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Morinaga Carre de Chocolat Strawberry Dark Chocolates: One of the delightful things about chocolates in Japan, even inexpensive options available from convenience stores, is they often have clever packaging, the type that make you want to display them and share them with other people. This box of 18 chocolates, costing about $3 USD, contains gold-foil-wrapped dark chocolate squares sized similarly to banquet-style individual servings of butter, the top half tasting of tart and sweet strawberry and the bottom half dark chocolate. The base of th... (read more) 3.5/5.0

3.5 chocolates dark strawberry chocolat de carre morinaga japanese recommended
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Ito En Nata de Coco Yogurt Taste: I knew vending machines were everywhere in Tokyo, even randomly in the streets in residential neighborhoods, but I didn't realize that drinking while walking is not polite in Japan. When people buy drinks from vending machines, they drink it right then and there before continuing on their way, or they pack it to drink later. Since there are essentially no public drinking fountains to Tokyo, and I'm always thirsty, I've been buying more drinks from vending machines. This one is a creamy yogur... (read more) 3.0/5.0

japanese 3.0 taste yogurt coco de nata itoen coconut vendingmachine japan drinks
2017 05 27 20.16.19

Petitpot Salted Caramel Pot De Creme: Since I found this jar in the yogurt aisle, I picked it up on sale expecting it was yogurt and only discovered that it was pudding when I got home. By now, I have a bit of an allergic reaction when I see "California cuisine" on packaging, which essentially translates to organic ingredients, high marketing / branding expenditures, and consequently high prices. But I am guilty of purchasing it, and I blame that on the cute mascot. The dessert itself is made of simple ingredients: milk, crea... (read more) 3.0/5.0

3.0 creme de pot caramel salted petitpot berkeleybowl pudding desserts
2017 01 22 18.13.38

Guerrero Chicharron de Cerdo: Picked from the bottom shelf, this bag of cracklins' unembellished packaging indicates that it contains "fried out pork fat with attached skin." Not a snack I can imagine finding easily at a large supermarket chain in the Northeast. While it's high in fat and sodium, it disappointingly falls short, with a dense, crunchy texture and lack of any distinct flavor. For a high calorie snack, I was hoping for a much bigger payoff. 2.5/5.0

2.5 cerdo de chicharron guerrero fat safeway
2016 09 24 16.00.01

Bom pao de queijo: This Brazilian speciality is essentially a baked cheese ball, with a thin crispy coating and mochi-like chewy, cheesy filling. Sized slightly larger than a donut hole, they are snackable and addicting. It's the perfect cross between bread, mochi, and a cheese puff. Recommended! Purchased from Bom cafe in Inman Square, Cambridge, MA. 4.0/5.0

cheese cheeseballs brazilian recommended bom pao de queijo 4.0
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Sweepy crackers with Dulce de Leche dip: Avoided this snack to the point that it became the last in my #munchpak. Sad, flavorless biscuit sticks with a basic caramel sauce. Not offensive per se, but not a snack I would ever eat again. 1.0/5.0

sweepy dulcedeleche caramel avoid crackers dulce de leche dip 1.0