Anyone who's ever been to any kind of anime convention is familiar with the name Pocky. The delicious little biscuit sticks dipped in chocolate are many a congoer's breakfasts. But many people only know of chocolate Pocky, which in my opinion is a damn shame. Glico's line of Pocky is a vast empire covering all sorts of flavors, from fruit-based, to foreign treats quite alien to American palates, to mimicking luxurious desserts. And after my most recent trip to Dong's - an Asian supermarket - I've come home with five new flavors of Pocky.
The first up is Strawberry Cream Pocky, vanilla biscuit sticks with a strawberry cream flavored coating. The coating has bits of dehydrated strawberry in it, and it tastes a lot like strawberry shortcake when it's eaten. It's a pleasant, refreshing flavor that I found to be incredibly enjoyable. The addition of the dehydrated fruit made it distinctly different from the artificially flavored Strawberry Pocky.
Next was by far the most interesting Pocky flavor I've ever tasted, Chocolat Fromage. It's in the more luxurious Dessert line, and features a richer chocolate blend and fuller, better flavors than its other counterparts. This flavor took a regular biscuit stick and dipped it in a layer of white cheese-flavored coating before drizzling it with a layer of milk chocolate. This one surprised me. I was expecting something akin to a chocolate cheesecake, but instead was greeted to the smooth sweetness of chocolate paired with a semi-sharp cheese flavor akin to cream cheese before it's been mixed into a cheesecake. It's also got a slight orange flavor thanks to some orange juice in the cheese mixture. To date, this ranks in my Top Five of Pocky.
After the Chocolat Fromage flavor, we tried the "tsubutsubu misuku beri" flavor, or "Chunky Mixed Berries" in English. This was a vanilla biscuit dipped in a mixed berry coating. According to the green banner on the package, it consisted of cranberries, strawberries, and blueberries, but it tasted mostly like blueberries and strawberries. Funny, because cranberry juice comes before anything else on the list. These were also really good; they tasted like a fruit parfait, which I'm definitely all over.
The Milk Pocky is extremely boring in comparison to the other Pockys I've tried tonight. It was a regular biscuit dipped in a sweetened milk flavored coating. Don't get it confused with vanilla; there was a distinct difference between them. This coating tasted a lot like sweetened condensed milk: a concentrated, almost malted-milk-like flavor. It was nice in its own right, but compared to the other flavors is a tad dull. This was my least favorite of the bunch.
And last, but certainly not least, was Choco-Banana flavor. This was another variety that had two layers of flavorings. The first was a bright yellow artificially flavored banana coating, which was drizzled over with thin stripes of milk chocolate. The result is an obviously artificial but still really tasty chocolate-covered banana sensation. This is another flavor that has made my Top Five of Pocky list.
All of these flavors of Pocky are definite keepers, though I'm sure that the next time I head down to the Asian supermarket, I won't be able to find them.
Win a Box o' Pocky!
To help spread my love of Pocky, I'm giving away a couple boxes my favorite flavor from this post: the chocolat fromage. To enter my Pocky Giveaway, just send an email to daves [dot] cupboard [at] gmail [dot] com with the subject "Pocky." With the help of random number generator website random.org, two winners will be selected and each will receive a free 70g box of Pocky Chocolat Fromage Chocolate Dessert! Entries must be received by Monday, June 21, 2010 - one entry per person, please. Winners will be notified by email and will receive their delicious Pocky via US Mail.