Late in 2015 I finally decided to admit defeat on finding interesting Japanese candy locally. I may not have looked hard enough, but I found almost nothing. It was disappointing. You (I) can only watch so many fun things you want to try scroll by on Twitter, etc., tasted and tested by other people, before you just want to get in on it yourself. After a little poking around at sites I’d seen recommended, I went with napaJapan and placed an order. Mostly Hi Chew and Mentos.
Aw, yeah. Check it out. I’ve got a review of the first item I tried below, I’ll post individual reviews of anything that proves to be extraordinary, or just update here.Butter & Soy Sauce Doritos…apparently exclusive to one convenience store in Japan…at least according to napaJapan. So these are super weird. They’re sort of a little sweet…? And a little salty…? My wife, fairly accurately, pegged them as tasting a bit like cheese curls. But they’re not really cheesy. And the chips aren’t completely consistent chip to chip. Mostly I just wished they were Nacho Cheese Doritos. Pass.The prevalence of ‘cider’ candy definitely intrigued me. Lots of varieties of Mitsuya Cider candy. I went for this 4 flavor variety bag.These Asahi Mitsuya Cider Soda Candy are weird. This pack is a 4-flavor variety bag with individually wrapped candies. Apparently grape and cider (white soda) are typical, while peach and apple are less common. The flavors are decent on these small, hard candies. Quite sweet, more ‘candy’ flavors than ‘accurate’ flavors that Japanese candy is known for. They’re traditionally shaped roundish hard candy, like sour balls.They don’t melt all that great, you have to be careful of sharp edges and such. And, what totally surprised me is that they’re fizzy! There’s this odd bit of bubbly tang from the beginning, but as it dissolves it seems to expose pockets that, when they hit your saliva, can fizz from a little to a LOT. And I do mean a lot.The first one I had, apple, got to a point where I could feel a jet of bubbles shooting out. Given that I wasn’t expecting it, it was quite the little surprise. I don’t think I’d get these again, but I can see the appeal. I’m not so much into the fizz, plus the irregular dissolve that leads to sharp bits is a turn off. No problem going through the bag, though.Good thing napaJapan provides info, or I’d have no clue here. This is actually a bag of Hi Chew. It’s a mix pack featuring dorayaki. Yeah, no clue. So it’s red bean pancake. Oh, ok. Should be interesting.Other flavors are apple, soda (again), and pineapple. Mmm. Everything here is pretty good. The dorayaki is interesting, it’s like a savory Hi Chew. It’s not my favorite, but I can eat a few of them. And look at the individual wrappers!
These are Party Chicken Pringles. This dude on YouTube explains that it’s basically fried chicken. Fried chicken Pringles? I had to try them. (They’re decent. No strong smell, but, yes, they taste like fried chicken. Actually, the best way of putting it is that they taste like the memory of fried chicken. Like you have fried chicken a half hour ago and are now eating some plain Pringles. Odd, but in no way bad. The chickenyness lingers a bit. And the Japanese Pringles seem a little smaller than the American crisps.)
- Acerola (Barbados Cherry) (These are really nice with a juicy cherry flavor, I’d get these again)
- Orange Mikan (somewhat mild orange, not crazy glowing orange candy flavor, a hint of zest)
- Okinawa Shikuwasa Fruit (napaJapan says it tastes like a combination of lemon, lime, and orange, I kind of get that, like a citrusy flavor with what tastes like zest of those fruits without tasting exactly like any of them…not my favorite, but I can finish the pack)
- White Soda (Nice)
- Cola (mmm, nice cola flavor)
- Lemon Squash (tart lemon, with some sort of essence that is reminiscent of carbonation, but not in a bubble way…hard to explain)
- Honey Kumquat (decent, subtle citrus flavor, don’t get much honey from it)
The rainbow mix has green apple (tasted lightly minty), kiwi (basically no flavor), mango (thought it was peach to be honest, tasted a bit like peach), pineapple (tasty, pineappley), strawberry (nothing unusual, tasty), passion fruit (delicious, like every ‘tropical fruit’ item, wish I hadn’t dropped one of the two 😦 ), and red grape (mmmmm, grapey! so grapey!). The soda mix is cola (not bad, not great, very ‘candy cola flavor), orange (like any orange), ramune (white soda, boring, forgettable), and ginger ale (light, more like lemon/lime, medicinal, not great)!
Grape is super grapey. More of a typical candy grape flavor. Not bad.
It took my order just about 4 weeks to arrive. Everything was fresh and safely packaged and cushioned with newspaper.