April 1st: 'Bits n Bobs' Japanese Superpost 2011 # 4

I've buckled to demand with 'Bits n Bobs' today and have finally got around to posting some highly requested Kit Kat and Pocky reviews. As a little added bonus I've also included another fantastic flavoured bar from Meiji - as you will see by the scores the standards are very high this week!

Kit Kat Green Tea Variety Minis
Kcal 69 Fat 4.0g Carbs 7.7g (Both Varieties)

I can't think for whatever reason why but there weren't too many volunteers coming forward from my family taste panel when these arrived in our latest J-List sampling box :D Indeed the task was left up to me to try these new green tea flavoured Kit Kats. Despite the rest of my families disregard, it seems that these are quite the popular product at J-List - at time of writing this post they were actually the best selling snack product on the website! This bag of thirteen minis contained two different green tea varieties, with six Rich Green Tea packs and seven Matcha Milk chocolate. Both flavours were portioned in 13.2g Mini format - small and unsatisfying, but certainly not lacking flavour.

If you look at the photos of each of the two above, you will see that in addition to the differentiated wrappers, there were also minor differences to the colouring of the two very funky looking green bars. Taste wise the two different varieties were only subtly different, though after a few of each I was able to pick my favoured one. As you will see reflected in the scoring charts below, my preference fell with the Matcha Milk Chocolate (the lighter green pack) as it had a creamier, sweeter aftertaste that didn't have the hint of bitterness that the other did. On the whole, I found both varieties both tasty and unique with their sweet, herby grass flavours complimented superbly by the malty wheat wafers. I have little doubt that the more adventurous Kit Kat lover will get a great deal of pleasure from these, though common sense tells you that they of course aren't going to be a product to appeal to everyone.

Kit Kat Rich Green Tea - 8.0 out of 10
Kit Kat Matcha Milk Chocolate - 8.1 out of 10

Glico Pocky Chocolate on Chocolate Caramel
Kcal 81 Fat 4.5g Carbs 9.2g (per 15.1g pack)

Despite the popularity of Kit Kats supposedly overtaking these in Japan, whenever I ask readers what brands and products they wanted to see reviewed on the site one of the most frequently requested are Pocky. Back in November I featured the first two variants from Pocky's new 'Chocolate on Chocolate' range (See HERE), a line of products that have supposedly come in to replace the Pocky Desserts. After sending my sampling recommendations to Peter at J-List, he saw fit to send across the latest flavour released on this new line-up - the Pocky Chocolate on Chocolate Caramel.

Unlike the Kit Kats above there were plenty of forthcoming volunteers willing to try these so I was glad to see they came in four sealed packets that had three sticks contained within each. On the J-List website, these were described as 'biscuit sticks covered in caramel and milk chocolate', which combined with the delightful toffee aromas had my expectations built up really quite high. Thankfully it was agreed by one and all that these expectations were delivered on. Despite the aged old problem of Pocky being rather unsubstantial, these tasted superb with the thick caramel bottom coating providing a delightful set of butterscotch flavours from the outset of each nibble. Though I was fearful that the milk chocolate pattern work on top was purely there for design purposes, it was nice to see the cocoa flavours come through in the latter stages of the development of the melt, which made the overall taste both progressive and multi-dimensional. It was agreed these were the best Pocky that we had tried in ages - they get a ChocolateMission recommendation.

8.4 out of 10

Meiji Mango Chocolate Bar
Kcal ??? Fat ??? Fat(sats) ??? Carbs ???

I told you the standards were high today and this Meiji Mango Chocolate didn't fail to hit the grade. Peter has been way too kind in sending me the latest Meiji products recently, but this one was without doubt one of the better flavours I have tried as of late. I will admit that mango fruit is a real favourite of mine, though I'm not sure if that was a good or a bad thing for Meiji as whilst this increased the likelihood of me being favourable to this flavour, it also set my expectations pretty high.

This bar came in a 46.0g block form, packaged in a very bright and cool looking box and silver foil protective duo. It was immediately noticeable (and a little worrying!) that the bar was very, very thin and flat in nature, whilst the aromas emanating from it's foil confines had just a minor touch of fruity artificialness. Thankfully all these initial worries were put to bed by the second the chocolate landed on my tongue. Despite it's skinnyness, this bar was one of the most flavoursome and fruity I have ever tasted. The milk chocolate was by all accounts nothing that special, but the mango element was just simply sensational. The realness of the sharp, sweet mango flavours was incredible and surpassed all my prior expectations with its long lasting, refreshing fruity flavours. If you are a fan of mango then I simply can't recommend this chocolate enough - I'll happilly give this the third ChocolateMission recommendation of the day.

8.2 out of 10