Saturday, October 15, 2016

Caramel Corn Tiramisu 大人の cafe time キャラメルコーン ティラミス

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I love Caramel Corn but I don't buy it as often as I would like to - there are so many different snacks released by Japanese companies all the time! 

However the flavour of this intrigued me. Tiramisu - something I love to eat if it's made in a traditional way. How would coffee flavour go with caramel corn? 

The bag is a bright orange and dark red that you can't miss, it looks more like it's geared towards Halloween. 

Each corn is a burnt gold colour and tastes strongly of coffee but also has a faint hint of chocolate too. They've done a good job with these, it really conjures up a feeling of Tiramisu with each bite. 



The satisfying crunch of each caramel corn and the strong hit of coffee in my mouth, it's a match made in heaven.

I'm not sure how long these will stay around for but if you get the opportunity I highly recommend you try them.


Saturday, October 8, 2016

Tirol Papaya Lemon チロルパパヤレモン

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Papaya is not exactly a fruit I eat very often. It seems very exotic to me, so I hesitated when this flavour was released. I was curious enough to purchase it though. 

I must admit I don't eat papaya very often, maybe once every few years, so I don't know much about it. But paired with the lemon I thought it would be interesting.

The packet is very bright and has images of both fruits. Inside there are 6 individually wrapped chocolates. Also inside the packet was a small package of lemon sauce or ジュレ. 



So to eat this I put the chocolate in a small dish and poured the sauce on top. 

The papaya Tirol itself is quite sweet. The orange chocolate on the outside doesn't taste much like anything, it's only when you bite into it that you hit the white fluffy meringue and papaya flavour sauce. Then you experience the papaya Tirol. 
If you then pour the sauce on top you get a very sour punch with the sweet chocolate and meringue, followed by the sweetness of the papaya sauce.



I wasn't too keen on this Tirol because I thought the flavours were mismatched. But my husband and son loved this one and exclaimed how yummy it was.

It really depends on what your taste is, if you like tartness then you would like this. Or if not, then don't put the sauce on top. But overall it was a fun experiment!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Dars Uji Matcha ダース宇治抹茶

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Morinaga make a lot of yummy snacks and one product they do especially well is Dars. I'm a big fan of their white chocolate, it is so creamy.

Matcha is also another flavour I love in everything, I love it as a tea or added to savory and desserts. So I was excited to try it.




This Dars uses Uji Matcha from Kyoto that is ground up into a fine powder and mixed into the chocolate. The Matcha flavour is strong and blends well with the outer layer of smooth dark chocolate.

I definitely recommend this as within seconds of pulling out the tray half of the Dars were gone. My 5 year old son started gobbling them and wouldn't stop, he loved it so much. I think I got 3 pieces total, but would have loved more. 




Friday, September 9, 2016

Tirol Sesame Mochi チロルごま団子

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I am a big fan of traditional Asian sweets and also a big fan of Tirol as you might guess from the amount of Tirol products I review.

So when I saw this Goma Dango release I knew I had to try it. Besides, the packet is so cute, and there are two flavours inside, not just one! Good value right there :)

This pack contains 7 individually wrapped pieces. 4 of the "金" (white sesame) and 3 of the "黒" (black sesame).



Each chocolate piece contains either black or white sesame seeds, azuki (red bean paste) and mochi gummy.


White sesame is a creamy white chocolate on the outside and it has a sweet smell. The middle is soft and then chewy as my teeth hit the mochi. There are lots of white sesame seeds inside so the sesame taste is quite bold, but it's not overpowering. However, I'm not sure why the azuki paste (which is more like a sauce) is there because it's not very apparent.

The black sesame is a grey and black mottled white chocolate on the outside. Biting in, there is an ample amount of black sesame seeds but I couldn't locate the azuki paste. The black sesame seeds are not very strong in flavour so the white chocolate is centre stage followed by the texture of the sesame seeds. A major let down as I expected the black sesame to be the best but it's actually too sweet and not interesting enough.

