Kasugai makes this candy in a gummy and a hard format. This review is for the hard candy.
Kasugai's Lychee Hard Candy (also spelled litchi, liechee, or lichee) has become an office favorite for those who have to work behind cubicles.
For those who don't know, the lychee berry can be found in specialty markets and at giant grocery stores. They rarely appear at smaller grocery stores or "mom and pop" stores in the United States. Fresh lychee berries are red on the outside and white on the inside, though refrigerating them makes the red rinds turn black, but that's normal. Canned lychees are hard and less flavorful, and often shrink while canning, so it's best to eat them as soon as you get them home. They have a good amount of vitamin C, followed by a trivial amount of folic acid, calcium and a few B vitamins, but you have to eat nine of them in order to reap the benefits. They were originally only grown in China, but now they're grown in India and on a few farms in South Africa as well as a few of the smaller countries in southeast Asia.
Since lychees are kind of scarce, most people settle for the candy version.
Kasugai's Hard Lychee candy is a milky-white color. When you first taste the candy, you'll notice a feint grapefruit taste. It's not as bitter as grapefruit, but it does retain a sour aftertaste that is similar. Some of the flavor is so light, you may not even taste the feint sweetness until just before crunching. The candy doesn't last very long, but it's not as sugary as US hard candies, making it a little easier on the teeth.
Younger children may not be a fan of the grapefruit-like taste, but this candy is a hit with adults who like something sour.
Pocky is arguably one of the most iconic snacks shown in anime, but few really know the history of the pre-packaged snack food. Created in 1966 by Ezaki Glico, most of the Pocky we see in North America comes from California and Thailand, but the snack originates from Japan. You can find a more robust version of it's history on pocky.com which is jazzed up with a large HD video in the background.
Original Pocky comes in a red box and has more than a dozen snack sticks. Each stick is a super thin cracker tube with a wheat aftertaste. The tubes are dipped in a very dark chocolate, and then placed in a wrapper, followed by the box. Sometimes, a stick will have a little extra chocolate at the tip, which has a satisfying texture, like eating less than 1/16th of a bite-size Hershey bar.
A regular-sized box of Pocky counts as one serving. Considering that one whole box is just 190 calories, that's not so bad, as it makes the snack 50 calories less than the average candy bar, which can set you back 240 calories. Pocky is sweet, but despite it's thin size can also satisfy a light hunger pang.
The ingredients for Pocky may not be the most healthy, but it's a great travel-sized snack, and also makes for less-messy eating. Below are the ingredients:
I still remember the exact moment I first saw Chocorooms. It was at the now defunct Borders Books and Music store in Highland, Indiana. (It's a BAM! now.) There was a box directly from Japan in bright, lime green with childish pictures of a sun in the background.
A week later, the Meiji America boxes came in, and I had a little extra cash on me, so i bought a box and decided to try some while watching Dragonball Z.
........ And I can't understand how I lived without them that long.
Chocorooms are tiny, lightly sweetened, hard crackers with a thick, dark chocolate coating. The chocolate is smooth and not very sweet, which plays well with the texture of the cracker underneath. It's designed to look like skinny mushrooms, which have earned it a less than savory reputation for those into drug paraphernalia.
You may be wondering why there is a Tyke rating for this snack. Who gives parental ratings to snacks, anyways, right? Well the reason I did this is because Chocorooms are small and oblong, and are at the width where they pose a choking hazard to Tots ages 0-4. But they make a perfect after-school snack for the kindergarten+ crowd.
A serving size is supposed to be 38 grams or one fourth of a 5 ounce bag. Each serving will set you back an unbelievable 210 calories, but considering that it's still way less than a candy bar, this makes Chocorooms a great snack for dieters. Chocorooms are sold in the United States in small boxes and tiny, re-seal-able pouches, while the Japanese version comes in little, colorful boxes. Here are the ingredients, as posted by the official website: