Take the two keywords “Tea” and “Japan”; combine them, and what’s the first thing that comes to mind? For many, it would surely be matcha! The thick, creamy, sometimes sweet and sometimes bitter taste of matcha is something that I MUST absolutely experience every time I visit Japan. What better way to celebrate my favourite flavour than a review about some matcha-flavoured snacks?
However, since the usual matcha pocky or chocolate was just too mainstream, I decided to look for some unusual products that look weird at first, but actually taste quite good in the end. Today I’m going to sample these six snacks (many thanks to the person who brought them back home for me):
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- Hooei Matcha Jelly
- Bourbon Uji Matcha Caramel Popcorn
- Sanko-Seika Milk Karintou
- Sanko-Seika Yuki no Yado Chips
- Morihan Uji Matcha Aisu no Moto
- Marumiya Matcha-an no Moto
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First up, we have Yuki no Yado chips from Sanko-Seika. Originally a senbei with snowy icing on it, the taste has been recreated into matcha-flavoured chips made with Uji Matcha from Kyoto. This flavour is available for a limited time only. At first, I thought they might be something like matcha-flavoured potato chips, but opened the packet to find this:
The chips are not fried so they’re not oily, but they’re so crispy! The taste of salt and matcha sugar icing makes it super addictive, and since they’re very light and airy, it becomes all too easy to polish off a bag of these all at once. If you like chips but don’t fancy something too oily and messy, these Yuki no Yado chips are definitely for you.
Next, we try out the matcha-flavoured Milk Karintou from Sanko-Seika. For those of you not familiar with karintou, it is a traditional snack made from flour, yeast, brown sugar, and then deep-fried to sweet golden deliciousness. The packaging says that this one is made with Hokkaido whipped cream. Sounds yummy!
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This matcha milk karintou is packed with old-school goodness. It’s bite-sized, dense and crunchy, and is probably good for a leisurely snack while watching TV. In addition, it’s individually packed into 5 smaller packets, so you don’t have to worry about it going soft especially in humid weather. While this one isn’t the type of snack you’ll finish quickly, it’s good for people who like to have something to munch on for a long time.
Next up, we have Hooei’s Matcha Jelly:
This is definitely a snack that would go well with tea. As expected, it’s very sweet, and the sugar coating makes every bite have a small crunch to it. Although it doesn’t really have that distinctive matcha taste, but the handy size makes it a good snack to munch on. If you have an especially sweet tooth, this is the product for you.
Last on our list of ready-to-eat snacks, we have Uji Matcha Caramel Popcorn from Bourbon (it’s exactly what the name says it is). It comes in a handy re-sealable bag too.
This matcha caramel popcorn is another one of those kinds of addictive snacks again. The caramel taste makes up the bulk of the taste, and the hint of matcha comes when you bite into it. What I like about it is that unlike normal caramel popcorn, the taste feels lighter so it’s easy to eat a lot at once. There’s also quite a lot in one packet of popcorn!
That’s not all, though. Make your own ice-cream at home with Morihan’s Uji Matcha Aisu no Moto. Each box has four packets of ice-cream mix which is easy to make and enjoy at home. The instructions are simple: just pour the powder into a cup, add milk, stir well and freeze! Make sure to stir really well though; the ice-cream mix takes quite a while to dissolve.
To go with the ice-cream, we also try out Marumiya Matcha-an no Moto. The suggested serving is to put it on mochi as shown on the front of the packet, but the packaging says you can put it on other stuff like ice-cream too. You can try putting it on lots of other desserts too.
For the matcha-an, the instructions are simple too. Just add 15ml of hot water, stir well and voila! The powder looks like this before adding water:
After three hours, the ice-cream is nice and cold:
Adding on the matcha-an, we get a delicious-looking dessert.
The texture of the matcha-an combined with the ice cream is amazing! It’s surprising how these can be made at home, since they don’t taste like they were DIY at all. Although the azuki in the matcha-an didn’t turn very soft (the water was probably not hot enough when I made it), the ice-cream overall was nice and sweet, making it perfect for cooling off in the hot weather. In conclusion, the matcha-an and ice-cream are great for a quick fix at home when you have a craving to eat something cold; just remember to give sufficient time for the ice-cream to freeze.
Next time you go to a supermarket which stocks Japanese products, why not try to search for these snacks? Which one do you want to try out the most?