Nov 7, 2013

Japanese chocolate snacks you should try ①: Pocky

Chocolate, cheese and wine -- these tree things are what I miss the most about France, where I lived for 3 years. When I came back to Japan and ate a chocolate from my neighboring konbini (convenience store), I almost spat it out! I thought I had a piece of plastic or soap (although I have never had either of them). Unfortunately, I have to admit that Japan is no match for Europe when it comes to chocolate quality.

Even if Japanese chocolate itself may not taste great, however,  Japanese "chocolate snacks" are not that bad.

I don't know if  "chocolate snacks" is correct English, but here in Japan it generally means any sweet things with chocolate, such as chocolate-coated cookies and chocolate-stuffed pies, and normally it refers to the mass products available at any supermarkets or conbini for relatively low price.

I'd like to introduce you some long-sellers that have sold for nearly 50 years. Today, I'll pick chocolate-coated pretzel Pocky by Glico, first appeared on the market in 1966. Similar ones are sold in many countries under different names, such as Mikado in France, but this is the original.

Do you know there are several different types of Pocky here? Many Japanese confectionery makers develop new versions one after another once they create a hit product.
For example,  the following is my favorite "Almond Crush Pocky,"  sprinkled with coarsely chopped almond (left), and almost the same version using  coffee-flavored pretzel called "Crush Pocky Almond, Coffee-shitate" (right) , both of which were put on sale in September of this year.
アーモンドクラッシュポッキー アーモンドクラッシュポッキー<6袋>

And they have strawberry-flavored Pocky, which I believe I have had long long time ago, and its new version that has been sold only at convenience stores "Tsubu tsubu ichigo Heartful" (heart-shaped pretzel coated with cream containing strawberry pulp). Both definitely target young girls who consider anything pink cute. I'm sure many men need the courage to buy them.


 They have thicker types using biscuit instead of pretzel coated with more chocolate than others, called "Pocky Midi Potteri Chocolat" and "Pocky Midi Potteri Matcha (Green Tea). "Potteri" means plump, chubby or fat in Japanese, but I'm not sure where "Midi" comes from.  "medium size" ?   They taste good, but to me, it is not Pocky any more.

ポッキー ミディ〈ぽってりショコラ〉ポッキー ミディ〈ぽってり抹茶〉
Some men love plump girls, and some others prefer skinny girls. Yes, Glico, trying to meet every customer's demand, developed "Gokuboso Pocky" or Super-Slim Pocky as well!!


Sweets are not only for children. As everyone knows, Japan's birthrate is declining and confectionery makers have to find a new market to survive. It is no surprise that Glico has developed adult-oriented Pocky, right? Yes, of course they have one. Called "Pocky Otona no Milk," it uses pie-like layered pretzel coated with rich milk chocolate. I tired and found it good, I don't understand why they named "otona no (for adults)". 


Actually there are more, but I'm getting tired... If you are living in Japan or plan to visit here, please check with them at a neighboring supermarket or konbini!

From here, I'll write in Japanese.


お菓子(おかし)     sweets, confectionery

発売(はつばい) put on sale
なんと   surprisinly
近く (ちかく) nearly


色々な(いろいろな)  various
種類(しゅるい)  kinds


例えば(たとえば)  for exmaple
粗く(あらく)  coarsely
刻む(きざむ)  to chop, mince
味 (あじ)  flavor

「いちごポッキー」とコンビニ限定販売の「つぶつぶいちごポッキー ハートフル」(プレッツェルがハートの形をしています)。

いちご  strawberry
コンビニ限定(げんてい) limited to convenience stores
販売(はんばい) sell
形(かたち)  shape

チョコレートを太くて短いビスケットに、たっぷりかけた「ポッキー ミディ」シリーズ。反対にとても細い「ポッキー 極細」もあります。

太い(ふとい)  fat
短い(みじかい) short
たっぷり  generously
かける  to pour
反対に(はんたいに)  to the contrary
細い(ほそい) thin
極細(ごくぼそ) extremely thin

最近では大人向けの「ポッキー 大人のミルク」も発売されました。どうして大人なのか、わかりませんでしたが。

最近(さいきん)  recently
大人向け(おとなむけ)  aiming at adults


  1. こんにちは、要子さん!

    I haven't been around for so long, sorry... ^^;; But I've finally finished my exams for the year~~ now I can devote more time to learning Japanese. ^-^

    I hope you are well. I really enjoyed reading this post - it's full of delicious Pocky♪ The almond crush Pocky is the best~~ and I also like Tsubu Tsubu ichigo Heartful. It's a bit more tangy than the regular strawberry flavour, which I really like. ^.^

    I didn't know about the adult version of Pocky, it looks quite formal! Apparently, Glico is going to have a 'Rum & Raisin' flavour of Pocky too (next year maybe?). I wonder how popular it would actually be, haha...

    1. こんにちは!サマンサさん。

      コメントありがとう。I'm so lazy these days and I haven't posted in so long, but your feedback always encourages me to write something new.

      You have finished your exams! Congratulations!

      Ah, you've tried some of those Pocky! Are they all available in Australia?
      Actually, I haven't eaten Tsubu Tsubu Ichigo Pocky. I'll try maybe tomorrow...

      Haha, if Glico makes rum & raisin Pocky, I'll definitely buy it! Sounds very nice to me!!

  2. 大丈夫〜 あなたのブログすごいです!

    Hmm.. let's see. We have the Original, Almond Crush, いちご、Tsubu Tsubu Ichigo and Gokuboso Pocky. There's also Tropical, Coconut and 'Rare Cheesecake' Pocky too (these were newly stocked at the asian supermarket~). I got one of everything and shared it with mum and brother.

    Here's a link to a pic of the new Pocky:

    And the text to go with it.... (Chinese with Japanese text?)

    江崎Glico「冬之淡雅蘭姆葡萄Pocky百吉巧克力棒」(江崎グリコ「ポッキー 冬のあっさりラム&レーズン」)~

    I think it's a limited edition being released on the 26th this month? I still can't read much... ^^;;

    1. Hi サマンサさん、

      I didn't know at all they will have rum & raisin this month. It is a good news! Thank you for the information.

      Yes, as you say, it seems like a limited version available only from No. 26 till sometime in late January. Only two months! I'll have to get it before I forget. Hope your neighboring asian supermarket will have it in stock!