Wednesday, January 10, 2007

HiCHEW Assortment

More HiCHEW! This assortment was courtesy of a friend traveling in Japan though I’ve seen similar assortments at the Japanese grocers in Los Angeles. Since the label was all in Japanese (because it wasn’t imported), some of this stuff may be made up or perhaps pictures really are the universal language.

imageGrape is rather like the Grape Mentos I had late last year, it tastes more like concord grapes (most especially the skins of concord grapes). It grows more intense and complex as the chew goes along and it made me wish that there were more of them in the assortment.

It also makes me wish that we had a truer “grape” flavor in the States.

imageLitchi is odd. It’s a cross between a honeydew melon and a citrus aromatherapy candle. It’s fragrant and flowery and a little soapy but it also has a nice tangy quality with a bit of musk to it. It also tastes kind of creamy towards the end, like a yogurt.

I’ve decided I’m not a big fan of lichis. Maybe I’ve nust never had them prepared properly, but like macadamias, they’re not bad, just not for me.

imageStrawberry is sweet and tangy that begins with a strong natural flavor that makes me wonder if there’s a little stem in there somewhere. Later in the chew it starts to taste a little artificial, but still sweet and floral.

It’s less tart than a Starburst, and has a longer chew that doesn’t break down into a little grainy blob.

imageApple is immediately tangy and tastes of apple juice. It’s not as complex as the others, but still soft and bouncy with a good flavor to the very end.

Like the Grape, it has a slight essence of the apple peel in it.

I kept half of them and put the other half in the family stockings ... I haven’t heard anything back from the family one way or another about them.

Here are my other HiCHEW reviews: Grapefruit (fantastic) and Strawberry (Doh, I didn’t realize I’d had them before. I wonder what I said.) There are lots of other flavors and one of these days I’m going to try the other citrus flavors because I’m pretty sure they’ll go over well.

Related Candies

  1. HiCHEW Aloe Yogurt
  2. Japanese Black Sugar & Tropical Chews
  3. HiCHEW Yuzu & Valencia
  4. HiCHEW Grapefruit
  5. Strawberry HiCHEW
Name: HiCHEW (Grape, Lichi, Apple & Strawberry)
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Morinaga
Place Purchased: gift
Price: unknown
Size: unknown
Calories per ounce: unknown
Categories: Chew, Japan, Morinaga

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:18 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

Comments
  1. That sounds so good! I want some now. Are they really by Lake Champlain? Those people have never steered me wrong, but it seems kind of out of their usual sphere!

    Comment by Dani on 1/10/07 at 7:49 am #
  2. Cybele's avatar

    Oopsie! I meant to say that they’re made by Morinaga (I copy & paste an old version of the table as a template and sometimes my attention to detail is lacking). Thanks for the catch.

    Comment by Cybele on 1/10/07 at 7:54 am #
  3. Those look a lot like old school Bonkers, don’t they?

    Comment by Jon on 1/10/07 at 8:00 am #
  4. Oooh, I love HiChew! I found their flavors to never disappoint….I had a kiwi flavor (watermelon too) when I went to Japan and they were so good!!

    I haven’t had any HiChew in a long time though. I’ve noticed that they have trans fats in them (hydroginated palm kernel oil) and I can’t bring myself to eat them because of it anymore, no matter how tasty. :(

    Comment by Sera on 1/10/07 at 8:51 am #
  5. I especially enjoy the yogurt flavor ones.  I don’t know why, but I really really like them.

    Comment by Meg on 1/10/07 at 10:08 am #
  6. No problem! smile
    I love your site. It’s nice to see longer pieces about different kinds of candy. And it has such pretty pictures! And the navigation is easy to use! Ok, I’ll stop smile 
    I’m starting a candy site of my own and I would love to trade links with you if you are interested. It is going to feature longer writing about candy as well, and a lot of snark. I’m going to try to balance it out with candy that I think is actually good, but sometimes Hershey’s makes that so difficult grin It is at http://candyrecapper.com. It is just a little baby now, but it is growing fast!

    Comment by Dani on 1/10/07 at 10:53 am #
  7. Ugh, I ADORE hichew. You’re making me crave them. I love the apple flavor.

    Comment by Lauren on 1/10/07 at 1:07 pm #
  8. I love Hichew so much. The American Cherry and Muscat Grape flavors are my current favorites (I love muscat anything; I wish we had that flavor in the US).

    Comment by Grace on 1/10/07 at 3:20 pm #
  9. it seems like they stopped distributing the lychee flavor in nyc, for me it is crack

    Comment by methodp on 1/10/07 at 10:12 pm #
  10. I frequent Asian food outlets, and many of them have these, but I’ve bypassed them because chews are rarely flavorful enough for me.  Now it seems I have to try them.

