After karaoke and weird KitKats, Pocky is the third most popular thing in Japan. Probably.
Like KitKat, it’s a crunchy, often chocolatey snack that comes in a mind-boggling array of flavours. I wanted to start myself off with something simple – and chocolatey – so I went for this “Men’s” bitter chocolate flavour.
Apparently it really is aimed at men. Perhaps women just can’t handle their dark chocolate in Japan. Or is it just that real men don’t eat pink strawberry flavoured Pocky? Either way, it seems a little weird to me.
The crunchy, biscuity part of pocky is a stick of pretzel about 10cm long. Most of the length of the pretzel is covered with a very thin layer of dark choclate. There’s no cocoa percentage given, but the ingredients are helpfully listed in English on a tiny sticker on the back of the box. “cacaomass”, “cocoa butter” and “cocoa powder” are all listed quite high up.
As far as flavour goes, it certainly lives up to its “Bitter Chocolate” name, because it is really quite bitter. There is a little bit of sweetness, but the taste is similar to dipping your finger in a jar of cocoa powder and licking it off. Frankly, it’s not really my cup of tea.
The pretzel stick doesn’t do much for me either, but then I’ve never been much of a pretzel fan. The combination of slight saltiness and the sweetness of the chocolate coating is quite nice, but not nice enough to make me want more.
So I’m not really a fan. It’s quite edible, but there was nothing about it that made me want more. The flavours weren’t amazing but my real problem with it is that at around 2 grams per stick, there’s no real substance to them and the end result just isn’t satisfying. I guess Pocky is one of those things that’s uniquely Japanese.