Thursday, January 12, 2017

#tbt Matcha Ice Cream Candy - Asian Food Markets

UHA Matcha Ice Cream Candy - Asian Food Markets $2.99
And now for something completely different: Matcha Ice Cream Candy! 
It's a nice break from all the holiday specific sweets and snacks I've been reviewing, and since it's been so bleak and miserable here in South Jersey, it's nice to see some green. (Even if it's just on a candy wrapper.) 
I've never been a fan of matcha beverages and sweets (I'm more of a black tea kind of girl), but we all know I am an absolute sucker when it comes to cute packaging.
We have a lovely green backdrop, with some faux texturing, a nearly neon-green scoop of matcha ice cream on a cake cone, scattered leaves, tea illustrations and...a boat? The locational imagery feels really out of place, but there might be some context I am missing out on, since I (still) can't read the characters on these packages. (I'll learn one day, I swear!) Even with the confusing travel-imagery, this bag is gorgeous! I hate matcha, and yet it still found it's way into my cart!
I told myself, "What if this is the matcha candy that will win me over to the green-and-grassy side?" Welp, it wasn't. 
Inside the bag are individually wrapped candies. Each one has one of those little location-based illustrations from the main packaging on it, and even though they aren't as cute as the main packaging, they look decent in a candy dish. 
Unwrapped, it smells surprisingly pleasant! I was expecting a really grassy match-heavy aroma, but this layered candy smells sweet, like vanilla salt water taffy. There's a slight earthy matcha aroma, but it's very faint and barely noticeable.
I optimistically popped the candy into my mouth and...NOPE.  I should have seen that one coming. 
It's mentholated. 
Just like those Blueberry Ice Cream Oreos I got from China. 
The outer green taffy-layer is soft and chewy, similar to Starbursts, and it has a mild matcha flavoring mixed with vanilla. Not bad, but then you hit the white inner layer and everything changes. Inside this candy is a chewy, yet powdery, artificially sweetened core that gives your mouth a cooling effect that is ever so slightly mentholated. This is where the "ice cream" part of this candy kicks in. It's an odd sensation, and it's certainly interesting, but it's not really appreciated. (At least not by me.)
It tastes like I just ate some kind of sugar free mint coated in matcha powder. The one side of my tongue still has that tingly mentholated sensation and my mouth tastes like tea and toothpaste gone wrong. In all fairness, this sensation is fairly reminiscent of the cooling effect of ice cream. So, kudos to them for creating that feeling and wrapping it up inside a shelf-stable candy. It's a pretty cool (get it?) concept, but I hate how it tastes and I don't want to eat any more of it.  
 Matcha ice cream and sugar free candy lovers, this might be the perfect mash-up you never knew you wanted. Matcha haters? Don't let the pretty packaging pull you in!
© Maria Smith
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