Important Importables: Meiji

April 10, 2011 - 2:00 am No Comments

Hot Japanese Imports: Meiji

Section: Exclusives, Originals, Features, Columns, Japanese Imports, Lists, Gear, Gear-Other

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While writing last week’s Hot Japanese Imports, the one with all the candy and snack suggestions, I suddenly realized that many of the items I was recommending were made by one company – Meiji. Meiji is one of the most well known snack companies in Japan, providing an array of tasty goodies. It isn’t limited to that one continent though. Meiji’s goods can be found worldwide.

So this week, we’re doing a little something different here and looking at Meiji Holdings Ltd. That way, the next time you’re at the grocery story you could find something new to try.

Meiji Takenoko no Sato

Why should we be interested in Meiji?

When you think of Meiji, you’re actually thinking of Meiji Seika. It’s the part of Meiji Holdings Co. Ltd. that focuses on the delicious candies, cookies, drinks and other treats. Actually, the Meiji Seika branch of the company doesn’t just focus on food. It also makes health and beauty products as well. It’s products are most often found in Asian grocery or specialty stores, like the Mitsuwa Marketplace chain. It also has a North American branch, since purchased the Stauffer Biscuit Company in early 2000. The Stauffer branch mainly handles cookies and crackers that are typically found in North America.

Meiji is also tied to the Meiji Dairies, and that’s where the whole company got its start in 1916. Meiji Dairies is still going strong to this day, and releases all kinds of dairy products in Japan. Both the Meiji Dairies and Meiji Seika branches are located in Tokyo.

Of course, the details are unimportant. What people really care about is the food! Meiji’s items could make a great snack for anyone interested in Japanese pop culture.

Meiji Pucca box

What kind of delightful goodies is Meiji famous for?

Meiji makes lots of different kinds of candies and cookies. There are tons of items out there, and if you hit the candy aisle of a Japanese or Asian grocery store you’ll likely be blown away by the options available to you. Here are a few of Meiji’s best known (and most tasty) varieties.

  • Apollo: Apollo candies are delicious! They’re little strawberry chocolates shaped like tiny cones. They’re bite-sized and provide a perfect balance of flavors. They’re also cute cute, with a brown chocolate base and pink strawberry cap.
  • Chelsea Scotch: Chelsea Scotch is a flavored, hard candy. You can suck on it, or you could nibble if you like. It’s good either way. It’s available in multiple flavors, like butterscotch, chocolate and yogurt.
  • Chip! Chop:: These are weird. I don’t care for them, but others may want to give them a try. It’s a chocolate cracker chip. So it has a chocolate flavor, but is also salty, and is kind of flakey like a wafer cracker but also crunchy and thin like a chip.
  • Feel Mint Chocolate: These aren’t my thing, but a friend swears by them so they’re on the list. They’re mint chocolate candy sticks that supposedly offer a near perfect balance of mint and chocolate flavors. Meiji also makes Cinnamon Chocolate and Dark Chocolate sticks.
  • Gummy Choco: Gummy Chocos are kind of hard to describe – they’re a little like a chocolate covered raisin, except with a fruit-flavored gummy candy in the center instead. The gummy is surrounded by chocolate and coated by a thin candy shell. They are also available in multiple varieties. I recommend the general fruit or strawberry flavor.
  • Kinoko no Yama: Time for mushroom cookies! They aren’t actually mushroom flavor – that would be icky. They’re just shaped like mushrooms. The base is usually a vanilla cookie, and the cap of the cookie is dipped in some kind of flavored, chocolate frosting. The chocolate and strawberry frosting varieties are most common, but seasonal flavors are also available.
  • Meiji Chocolate Bars: It’s pretty self explanatory. Meiji makes chocolate bars, and they’re quite good. They’re available in multiple flavors, like milk chocolate, dark chocolate, strawberry, mango, blueberry, marshmallow chocolate and matcha (green tea). I recommend trying the matcha, if you’re feeling adventurous. It’s quite good!
  • Melty Kiss: Meiji’s Melty Kiss chocolates are awesome. They’re these perfect-sized chocolate cubes that have been dusted with cocoa powder. The second you pop them in your mouth, they start melting. It’s delicious. There are multiple flavors available, as well as seasonal varieties. The original chocolate flavor is good, but I just found a extra milk chocolate variety at Mitsuwa that’s amazing.
  • Pucca: If you like Pocky, then you’ll probably enjoy Pucca. They’re little pretzels shaped like fish and filled with different kinds of cremes. Chocolate creme, strawberry creme – you get the idea. I honestly prefer Pocky, but these are fun to try once.
  • Takenoko no Sato: Here’s another cookie treat. Takenoko no Sato are little cookies shaped like bamboo shoots that have been dipped in some kind of chocolate coating. Unlike the Kinoko no Yama, the cookie part is usually chocolate, and only rarely vanilla. The shape’s a little weird, but they’re still something new to try. (I prefer Kinoko no Yama.)

So there you go! Now you have a little shopping list to work off of. Did I miss anything that you’d recommend?

COMING NEXT WEEK: Hot Japanese Imports reviews the Katamari Damacy soundtrack.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Last week discussed 10 kinds of Japanese treats to try.

Site [Meiji] Site [Play-Asia] Site [YesAsia] Site [NCSX] Site [Himeya Shop] Site [Strapya World]

Full Story » | Written by Jenni Lada for Gamertell. | Comment on this Article »

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