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Packaging - I always like silver as a package color and with the beautiful swirl graphics of milk, cookies and chocolate, this is one of my favorite designs of the year. Package opens from the top along the perforated line as seen in the photo below. This reveals 3 dark brown shiny foil packets each containing 3 deluxe sticks. These packets tear easily at the top for easy access.
At First Glance - Comparing to Pocky (the standard) is what I must do because most readers are familiar with it. The first thing I notice is how thick the chocolate is poured onto each stick. Pocky spares the chocolate granted they give you thinner sticks, and more in each box. But this stick contains more than one kind of chocolate; the white milk layer is teasing me by poking out the bottom. The crushed cookie bits are clearly present though smaller than I expected them to be. Unlike Pocky the actual cookie stick is chocolate and more airy. I know Pocky makes a Dessert stick which has volume but these look more dense and I can't wait to try them. The smell is very sweet cocoa much like the residue found at the bottom of a hot chocolate cup in the winter after a long day of sledding.
What's Inside - Biting about 2 cm of the Fran from the top of the stick reveals a wonderful cross-section. You can see a white ring of while milk flavored chocolate between the outer brown chocolate and the cookie stick. The cookie bits embedded in the outer chocolate are definitely smaller than anticipated.
The Taste - Whenever I see companies advertising the taste of 'milk' in their goods I never know what I am going to get. Usually with regards to chocolate it just means a creamier taste. But I actually felt that Meiji pulled this one off. I get the milk flavor at the start and at the end of the eating process. In the middle I found the cookie textures come through. Those mini crushed bits are quite hard and compliment the inner, airy chocolate stick quite well. You realize that you are getting 4 distinct flavors within each bite: milk chocolate, 'MILK' white chocolate, chocolate cookie, and white cookie bits. I have said it before and it is worth saying again...Meiji is my favorite mass-produced chocolate maker in Japan. Their chocolate wows me every time.
Extra Info - I drank coffee with the 2nd pack and it added to my snacking enjoyment. Since the sticks are quite thick they travel quite well. No breakage found in any of the 3 packets. Even if you don't like white chocolate you will probably still like these. My only complaint is that there were only 9 sticks but really the volume was sufficient at 48 grams as it compares to what you get with Pocky.
Ten Star rating - 9.5/10 (no complaints here. my type of snack! I will save the 0.5 score for something that may blow my socks off in the future)
If you like this product, or what you read in the review, I recommend the following products:
Aero - Hokkaido Milk Fran - Salty Milk