That's a shame, and possibly the reason why there were only 3 in the pack. Did Tirol know they bombed out?

Either way, this was a fun pack to try out, even though it wasn't as reminiscent of traditional Asian sweets as I would like.

Have you tried these and if so what did you think!? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!


Thursday, September 8, 2016

Royce x Tirol チロル x ロイス

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A while back Tirol teamed up with the famous Hokkaido chocolate manufacturer Royce to make a premium Tirol (which is a little larger than the regular size).

It sold out very quickly but I managed to buy some pieces online. Unfortunately because it contained Nama cream, most online stores would not send it overseas. Mine was sent during summer and leaked inside my parcel, and the Tirol ended up mutilated, but still edible - however I didn't take photos of the disaster so the above image is the result of a Google image search.

The chocolate itself was quite dark so it seems it had a rather high cocoa content. Inside it was soft and kind of chewy. Because of the Nama cream the chocolate was creamy and had a very milky taste. Even when melted, this Tirol was everything I expected it to be and was a really good representation of Royce. It's just a shame I only had 9 pieces because I could have easily eaten double that! 

I hope that like some of the other Tirol releases this will make a comeback in the future! :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Calbee French Salad Potato Chips カルビー ポテトチップス フレンチサラダ

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Sorry for the lack of posts! I have a backlog of Japanese snacks to get through so expect to hear from me more in future. 

Amongst my backlog are packs of Japanese potato chips. Starting with the first pack - French Salad by Calbee. 

Opening the packet there was quite a strong tang that wafted out, similar to that of a French salad dressing which is described by Google as 
"a term originally used for an oil-and-vinegar-based salad dressing. In the United States during the 1950s, manufactured "French dressing" was developed. The term has come to mean the manufactured version, which is sweet in taste and colored red from the use of paprika and tomatoes."



The chips themselves had specks of green and red on them and were a light yellow colour.

They were very crunchy and salty with a mild tang of vinegar, so if you like salt and vinegar chips then you would like these. Japanese husband did NOT like these, his complaint was that they were too tangy (but again he doesn't like salt and vinegar, so there you go)

Overall, not a bad flavour. I'm not sure I would buy it again, but it was good to try once. 

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Morinaga Bake Creamy Cheesecake 森永 ベーク クリーミーチーズ 3種のチーズ

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Thanks to Jenny-Sama for sending this to me from Tokyo! :) 


This pack of Morinaga Bake uses 3 kinds of cheese in the snack: camembert cheese, cheddar cheese and cream cheese.

The pack is foil wrapped inside the pack, and for the some reason was very hard to get open. But once I did open it, the smell that wafted out was divine. 



I could smell the cream cheese, and a very creamy cheesecake aroma. My husband also had a sniff and declared that it "smelled yum".

There are 10 pieces in the pack and they are a light golden colour and brown around the edges. 



They are very soft to bite into and inside resembles the texture of baked cheesecake when you bite into it.

Each piece has an initial sweetness, with a quite strong hit of cheese, creaminess and also a slightly bitter flavour at the end. I can't distinguish all three flavours individually, but I can taste the cream cheese most. I think the bitter is from the cheddar cheese. The camembert is represented here mainly in the very soft texture.

I would recommend this to cheese and cheesecake lovers alike. If you have a craving for cheesecake and for one reason or another you can't fulfill that need, then this Bake would suffice. 

A big thumbs up for Morinaga Bake Creamy Cheese!

Have you tried it? What did you think?

Friday, May 20, 2016

Sakura Red Bull さくら レッドブル

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Japan has four distinct seasons and Japanese snack makers use this to their advantage by releasing limited edition products to keep consumers interested.

This year the big hype was about Sakura (cherry blossom) flavoured snacks. Sakura Pepsi got a lot of airtime, and rightly so. (See my review here)

I didn't see anything online about Sakura Red Bull but it piqued my interest enough to buy it! (Thanks napaJapan for making this available to your customers!)

