Sunday, January 3, 2016

Strawberry Powder Snow Candy - Asian Food Market

Strawberry Powder Snow Candy - Asian Food Market
So far New Jersey has been snow-less this winter, but I'm not complaining. Snow loses all it's magical winter-y splendor the second you have a car to dig out in order to get to work on time. No more snow days in adult-land. (Unless you're a teacher, but even then you still gotta work.)
I spotted this at the Asian Food Market, and I had no idea what "powder snow candy" even meant, but it sounded winter-y enough. Why not check it out? I rather have snow in my cavities than on my car. (Plus it's strawberry flavored!)
Pine is a new candy company for me. I can't remember seeing any of their products before, but they've been around for 60+ years, and they seem to have licensing with Sanrio and Doraemon, so they've gotta be pretty big. Plus, look at this packaging! It's gorgeous. These guys had a decent design budget and they used it to it's full potential.

We've got a lovely pink background with scattered pink and white snowflakes, gold foil accents, a delicious pile of strawberries in a field of powdered sugar "snow" and...for some reason...there's a white rabbit? Sure! Why not? The rabbit seems a little out of place to me, but I could be missing something in the cultural context.
I can't read the writing on the package, but I gathered that it's a layered amaou strawberry-flavored confection that uses xylitol, which should give it some kind of cooling "snow effect." Which must be how this candy gets it's name, but what's so special about amaou strawberries? I'm no foodie expert, or scientist, so I did some googling.
The name of "amaou" consists of four kana letters taken from four words to describe this particular strawberry:
あ a: 甘い amai (sweet)
ま ma: 丸い marui (round)
お o: 大きい ookii (big)
う u: 旨い umai (tasty)

Basically, they are a strain of larger, sweet, strawberries that are quite popular in Fukuoka, Japan. Also, according to a crude Google translation, this candy seems to have added vitamin C, herbs, and even a hint of menthol. It kind of seems like these are medicinal throat drops, but the packaging makes this seem like a normal candy. Since my throat is still sore from being sick, maybe these will help me out!

The candies inside are individually wrapped, which is great for sharing. (Especially since I am sick and basically a patient-zero to all my family and friends.)

Unwrapped, the candy looks like a pale pink snowball with it's white powdery coating, and it smells like strawberry spun sugar. It's sweet, fruity, slightly floral, and delicate. This would be my ideal perfume! (If only I could bottle it. I need to look into how perfumes and stuff are made.)
I popped this little snowball into my mouth and...oh wow! This thing certainly is cooling! The second this little snowball hit my tongue the outer coating dissolved into a sweet strawberry wave of frosty goodness, and considering the ingredients, it's surprisingly not that artificial tasting! After the outer coating fades away, the cooling effect is gone, but you have the layer of strawberry flavored hard candy underneath to look forward to. It tastes juicy and fairly authentic, but it's pretty mild. If any of you drink fruit infused waters, this is as light and refreshing as strawberry water. The strawberry gummies I buy from Kasugai are more intensely strawberry than this, but this hard candy is still really pleasant and enjoyable.
Towards the end you hit the powdery center, which gives you one last wave of throat-soothing coolness before the candy disappears into sweet nothingness. It wasn't as soothing as my Go Organic Honey Lemon throat drops, which have been helping me get through my week-long cold, but it was more soothing than a traditional hard candy, and I found the cooling sensation to be really unique.

I don't think this is marketed as a throat lozenge, but it could be! It's got great flavoring, and the cooling sensation is quite soothing. (Especially after one my sexy coughing fits.) I bought this on a whim, because it looked winter-y, but it's gone beyond my expectations! It's sweet, mild, and even though the cooling sensation comes from an artificial sweetener, this doesn't taste gross or artificial at all! If you're looking for a unique candy to share with your family and friends this winter, I'd say this is definitely worth trying.
© Maria Smith
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