals week study session.

I was hardly alone in my Pocky addiction. The night of the senior prom, rather than languish at home feeling bitter about the lack of romance in our respective lives, two equally geeky friends and I attended the festivities together. We had a decent amount of fun mocking shallow classmates and making ill-fated attempts at dancing. What I remember most about the night, however, is my friend Ashley’s transformation into a Pocky-fueled windup doll on the dance floor. She’d run out of energy and all but freeze. Jenn (the third party in our merry misfit trio) or I would then run to the dance floor and a pop a Pocky stick into her mouth, and immediately she’d come back to life, a delirious smile gracing her features. We knew people were probably staring and laughing, but we responded in kind. We didn’t care. Ah, good times.

These days my life is far more complicated. Being six years removed from High School, I rarely get to experience the sheer innocent joy of moments like those. There are times when I almost feel like a traitor to my high school identity. I’ve fallen out of the loop as far as anime and manga are concerned. Even If I had a character to dress up as, I lack the time and money which allowed me to toil over convention costumes so many years ago.

Naturally, a part of me is overjoyed when I rediscover something like pocky. It draws me back, at least partially, to a time when there was much less to worry about. A period when, though I may have been an oddball, there was a definate certainty of self, and a sense of belonging in a _group_ of oddballs. When my greatest fear was being on the receiving end of a catty cheerleader’s comment, rather than being unable to pay my bills. While trolling the aisles of my nearby Nijiya Supermarket, I happened upon the Pocky section and found myself immersed in this sort of nostalgia. I found myself momentarily contemplating the value of Pocky — not only as a symbol of my youth and the otaku community, but as a snack. Were Pocky sticks really that yummy? I didn’t truthfully remember. The only logical thing to do was to buy a box of every flavor Nijiya had in stock. That’s 12 flavors (and $23.00)! Was it worth it? I’d soon find out, or go into sugar-shock trying!

After a veritable Pocky Feast, here are my general impressions:

1) Chocolate Crush — The first flavor with which I first reintroduced myself to Pocky was interesting, but by no means my favorite. The “crush” on the outside is comprised of Rice Krispy bits, strewn throughout “choco” cream coating. The underlying cookie is as crunchy, dependable and addictive as I remember it. Not bad, just not spectacular.

Getting a handle on the Pocky box!

2) Chocolate Marble — What first struck me about this variety of Pocky, as well as the other “Marble” varieties, was the incredible beauty of the chocolate on their surfaces. Ultra-smooth, with a pattern that ressembles a zebra’s stripes, these Pockys were sights to behold. But would they measure up in the taste department? I popped one into my mouth and found…they DID! The “chocolate” variety”, the first kind of marble I tasted, was my favorite of the three. Although no other flavorings were listed on the package, I could swear I tasted a hint of coffee. A quick glance over the ingredients list was enough to assure me I wasn’t going crazy – it’s far below “chocolate”, but “coffee powder” is on the list.

3) Rum Raisin Marble — These sticks, polished white chocolate shattered by ebony streaks, were the prettiest Pockys of all. They weren’t bad, at first taste, either; generally “sweet”, but not as good as the Chocolate Marble variety. When the aftertaste kicked in, though, a few “taste points” were knocked off, in my book. Apparently, the good people at Pocky HQ thought it would be a good idea to incorporate a strong “alcoholic” flavor into this variety. Considering the strength of this “rum” flavoring, I find it odd that there wasn’t a trace of “raisin”. Oh, well. Raisin isn’t my favorite flavor to start with, and if “rum” is any indication, it might have been pretty awful in a Pocky stick.

Pocky vs. Pokemon – The Epic Battle

4) Choco Caramel Marble — Very nice cookie — just about on par with Chocolate Marble. The “caramel” flavor tasted a bit fake, but it was chocolatey and sweet — and sweet is good, mmmkay?

5) Men’s Pocky — Super-thin Pocky cookies, surrounded by “Bitter Chocolate”. What makes these “Mens'” is beyond me. I actually know more women who like dark chocolate than men, and the chocolate enrobing these Pockys sports some serious cacao content — this isn’t stated outright on the box, but I’d estimate 65-70%. I’d also guess this is one of only two varieties using _real_ chocolate, rather than “choco” in its coating.

6) Chocolate Cream (also most commonly found flavor) — The second sort of Pocky coated with genuine chocolate, these are thin cookies in the style of “Mens'” Pocky. Dark chocolate is used in these cookies as well, but slightly less “dark” than in the Mens’. Decent, but not that interesting after you eat two or three. Quite feminine I may be, but I preferred the Mens’ variety.

7) Mini Almond Crush — I noticed after already making the purchase that these weren’t genuine Pockys. They’re made by Meiji, but looking at the package, you’d never know. Frankly, these short, chunky beauties are adorable to behold, and delightful to taste and feel on your tongue. They contain at least as much chocolate as cookie per stick, and each cookie contains a high concentration of almonds. As a result, the taste is nutty. I really liked these and would buy them again in an instant.

8) Coconut — This cookie reminds me, in flavor, of another childhood treat — one from earlier in my youth than Pocky. Does anyone remember the Girlscouts “Samoa” cookies? If you liked those tropical delights, you’ll adore these. There’s a lot of coconut flavor to be found here. If you don’t like coconut, though, you might want to skip these. I, personally, enjoyed them.

