Friday, November 15, 2013

Ezaki Glico Baiton d'or (luxury version of Pocky)

A few days late, but Happy Pocky Day... (11/11) Yes, in Japan, there is a Pocky Day. If you're wondering what Pocky Day is... it's similar to Valentine's Day where people give each other Pocky for the sake of romance. And.. No, you don't need to have a boyfriend to receive a Pocky. You can receive one from friends, family, etc. Plus, on the day, Pocky are on sale at the price of 111 yen, and in some drug store, the price lowered to 108 yen in the city I live in. 

So, in the honor of the belated Pocky Day, today I will be reviewing about Baton d'or (luxury version of Pocky). 

Baton d'or is an extended line of Pocky, but more luxurious through the use of expensive ingredients, produced by... Ezaki Glico. Baton d'or means 'golden stick' in French, which tries to emphasize the meaning behind this brand, how luxurious and sophisticate it is, guess that's why they use French name. This product line was released in the mid of 2012, and have been in quite a high demand. 

Currently, there are only two shops in the whole of Japan that sell Baton d'or, and both are in Osaka (Umeda Hankyu and Takashimaya Osaka). Most of the days, all of the Baton d'or are sold out by 2pm as they are quite limited. When I was purchasing these expensive Pocky at Umeda Hankyu, I had to wait in line for nearly two hours.

There are four main flavors: Strawberry, Milk (chocolate), Cafe, and Vanilla (white chocolate). 

Seasonal products: Purple sweet potato (October-December 2013), Uji Matcha (January 2014~) and Sakura (March 2014~)

I got to taste five flavors (Uji matcha, straberry, milk, cafe, vanilla), and I have to say, the bread stick part smells heavenly. Obviously, they are made with fine butter. As for the coating part, my favorite will have to be the Uji Matcha, as the favor is very deep and satisfactory. All the other coatings were good as well. Cafe (coffee) has real crushed beans mixed with white chocolate. Strawberry has real strawberries mixed with white chocolate. Milk chocolate has a strong sense of vanilla to it, while white chocolate has a slight smell of almond-ish.

At 481 yen per 20 sticks, it's rather expensive. Even though I think it's a good experience for me, I will stick with my normal Pocky sticks.

Recently, I've started a Facebook page for reviewing Japanese snacks in English and Thai. So if you're interested, please check it out :)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Konigs-Krone's Kurone (Custard Danish) ケーニヒスクローネのクローネ

Konigs - Krone is one of the well known Western-style confectionery and cake company, which has its headquarter in Kobe. One of their well known desserts is the Kurone.

My first time tasting the Kurone was back in 2010, my first time in Kansai area. Now, in 2013, after almost 20 times traveling to Kansai in three years, I can definitely say that Kronigs - Krone's Kurone is not to be miss.

Kurone is pretty much a puff pastry in a cylinder shape with a hole in the middle. The shape itself, is rather similar with the Trdelnik in Czech Republic, and Slovakia. However, the middle hole is filled with vanilla custard filling. The Kurone is then topped off with a dust of icing powder.

The texture of the Kurone is rather crunchy (さくさく in Japanese) and not too sweet. Kurone is a great treat as it is served cold, and can be refrigerate for 2-3 days, so you don't have to worry about having to eat it right away. Kurone is a perfect snack for sight seeing, as you can walk around eating while holding one in your hand.

For a piece, Kurone costs 105 yen. Quite reasonable price, don't you think?

There are two flavors, custard and red beans (小豆), but I'm not too sure about this. I normally just order the one with custard fillings. The catch phrase of Kurone is「ケーニヒスクローネのクローネは、パンなのかパイなのか?パイなのかパンなのか?」which can be translate to Konigs-Krone's Kurone is... bread? pie? is it bread or pie? I thought the catch phrase was quite unique and interesting as to me, it's obviously a pie, as there is no.. glutenous pull to it, if you get what I'm trying to say.

Konigs-Krone's Kurone is available in major cities, Osaka, Kobe, Tokyo, Fukuoka, etc.

Here's a picture of the head office/shop in Kobe. The only sad thing is.. It's not available online, so you have to go to one of the shops to purchase one, which is terrible for my case as I live in a rather rural area.

Here's the link to the list of the shops in Japan:

For this, I give it 10/10 considering the price and taste.