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Japanese Candy Fest 2013: Animal Crackers01:55 PM -- Mon September 30, 2013


Animal Crackers
5/10 YUMS
Japanese animal crackers are not American animal crackers! Let me preface my remarks by pointing out that Sol Hunt really likes these. Because I don't. They're okay, but they're pretty odd. They are a very dense and dry animal-shaped cookie, coated with a dried frosting in one of several colors. But these aren't just colors! Oh no! They are actually flavored. The pink frosting has a little hint of strawberry, the green one is... well... it doesn't taste the same as the pink. There are differences even if I'm not sure quite what they are.

Overall, these are acceptable to put in your mouth. If they were sitting out in somebody's living room, I'd crunch a few without making a face. But they are not exciting, and they don't wow me in any way. I wouldn't buy them for myself again. 5/10 Yums is what we call that situation.
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Japanese Candy Fest 2013: Chocorooms07:51 AM -- Mon September 30, 2013


Chocorooms
7.5/10 YUMS
I've actually reviewed these on Behind The Dumb Episode 4. They're chocolate mushrooms. They're also Kinoko No Yama, or "Mountain of mushrooms" according to Google Translate. You don't really get a whole mountainful in the package, but you get a decent number. I think Behind The Dumb pretty much explains it all, but for a semi-transcript: These are short little Yan-Yan sticks about an inch long, and the top half of the stick is covered with a mushroom-cap-shaped blob of chocolate. So really simple, chocolate and cookie, and it looks like a mushroom.

They're not my favorite for one simple reason: the chocolate is a little bit dark. Not super dark by any means, and not as dark as Chocolate Wheat Puffs, but a hint of bitterness in there that I don't want. I'm happier with all the other wheat+chocolate Japanese options, like Chococone, Hello Panda, Pucca, Pocky, and so on. So in the end, I will eat these if I'm trapped on a desert island, and at the moment I'm trapped on just such an island - an island made of these being the only chocolate-based candies I have left. So I'm eating them. But I'm protesting it. 7.5/10 Yums.
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Japanese Candy Fest 2013: Giant Caplico07:36 PM -- Sun September 29, 2013


Giant Caplico
8/10 YUMS
As you might expect, this is a Caplico, only a whole lot bigger. Along with the size increase comes a more normal ice cream cone shape, and a lot more difficulty and mess involved in eating it. Other than that, it tastes a lot like Caplico! You get a lot more chocolate versus cone, because it extends about 2 inches above the top of the cone, where normal-sized caplico just barely pokes out of the cone. In addition to that, the sheer thickness of the cone relative to the space inside is such that the overall ratio of chocolate to cone is weighted much more heavily towards chocolate in the giant edition. I'm not sure this is an improvement, but I'm willing to eat aerated chocolate.

I guess what it comes down to for me is the question of which size I would rather have. And ... I think it's normal size! These big ones are just messy. And though I don't remember what I paid, I'm betting you get better caplico for your money without the giantness gimmick. 8/10 Yums is a fair enough rating - almost as good as normal Caplico.
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Japanese Candy Fest 2013: Coconut Pocky07:40 PM -- Fri September 27, 2013


Coconut Pocky
9/10 YUMS
Pocky is back! Yeah, I got a few. These ones are just what you would expect: a Pocky stick, with chocolate on it, and coconut bits in the chocolate. The only other fact worth noting here is that the chocolate seems to be lighter than usual, a very light color, and more sweet (I.e. further from dark chocolate). I don't know if they jammed some coconut oil or coconut milk or something into it, but whatever is in there, it's good sweet chocolate.

