I Tried Japanese Dagashi And Here Are My Thoughts

I Tried Japanese Dagashi And Here Are My Thoughts

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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

Alex Leff

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.

Rating: 1/5

2. Deka Choco Banana Crepes

Deka Choco Banana Crepes

Alex Leff

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.

Rating: 5/5

3. TimTam

TimTam

Alex Leff

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.

Rating: 4/5

4. Richeese Cream Cheese Sandwich Biscuit

Richeese Cream Cheese Sandwich Buscuit

Alex Leff

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.

Rating: 2.5/5

5. Choki Choki Chocolate Paste

Choki Choki

Alex Leff

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.

Rating: 3/5

6. UHA Milk Candy (Strawberry, Chocolate, Original and Matcha)

UHA Milk Candy

Alex Leff

First Impression: They're small round hard candies. They look like they're about the size of a Dum-Dum lollipop.

Taste:

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.

Rating: 5/5

7. Sour Blackcurrent Gummy

Sour Blackcurrent Gummy Candy

Alex Leff

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.

Rating: 4/5

8. Yupi Gummy Candy

Yupi Gummy Candy

Alex Leff

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.

Rating 2/5

9. Tamarind Candy

Tamarind Candy

Alex Leff

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.

Rating 1/5

10. Nano Nano Nougat (Chocolate/Strawberry)

Nano Nano Nougat

Alex Leff

First Impression: They're both really hard in the packaging.

Taste:

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.

Rating 5/5

11. Gingerbon Candy

Gingerbon Candy

Alex Leff

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.

Rating: 4/5

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.

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There are all kinds of alcohol stereotypes out there but the one associated with tequila is probably the worst: tequila makes you crazy. But if there's one thing we can all agree on, it's that women who drink tequila are one-of-a-kind.

Whether it's loving or fighting, you'll never find anyone who does it better than a girl who just straight up loves tequila, and here are a few reasons why that is.

1. She's independent

A girl who drinks tequila is probably the same girl who has absolutely no problem telling it like it is. She knows what she wants and goes after it.

2. She doesn't care what you or anyone else thinks

Oh, you have a problem with me taking shots and having a good time? Well, get over it! Bartender, a shot with salt and a lime please!

3. Always dancing

Tequila is an 'upper' so instead of sitting at the bar doing nothing, let's dance! Let's get moving!

4. There is never a dull moment

Speaking of dancing, a girl who drinks tequila is always down for a good time. Whether it's going on an adventure or seeing who can take the most shots, a tequila girl is always down to party.

5. While everyone else is starting to get sleepy, she has all the energy

Like I said, tequila is an 'upper' so while the other girls at the bar are starting to feel groggy and sad, she's all over the place having fun and partying on the dancefloor.

6. She's stronger than the girl crying over a vodka cranberry at the bar.

Sad over a breakup? Don't go for the vodka... Tequila will make you feel better in no time! Plus you can challenge the hot guys at the bar to a shot taking contest.

7. Tequila is healthy for you

Tequila is a probiotic, so some tequila a day keeps the doctor away. Yay for shots!

8. She can hold her own when it comes to alcohol

Any girl who can shoot some shots at the bar all day and night can handle alcohol, which means she can handle herself too. You won't have to deal with her constant breakdowns and mood swings because she will be too busy ordering more shots.

Cover Image Credit: Whiskey Riff

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I'm A Meat-Eater Who Thinks That Vegetarianism Is The Way Forward

The philosophy of vegetarianism is not about animals, it's about humans.

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I'm a bad person, and I love my steak, and yes, I hate PETA, too.

Let me tell you that PETA kills animals and not for their own justified humane reasons. According to one man, they've kidnapped a dog. And their brand of promoting vegetarianism simply isn't the right way to go about it, for reasons I feel are unnecessary to explain.

But, they do have a point. I think they just do a terrible job of explaining those points. Arguments for vegetarianism are really not just "eating meat is evil," or "think about the mothers of the cows you're eating." No, going vegan or vegetarian is really a conversation about our deeply held social norms and the inconsistencies of the answers regarding the treatment of animals, humans included.

Back in 2014, an Indiana man murdered his ex-girlfriend and proceeded to cook her brain, heart, and lung. While the man was held in police custody, PETA sent acting Clark County Sheriff Meyer, a peculiar letter: provide him exclusively vegan meals. For some, this would be a punishment, "don't you dare take away my meat." But for others like the Sheriff, the letter "[was] an insult" — as if to equate animal meat-eating with human meat eating — and this is exactly the point that PETA makes. Eating human-meat is equivalent to eating non-human-animal-meat.

