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Cool and wacky candy from Japan

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

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

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?

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Candy Review: Strawberry Cheesecake and Mango Hi-chew

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

Cheesecake and Mango Hi-chew

Today I admit that I have learned an important lesson: Weird is not always better.

When our friends at J-List offered me my first chance to try the intriguing Japanese candy Hi-chew, I figured, why not go for the most exotic? So custard pudding flavor and Strawberry Cheesecake seemed like the obvious candidates. I mean, when have you looked at a display of American candy and seen something in cheesecake flavor? Never. There you go.

As you can read in my previous review, the custard pudding flavor was fun and interesting. But I felt fine giving the rest of the package away. And the strawberry cheesecake….

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Japanese Candy Review: Puchitto Custard Pudding Hi-Chew

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

Puchitto Hi-Chew
If you’ve been paying close attention, you may remember me as the reviewer of whom much fun was made when I was taken aback by Pop Rocks in my fancy Chuao chocolates. The illustration on the wrapper of the Puchitto custard pudding flavor Hi-chew might seem to promise similar hijinks.

There is a little brown bean-shape, on which I believe is written ‘pudding flavor,’ and it has little shaky-cartoon-lines on either side, suggesting that it’s vibrating with bean-shaped excitement. And – even more reminiscent of the Pop Rocks experience – the drawing of the candy itself, a cream-colored square with little brown spots in it, shows a couple of the spots MUCH larger, and apparently actually EXPLODING, or at least, popping open with a couple of drops squirting out of the resulting hole.

Unfortunately for those of you who are quivering with anticipation of making fun of my sheltered existence, the exploding effect was nothing like Pop Rocks. There’s definitely something going on though – a little snapping effect that’s fairly impressive given how tiny the round globules are. They don’t contribute a lot of flavor as far as I can tell, but they’re amusing.

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Japanese Candy Review: Morinaga Hi-Chew

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

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.

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