Aji WOW is my series of unusual Japanese food/drink reviews. 'Aji' (味) means 'flavour', and the name's also a pun on 'ajiwau' (味わう) - 'to enjoy the taste of'.
This time: heart-shaped blueberry Pocky sticks.
As Valentine's approaches more swiftly than any of us are comfortable with, Pocky is going in strong. You can currently get boxes of Pocky with special messages:
Sukky: I like you!
Lovecky: I love you!
Mamacky: Thanks, Mum!
Papacky: Thanks, Dad!
Tomocky: Thanks, friend!
Giricky: I am giving you this chocolate because I am socially obligated to do so.
Those last 2 come in special packs of 50 (50!) extra-slim sticks. If being reluctantly offered a Giricky wasn't wounding enough, you won't even get the full standard Pocky serving.
The other way to express your love and affection through Pocky is with these heart-shaped sticks. In a special 'heartful happy blue berry' flavour. I've seen some bearing the 'Lovecky' slogan, but these are in the normal box.
Important point here: they're not quite 'blueberry' coated. It's blueberry-flavoured chocolate with little bits of fruit sprinkled in. I've had chocolate-covered blueberries, which are delicious, but this marks a first.
Pocky's left you space on the back to write a message to your love. There are 2 packs in the box, for sharing. Once you've handed the Pocky over, ideally you should get some of it back. Sort of defeats the point of the gift...
Even the pack inside the pack is blue and covered with hearts. They look a bit like pencils here, don't they? Open the wrapper, and a powerful blueberry aroma leaps out.
The coating's nice and thick - and very blue. Just the right shade of dark, slightly purplish blueberry blue. I don't think the pics do it justice.
That might be because I'm not a pro at photography. In any case, you've got to see the blueness in person to fully appreciate it.
Can you see the heart shape in that picture above? It's not perfect, but they tried. The sticks are also faintly pink. No flavouring as far as I can tell, just the dye.
It's a shame that the taste isn't quite as strong as the scent. The blueberry flavour is more subtle, masked by chocolate and sugar. That isn't a downside for someone like me, who lives for sweet things. And the fruit bits were more pronounced as a result.