This shiny box Rainbow Giant Pocky by Glico Japan is perfect for sampling the regional flavours that are available for sale only in the originating region or international airports as well as other rarer flavours.
Each box has seven flavours in seven colours. The way they’re arranged here is as they appear on the packaging, but you could arrange them roughly in the colours of the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet (here, pink?).
The colours inside put any true rainbow dreams to rest. The seven flavours are (from top to bottom): chocolate, matcha, banana, melon, grape, strawberry and vanilla.
This Giant Chocolate Pocky is enrobed in milk chocolate and identical to the ones that come in their own box with a similar red packaging.
…and this Giant Matcha Pocky is a matcha flavoured biscuit enrobed in matcha mousse made from tea grown in the Uji region of Kyoto. It’s the same as the Giant Uji Matcha Pocky with similar green packaging.
Next up is the yellow flavour: banana. It has an artificial banana smell, which I enjoy over the smell of fresh bananas, but has the taste and mouthfeel of fresh ripe bananas complemented by the soft mousse. The strength and sweetness of the banana are well-balanced by the biscuit, leaving a pleasant banana aftertaste.
The orange biscuit takes its colour from the flesh of its Yubari melon flavour. Yubari melon is a region-limited flavour of Pocky for Hokkaido, being a specialty to the city of Yubari. The Pocky uses 15% real Yubari melon juice, which comes through as a sweet, ripe rockmelon smell. The melon notes are stronger in the smell than in the taste where its distinct flavour fades to a generic sweetness when eaten with the biscuit, leaving a sweet aftertaste without melon notes. That said, the intense sweetness of ripe rockmelon could mean that a more pronounced flavour may be sickeningly sweet.
The third and final region-limited flavour is the purple Kyoho Grape flavour for the Shinshu (Nagano) region. There are bright notes of grape — like grape flavoured candy — from the smell of this Pocky, which translates to a mousse that, in the same way as ripe grapes, is richly sweet followed by a gentle acidity as you reach the freeze dried specks. The biscuit mellows the deepness of the flavour in the finish before the grape flavour returns in the aftertaste. A thicker mousse would’ve held its own better.
This pink biscuit is a new format for a classic flavour: strawberry. The strawberry mousse here is the same as that in the Strawberry Pocky with more freeze-dried bits, although the thicker biscuit lends a less crispy and more crumbly texture that dilutes the richness of the strawberry flavour but retains the sweetness.
And finally, the white biscuit is the most vanilla of flavours, although that’s perhaps not an apt description as you’d be hard pressed to find vanilla flavoured Pocky elsewhere. The vanilla mousse is thin and the flavour is subtle, emerging towards the second half of the body from generic sweetness, but retreats by the finish to leave the aftertaste of sweet biscuit. A richer vanilla flavour that resembles less of a soft-serve and more of a vanilla bean would go a long way.
A comparison of the shape and patterns on the base of each Pocky exposes two different methods of manufacture, with the method used for the chocolate, banana and vanilla flavours having a crunchy and firmer biscuit compared to the method used for the matcha, melon, grape and strawberry. In general, the thicker biscuit in Giant Pocky has tended to overwhelm the richness of the flavouring mousse in many cases.
This box of Rainbow Giant Pocky by Glico Japan contained 21 pieces or 3 pieces of each flavour. It was produced in Japan and was purchased in Osaka, Japan in 2015.