Thursday, June 11, 2009

I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!

(And I'm not sure that it's Pocky either!)

I found myself feeling peckish on a cold, wintery afternoon and not feeling like eating anything that I had to cook. I remembered that I had a box of what I thought was Pocky in the cupboard waiting for just such an occasion!

For those who've never had the pleasure, Pocky are a Japanese invention. They're basically a wheat baton - long, thin and crispy - a bit like a pretzel but much more delicate. The name comes from the Japanese word for the sound they make when you bite into them.

There's an entire website dedicated to them, - which is of course mostly in Japanese - and there are variations of them all around the world. (For a true treat, see the stunning home-made ones from Not Quite Nigella.) The commercial flavours range from sweet - green tea, strawberry and chocolate dipped (milk, white, dark - although why the dark variety is known as Men's Pocky is extremely unfair to us females who love and prefer our chocolate dark!) to savoury - tomato & pizza. But on the whole, the sweet varieties far outnumber the savoury. Some of the more extreme varieties include Decorer Pocky which features decorative icing and Mousse Pocky which features extra thick, mousse-like icing. I haven't seen the latter varieties in my local grocery but I'm sure a wider search might uncover them.

Back to my Pocky imposter however! There's not a word on the pack which says they're Pocky which makes me think that they're a darn good rip-off. Wikipedia mentions that the flavour featured on this pack, sweet potato, is also made by Pocky. So if someone can read the Japanese writing on this pack, please let me know!

The reason I was attracted to this pack, in my neverending search for the perfect savoury snack, is that I do happen to love the taste of sweet potato. The sweetness is not overpowering and it traditionally balances nicely with a little salt, so of course I had to try these.

The photo on the pack was enticing and being long and thin (an advantage they have over regular potato chips) I don't have to open my mouth really wide to eat it which means that I can snack on these in a very ladylike way in public!

A quick glance at the ingredients showed that there's quite a lot of sweet potato but not one bit of butter in it. Am I going to be disappointed I wonder?

Okay, enough stalling, let's open it!

After pulling off the zip-tab, the box flips open and reveals the two packs - one for me and one for a friend - or, one for now and one for later! That will depend on whether I like them!

The actual product looks like a standard Pocky although perhaps without the perfectly rounded end that I'm familiar with (or maybe it's because I've only really eaten the chocolate dipped variety!).

There is a slightly powdery substance which adheres pretty solidly to each stick, i.e., it didn't end up at the bottom of the pack. I bit into one stick and that was it!

I LOVE them! They taste like a crunchy REALLY buttery sweet potato! After demolishing an entire foil pack (forget ladylike!), I did in fact wonder whether heating them in the microwave for a few seconds would help to enhance that butteryness. I'm sure it would and I will let you know when I open the second pack!

As for my reference to that butter substitute? Well, I still can't believe it's not butter!


  1. Oooh yum. I'm a sweet potato lover too (and a pocky fan). Let me at 'em!

  2. I know what you mean, before you know it, the whole packet of Pocky is gone! :P Sounds like a fantastic flavour but funny that there's no actual butter used in it!

  3. yum! i'm not sure if that'a actually produced by glico (the co. that produces pocky) or not but it sure sounds yummy!