Normally, I do not like dried coconut. I love the flavor of coconut, and coconut oil is like my favorite substance in the world, but dried coconut is a texture problem for me. Little bits of paper in your mouth that won't go away. However, they did a really nice job here, perhaps just by shredding the coconut into very small bits, or maybe it's kept soft by the chocolate. I don't know, but whatever it is, it makes the coconut much more a flavor and less a texture, so it's fantuberous! I rate Coconut Pocky 9/10 Yums. It is chocolatey, coconutty, and delicious.
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Japanese Candy Fest 2013: Sour Grape Soft Candy08:26 PM -- Thu September 26, 2013


Sour Grape Soft Candy
2/10 YUMS
Oomph. I didn't realize these were sour when I got them, then I noticed the face the grape-monster was making on the package. Also, the English description on these, "Soft Candy", is remarkably misleading. These candies are rock hard. Now, they are gummies, but they start out incredibly hard, and they have to sit in your mouth a while before you can even begin to chew them without suffering dental injury. So they are little pyramids of rock hard grape-flavored gummy, coated in sour powder.

Now I don't mind sour candy, I kind of enjoy it, but these just aren't good. They actually kind of taste like wine at first (well, once you get past the initial blast of ULTRA SOUR), then as the sour powder fades away they become just sweet grape flavor. Combine those flavor oddities with the hard texture, and it's just not pleasant. I must admit that I was initially attracted to these because they have some sort of special coin thing involved - on the back of the package it displays a few different coins with little gems and swords and such on them, and assigns them numerical values of some type. Inside the package, you find a few such coins in addition to the grape candies. They are the same hard gummy as the grapes, but they have a different flavor, and seem to have less sourness although I may have just gotten one that was underpowdered. I actually like them a lot better.

I hate to be all sour grapes about this, but I'm giving these 2/10 Yums, and there is some debate as to whether I'll even finish the package. And for me vs. candy, that's pretty serious!
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Japanese Candy Fest 2013: Strawberry Baked Pie11:37 AM -- Wed September 25, 2013


Strawberry Baked Pie
9/10 YUMS
Now here's something different! These are hexagonal pies. Well, sort of. They are hexagons of puff pastry, about an inch across, very light and flaky, just your usual puff pastry. Inside, they are stuffed with - you guessed it - strawberry chocolate. It is most unfortunate that now, as I am down to my last 3 pies, I examined the box closely enough to realize there are microwave directions on here. I've been eating raw pie! No, it's not raw at all, but it apparently is supposed to be warmed up! I just gave one a 7-second cook (I see a 6 next their list of microwave wattages, so maybe it's supposed to go 6 seconds? It's sure not supposed to go 6 minutes, I can tell you that), and it was more delicious than ever. I've got two more chances... I think I'm gonna try a little longer. Hmm, after 10 seconds, the strawberry goo inside is still cold, but I'm scared to go longer.

Let's try it with the last one anyway. 30 full seconds... but wait, is the 6 talking about power settings? Let's give it a while at 60%. Oh wow. Yep. Do it! Thirty seconds at 60% made it piping hot, yet non-lethal, and oh so much tastier!

So what's not to like? You got puff pastry, strawberry chocolate, warmth, and that's that. Yummy pie. I think I'm gonna raise my initial rating now that I've baked my own pie. Deserving a full 9/10 after I nuked it into yumtown. I wanna get these again and cook them up properly next time! I also want to try the chocolate flavor. I'd also love to get these with a jam type filling instead of the strawberry chocolate, because they really do work nicely as little tiny pies.
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Japanese Candy Fest 2013: Strawberry Pocky02:50 PM -- Tue September 24, 2013


Strawberry Pocky
8.5/10 YUMS
These are a fairly classic Pocky you may be able to find at your local non-Japanese grocery store, although there are (I think if I am remembering right...) two or more kinds of Strawberry Pocky. The kind you're most likely to find is not this one - it's just a pocky stick with plain strawberry chocolate around it. Those are okay. These are much better! They have the strawberry chocolate, but it's peppered with little dots of strawberry seeds (not sure that's a good thing...) and dried strawberries. Yum! As a bonus, or perhaps a minus since it actually means you get less food, the sticks are heart-shaped!

