We've scrounged the local Asian markets and until they restock, this will be the last Pocky, Pretz & Pretenders
taste test for a little bit. Which is just as well. While we have discovered a couple new favorites (particularly Full-Bodied Chocolate Reverse Pocky
and Crisp Pizza Pretz
), patterns are starting to emerge; we're starting to pick up on the CIA messages in the Life Magazine copy. Take a look at our Flickr gallery, "Pocky, Pretz & Pretenders
" and you'll see the hundreds of variations in packaging and flavor, and you'll see what we're talking about.
So while we rest our eyes, taste buds, and insulin receptors, please to be enjoying round three of the J.E.I. Pocky Taste Test...
(Yogurt covered biscuit sticks) A lightweight entry in the Pocky arena, but not bad. It's creamy, with a definite yogurty tang, completely justifying the name (instead of just punking out with white chocolate or generic "creme"). Worth a try, but it's probably not gonna make your top three.
(Plain biscuit sticks) Not as dull as it might sound on paper. Roast Pretz is basically Pocky without the chocolate (duh) but the "roast" flavor adds a bit of savory flavor (flavory) with undertones that convey a hint of buttery sweetness. Christ, that sounded stupid. If you have too much excitement in your life, Roast Pretz may help bring you back to center.
(Chocolate and almond bits covered biscuit stick) From Korea's Lotte, Pepero makes a grab at Pocky's crown. But we gotta be honest, these turds on a stick are just foul. Waxy, flavorless "chocolate," mushy almond bits... blech. What we're willing to put ourselves through for our readers...
(Chocolate filled biscuit sticks) A little better. But nothing we'd buy again, given that real Reverse Pocky is in reach. Sorry Korea, but Japan is still the pearl of the Orient. Scores some points for having the stones to use "nude" in the name and go sexy with the marketing.
|Choco Yan Yan|
(Chocolate dip and roast sesame biscuit sticks) For the do-it-your-selfer, we have Yan Yan, from Meiji. More or less a Pocky kit, Choco Yan Yan is a wee cup of pencil-thick biscuit sticks (which resemble extended Nabisco Tidbits, minus the cheesiness) and a wee-er cup of chocolate frosting-like dip. Not exactly the same experience as nibbling through a pack of Pocky, but good for a laugh. As the label reads, it's "Your favorite chocolity-flavored dip." Since we know of no other, it's true by default.
|Strawberry Cream Yan Yan|
(Strawberry flavored dip and biscuit sticks) Same as above, but with a cloyingly sweet strawberry-flavored dip. Pick one up for your kindergartener; they'll think it's the bee's knees.
Annnd... scene. We hope you enjoyed the hat trick of taste tests, and maybe you even found a new favorite yourself. Or maybe you're just wondering what the hell the fuss is all about. Either way, domo arigato, Mr. Roboto
. Stay tuned for more unhealthy foodstuffs to come.Also in this series...