The Red Bull can is pink and smaller than usual. Even the ring pull has the Red Bull logo cut out. 


The Red Bull is similar in colour to the Sakura Pepsi, a very pretty pink colour. 
Where the Sakura Pepsi is light and floral, the Red Bull Sakura is strong and I got more of a cherry-cough-medicine flavour.

The familiar tang of Red Bull is present in the background, followed by the cherry taste. 

I don't drink Red Bull very often, but I'm sure if I did I would probably like this more than I do. I find the flavour too tangy for my liking. 

The cherry flavour while strong, takes a back seat to the tartness of the Red Bull. 

It was interesting to try. My son loved it, my husband wasn't so keen. 

Definitely give it a go if you get the chance, although if you have to choose between the Pepsi and the Red Bull go with Pepsi! 






Friday, May 13, 2016

Calbee Kappa Ebisen Lotteria Ebi Burger かっぱえびせん ロッテリア エビバーガー

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The males in my household are big fans of ebi senbei and kappa ebisen in particular so I was excited to buy these from napaJapan to try!

This is a collaboration of Calbee with Lotteria and the flavour is based on their Ebi Burger (shrimp pattie burger).

I've never tried it but I assume it would be nice? (Please let me know if you have tried it in the comments!)

Upon opening the bag there is a strong smell of ebi and something that smells like tartare sauce. It makes sense as the picture on the front of the bag shows the burger with cabbage and a white sauce flecked with green.



Each senbei is flecked with red and green bits too, and they smell strongly of shrimp. They are very crunchy and moreish. 

The taste is quite different to the regular ebisen, in that the tartare sauce is strong in flavour as well as scent. It's amazing to me how much it tastes like what I imagine the burger to be like in real life!

Mr 5 who is a diehard ebi senbei freak didn't like these, but my husband and I are currently fighting over the bag. As is so often the case, I bought one to try and end up regretting not buying more of them. 

I definitely recommend these. If you've tried the burger, drop me a line and let me know how these rate against it! :)









Thursday, April 28, 2016

Pepsi Sakura ペプシ桜

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There was much hype surrounding the release of the limited edition Sakura flavour Pepsi both in Japan and overseas. 

Friends expressed their eagerness to try it and then when they did they said it was awful and more like a cough medicine than cherry blossom. 

I knew I had to try this. Not only do I love Sakura but I love trying seasonal and weird products that Japan releases. 

So, I ordered it from napaJapan and it arrived last week. I was trying to find a good time to try it, but once my 5 year old son found out I had Sakura Pepsi I never heard the end of it!

To get him off my back I decided that he, my husband and I would try it all together. Tonight.

The bottle is very pretty - Pink Sakura on a black background. When the bottle was opened a light, floral scent wafted out.

I was nervous about trying it, I was sure I would be disappointed if what my friends said was true.

I poured three glasses and we all took a sip. Mr 5 loved it straight away and he sculled it!

My husband exclaimed that it was like cough medicine, but he liked it. He could taste cherry and he got a floral scent and taste.

When I took a sip I thought it was very light and not at all what I expected. I found the Sakura flavour not too strong but pleasantly there. I only got a hint of cherry, though I kept tasting musk like the pink musk lollies! 

This Sakura Pepsi was very sophisticated. It had a lot of depth. There was the cherry blossom flavour, followed by musk and then right at the end a light taste of cola. I liked tasting all the layers, and because it was fizzy I felt I could drink this instead of a an alcoholic drink! 

I really loved this Pepsi and I want more! It was so beautifully executed by Pepsi both in design and flavour. 

I thoroughly recommend you try it before it disappears off the shelves. Sakura season is nearly over, it has reached Hokkaido now and the blossoms will fade soon.




Next: Spring Edition Sakura Red Bull. Will it be as good as Sakura Pepsi or better?