One instinctively would think that is a crazy proposal. Why? Well, it is just wrong to eat humans, no doubt about it. Why is it wrong to eat humans, though? I'm just as good as a source of protein and nutrients as you are. If we remove all constructed norms aside, you are fair game, like the cows on the fields are.

A little sidetrack: humans have eaten other humans in the past—and there was nothing wrong about it. Humans throughout society would eat other prisoners of war and the Aztecs systematically slaughtered humans to be sacrificed to the gods and eaten. What changed? Well, we developed a system where we could grow an abundance of food, a system where humans would be significantly less valuable as food and significantly more valuable as producers of food.

Agriculture gave us a choice other than eating humans, and we chose the better option, not eating humans. Still, that doesn't tell us why it's wrong to eat humans. It's wrong to eat other humans because you are my equal. All humans are equal. Whether you're a male or female, gay or straight, immigrant or citizen, tall or short, old or young, and the list goes on. There's no difference, no one is more superior or less inferior.

But, let me make a distinction here. Equality doesn't mean everyone should be treated the same way, that would be absurd. Have you ever heard about a movement campaigning for the right of a man to get an abortion? No, but maybe you would want to campaign for a man's right to additional paternity leave. Equality means equal consideration, meaning that women should have the right to choose what they want to do with their bodies, as this gives consideration to the fact that women have a womb, while men don't.

So, why shouldn't I eat you? Because eating you means that I think that you have some feature that allows me to slaughter, cook, and consume you. This certain feature means that you are less deserving of not being eaten and cooked and consumed. This feature might be your skin color, or hair texture, or your accent. And if you think that no rational human would consider those features as contenders of being eaten and cooked and consumed, think again.

White slaveholder Americans never ate their slaves, not on a widespread reported basis at least. But the white slaveholder did think the slaves had a certain feature that justified their enslavement and brutal punishment. Here are the features to be a slave: you must have dark skin, curly hair, and a non-settler accent. These features are the qualifications to be a slave, and the definition of being a slave means that I do not have to treat you like a human. And when it did come to life-or-death situations, these features did lead white slaveholders to eat their slaves, first.

The Civil Rights and Feminist movements showed the world why being an African-American or an American woman why they are just as human as the white American male. You cannot pick features x, y, and z and have those features explain why those disqualify one from being treated equally.

Why don't we choose intelligence as a feature for superiority? That means the world would be enslaved to Neil deGrasse Tyson. But why Neil deGrasse Tyson as a standard, specifically? Couldn't we choose another standard of intelligence, say the IQ of Albert Einstein or Stephen Hawking? We cannot decisively draw a line to say, "this is superior" and "this is not". When the white slaveholder was trying to decide what made a slave, it was rather difficult to draw the line saying "you must be this dark to qualify as a slave." Indeed, "colored" and "not-colored" proved to be a difficult distinction. Some states passed one-drop of African blood laws... meaning of course, that every single living human on earth qualifies to be a slave.

Which is why it is questionable when we tell ourselves that we are "superior" to non-human animals. The reason we can eat non-human animals is apparently because we have features x, y, and z which non-human animals do not. We tell ourselves that we're more intelligent and that we can think rationally. Well, dolphins got echolocation, and we don't. I think they're more superior since we've only developed sonar technologies in the last century, while they've had that for 40 million years. Bats aren't blind, but they can see better in the dark, and some species can even detect ultraviolet light — while we can't. For whatever single feature we try to come up with to make the argument why we are superior, there will be another feature telling us we aren't.

If we can't find any feature that makes us objectively more superior, then non-human animals are equal to human animals, a case made by Australian philosopher Peter Singer's "All Animals Are Equal." What is that uniting factor, that all animals share, that can render all animals (including humans) equal? All animals feel pain. It doesn't matter to what degree they feel pain, but all animals feel pain, and would not want to feel pain. If we have a duty to spare an African-American from the brutality of slavery, then we have a duty to spare the chicken from a life of incarceration and torture.

I still eat meat, and yes, I have tried to stop eating meat. But it is so hard. We have the option to abandon meat because we have the 21st-century resources to abandon meat unlike the days of Aztec cannibalism. That is why I say, "I'm a bad person," and it is alright to say that. And I mean that, not in the sinister "I ate my mom for breakfast" kind of way, but rather as a type of acknowledgment. It is an acknowledgment that I eat meat because culture and norms say that meat tastes good, just like the culture and norms of the past said that slavery was alright because they are not humans, or that women can't vote because their place is in the kitchen.

We probably won't stop eating meat in this century. But the conversations about vegetarianism are conversations about the way our society treats its animals — as where George Orwell's pigs modify the features, "all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."

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