Wagokoro Azuki Pocky by Glico Japan

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 dai­fukutaiyaki and vari­ous mochi), sub­merged in an azuki soup (zen­zai) or indeed are a sol­id block of anko (yōkan).

Here we have Wagokoro Azuki Pocky by Glico Japan. 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 Wagokoro Azuki 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 Wagokoro Azuki Pocky by Glico Japan are one my fla­vour fla­vours of Pocky to date. Indeed, red bean and chocol­ate seem to be a win­ning com­bin­a­tion — the Azuki Sandwich KitKat and Hokkaido Red Bean KitKat are fur­ther proof.

This box of Wagokoro Hokkaido Azuki Pocky by Glico Japan con­tained 4 packs each with 6 pieces. It was pro­duced in Japan and pur­chased in Hiroshima, Japan in 2015.