Japan has a multitude of different kind of candy. Everything from gummies, hard candies, gummy candy kits and jellies to chocolate, exotic flavored Kit Kats and chocolate covered biscuits. While candy comes in normal flavors like strawberry, mango, peach and banana, it also comes in a variety of bizarre flavors such as lychee, ube (purple sweet potato), sweet milk, soy sauce, wasabi and matcha. While some of these sound gross to most people, some of them are actually pretty good.
I decided that I wanted to try various Japanese treats and see what they tasted like for myself so I ordered a random assorted box of dagashi.
What is Dagashi? Dagashi is the Japanese term for cheap snacks/candy. The purpose is to attract kids with the cute and colorful packages as well as be affordable to those who have a small amount pocket money (typically children).
I will be rating these sweets out of five as well as noting what they taste like, look like, anything distinct/notable and my final overall thoughts.
The following items were included in the assortment:
1 Roasted Peanuts (Honey)
1 Choco Banana Crepes
1 TimTam Chocolate/Vanilla Biscuit Sandwich
1 Richeese Cheese Cream Sandwich Biscuit
1 Choki Choki Chocolate Paste
4 UHA Milk Candy: Chocolate, Strawberry, Original and Matcha
1 Sour Blackcurrant Gummy
1 Yupi Gummy Candy
1 Tamarind Candy
2 Nano Nano Nougat: Strawberry and Chocolate
1 Gingerbon Ginger Candy
Assorted Japanese Candy/SnacksAlex Leff
1. Honey Roasted Peanuts
Mr. P Honey Roasted Peanuts
First Impression: They just look like regular honey roasted peanuts.
Taste: They just taste honey-roasted peanuts.
Overall Thought: I wasn't really expecting there to be much of a difference, maybe a little bit of a kick but not anything too significant. The only difference is that they're not as sweet as most honey roasted nuts in the states.
2. Deka Choco Banana Crepes
Deka Choco Banana Crepes
First Impression: This is so cute. There are three little folded crispy crepes in a little plastic liner so it doesn't get squished and broken. The crepe is the chocolate part of the chocolate banana flavor. I can definitely smell the banana.
Taste: It's crispy and I can definitely taste both the banana and chocolate.
Overall Thought: I LOVE THESE!!!! I wasn't expecting it to be crispy. The outside of the crepe is flakey and light. They look and have a similar texture of Pirouline (rolled wafer cookies with some kind of filling) cookies. I also appreciate that the banana flavoring tastes like real bananas as I don't like the artificial flavoring.
First Impression: It looks like a layered wafer cookie. It's covered in chocolate so that's a good sign.
Taste: It's a chocolate covered cookie sandwich. It's definitely sweet but not overly sweet.
Overall Thought: I was kind of disappointed that there weren't any wafers on the inside but the chocolate cookie makes up for it. I love these cookies. I've heard of TimTams before and have even seen them in places like Target and grocery stores but never thought to try them.
4. Richeese Cream Cheese Sandwich Biscuit
Richeese Cream Cheese Sandwich Buscuit
First Impression: It looks like a giant cheese cracker sandwich with a cheese filling. It definitely looks interesting.
Taste: It tastes like a sweet cheese cracker. It's good and I like it but I wasn't expecting it to be more sweet than savory. It reminds me of a cheddar cracker. The crackers on the outside of the filling are dusted with cheese that gives it more of a sweet cheese flavor.
Overall Thought: While I don't hate this, it's not my favorite thing in the assortment. It's something I've never tried before and I don't mind it, but I'm not rushing to go out and find more.
5. Choki Choki Chocolate Paste
First Impression: Just from the looking at the outside packaging, it looks like it's going to be slightly bigger than a Pixie Stick, and instead of powder, it's filled with some kind of chocolate spread. It's also hard and a little bit squishy. The wrapper also says it's chocolate cashew flavored.
Taste: Chocolate frosting. It's very chocolatey and I love it. I don't really taste the cashew, though, nor are there pieces like I initially thought. It has the consistency somewhere between a Tootsie Roll and very thick fudge frosting.
Overall Thought: These remind me of the squeeze tubes of chocolate peanut butter (minus the peanut butter) from when I was a kid. While I love the idea of a small tube filled with frosting, it was hard to get out. I think if the chocolate wasn't as thick in texture and there was a bigger hole, it might have been easier to get out. I'm a little disappointed because there is still candy in the tube, but won't come out easily because it's so thick. I also was expecting some sort of cashew flavor and it wasn't there.
