November 4th: Glico Pocky Chocolate-on-Chocolate

If you were cool enough (yes cool enough haha!) to check out the site this weekend you will have seen that a few Japanese sourced products had made their way in to my 'Bits n Bobs' Halloween Superpost. Indeed, after a long, sweltering Japanese summer, J-List have finally replenished their chocolate stocks so it's time for more reviews. My friend Peter at J-List was kind enough to send me a batch of goodies containing some of the newest products the Japanese products, includeing a new range of Pocky called 'Chocolate-on-Chocolate'.

Both these two flavour variants came in 60.0g boxes that contained 4 x 15.1g smaller packets within. Judging by the packaging of this new 'Chocolate-on-Chocolate' range I think it is safe to say that Glico are targeting a more upmarket consumer as the glossy cardboard box and less cartoony graphics gave a more premium and sophisticated sense as opposed to the norm. Portioned in packets of three, the Pocky sticks were about four times the thickness of your standard Mikado and normal Pocky lines. Both looked attractive on the eye, yet neither really grabbed my attention with any compelling aromas of note.

Glico Pocky Chocolate-on-Chocolate Praline:

Kcal 82 Fat 4.5g Carbs 9.2g (per 15.1 packet)

Normally I liked to start off my reviews by giving you the manufacturers description, though that would be a little impossible for me to do without taking a few lesson in Japanese reading and writing :D Propositionally these did look the more interesting out of the two and it was no surprise to find this was reality when it came to the taste. Starting with the biscuit bases they were your typical Pocky sticks, and were fresh and crunchy offering brown sugar noted wheaty flavours. The coating on top delivered the dual chocolate experience to reasonably good effect, with the lower coated sweeter chocolate enhanced progressively by the ever so slightly more cocoa led flavours of the 63% chocolate on top. Although not particularly prominent in the main stay of the tasting experience, a interjection of buttery almond flavours did make their way into the aftertaste. The upshot of this was that this praline flavour was very tasty, but in the grand scheme of things the nut element needed to stronger.

7.8 out of 10

Glico Pocky Chocolate-on-Chocolate Mild:

Kcal 81 Fat 4.4g Carbs 9.3g (per 15.1 packet)

I needn't take as long describing my experience with this 'Mild' variant as I did with the 'Praline' above because fundamentally these were exactly the same product but without the inclusion of the 1.4% almond powder. Given that fact you wont be at all surprised to hear that they tasted almost exactly the same, but just with the obvious exclusion of the nutty aftertaste. On reflection I think it would have been good if Glico had tried differentiating this flavour a bit more - perhaps by changing the strength of the dark chocolate part of the coating? The 63% dark chocolate was fair in terms of it's heightened cocoa emphasis, however it didn't venture past the usual mass consumer friendly dark chocolate experience. Although I still got that unsatisfied hunger Pocky feeling after eating these, I was more than happy with how they tasted.

7.4 out of 10

Overall I wouldn't like to lie to anyone by saying this new Chocolate-on-Chocolate range is anything particularly special, but I know for a matter of fact that most Pocky fans will still really love them. Personally I would have liked to have seen Glico be a little bolder with the flavour varieties they chose with these - a stronger, nuttier praline would have great, whilst a more intense dark chocolate would have definitely livened up the somewhat placcid 'Mild' flavours. Like I said, Pocky fans will love these but for the people who are not so fussed I think there are more interesting Japanese products out there. If either of these tickle your fancy I suggest you head HERE to the J-List website.