Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Yan Yan

Lisa, a former co-worker and fellow blogger, mentioned some months back that I should try Yan Yan (actually, she wanted me to get the Hello Kitty equivalent). It’s like do it yourself Pocky! Well, in theory, anyway.


The little tub is pretty cute and they’ve thought of everything here. You start with a plain cookie stick. It’s not flavored, just a light, crunchy stick like a digestive biscuit. About one third of the little tube is a reservoir of chocolate dip. I thought it would be like frosting.

imageIt’s not quite frosting.

In fact, it took me about a day to figure out what it was. Then I remembered this article I read last summer. It reminded me of American cheese. A soft, super-emulsified chocolate cheese spread.

Reading the ingredients confirmed this: Wheat Flour, Vegetable Oil & Shortening (Palm & Canola Oils), Sugar, Whole Milk Powder, Skim Milk Powder, Cocoa Mass, Cocoa Powder, Leavenings (Ammonium Bicarbonate, Sodium Bicarbonate), Yeast, Cheddar Cheese (contains Milk, Cheese Culture, Salt), Salt, Emulsifier (Soya Lecithin), Artificial Vanilla & Chocolate Flavorings, Natural Colorings (Beta Carotene, E160 & Caramel E150A), Enzyme (Papain).

You remember those little cheese and cracker snacks, where you spread the cheese with a plastic stick? This is just like that, only with a chocolate cheese. I suppose the idea of chocolate cheese shouldn’t be that odd. We make a lot of desserts with cheese, like cheesecake or even cream cheese frosting. Using cheese as a base makes it super creamy and thick. It could be more chocolatey and there is a slight cheesy tang to it. It’s a very firm frosting too, with no hint of grainy bits like in some frosting candies.

The little biscuit sticks are cute, my sayings included:
Cat - Say Meow
Snail - Snail Mail?
Chicken - Kokekokko
Squirrel - Your Best Friend
Horse - Gallop Away
Rabbit - Eat More Carrots
Mole - In a Hole
Squid - Black Ink
Zebra - Herbivore

I kind of wondered if the sticks are sold in English in Asia and if they are, are they used for learning conversational English. Maybe you go to a first year English class and they engage you in a nice little talk about moles that happen to be in holes and that horses gallop away? They’re like crib notes for small chat!

While I think the idea is pretty cool, this is obviously a very popular treat in Asia, and I liked the biscuit sticks, I didn’t really like the dip. I’ll eat the rest of the sticks, though. The nutrition label says that there’s 1 gram of trans fat in here ... I’m hoping it’s not in the sticks. The label also mentions that this product contains no pig fat.

On a side note, I got an email from a reader, Chris, last week asking about a similar frosting-type treat that was available in the States (and may still be). He described it as this “It came in a small blue plastic container with a foil top and inside was the mixture with a small spoon or stick to scoop out the yummy stuff.” Does anyone remember this?

UPDATE: It’s probably Dunkaroos from Betty Crocker (thanks Elise!). I saw that there’s a Shrek version of them on Amazon, but they may be all but discontinued. I seem to recall another something similar that was just a frosting type snack but I can’t remember the name of that either.

Name: Yan Yan Choco Cream Snack
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Meiji (Singapore)
Place Purchased: Cost Plus World Market
Price: $1.19
Size: 2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 160
Categories: Chocolate, Cookie, Meiji

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:24 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. Yes, I remember those blue (purple?) plastic and foil containers. I think they were kangaroo shaped graham-type crackers, or named after the kangaroo. Did a quick Google search for “kangaroo” and “snack” and “chocolate” and “discontinued,” but came up with nothing relevant. They used to be in the kids snacks section in grocery stores, and I’m betting they were made by Kraft, the makers of Handi-Snacks cheese and crackers. I haven’t seen them recently, so I bet they don’t make them anymore.

    Comment by Shawn on 3/29/06 at 9:53 am #
  2. Those are Dunkaroos - I don’t think they’re discontinued though.  Good luck finding them!

    Comment by Elise on 3/29/06 at 9:58 am #
  3. wow… i just bought the strawberry version of yan yan i wonder if it has cheese in it… let me check… it does it does… now off to try it…

    i love your blog!

    Comment by cathy on 3/29/06 at 10:22 am #
  4. Yan Yans aren’t as good as the Skinny Dips of my childhood, but they’ll do in a pinch!

    Comment by Bronwen on 3/29/06 at 11:27 am #
  5. Omigosh!!!

    I literally JUST bought the strawberry version of this at my local Albertsons!  (That, and some Glico brand strawberry Pocky and Strawberry mochi ball ice cream- can you guess my favorite flavor?  ;P )

    I had no idea about the cheese- facinating.  I like when you add external links, too- keeps me learning. ha-ha

    Pocky rocks!  There is this funny online documentary called “The Depths of Addiction” all about Pocky- some of you may want to check it out.