6. UHA Milk Candy (Strawberry, Chocolate, Original and Matcha)
UHA Milk Candy
First Impression: They're small round hard candies. They look like they're about the size of a Dum-Dum lollipop.
Matcha: The matcha tastes like a green tea latte rolled into a piece of hard candy.
Strawberry: There is a creamy strawberry flavor that reminds me of the old Strawberries and Cream Frappuccino (with the whip).
Sweet Milk: While the sound of sweet milk doesn't sound appealing, it's really good. It's creamy and tastes like soft serve ice cream.
Chocolate: Besides the fact that it tastes like a creamy chocolate milk, THERE IS CHOCOLATE IN THE CENTER!
Overall Thought: I love how creamy these candies are. It's nice to have something that's small that could hold you over between meals or will suffice if you're not near a Starbucks.
7. Sour Blackcurrent Gummy
Sour Blackcurrent Gummy Candy
First Impression: It looks like a piece of yellow gummy candy. I'm not really sure how else to describe it except it's really sticky and was hard to get out of the wrapper. I'm not sure what to expect except sour. The faces on the packaging make it seem like it's going to be pretty sour.
Taste: It's definitely sweet and not sour at all like I was expecting. I expected to see sour crystals or sugar on it because of the yellow faces with sour expressions on the package. While I know it's not mango, the candy has the sweetness of one, and I really liked that.
Overall Thought: I loved the mango taste, but was disappointed by the lack of sourness. While I'm not a huge fan of sour, I at least expected it to taste similar to a Sour Patch Kid except softer.
8. Yupi Gummy Candy
Yupi Gummy Candy
First Impression: It kind of looks like a gummy Christmas wreath. I think it's going to taste like Spearmint Leaves or something sour.
Taste: It tastes like green apple without the sour. I expected the crystals on the outside to be sour, but it wasn't, which was a nice surprise. When it was in the package, it seemed like it was going to be one of those hard gummy candies that stick to your teeth and are hard to chew, but surprisingly, it wasn't.
Overall Thought: I'm kind of disappointed it wasn't a little bit bigger. They remind me of gummy Apple Rings except smaller and without the hole cut out. It was a little hard to get out of the package, but overall it was ok, I'm not searching Amazon or Ebay for more, but now that I know what it is, if I come across any in the future, I'll know what they are.
9. Tamarind Candy
First Impression: All I know about tamarind is that it is a fruit that is supposed to taste like a cross between lemons, apricots and dates. Other than that, I'm not really sure what to expect taste wise. As for how the candy looks, it kind of looks like a small transparent Riccola drop.
Taste: I didn't really get much flavor from it. There was a hint of sweetness and tastes close to honey.
Overall Thought: I'm disappointed. I did enjoy that it wasn't overly sweet, but other than that, there wasn't really much of a taste to it.
10. Nano Nano Nougat (Chocolate/Strawberry)
Nano Nano Nougat
First Impression: They're both really hard in the packaging.
Chocolate: Tastes just like a chocolate milkshake.
Strawberry: Tastes just like a strawberry milkshake.
Overall Thought: I love these. They're so soft and melt in your mouth. I was afraid I was going to bite into it and they would either get stuck on my teeth and be hard to get off or chip a tooth. They both taste like milkshakes with nuts and aren't too sweet.
11. Gingerbon Candy
First Impression: It looks like its a piece of chewy dehydrated ginger that except instead of being crystalized, is covered in a little bit of cornstarch so it doesn't stick to the wrapper
Taste: Ginger. It's not an overpowering ginger taste but the flavor definitely lingers for a bit. It has a similar consistency to a piece of dehydrated ginger, but not as strong and a little chewier.
Overall Thought: I love this. I love the taste ginger sometimes but sometimes the flavor is a little strong and gets up into my nasal cavity. It's the perfect balance of sweet and spicy.
Snack wise, I was most impressed with the chocolate banana crepes. They were so light and crunchy. I felt like if I had a bag full of just those, I would be perfectly happy.
Candy wise, the UHA Milk candies were my favorite. The way they were so creamy made my taste buds sing. I highly recommend at least trying these.
I was the leased impressed with the Tamarind candy and the honey roasted peanuts. The nuts were too similar to what I can get in the grocery store at home. The Tamarind candy just missed the mark completely. It both looked and tasted like a Riccola cough drop. I've had tamarind candy before that had more of a taste to it.
Final Thoughts: This was an interesting experiment to try. I've read many times about snacks that come from other countries and it's always fun to try new things. I've been a longtime fan of Pocky (biscuit sticks covered in different flavored chocolate) and haven't thought about trying other snacks.