I rate Strawberry Pocky 8.5/10 Yums. It's very tasty, but not the greatest ever. So hard to rate things at this top end of the scale, but as I finish this review munching on my very last strawberry heart-stick, I think I've done it right. 8.5 will do. Oh man, maybe I should've said 9... but I have no more to test! Oh well.
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Japanese Candy Fest 2013: Cream Collon12:51 PM -- Mon September 23, 2013


Cream Collon
8/10 YUMS
These are a unique candy... it's a wrapper of pastry that is about the same as Pirouline - very thin, flaky, crispy. Inside this wrapper is a substance I've never eaten before. It's like some sort of cream cheese and whipped cream combination, with a little bit of some spice in it that I can't recognize. But mainly it's all about that cream flavor. Perhaps that's why they call it Cream Collon. Or they call it that because if you're lactose intolerant like me, it could cream your colon.

I'm going to give these an 8/10, but it's a tentative rating... they definitely taste good, but there's just something a little odd, and I'm just not quite sure. If I had the equivalent little tube of pastry with actual cream cheese frosting in the middle, I'd be giving it a 10/10, but this is something a bit different!
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Japanese Candy Fest 2013: Musk Melon Hard Candy03:38 PM -- Sun September 22, 2013


Musk Melon Hard Candy
7.5/10 YUMS
It's hard to review hard candies, because I'm never as excited about them, but at the same time, they always taste really good (unless they don't, which is really bad). If you don't know what the oddly-named musk melon is, it's pretty much a cantaloupe. I researched a bit and I'm still not entirely sure if the cantaloupe is a species of musk melon, or vice versa, or they're both a species of some larger group. Some sources claim they're just different names for the same thing. Regardless, they're not very different, so these candies taste just like cantaloupe, and that's about all there is to it. A hard candy you suck on for a long time to enjoy a sweet cantaloupe flavor.

It's good, and I'll be happy to have these around for months to come, because that's how long they'll last. I rarely even want a hard candy, but they are really nice for getting a sweet flavor without actually having very many calories. Not so good for your teeth, though. The best rating I can guess at here is 7.5/10 Yums, which feels a bit unfair because the flavor is very good, but I just can't get all that excited about a hard candy.
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Japanese Candy Fest 2013: Chocolate Wheat Puffs06:57 PM -- Sat September 21, 2013


Chocolate Wheat Puffs
5/10 YUMS
I'm making up my own name here, because the only English on the front of the package is "Wheat Chocolate", and the English label slapped on the back just says, in all caps, "CHOCOLATE". Which I can't argue is there, but it really misses the point. These are most definitely Chocolate Wheat Puffs.

Do you know the cereal Honey Smacks? Just like Honey Smacks, this is made from puffed wheat, the difference is that they coated the puffs in chocolate rather than honey. It's really unique and different, but I can't say I'm loving it. It's enjoyable for being different, and it's not unpleasant, but the chocolate is too dark for me. I'm not a fan of dark chocolate, and the wheat inside is also... I mean, it's just wheat, so it's not adding some delicious bonus, it just adds a styrofoam core.

Overall, I'm going to have to give these 5/10 Yums, because I'm willing to eat them in order to get sugar and chocolate into my body. If you like dark chocolate, I think you'll be much better off with these than I am. Sol Hunt appreciates these more than I do for sure. All in all, I'd rather eat Honey Smacks!
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Japanese Candy Fest 2013: Pucca04:16 PM -- Fri September 20, 2013


Pucca
8.5/10 YUMS
These come from the Hello Panda school of baking. But while Hello Panda is clearly some sort of cookie filled with chocolate, these are actually pretzels filled with chocolate. Very very thin walls of unsalted pretzel surrounding a fairly large blob of chocolate. And of course in the shape of a fish! There are assorted sea life shapes inside, which adds to the fun. As do a bunch of mazes and puzzles inside the box, but unlike your average Japanese 6-year-old, I can't solve the puzzles. It would help if I could read them.