    It’s possible that you’ve never had properly prepared lychees since decent-tasting lychees are hard to find in the States, but they’re actually delicious.  It’s also possible that you don’t like them (I don’t like almonds.)  Canned litchis a bit bland and very sweet, but fresh ones are extremely flavorful.  Peeling can be difficult, but my favorite food is pomegranate, so I don’t mind.

    By the way, not to be rude, but you said you “nust” never had them prepared properly—I think you meant just?  Don’t worry, you’re still the best candy reviewer I’ve ever come across.

    Comment by Sophia on 1/11/07 at 5:22 am #
  11. I tried these once and didn’t like them.  Oddly enough, my dad had no idea what they were when he tried the first piece (thought it was gum) and loved the rest.

    Comment by Dave on 1/11/07 at 1:47 pm #
  12. “It also makes me wish that we had a truer ?grape? flavor in the States.”

    You and me both. That is why I usually
    never eat grape flavored candy or popsicles.

    Comment by Megan on 1/13/07 at 8:57 am #
  13. I absolutely love, love, love HiCHEW candy! I used to buy it all the time when I was teaching in Japan. I was lucky enough that my students brought me some recently (they picked up a few for me while at the airport in Narita). Very cool. I was so excited when I saw your post!

    BTW, have you tried fresh lychee? We used to get them whenever we went to Chinatown. They’re really sweet and refreshing. My dad sometimes got the canned lychee, but the canned version comes in a really sweet syrup. Dad used to always serve it in a bowl with ice (syrup and all).

    Comment by Christine on 1/14/07 at 6:12 pm #
  14. Cybele's avatar

    Jon - they’re actually about half or a third the size of the old Bonkers and far chewier. I miss the real Bonkers.

    Sera - I know what you mean about the trans fat, happily they use only a dash in most of these chews (just to emulsify the stuff, not like butter in a caramel). Many companies, like Lotte are switching to no-trans-fat oils.

    Meg - a coworker gave me some yogurt strawberry things that smell terrible but taste great ... I think I’m starting to like them.

    Dani - thanks for stopping by, I’m really enjoying your perspectives on candy!

    Lauren - yeah, the grape and apple are really compelling. I’m wishing now I hadn’t finished them all.

    methodp - I’ve never even seen the Lychee before in American stores, maybe it’s a seasonal thing.

    Sophia & Christine - you’re right, I’ve never had fresh lychees, just those syrup ones. I should take a trip to Chinatown (maybe for Lunar New Year) and give it a go.

    Dave - I wasn’t that fond of these the first time I had them but they really grew on me ... there’s something about the texture that was rather addictive. (Well to me, and maybe your dad.)

    Megan - yeah, I’ve always thought of that American grape stuff as “praple” (grape + purple) because it’s so far removed from the real thing.

    Comment by Cybele on 1/17/07 at 7:40 am #
  15. I love Hi-Chews. Whenever I go to Taiwan (which is very often- We go a lot over the summer because all of our extended families live there.) I always stock up on these because they’re so much cheaper and they have more flavors. In Taiwan, a pack of Hi-chew (and I mean the ones wrapped in a stick like Starburst) is slightly smaller than a pack in Japan. I think there’s 8 candies to a pack They cost 10 NTD (new Taiwan dollars) a pack which is about 33 cents (22 NTDS in one dollar). You can buy a five pack for about $1.50. They aren’t much more expensive in Japan (or I should say Japanese airports- never actually been in Japan, just stopovers) and the packs are bigger- maybe 10 or so to a pack.

    Lychees are very good fresh. Lychees from Chinatown are very rarely fresh, as they have to be imported. If you ever have a chance to be in Asia, try some fresh lychee. You may be surprise. They are sweet and juicy with a unique texture with a smooth dark pit that can be planted afterwards. Just peel and enjoy.
    By the way, there’s another fruit called longan (or Dragon’s eyes) that is very similar to the lychee. It’s smaller and the shell is brown (as opposed to the lychee’s red). They are “related”. Peeled the fruit is slightly translucent (more so than a lychee) and you can make out the pit in the middle- it’s looks like an eyeball, hence the name. They flavor is a bit different but not dissimilar.

    Comment by Trish on 4/17/07 at 6:21 pm #
  16. Hichews are goood! smile just curious, are they halal?

    Comment by Kiske on 6/24/07 at 6:23 am #
  17. They have no geletin(I think).
    So,most likely, they’re halal/kosher.

    Comment by Sahar on 1/20/08 at 3:04 pm #
  18. They have Gelatin so I guess not

    Comment by Joeh on 9/04/09 at 5:32 am #
  19. I’m buying Hi-Chews at Costco Canada. Nice texture and long lasting flavour smile

    Comment by Darren Thompson on 2/27/13 at 9:26 am #
  20. litchee? on the picture they show a lychee, is that the flavor? I’m not sure. i’ve been wanting to try hichews, but I haven’t been to my local asian market in a while. funny, because I’m asian myself

    Comment by high on oxygen on 4/16/14 at 5:59 pm #

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