Some people avoid artificial flavours and colours for various reasons. For these people, Yasashii Amasa Strawberry Pocky, or Gentle Sweetness Strawberry Pocky, is a chance to enjoy this popular snack as it’s free of artificial flavours and colours.
Compared to standard Strawberry Pocky (above, bottom), the Yasashii Amasa Strawberry Pocky (above, top) has a whiter biscuit enrobed in a paler pink mousse with the same red flecks. These are also fragrance-free, as they don’t have the bright fruity smell of other strawberry flavoured Pocky. Along with being gentle on your nose, these are gentle on your taste buds as well, with a much more mellow flavour.
The mousse is less sweet and the strawberry flavour is much more mellow, creamy and milky like a strawberry milk than in the standard Strawberry Pocky, which tastes of strawberry ice cream. Mousse aside, the biscuit has a flakier texture — but not as crispy as that in Otona Milk Pocky — with a buttery note that lacks the toasty notes of standard Pocky. This buttery note lingers alone in the aftertaste.
Overall, Yasashii Amasa Strawberry Pocky is bland, and I’d much prefer the bolder and more obviously strawberry flavours of ordinary Strawberry Pretz (even if they are artificial) and indeed the punchier flavours of Tsubu Tsubu Strawberry Pocky. This comparison goes to show how much of the work done to arrive at bold flavours is achieved with artificial flavours and colours. Perhaps I should be more alarmed?
This box of Yasahii Amasa Strawberry Pocky contained 1 bag of ~20 biscuit sticks. It was produced in Japan and was gifted by relatives visiting Tokyo, Japan in 2016.