I suppose I should compare these to Hello Panda and pick a winner, but unfortunately I somehow managed not to get any Hello Panda in this giant batch of candy, so I don't really have the proper data to do a comparison. I think these might be the winner if I did compare, actually. The thin pretzel layer is really quite satisfying to crunch through into the chocolate below. It's a little like eating a Peanut M&M, only inside out. Or those special rare Crispy M&Ms, since there's no peanut flavor. Anyway, they fairly deserve 8.5/10 Yums. There's nothing fishy about these tasty snacks.
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Japanese Candy Fest 2013: Tomato Pretz04:07 PM -- Thu September 19, 2013


Tomato Pretz
7/10 YUMS
We have another snack today! You can't eat candy all the time. Pretz is the savory version of Pocky. Just like Pocky, it's a long thin dry cracker stick - the exact same stick used in Pocky in fact. The only difference is what they put on that stick. And in the case of Tomato Pretz, what they put on the stick is a tomato powder. I think I taste a little mustard in there, and of course there's some salt, but mostly it tastes of tomatoes. Well, mostly it tastes of cracker, but cracker with tomato on it. What it really reminds me of is those Chicken In A Biskit crackers.

These are pretty good. They're not going to blow your mind, but you can sit and snack away any old time. But then again, why buy expensive exotic Japanese crackers when you could get stuff like Chicken In A Biskit here in the US for a tenth of the price? I give this 7/10 Yums for its actual yumminess, but I don't recommend you get it, because it's cheaper and easier to get a local equivalent. This isn't doing anything you can't get elsewhere, except being long and skinny.
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Japanese Candy Fest 2013: Crunch Chocolate09:02 AM -- Wed September 18, 2013


Crunch Chocolate
9/10 YUMS
"Baked Chocolate Snack" or "Crunch Chocolate" is all the name I can find for this (given that I can't read the actual name printed right on the bag!). These are a really strange endorsement deal... it's a Japanese candy, covered with Suzy Spafford's art. She is a well-known American cartoonist who just sort of makes happy cute animals. I didn't know Japan had a shortage of those, but apparently they do, so they imported Suzy's art to emblazon this treat with.

But the wrapping isn't what's important! What is inside? Well, it's a baked chocolate snack. Pretty much, it's that thing you can make where you take Corn Flakes and pour melted chocolate over them and stir them up and let them cool (like Krispie Treats, but subbing in chocolate for marshmallow and Corn Flakes for Rice Krispies). That's about it. The ingredients refer to "corn grits" but I bet that's a mistranslation of corn flakes. So it's nothing really surprising and new, it's just something very tasty. You probably know what corn flakes and chocolate taste like together, and now you can enjoy it in a little bag with a cute animal on it!

Like Tomato Pretz (oops, I changed order - you'll learn about those later), you can achieve these flavors quite easily locally. But these are really yummy. I give them 9/10 Yums because yay. They remind me of Gzacky a lot, and I like to be reminded of Gzacky, but they are clearly inferior to it as well. If you're going to get a baked chocolate snack from Japan, get Gzacky. You won't regret it!
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Japanese Candy Fest 2013: Panda Pocky10:15 AM -- Tue September 17, 2013


Panda Pocky
6.5/10 YUMS
Instead of the standard plain wheat Pocky stick, these Panda Pocky have a chocolate cracker stick, a little bit like the 'bread' of an ice cream sandwich, but more dry. Then the coating, to make it a panda, is a cookies & cream substance - white creamy stuff with chocolate cookie bits in it. I think the bits are actually Oreo material, but it's also possible they're just bits of what the stick is made of in the first place, which seems like a rip-off. As a bonus, the bags inside the box are decorated with very lovely cartoons of pandas waving Panda Pocky around.

This sounds like such a great idea, but it turned out to be a real disappointment. This is one of my least favorite Pockies! The chocolate sticks are not particularly sweet (regular Pocky sticks aren't sweet at all, but then they're not chocolate, are they?), and they break like crazy, they aren't nearly as sturdy as your standard Pocky. Then the coating is okay, but nothing special. There is a very distinct Oreo flavor to it all, but not nearly as tasty as actual Oreos. Almond Crush Pocky all the way, I don't need these pandas.

