The Journal of Ephemeral Inspiration

The Journal of Ephemeral Inspiration promises a neverending spew of pointless minutae, brilliant yet useless ideas, troublingly cruel commentary and emphatic musings on whatever shiny object happens to catch our collective eye. Always remember, hate the game, not the playa.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Food Of The Gods: Pocky, Pretz & Pretenders II

Sure, there are worse jobs in the world. We don't pretend that sampling a tasty assortment of Japanese snacks is on par with say, scrubbing Port-O-Potties™ after the Preakness, but we still take the task seriously. Take a look at our Flickr gallery, "Pocky, Pretz & Pretenders" for the 200 variations of Pocky and Pocky-wannabes that comprise our own personal Sisyphusian boulder we'll be rolling up the hill for a good long while.

But the Food Of The Gods column is a beast demanding to be sated, so strap on the feed-bag, it's time for round two of the J.E.I. Pocky Taste Test...

Almond Crush Chocolate Pocky
(Chocolate and almond bits covered biscuit sticks) Like it's tropical cousin Coconut Chocolate Pocky, the nodule-laden fuselage of Almond Crush Chocolate Pocky requires an orderly placement in the package, which means fewer to go around-- and it's significantly more expensive. The almond bits do provide a nutty flavor, but not so much that it's drastically different from plain jane Chocolate Pocky. Let your taste buds be your guide; sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't.
Strawberry Pocky (Plain)
(Strawberry cream-covered biscuit stick) Yawn... we tried these mini-pack Pocky sticks before Giant Strawberry Pocky (reviewed last time) and were so underwhelmed, we didn't even bother to include them in our first round. Not bad but just boring.
Strawberry Pocky (With Strawberry Bits)
(Strawberry cream and dried strawberry bits covered biscuit stick) Now hold the phone... we take back every snarky thing we said about Pocky's bumpy brotherhood. Take the dull as dishwater regular Strawberry Pocky, add bits of desiccated strawberry and bam! Instant winner. These sweet and fruity delicacies jumped immediately into our top five favorites.
Crispy Pizza Pretz
(Pizza-flavored cracker sticks) The Dean to Pocky's Jerry, the Abbott to Pocky's Costello, the Gallant to Pocky's Goofus, Pretz eschews the candy sweetness of its popular sibling for a more savory adult flavor spectrum. Crispy Pizza Pretz are flatter than Pocky sticks-- more linguini than spaghetti. Salty and a little greasy, and flavored with tomato, cheese, oregano and whatever the hell make pepperoni taste like pepperoni, Crispy Pizza Pretz are pretty darn good, and incredibly addictive. A great alternative when you want a snack instead of a dessert.
The hits keep on coming-- while we've had a few Pocky variations that caused us to shrug, we've had just as many that surprised us with their appeal. We've got a few more tests on deck, including Korea's Pocky-pretender, Pepero. We'll be back with those after a few days on the treadmill.

Also in this series...