Wagashi, or traditional Japanese confections, take on many textures and flavours derived from plant ingredients. The one flavour that appears more than any other, though, is azuki or anko (azuki bean paste). For hundreds of years, wagashi have been wrapped around anko (including daifuku, taiyaki and various mochi), submerged in an azuki soup (zenzai) or indeed are a solid block of anko (yōkan).
Here we have Glico Pocky Wagokoro Azuki. The word wagokoro combines wa meaning ‘Japanese style’ and gokoro ) meaning ‘heart’, ‘mind’ or ‘spirit’, and azuki is undoubtedly the flavour at the heart of Japanese confectionary. Invariably served with green tea, azuki is the perfect pairing with the Wagokoro Matcha Pocky by Glico Japan which celebrates matcha, the flavour at the heart of the Japanese tea ceremony.
These Pocky consist of biscuit sticks flavoured with azuki from Hokkaido, covered in bits of crunchy azuki cookie and enrobed in milk chocolate.
Each stick smells like a red bean flavoured milk chocolate, and this is evident from the first bite. The red bean flavoured cookie crunch is audibly crunchy — additively so — and the strong red bean flavour is well complemented by the creamy milk chocolate before reaching the second source of crunch from the biscuit itself. The biscuit is tinged pink from being flavoured with red bean and unsweetened, so you finish with a palate-cleansing pleasant nutty aftertaste of red bean as you reach the uncoated end of the biscuit.
These crunchy and creamy Pocky are one my flavour flavours of Pocky to date. Indeed, red bean and chocolate seem to be a winning combination — the Nestle Kitkat Azuki Sandwich and Nestle Kitkat Hokkaido Red Bean are further proof.
This box of Glico Pocky Wagokoro Hokkaido Azuki contained 4 packs each with 6 pieces. It was produced in Japan and purchased in Hiroshima, Japan in 2015.