| Pocky |
Originally uploaded by Laura Bento
Pocky was first sold in 1966, and consists of a biscuit stick coated with chocolate. It was named after the Japanese onomatopoetic word for the sound Pocky makes when bitten, pokkin (ポッキン). The original was followed by "Almond Pocky" in 1971, with an almond coating, and "Strawberry Pocky" in 1977. Today, the product line includes such variations as milk, mousse, green tea, honey, banana and coconut flavored coatings, and themed products such as "Decorer Pocky," with colorful decorative stripes in the coating, and "Men's Pocky," a dark (bittersweet) chocolate and "mature" version.
Pocky is popular in Japan and was a hit among teenagers. In bars it is sometimes served with a glass of ice water. It also has a significant presence in other East Asian countries such as China as well as South Korea (although a similar product known as pepero is one of copy-products by Lotte; not a renamed product of Pocky). In Europe Pocky was renamed Mikado. Mikado can be found at most supermarkets, as well as at many international food stores. In Malaysia Pocky was renamed Rocky to avoid sounding like "pork". The original Pocky-branded versions can still be easily obtained in Malaysia from import stores, usually located within shopping complexes. In the United States and Canada Pocky can be found in Asian supermarkets and the international section of most large supermarkets, such as World Market, HEB, Wegmans, at select f.y.e. stores, Walmart (in the Asian foods aisle), Borders bookstores, some Target stores, some Walgreens, Meijer, and anime convention dealers' rooms. In the United States Pocky is marketed both by LU (in chocolate and peanut butter flavors) and by Ezaki Glico's American division, Ezaki Glico USA Corporation (in chocolate and strawberry flavors). In Australia Pocky is usually sold in Asian convenience markets along with other Asian foods and products.
Flavors and Variations
Pocky can be found in dozens of varieties such as chocolate, strawberry, and almond. Some of the more unusual flavors include the seasonal flavors of honey (spring) and kiwifruit mango (summer). The bittersweet version of chocolate Pocky is known as Men's Pocky. Regional flavors of Pocky include grape (Nagano), yūbari melon (Hokkaidō), giant mikan (tangerine, sold in the Kyūshū region), powdered tea azuki bean (Kyoto), Kobe wine (Kobe), and five-fusion berry (Goka). There are also such flavors as banana, coffee, caramel, marble royal milk tea, melon, milk, honey and milk, cream cheese, berry, sweet potato, coconut, crush (crunchy cracker pieces in chocolate), pineapple, pumpkin, hazelnut, kurogoma (black sesame), kinako (soy bean flour), marron, Brazilian pudding, mikan, blueberry, apple yogurt, mixed berry and green tea.
Special variations of Pocky include Decorer Pocky (which features extra decorative icing) and Mousse Pocky (which features extra thick, "creamy" mousse-like icing and is more exclusive). Unlike other Pocky variations, Mousse Pocky packages contain fewer pieces than regular Pocky, with only nine pieces per pack.
Dessert Pocky features Pocky sticks covered in a generous helping of cream. These flavors include: Double Chocolate, Tiramisu, Chocolate Banana, Marron White, Chestnut, Strawberry Shortcake, and Orange. Dessert Pocky usually comes with five packets in a box with three in each sleeve.
Other variations include: Pocky G (marketed as being "hard and rich"), Giant Pocky (Strawberry and Chocolate flavored; each box contains 20 individually wrapped sticks with real dried strawberry; each stick is about 10" long, and approximately 3 times the diameter of a normal Pocky stick), Reverse Pocky (cracker on the outside with the filling in the middle), Fortune-Telling Pocky (each stick contained a "fortune") and Pocky Cake (a literal cake shaped to look like a Pocky stick. Each cake contained, according to its packaging, raisins, chocolate cream, orange peel, and an Italian cake batter).
A related product is Pretz, which is an unglazed version of Pocky, featuring flavors like tomato, pizza, and salad, as well as sweet flavors such as French toast.
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resources: official website of pocky / wikipedia / gone-ta-pott.com /thefreedictionary.com
links: how to make your own pocky / original chocolate pocky /