Although we stock nearly 1,000 different snacks from around the world, something is missing. Any guesses? It's popcorn! Lucky for us, the folks at Takaokaya reached out and asked that we sample their brand new popcorn line, T-Pops.
I used to live in England and popcorn isn't all that common there. When I did find some, it usually had sugar on it. For those living outside the U.S., it's mostly consumed with salt and butter and you can get it this way nearly everywhere. Well, that's the plain old way. Recently popcorn flavors have become wild and crazy with boutique shops opening up and offering anything they can think of. Some flavors are good, while a majority of them are a little gimmicky. (Think Dr. Pepper Popcorn).
So when our box of popcorn from Takaokaya arrived we were relieved to find a wholesome product with non-gmo kernels, no high fructose corn syrup, and zero trans fat. The flavors aren't that wild and crazy... in Japan! Being we are international snack experts, we welcomed these flavors and quickly moved onto the review process.
T-Pops Matcha Green Tea Popcorn
The first flavor we sampled was Matcha Green Tea. Here at World of Snacks we sell a ton of great green tea snacks from Japan and we were very excited to give this unique flavor a go in popcorn format. Hands down this was our favorite flavor. The popcorn is crunchy like caramel corn. It's sweet, in a rich decadent way and it's rounded out with a creamy butter and earthy green tea. It's simply AWESOME!
T-Pops Curry Popcorn
Curry flavor popcorn? I lied above when I said "hands down" the Matcha was our favorite popcorn, because this one came in a close second. We eat curry a lot, like at least once a week. It's also the dish our friends ask us to make when they come over. So it goes without saying that we know our curry. We also know we love T-Pops Curry Flavor Tokyo Style Popcorn. It's savory and only mildly curry flavored, but it's enough to make this treat highly addicting. There's a chance this popcorn would be our favorite if it packed a little more heat.
T-Pops Salted Cod Roe Popcorn
Matcha and curry popcorn aren't that adventurous, but salted cod roe is! Or is it? The package had us intrigued, as salted cod roe is not a flavor we encounter often. I've had roe before, but not in snack format. So how's it taste? Buttery, salty, and a tad savory. It's pleasant and enjoyable. It's also not that adventurous.
T-Pops Sesame Popcorn
Hey this package looks familiar. However, the flavor is definitely unfamiliar. At first we only read sesame, which doesn't sound that distinct. Underneath the giant "Sesame" it also reads nori and salt. Nori is seaweed and this popcorn flavor is a little too fishy for our taste. But we do sell a ton of seaweed snacks from Thailand, so we know many of you will enjoy it.
T-Pops Nori Popcorn
We thought the last popcorn flavor was fishy, T-Pops Nori Flavor tastes like the ocean! At first the flavor was jarring but after a few kernels it became more enjoyable and hinted towards sushi, which we love!
So there you have it. We just ate a ton of popcorn (we know you are jealous). Will we offer Takaokaya T-Pops Tokyo Style Popcorn in our international snack store? Chances are we will. The selection of flavors and the quality of the popcorn is unsurpassed. So check back soon and pick up a few bags for yourself!
Update 6/16/2017: We've just received a limited supply. Order now why supplies last!
For those who follow our snack blog, you may realize it's been a few months since we last posted. That's because we've been scaling up World of Snacks! We've moved into a larger warehouse and will be adding even more exciting snacks from around the world in the near future!
Another project we have been working on is our upcoming Subscription Snack Box. In order to prepare we've been doing a ton of research and subscribing to a bunch of boxes from a variety of businesses. Of course, we don't want to share our feedback on our direct competitors but one of the boxes we've subscribed to (that doesn't specialize in international snacks) arrived this month with a chocolate bar – so we thought it'd be fun to highlight it here on our snack blog.
The subscription box we are referring to is from Robb Report, a high-end publication (magazine) that I've enjoyed for years. Dubbed Robb Vices, each month a box arrives filled with a curated collection of luxury items. This month the box included our snack under review, the K+M Extravirgin Chocolate bar. If you look close, you can see it towards the bottom of the box.
K+M stands for Thomas Keller and Armando Manni. Mr. Keller is a the first and only American-born chef to hold multiple three-star ratings from the prestigious Michelin Guide. So he's a pretty big deal. Mr. Manni is from Tuscany and has an equally impressive reputation for quality by producing antioxidant-rich, extra-virgin olive oils.
These two rockstars have joined forces to offer this snack, "a revolutionary extravirgin chocolate high in antioxidants." Typical chocolate bars loose most of their antioxidants when the bean is roasted. These guys worked with the University of Florence in Italy and developed a method for processing each batch of cocoa beans to best preserve the antioxidants, making a bar that boasts serious health benefits (which you can read about below).
So as you can see, this isn't your everyday chocolate bar. They've done their homework and did a great job packaging it all together. With a $15 a bar price tag, we wouldn't expect any less. Now, onto what you've all been waiting for – the taste test!
Some of you may have noticed, this bar is 75% Peruvian. This is the first single origin chocolate we've highlighted here on our international snack blog. So needless to say, we were excited to sample it. The chocolate had a nice satin finish. It was smooth, but not oily. It felt good, and it was easy to realize this was a high-end bar just by the touch (as if the packaging didn't give it away). It had an earthy aroma that only hinted toward a typical chocolate bar. The bite was firm and the chocolate crumbled nicely when bitten. The flavor was mild at first but slowly became more intense. It was slightly bitter and seemed to have a subtle sweet after-bite. The first few pieces had a unique olive oil flavor but it eventually went away with more pieces.
So what does all that mean? Was it good? Yes! Well at least I thought so. We had two other tasters and myself and another enjoyed it (our 14 year old Director of Taste). Our third tester didn't appreciate the flavor. Overall it was an enjoyable experience and we are glad it was included in our Robb Vices subscription box.
Will World of Snacks offer the K+M Extravirgin Chocolate Bar for sale in the international snack store? Maybe someday in the future. We do intend to expand our inventory to include high-end chocolate bars from around the world. However, we have much to do before we get to that point. So for now, check out these chocolate bars – we think you'll like them!
The Snack Blog
Follow along as we explore cookies, cakes, candies, chips, crackers, and nuts from all across the world. Many of the international snacks that we highlight will be offered in our store over the course of the next year. We currently offer British Snacks, American Snacks, German Snacks, Mexican Snacks, Filipino Snacks, Japanese Kit Kats, Pakistani Snacks, Italian Snacks, & Korean Snacks. Each month this year we will add a new country and their best snacks inventory.