What is Pocky?
Without question one of the most beloved and delicious Japanese snacks is Pocky sticks. With a tempting sweet chocolate flavoring coat and a slightly salty pretzel stick you really can't go wrong with the winning combo.
Pocky are small stick-shaped cookies with flavors like chocolate, strawberry cream, dark chocolate, matcha green tea and almond crush. Pocky originates from the term "pokkin" which is an onomatopoeic expression that sounds like a satisfying crack, chewing and eating Pocky sticks together.
The history of Pocky
In 1963 Ezaki Glico developed Pretz, a bread-stick type of snack. Three years later, in 1966 Glico began using these Pretz Pretzel's sticks dipped in melted chocolate as a new types of treat. One issue that arose for the original chocolate Pocky was that covering the entire stick did not work well. As holding the chocolate ends created very messy eating experience. To solve that, Glico considered covering the other end with plastic sheet. But this is too turned out to be too complicated and expensive and most likely very irritating to the soon to be pocky fans. In a final decision, the the Japanese food manufacturer removed chocolate end on the pocky stick at one side of the snack to create a type of "handle".
Within a short time, Pocky began to distribute within Japan and before long it spread to other Asian regions as well as Europe and North America. Pocky has really made a notch in the chocolate snack industry by creating a variety of Pocky flavors including some very unusual flavors, regional flavors and limited edition flavors and even creating its own Pocky day to celebrate!
Pocky wasn't the original name of this product
Ideally a brand name must be memorable, attractive, or already known to others. When Pocky sticks were first invented they missed the mark on creating a memorable name. Instead of deriving the original name from the onomatopoeic it came from something completely different.
When Pocky first appeared, Glico aimed at the product's portability and ease to carry and not its flavor and texture. This much loved treat was originally called Chocotekku (チョコテック) which is derived from Japan's words "tekuteku" (テクテク). These words simulate the sounds of someone walking in Japan. However, it had appeared that Glico had not realized that this name had already been trademarked and was being used by another business. So keeping in with the onomatopoeia theme Glico used pokkin (ポッキン) as inspiration - which is the sound of something long snapping in two. And thus the iconic Pocky sticks began!
The Pocky factory in Saitama is open for tours
If you've always been a Pocky superfan and need all of the information on how the snack is produced, then you can trust Glico's factory located in Saitama Kitamura town. It's a great experience if you want to understand more about the logistics of the snack, you could really make it into a full Pocky day. What makes it even more fun is that the tour is attended by the staff, so the visit is a complete multimedia experience. To start a robot gives a virtual presentation about the history around Pocky, including how chocolate Pocky began. It will then take you to the factory floor to explore Pocky’s sights, sounds and scents. You get the full experience of the stick shaped chocolate and even get to experience the true Pocky flavor.
Why are Pocky sticks so popular in Japan?
It's not clear why Pocky was so popular at first. Nevertheless its fame could only be explained through its quality. Those little chocolate coated pretzel biscuits are a true hit in the Japanese snack market. One thing that makes Pocky popular is that it's convenient, light and can be easily carried in a backpack. Another reason is that you can enjoy chocolate on the go, so wherever you go you don't have the worry of washing your hands while it's being eaten. Another good reason that makes the Pocky snack so popular is that there are many flavor experiences in every season!
What's the taste of Pocky?
Pocky humbly began as a simple chocolate flavor, but as time has gone it has grown and evolved into creating exciting and new delicious flavors of Pocky that are very sought after. So what type of flavors have come from Pocky? Firstly Pocky has five popular flavor types: chocolate strawberry, banana, cookies ice cream and matcha green tea. Then there are speciality flavors of Pocky that come in seasonal flavors. For example there is the Adult Amber pocky that has a dark and luxurious flavor which is made in mind to pair well with whiskey, with the sticks even made out of malt extract. There is also the Goddess Ruby Pocky. The Goddess Ruby Pocky, similar to Adult Amber Pocky was designed with adults in mind and is perfectly crafted to pair well for people who are a red wine drinker.
Chocolate banana the best Pocky flavors?
There are limited seasonal flavors like Winter Caramel Butter chocolate for winter and matcha sakura pocky, which is made as a type Sakura pocky cherry blossom for spring. Beyond regular Pocky, there are flavors like Orange peel, Uji Matcha, dark chocolate, chocolate banana and luxurious flavored Pocky like Kuchidoke (melty) strawberry flavor and Pulpy Strawberry. But it doesn't stop there, Glico has created a range of giant Pocky! With featured flavors like Giant Yubari Melon and Giant Amaou Strawberry that come in Pocky boxes that have 15 giant sticks coated in their unique flavors of Pocky.
And the best thing? Glico creates new flavors each year! With all of the adventurous Pocky flavors, could you really say that chocolate banana is the best flavors of pocky? Well, it's pretty hotly debated between Pocky connoisseur! So whether you think banana is the best Pocky flavor, or the original Pocky flavors are the best, you have a huge collection to choose from to find the perfect Japanese snack!
November 11 is Pocky Day in Japan
Pocky is an incredibly popular day in Japan so a holiday is held in its honor. Pocky Day is held on November 11th. This date is chosen because the date number in numerical form is (11/11) which visually looks like two Pocky sticks held together. Pocky lovers rejoice in this delicious treat and celebrate all Pocky. On Pocky day some people celebrate Pocky day by taking part in a type of Pocky game like creating Pocky towers or making a Pocky rocket.
You may even see some people partake in the Lady and the Tramp Pocky game, which consists of two participants place a Pocky stick between them and try to be the last to hold onto the biscuit, often resulting in a kiss. Whichever way you decide to celebrate pocky day just make sure you've got a Pocky box with you to enjoy it!
Pocky can be used as a creative baking ingredient
Poky is surprisingly tasty and is wonderful to eat as a standalone snack. But recently with its distinctive shape and varied taste it has become more popular to add it to home-baked projects, as an ornamental component or a base ingredient. It can be used on many different designs that require a type of stick decoration, like creating an edible spine for a hedgehog cake. It is also an amazing way to add a surprising twist to desserts. You can use a matcha flavored Pocky to add a twist of crunchiness and sweetness with a hint of green tea to create the perfect layer in a cheesecake.
In Japan, Pocky has become such a pervasive part of everyday life that it regularly makes its way into popular culture. If you want to be part of this ever lasting trend and perfect snack make sure to check out Sugoi Mart to keep up to date with all of the new Pocky flavors and Pocky limited edition items.