9) Brazilian Pudding — I’ll tell you a secret — shhh! — I have no clue what “Brazilian Pudding” is. However, judging by the flavor of this Pocky, I’ll have to order the dish if it ever pops up at a local restaurant. I’m guessing it’s something like Creme Caramel, because that’s what the taste reminds me of — a perfect mixture of vanilla and caramel custard. Magnifico!! My favorite pocky — period.

Got milk?

10) Milky White — Thick Pocky cookies coated with simple, creamy white chocolate. You can really taste the dairy in this coating, and I really like this kind of flavor. One of my favorites.

11) Strawberry — Similar to the Milky White in terms of thickness of the cookies and coating. Unfortunately, the strawberry coating wasn’t nearly as yummy as the deliciously simple “milky white”, and the little specks of “strawberry” throughout made the taste more “bizarre” and “unnatural” than “authentic”.

12) Blueberry — The last flavor sampled. This flavor was better than the strawberry variety. It had a definate scent of blueberry, if only a vague taste. Creamy and slightly fruity, I can imagine this would go well with my morning coffee.

Survey Says? Pocky are pretty great as snacks. You have to be in a certain mood to enjoy them to the fullest extent. Without a doubt, Pocky Sticks will works better to satisfy a cookie or general “sweet snack” craving than a specific “chocolate” craving. Truth be told, they’re best enjoyed while curled up witha good manga, editing an anime music video, or otherwise nurturing your inner otaku. But they’re overall _far_ above average on the yumminess spectrum, and a snack I’m glad I took time out to revisit.

I leave you with a poetic dedication to my long-standing Pocky love affair. Here’s

The Twelve Days of OhayoCon

On the first day of OhayoCon, my true love gave to me a Crunchy Pocky stirring my coffee!

On the second day of OhayoCon, my true love gave to me…a “V” of marble Pockys and a Crunchy Pocky stirring my coffee!

On the third day of OhayoCon, my true love gave to me…three Pockys in a hole, a “V” of marble Pockys, and a Crunchy Pocky stirring my coffee!

On the fourth day of OhayoCon, my true love gave to me…four Pockys in the path of a bear, three Pockys in a hole, a “V” of marble Pockys, and a Crunchy Pocky stirring my coffee!

On the fifth day of OhayoCon, my true love gave to me…a Men’s Pooooocky “Ni”! Four Pockys in the path of a bear, three Pockys in a hole, a “V” of marble Pockys”…and a Crunchy Pocky stirring my coffee!

On the sixth day of OhayoCon, my true love gave to me…a PockyMan with a cane, a Men’s…Poooocky “Ni”! Four Pockys in the path of a bear, three Pockys in a hole, a “V” of marble Pockys…and a Crunchy Pocky stirring my coffee!

On the seventh day of OhayoCon, my true love gave to me…a Cococat-of-Seven-Tails, a PockyMan with a cane, a Men’s…Pooooocky “Ni”! Four Pockys in the path of a bear, three Pockys in a hole, a “V” of marble Pockys…and a Crunchy Pocky stirring my coffee!

On the eighth day of OhayoCon, my true love gave to me…Eight PuddingPockys in my keyboard, a Cococat-of-Seven-Tails, a PockyMan with a cane, a Men’s…Pooooocky “Ni”! Four Pockys in the path of a bear, three Pockys in a hole, a “V” of marble Pockys…and a Crunchy Pocky stirring my coffee!

On the ninth day of OhayoCon, my true love gave to me…a Nine-branched Milky tree, Eight PuddingPockys in my keyboard, a Cococat-of-Seven-Tails, a PockyMan with a cane, a Men’s…Poooooocky “Ni”! Four Pockys in the path of a bear, three Pockys in a hole, a “V” of marble Pockys…and a Crunchy Pocky stirring my coffee!

On the tenth day of OhayoCon, my true love gave to me…Ten Top-of-TV Pockys, a Nine-branched Milky tree, Eight PuddingPockys in my keyboard, a Cococat-of-Seven-Tails, a PockyMan with a cane, a Men’s…Poooooocky “Ni”! Four Pockys in the path of a bear, three Pockys in a hole, a “V” of marble Pockys…and a Crunchy Pocky stirring my coffee!

On the eleventh day of OhayoCon, my true love gave to me a Very Blueberry Bookshelf, Ten Top-of-TV Pockys, a Nine-branched Milky tree, Eight PuddingPockys in my keyboard, a Cococat-of-Seven-Tails, a PockyMan with a cane, a Men’s…Pooooocky “Ni”! Four Pockys in the path of a bear, three Pockys in a hole, a “V” of marble pockys…and a Crunchy Pocky stirring my coffee!

On the twelth day of OhayoCon, my true love gave to me…Tons of Mini-Almond sticks, a Very Blueberry Bookshelf, Ten Top-of-TV Pockys, a Nine-branched Milky tree, Eight PuddingPockys in my keyboard, a Cococat-of-Seven-Tails, a PockyMan with a cane, a Men’s….Pooooooocky “Ni”! Four Pockys in the path of a bear, three Pockys in a hole, a “V” of marble Pockys…and a Crunchy Pocky stirring my coffee!!


Thank you. Thank you very much.

~~By Rachel~~

www.room-candy.com

Room Candy – always yummy!

Advertisements

One Response to “OMG Pocky!!”

  1. Mariah DeCourcey Says:

    I Loovve Pockys :)
    I Tried 1 One Time And Im Hooked Im Going Crazy Without them o.o
    l0l
    i live in florida.
    Were do you think is the closest place that sells pockys o.o


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: