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Japanese Candy Review: Hi-Chew American Cherry, Melon, Lemon

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

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American Cherry Hi-Chew

For a while it looked like you’d never see another non-chocolate candy review from me. I discovered that my local Japanese markets are now carrying the Mango flavor Hi-Chew that I reviewed so enthusiastically a while ago. I bought a large quantity and felt that now, my life was complete. Well, as far as non-chocolate candy goes, anyway.

But curiosity got the better of me. After all, a package only costs a buck. If the mango is so good, maybe there are other wonders that I don’t want to miss, right?

So I grabbed a Lemon and Melon at the store. And then while ordering something else from J-List, I saw a flavor called “American Cherry” and wondered what the heck that was, and it only took one click to find out, right?

Melon is interesting in that in Japan, it’s used as a flavor in ways that don’t seem to occur to Americans. We eat actual melons of all kinds, and we make things that are watermelon-flavored. But we don’t make soda and candy in the flavor of other kinds of melons like the Japanese do.

I like Japanese melon soda, so Melon Hi-Chew seemed like a good idea, but, it turned out, not so much. The picture on the front is of a cantaloupe while the flavor is more like honeydew, which is disorienting, but that’s not it. There’s just something not right about it. Maybe it’s not tart enough? I can’t complain that it tastes like melon artificial flavoring – I mean, I’m sure it does, but I’m sure the soda does too, and I like the soda.

So, I don’t know, but I will not be buying this one again. I didn’t even eat the whole little piece after biting off half of it. I am afraid that the introduction of this candy is not going to change the American mind about making non-watermelon melon flavored sweets.

In contrast, lemon is a normal flavor – in fact, lemon is only a flavor, because who eats whole lemons as a fruit? – common to both cultures. And I liked the Lemon Hi-Chew much better. It’s a good strong lemon-peely flavor like marmalade or lemon curd.

The American cherry is something of a mystery. This one is a Japanese import unlike the last two, so I can’t read most of the packaging. What I can decipher doesn’t make a darn bit of sense. So if there’s any explanation of what’s American about it, it’s lost on me.

I wondered if maybe they meant the kind of sour cherry that you get in pie, since pie is so American, but that’s the last thing this tastes like. I’m not really sure what this candy does taste like, in fact. I’m not sure I’d identify it as cherry, even, if I hadn’t read the package. And when given to a test subject who was not told what flavor was supposed to be, his guess was “Peach?”

On the bright side, it’s just as well, I won’t have to be moaning and rending my garments about yet another wonderful Japanese food I can’t get in this country. I’ve got my mango Hi-Chew and maybe that really is all I need.

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9 Responses to “Japanese Candy Review: Hi-Chew American Cherry, Melon, Lemon”

  1. 1
    Chris in NM says:

    I also like the lemon and will have to try the mango. If you get a chance and like cream soda, try the white soda flavor. A friend recently brrought me a pack from Japan and it was one of the best flavors I have ever tried.

  2. 2
    Arik says:

    Regarding American Cherry, I believe the distinction was made to differentiate between cherry blossom flavor, popular in Japan, and the actual fruit (and flavors derived) more common here in the US.

  3. 3
    cowsandlemonade says:

    Is this similar to Starburst type texture? I have seen the mango one but did not know if my teeth enamel would be able to handle them. I love reading all of your reviews!!

  4. 4
    Linda says:

    I’ve read other people comparing these to Starburst but I think they are softer. Although honestly I haven’t had Starburst in a very long time.

    I found a flavor that’s even better than mango in a Chinese market – dragon fruit. It’s sort of like passionfruit but better. I found it when I was travelling, so I can’t go back and get more, and now I want to CRY.

  5. 5
    Jen says:

    I know I’m kind of late to the party with this, but American Cherry is the Japanese name for Bing cherries.

    I guess knowing that won’t do anything to improve the flavor, but at least that explains what’s so American about it (somewhat).

  6. 6
    Linda says:

    It was vastly unlike Bing cherries.

    I lately found the grape flavor. Highly recommended.

  7. 7
    Temperance says:

    I LOVE the melon flavor. I think it tastes like cantaloupe myself- although weirdly, I just looked on the packaging for my pack of melon HiChews and I realized that the Chinese description of the flavor says Honeydew. Hmmm…maybe I was too focused on it being cantaloupe. I wonder why they used the cantaloupe picture anf color theme. I like Asian cantaloupe/melon candies because the flavor is so fragrant. I would recommend the Extra cantaloupe chewing gum- they come in chiclet shapes in Asia.

    Regarding Hi Chew, I have had a lot of flavors including strawberry, grape, apple, melon, orange, lemon, cola, soda (which I equate to ramune- the asian soda with the marble in the neck of the bottle, not cream soda), golden kiwi,lychee, the yogurt flavors-peach+strawberry…..

    I always look for new flavors whenever I find myself in Taiwan visiting relatives as asian markets in the US only seem to stock basic flavors most of the time and they are very cheap in Taiwan (although the Taiwan packages are a bit smaller than the Japanese ones) I can get a pack of HiChew for 12 yuan (just over 30 American cents). Back in the day they were only 10 yuan.

  8. 8
    Temperance says:

    I take back part of my comment. I’ve always thought of that CHinese phrase as the term for Honeydew, but it turns out that’s the phrase used to refer to Canteloupe- so the Chinese description means Canteloupe.

  9. 9
    April says:

    I love love love the HI-CHEW candy. In WA state most 7-11′s seem to have them, along with a number of other convenience stores. My favorite flavor, of course, is the Mango flavor, which does seem to taste very much like a Mango though I did buy the multi flavor bag once in a Portland, Oregon 7-11 to share with my Nieces, who also approve of the Japanese fruit flavored candy. I wish there was an American equivalent but most fruit flavored candies/fruit chews here in the states are less soft, and less fruity flavorful.
    I just wish they were more prolific in stores, a little less costly, and that they came in larger amounts.

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