Sunday, June 16, 2013

Pocky, Ramen Drops, Matcha Green Tea Japanese Chocolate, and more.

One of the wonderful aspects of Japan that you can get by visiting the country or going to an Asian supermarket is the snacks.  Chocolate is one of the things the Japanese do really well and they also have all sorts of more esoteric snacks.  Some of it is really a cultivated taste too (e.g. natto), but most of it is pretty tasty to a regular palate.  The snacks are rarely cheap when imported from Japan, and in Japan they are on the expensive side for chocolate, but they are cheaper!
Ramen Drops
These are hard candies with a ramen-like flavour base.  They are salty, sweet, soy-like, and just plain odd.  I`ll just say I tried it and never managed to finish off more than a few.  A candy that is not a candy and it isn`t ramen either.
Ramen Drops

Pocky, Pocky, Pocky
These iconic little cookie sticks covered with chocolate or another type of coating are awesome little snacks.  Anime characters are always eating them.  There are all types of Pocky and they come in all flavours from milk chocolate, dark chocolate, black sesame, coconut chocolate, strawberry, green tea, caramel, etc.  They have chocolate sticks, green tea sticks, regular sticks, thick narrow sticks, and even giant pocky sticks.  Not all flavours are always available as many are seasonal or limited editions.  So when you visit Japan, you`ll find what you can find at most konbini. All pretty yummy in one form or another.
Pocky midi.  Thick short sticks.

Regular long and narrow Pocky sticks.
Kit Kats
By Nestle, but very well adapted to the local market.  You`ll find Kit Kats in many flavours other than the regular chocolate.  In Japan there are regional flavours of Kit Kat that show off the special foods of the area, and there are even these gift packs of Kit Kat you can buy that have a small sample of each of the regional Kit Kats.  I couldn`t figure where to find one of these when I was visiting Tokyo myself.  There are also many limited edition Kit Kats.  Most of the flavours are pretty good and one of my favourites is the green tea that starts out creamy and ends with a nice hit of matcha.

When you are in Japan, do stop by the convenience store or a supermarket and load up on these different snacks.  There are far more varieties of chocolate than I can list so try as many as you can.  Long after your visit is over, you can still enjoy a bit of the country in the snacks you bring back.

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