I give them 6.5/10 because they're okay, but other Pocky is so very much better.
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Japanese Candy Fest 2013: Cheese Potato Snack03:50 PM -- Mon September 16, 2013


Cheese Potato Snack
6/10 YUMS
Look, it's a snack instead of a candy! These are pretty straightforward: Take Cheddar & Sour Cream Ruffles and roll them up instead of laying them flat (and wavy), and you have Cheese Potato Snack. They taste the same, with that really strong artificial cheese flavor which is salty and sort of good and sort of disturbing, and other than that they're potatoes. Each one is sort of a straw made of potatoes, empty in the middle.

These are kind of enjoyable, but that fake cheese flavor is at once both good and off-putting, so I rate them 6/10 Yums. Incidentally, the fake cheese flavor is at least partially cheese, probably mostly. But it still tastes fake to me!
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Japanese Candy Fest 2013: Pick Up09:28 AM -- Sun September 15, 2013


Pick Up
9/10 YUMS
Google Translate tells me that these are called "Strawberry Chocolate Pick Up". The English label declares this a "Chocolae Snack", which I will call a typo, although they're clearly not chocolate or chocolae. I am beginning to broaden my understanding of the word chocolate because the strawberry stuff which is present in many many different Japanese candies clearly IS chocolate texturally, it's just strawberry flavored instead of the standard chocolate flavor. Much like white chocolate, only it's pink chocolate. I like it, even though it's a fakey strawberry flavor.

The other odd thing about this stuff is that the ingredients list doesn't contain anything that appears to be the 'cracker' part of it (which to the best of my ability to taste is something of a rice cereal, like puffed rice chex), it's all sugar and chocolate ingredients and strawberry flavoring, and most oddly of all rosemary extract. I don't notice that flavor in there, but hey, interesting idea. I'm glad I don't notice it. The lack of rice in the ingredients is probably another oversight like "chocolae", because I'm quite positive that these crunchy bits aren't just solid sugar.

You know what's not odd about this? The yummification! They're just crispy and light and coated in a thick layer of strawberry goo that kind of softens them up a little, but not so much that they lose their crispiness. It's a little like eating cereal in strawberry milk, but you can trust it to never go soggy. Go pick up some Pick Up, you won't regret it. Although Sol Hunt says they're too squishy. 9/10 Yums from me!
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Japanese Candy Fest 2013: Chococone11:23 AM -- Sat September 14, 2013


Chococone
10/10 YUMS
The English label slapped on the back of this calls it "Baked Wheat Cracker With Chocolate", which is fair. It also mentions a translation for the big print on the front: Takenoko no sato, which Google Translate told me is "Village of Bamboo Shoot". That's pretty appropriate - I see a village on the box art, and a lot of bamboo. Although to be honest the styling on the candy itself doesn't look like bamboo at all, it's like pinecones. But my final comment on the confusing naming here is that I've had these before, in an English-labeled box, and those were called Chococones, so that is what I call them.

These are awesome. The idea is as simple as the label says: Baked wheat cracker with chocolate. But it's the cracker (cookie, really - this ain't no cracker) that is the secret. I still don't really know what's in there - I see almond paste in the ingredient list, and maybe that's the key to the unique flavor - but whatever it is, they taste like they're infused with coconut oil or something. They're greasy and yummy.

Also, the box is not terribly large, but it's packed really full of cones. I've been struggling not to finish these off since I had to write a review of them, but even so I feel like I've had many separate chomping sessions each full of lots of cones. I'm saying you get a lot of candy in the box. And it's good. 10/10 Yums. Eat Chococones every day, they bring you health and happiness.
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Japanese Candy Fest 2013: Caplico09:57 AM -- Fri September 13, 2013


Caplico
8.5/10 YUMS
As you can see in the picture, these appear to be ice cream cones. And they sort of are... They're almost astronaut ice cream cones. The cone part is just standard ice cream cone, although it's much skinnier (about five inches long, but not even an inch diameter at its widest). Inside, there is... stuff. Hmm. You know, I've been trying to figure out what it is, but as I sit here tasting it, I think it might actually just plain be chocolate, but it's whipped with tons of air, giving it a very light, fluffy consistency. They fill it all the way to the bottom, no gaps, which I appreciate. Although the filling is technically more air than it is food.

