Ah, Pocky. The wonderful biscuit treat is celebrated by the Japanese and many other Pocky-lovers on 11 November. Despite being a treat loved for decades, Pocky Day was first conceived on 11 November 1999, reason being that the year 1999 translates to 11 on the Japanese ‘Heisei’ calendar which made the day 11-11-11 – very much like six of the biscuit sticks!
Pocky is often found coated in either chocolate or strawberry, but the ever-innovative Japanese have found creative flavours to make the stick snack even more enjoyable… but do they taste as good as they look?
In honour of Pocky Day, we handpicked eleven flavours for a taste test.
Chocolate was the very first version of Pocky in 1966 – and naturally the first on our taste test list. It is crunchy, sweet, and with a hint of actual chocolate (unlike a lot of the chocolate snacks out there…). It has all of us voting ‘yes’ and ‘more please’. If you haven’t had this – we think you better head out and get some.
Just the battle between David and Goliath, or Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker – the struggle to choose between chocolate and strawberry is real. We love the classic strawberry because of the subtle sweetness in the frosting. Brownie points for it being ahead of the pack for making millennial pink cool and totally edible. Plus, everyone looks cute eating it.
We found this one by accident – and this got our eyes forming heart shapes like the emoji. We think that the heart-shaped sticks make the strawberry flavour even more exciting but really and scientifically speaking it’s the strawberry flakes all over that added a subtle tangy flavour to the classic sweetness of Pocky-strawberry. Love is sometimes sweet, and sour after all. Nonetheless, we think it’s definitely a great gift idea for the next Valentine’s!
This is where we venture into the unknown world of Pocky flavours. These sticks are infused with fruit flavours, with blue being grape and pink being peach. These got us excited at the beginning – are they squeezy like their namesake? Do they have liquid centres? Are the sticks chewy? We let the exact conversation guide you on our verdict.
Bonnie: I hate it. It’s fake. *Coughs*
Faa: Hey, it says 70% real on the box, okay?
The only real thing was the fragrance that made the sticks taste like perfume.
*NEVER BUY THE PEACH SQUEEZE POCKY*
We had to clean our palettes properly again with chocolate and strawberry Pocky.
A little scarred from our Squeeze test, we move on to trying things that were less… creative. Anything with a cute little monkey on the packaging should be fun, right? Lucky for us these tasted fine. The banana extract fragrant is very distinct but the chocolate sticks (with very little chocolate flavour) complemented it.
We think this is a flavour made for the grown-ups. The sticks smell like a fresh cup of morning coffee, and the coating is nutty with a hint of coffee – kind of making it a creamier version of a tiramisu. If chocolate and strawberry doesn’t cut it for you – we recommend this version with a cup of tea (or more coffee, if you like) on the side.
At this point, we were sick of eating anymore frosting – or maybe the peach Squeeze flavour had completely ruined our palettes. These looked a little like our Squeeze nightmares – so we left it to the end of our sweet Pocky test and proceeded with caution.
Blueberry & Strawberry Yoghurt
But true to it’s advertised flavours the blueberry tasted exactly like blueberry yoghurt frosting and the strawberry tasted like the classic strawberry mixed with yoghurt. Phew.
Thankfully, we moved on to Pretz which is the savory line of Glico’s Pocky. As you know, tom yum is one of the most famous dishes in the world but on sticks, it tasted like pure monosodium glutamate (MSG) trying to be tom yum. Where’s the spice? Where’s the sourness? What is this even? Not our favourite.
“That looks like it has nothing on it”
But as what we have learnt earlier from Squeeze, looks can be deceiving. Everyone was quick to pick up the popcorn smell as we tore open the packet, and had a crazy similar taste to buttery popcorn. We could feel dissociation between our cranial memories of popcorn and the taste that is spreading in our mouths. But we all agree that this, like real popcorn, has to be shared because nobody could eat the whole pack without getting sick of the butteriness.
We survived the taste test and decided to rank them from best to worst in order to give you a proper suggestion on what to pick the next time you want to try a new Pocky flavour.
Now go celebrate with your friends and have a blast on Pocky day!