A couple of months ago I learned about Daiso, a 100 Yen store chock full of Japanese products from house-wear to makeup, toys and nick-nacks. It’s like a Japanese Dollar Store where most products are 100 yen ($1.50) unless otherwise marked. I had a great time perusing the shelves, but what I was most interested in was to discover some new snacks that I had never tried before. Daiso stocks a variety of both savory and sweet snacks, not just from Japan, but also China, Thailand, and a host of other countries. Tim and I scooped up quite the haul and got straight to taste testing. We got five sweet snacks and five savory, so I am going to break this taste test up into two parts. Today. let’s talk about the sweet stuff.
I really didn’t know where to start when it came to what snacks to pick. Daiso had so much to choose from, and it was a little overwhelming. I did my best to try to guess what the products actually were when the packaging didn’t have any English writing to help me. I ended up getting a decent variety, so let’s jump in.
First up is this assorted box of Caplico Sticks, or at least I think that’s what they are called. Caplico Sticks are mini ice cream cones with a whipped, creamy filling. I am a sucker for wafer cones, so I had to try them. The assorted box contains three each of the strawberry, chocolate and vanilla flavors. The cone is a normal ice cream cone flavor and texture. The filling is sort of like a cross between frosting and pudding. It’s whipped and a little spongy, but not loose or runny in any way. Tim says the filling reminds him of the kind of filling you find inside of sandwich wafers. Each cone, no matter the flavor has the chocolate filling at the very bottom. Funny story, Tim told a coworker of his about this haul. He is from China, and he laughingly told Tim that these were what his mother always gave him when he was sick as a child. Luckily, I don’t associate them with illness, so I liked the Caplico Sticks and would get them again.
The second item we tried was a Baum Roll. There is no English on this packaging, so this is one of the items that I had to guess at. I thought that they would be cream filled cakes, but I wasn’t exactly right about that. To me, the Baum Rolls taste like lemon shortbread dough. They have a very creamy texture and a buttery, mild lemon flavor, but I would have liked them much better if they had some filling. Tim enjoyed them a lot and thought they tasted like frosting. He would get them again, but I think that I would pass.
I was surprised by how many gummy snacks Daiso had to offer. Though there were cute novelty gummies aplenty (gummy hamburgers anyone?) I chose to go for a more grown-up looking version. These Blueberry Gummy candies are a soft gelatin with a mild flavor. They are not overly sweet, and they are not tart. They are a generically sweet gummy with a subtle blueberry flavor that is great for an adult. I liked these a lot and would definitely get them again. I actually want to go back and try more of the flavors.
I was super excited to try these Strawberry Milk Chocolate candies because by the picture I thought that they might be strawberry cordials, like the strawberry version of those Queen Anne cherries. Unfortunately for me, the inside is a strawberry jelly and not the soft cordial filling I had hoped it would be. It took me a minute to get over my disappointment, but once I went back to them I did end up liking them. The quality of the chocolate is only so-so, better than Nestlé but not as good as Dove or Lint. It’s about on par with Hershey or Mars. The flavor combination of the strawberry and chocolate is well balanced, and the strawberry jelly is really good. Overall, despite my initial disappointment, these were a win. I would get them again.
The final sweet item that I got at Daiso were these Hello Panda Cookies. I am actually a little mad at myself for not looking closer at the box before I bought them because these were made in the USA. Oh well, at least the other four items were all products of Japan. These cookies have adorable pictures of pandas in various states of activity. They are filled with chocolate and these bite sized cookies are great for snacking. Flavor-wise, frankly, they taste like Chips Ahoy to me, with a nice crunch. They are not bad, but they are not great either. I liked them, but I would probably choose to buy something more unique next time.
And that does it for the sweet portion of my Daiso haul. Stay tuned for part 2 where I talk about the savory snacks that I chose, as well as the Battle of the Shrimp Chips 2017. I hope you enjoyed this haul. Daiso was a fun store to explore. There were so many great finds of both the edible and non-edible varieties. If you have a Daiso in your area, I definitely think it is worth a visit.