A word of warning: This is my second Caplico purchase. This one went great, but my first time (a couple weeks ago, along with the Noisy Lion), I got it shipped from Japan, and it was basically empty cones, with a few shriveled chocolate bits rattling around in them. That is, as I saw other people warn in their Amazon reviews, what can happen if your Caplico is shipped a long way in the middle of summer. These are fragile cuisine! That's why I wanted to try them again, and it is so much nicer to experience them fully functional.

There are 3 flavors in each box of Caplico - White chocolate on top with chocolate down inside, strawberry 'chocolate' on top with chocolate down inside, and chocolate all the way through. I think you get 3 of each flavor. I'm never a fan of mixing fruit flavors with chocolate, but the strawberry one is still pretty enjoyable, and the other flavors are quite good.

So it's good! It's not my favorite item I got, but I am always interested in chomping another Caplico, and each one is a pretty substantial size, unlike most of the other candies. I rate Caplico 8.5/10 Yums.
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Japanese Candy Fest 2013: Almond Crush Pocky10:18 AM -- Thu September 12, 2013


Almond Crush Pocky
9/10 YUMS
Pocky is the classic Japanese candy (well, along with Yan Yan) - likely you can find this in your local grocery store in a few flavors. But Almond Crush Pocky is harder to come by. I've had it before a few times, and it's as awesome as the picture indicates. First of all, the basic facts on Pocky: An individual Pocky is a very thin and long cracker/cookie stick (almost a pretzel without the salt, very dry crispy 'bread'), about six inches long. Incidentally, so far I have also described Pretz, which is a snack rather than a candy. To turn this stick into Pocky, they dip it in something sweet, to make it Pretz, they coat it in something savory. You get a various number of Pocky per pack, and a various number of packs per box, depending on the flavor. It's about that simple!

Almond Crush Pocky is coated in a layer of chocolate, and just buried in little chunks of almond. So you have the cookie, a bunch of chocolate, and lots of almonds. Can't go wrong there! If you're wondering, it comes 4 sticks to a pack, and 6 packs in this particular size box (you get less per pack than with other flavors, probably because of the bulkiness of the almonds). 9/10 Yums every time. I think Almond Crush may be my favorite Pocky flavor, but we have 3 other flavors in our review line-up this month, so we shall see.
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Japanese Candy Fest 2013: Every Burger10:30 AM -- Wed September 11, 2013


Every Burger
8/10 YUMS
I really want to just call this "Everyburger", because that works for me, but there is clearly a space in the name on the box, so I must respect that. So this box contains not just one burger, but EVERY burger! And it turns out that every burger is very very small, as you can see in the image. In addition to being small, it is adorable! There are two cookies for buns (and the top bun has little sesame seed dots you can barely see in the picture), surrounding a patty of chocolate, and what I guess is white chocolate for cheese.

Every Burger falls into that special category of Japanese candy where sure it tastes good - it's cookies and chocolate, not amazing, but I could certainly chow through a whole box no problem - but the real draw is the unstoppable cuteness of the tiny burgers. Kawaii candy! Some stuff is made with maximum yum in mind, others with maximum fun, and Every Burger is tilted straight into the fun column.

But with plenty of reasonable tastiness attached, I award this candy 8 Yums.
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Japanese Candy Fest 2013: Gokujo Karinto Peanuts09:53 AM -- Tue September 10, 2013


Gokujo Karinto Peanuts (AKA Fried Cookie)
8/10 YUMS
Just a note: many of these packages are entirely in Japanese without any helpful hints aside from a little label the government forced them to slap on it when importing. I can't read a single character of Japanese, so I am entirely at the mercy of these labels in such cases. This one declares that these are called simply "Fried Cookie", but under that it suggests Gokujo Karinto Peanuts, which Google Translate doesn't handle well. A couple well-placed spaces got it to suggest "Ts bran pair with your extermination Karin", which I think is a fair description of this snack food.

