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Japanese Candy Review: Morinaga Hi-Chew

Categories: Candy,Candy Reviews,Foreign (non-US) Candy,Soft Candy

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Strawberry Hi-Chews

My home province of Alberta is pretty much the Canadian version of Texas – it’s full of oil, cattle and guys in cowboy boots who say “Y’all” a lot (well OK, the last one’s mainly just in Calgary). But my hometown of Edmonton, a stereotypically white-bread, conservative, redneck city, has an ethnic diversity that may surprise you. I can eat at restaurants from a couple dozen different cultures and shop at specialty grocery stores from four or five more – and that’s just within a 10-minute drive of my office, which, by the way, is located not in a vibrant ethnic center, but in the blandest suburban warehouse/industrial district imaginable.

I guess where I’m going with this is that even your own town is probably home to all kinds of unlikely and unexpected food and candy treasures – you just have to know where to go to find the good stuff. Take these Hi-Chews, for example. I snagged a couple of packs of this popular Japanese candy from a Korean grocery store located just a few minutes from my office (woo!).

Hi-Chews are known for their intriguingly bouncy, pillowy texture, almost more like gum than North American fruit chews like Starburst. The coolest thing about them is that they don’t stick in your teeth at all, so you’re not picking bits of candy out of your molars for the next half hour.

They come in all kinds of fruit flavors from the common to the obscure, and even some really out-there flavors like yogurt, ramune and cola. These particular Hi-Chews were packaged completely in English – perhaps they’re trying to break into the North American candy market, since only the most “familiar” flavors like grape, strawberry, lemon and orange seem to be available in the English-language packaging. I settled on strawberry and lemon.

In appearance, they’re little rectangular pieces – white on the outside, with a colored center – in this case, yellow for the lemon and pink for the strawberry. The flavors lack the intensity of Starburst, but are still tasty. While many Japanese candies favor a milky strawberry flavor, like strawberry ice cream, these have the tangy citric acid-enhanced flavor that’s more common to North American strawberry candies. However, they have an undertone that’s ever-so-slightly stale-tasting, though the candies are soft and seem fresh. The lemon is an intense, zesty lemon, with the flavor of lemon oil rather than juice.

Neither of these are really my favorite flavor of Hi-Chew, but as an introduction to the North American market, I think they’ll do nicely. Here’s hoping Hi-Chews can achieve popularity in the English-speaking market, so maybe someday we’ll be able to see the more interesting flavors like lychee and Muscat grape – in any corner store, not just ethnic grocers.

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2 Responses to “Japanese Candy Review: Morinaga Hi-Chew”

  1. 1
    jordan says:

    could you send me a list of korean candy please, thank you very much. Im doing a school project on korean candy with my partner. then tomorrow we get to whittle soap. im going to make my face. thnx

  2. 2
    Charlie Machine says:

    yo this is jordan’s partner Charlie Machine. we need a list of candy so then we can finish this gay project that the teacher gave us in reading class. we need a list of korean candy ASAP! thank you

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