So what is the bran pair? Well, it's basically the size, shape, and almost the consistency of Cheetos, but instead of cheese, it's infused with gallons of honey! And it's not made of corn like Cheetos are, it's wheat. And it has peanut bits stuck onto it. It's quite delicious, actually. They're very airy and crunchy, much like Cheetos, but all the honey and oil soaked into them (they are definitely fried!) also gives them a sticky, chewy layer. So they are crunchy, chewy, sticky, and very peanutty - there's a strong peanut taste. Too strong, I think. Peanuts are very distinctive. But despite the over-peanuttiness, they're really enjoyable, with a nice natural sweetness from the honey (even though corn syrup is higher on the ingredient list than honey...).

It's another recommendation from me. Eat Fried Cookie, or Karin extermination bran, whatever you prefer to call it. I rate it 8/10 Yums.
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Japanese Candy Fest 2013: Gzacky11:47 AM -- Mon September 9, 2013


GZACKY!
11/10 YUMS
This stuff is magic. Imagine that somebody took a box full of Ferrero Rocher, smashed them all up with a hammer (a sterilized hammer, this is a classy food operation), and then squished the chocolatey mess back together into little squares. That, my friends, is Gzacky. Coincidentally, that's pretty much what the box art indicates as well, though they're smart enough to avoid legal implications by not showing the pre-smashed Ferrero Rocher.

It is amazing. Marvelous. Chocolatey, crunchy, some hazelnut flavor, and some cookie bits in there (oreos minus the filling?). The perfect food. I'm sure it's full of vitamins and nutrients that are vitally important to survival because otherwise why would my body crave it so badly?! Gzacky all the way. I write this review without being able to check back in and taste it to see how to describe it, because I foolishly opened it on the drive home from the store, and shortly after that the box was empty.

Gzacky is an easy 11/10 Yums, and if you don't have access to it, as I usually don't, you're as sad as a little Dickensian street urchin begging for scraps. Only it's scraps of Gzacky you want! We all do!
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Japanese Candy Fest 2013!!03:16 PM -- Sun September 8, 2013

It's that time again, the time that happens every single September of 2013! It's...

I took a little trip yesterday down to Mitsuwa Marketplace in San Diego, a place that I never knew existed and now can never forget exists. I stocked up on more Japanese candy (and occasional snack) than I could've ever imagined, and I barely scratched the surface of what was offered. So, day by day I shall enlighten you as to what I think of these fabulous (and occasionally horrible) treats! Let us begin the festival.

Noisy Lion Soda Candy
8/10 YUMS
I actually bought this candy a couple weeks ago to soothe my soul when my wife was away on vacation for two weeks, but it counts! This is a hard candy, little round balls of sugar that you suck on, much like a stick-less lollipop. It comes in Lamune (AKA Ramune, "7-Up Flavor"), Strawberry, Grape, Lemon, Cola, Melon, Orange, and Apple flavors, and as you can see by the packaging, the bag contains an assortment of them all. The reason they're called "Noisy Lion" is that theoretically they have a fizz element like Pop Rocks, but it's very very mild and hardly noticeable. It's more of a carbonated flavor than actual effect. But it's a good flavor.

And they are delicious! All the different fruit flavors are really good, and I'm a sucker for ramune flavor. Cola flavor, I can do without, but even that is not bad here. So while these aren't going to blow your mind - they're just little fruit (and cola) flavored suckers - they are a nice little treat. And the official Japanese melon flavor is always great. They also do really good (strong) apple flavor, and grape. The strawberry flavor is not as good as American candies use. It has a plasticky artificial taste, but even that isn't bad, despite how I just made it sound like sucking on asbestos. You get nearly these same flavors in every Japanese candy, so you sort of learn a candy dialect - this is what "strawberry" is in Japanese, or "melon". Japanese candy flavors are usually stronger than American flavors, and quite nice for the most part.

Most of the candies I bought give you a pretty darn small amount of food for your bucks, so I appreciate that Noisy Lion is actually quite a lot of little guys in that bag. If you look at the headline image up above, you can see Noisy Lion in the upper left - it's a mighty large bag compared to almost everything else!

I rate Noisy Lion 8/10 Yums, and I recommend you consume it.
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