    Comment by Kirsten on 3/29/06 at 11:34 am #
  6. Wow, I used to eat this a lot when I was still living in Jakarta. Oh how I miss it so much.

    Comment by Jez on 3/29/06 at 1:14 pm #
  7. Mmm…I loved Dunkaroos. About ten years or so ago I used to pick up a couple kids after school and watch them and their kitchen was stuffed with snacky things, including Dunkaroos, which I got hooked on.

    Comment by Grace on 3/29/06 at 1:55 pm #
  8. Wow, I am such a fan of Yan Yan, and I never realized it had cheese in it.  Next time I go to Mitsuwa I’ll have to stock up and see if I can tell.

    Comment by eliza on 3/29/06 at 4:07 pm #
  9. YAN YAN is my personal favortite candy/snack/whatever. Those photos make me want some right now!

    Comment by Shay on 3/29/06 at 8:20 pm #
  10. I remember Skinny Dippers from when I was a kid.  Kids aren’t allowed stuff like that anymore.

    Comment by Dave on 3/30/06 at 12:10 am #
  11. oreo has a similar product out…probably closer to a dunkaroo called cookie stick n’ creme. They’re chocolate cookie sticks that you dip in the white oreo frosting. they look yummy.

    Comment by cheryl on 3/30/06 at 5:16 am #
  12. Cybele's avatar

    Bronwen - Skinny Dips! I’m not sure if I had those, now I’m curious.

    Cathy - I’m thinking the strawberry might go better with the cheese notes.

    Kirsten - I should amass all the candy documentaries and movie and start my own film festival!

    Shay - thanks for the kudos on the photos - this was my first time using the new camera and I was pretty pleased with how they turned out.

    Dave - yes, I fully expect cigarette-style warnings on sweets in the next few years.

    Cheryl - I haven’t seen the Oreo things, though I pretty much prefer my sweets to be pre-assembled (or maybe give me a discount for doing it for them!).

    Comment by Cybele on 3/30/06 at 7:02 am #
  13. Chocolate cheese, not so new ...

    Comment by tg on 3/30/06 at 8:52 am #
  14. Just FYI because you seemed to be wondering in your comments…Asians often use English on products and are indifferent to understanding it. It’s used for decoration because they like the way the letters look and think it’s cute. It’s in no way related to learning English. In fact, more often than not, the English that is used is very wrong (for examples, check out

    Also, the “do it yourself” Pocky sticks aren’t really all that popular. It’s just a temporary food fad product.

    Comment by Orchid on 4/03/06 at 5:21 am #
  15. Orchid - I’m so glad you but the link to Engrish up!  It’s so fun smile

    But i LOVE Yan Yan, i’m eating some right now and decided to look up web pages that talk about it smile  Seems like there are a lot of people who like them too, and similar American-made types.

    Comment by Monique on 4/04/06 at 8:49 am #
  16. Be glad you didn’t eat the Hello Kitty equiv of Yan Yan. It stinks! I had it once and unfortunately it’s in a plastic container which smelled of old rubber tires. So that aroma really turned me off but I still tried the cookies and chocolate in it… to find they all reeked tastewise of rubbery plastic aftertaste. YUCK!

    Yan Yan atleast is in that paper foil package so it doesn’t give off a nasty side taste to the candy / dip.


    Comment by J3nnee on 6/02/06 at 10:06 am #
  17. hm, i always assumed the cheese was in the sticks.  if i can recall correctly, i did taste tests between the different flavours you could get of yanyan and noticed the cheesy flavour that was in one, and not another.  i really didn’t think it’s the choco dip that has the cheese, but rather the sticks.  all the ingredients were glopped together, but there’s obviously no yeast in the dip, or chocolate in the sticks.  at least not for the yellowish ones.

    ah, the idle time of youth.  how i miss it :D

    Comment by thaneda on 8/31/06 at 8:10 am #
  18. hey i really love these—i’m from asia and i used to eat them by the boxful and even save up for them. there’s also a strawberry flavored version of yan yan and a new version where the yan yans come out in little square biscuits. meiji also makes hello panda. they’re little panda cookies with chocolate inside (or strawberry or milk, it comes in different flavors)

    they’re great. smile

    Comment by rose on 11/01/06 at 8:12 am #
  19. I’m eating some right now! These are a hoot:
    Sheep- wool sweaters
    fox- beware of lies
    goat- you are lucky today
    octopus- lucky number 8
    stag beetle (?)-Love it
    Panda- go for more

    weird, but fantastic

    Comment by Lydia on 11/06/06 at 8:04 am #
  20. has anyone seen the golden egg stick, cause i got one and i don’t know what it is or what to do with it.

    Comment by Anonymous on 1/24/07 at 10:05 am #
  21. Hi. I was wondering if you have any idea of why there is a golden egg stick and a golden log stick? I am wondering because I got one in a pack I got at the gas station and wated to know if their was anything to these specialy marked sticks

    Comment by Katie on 4/02/07 at 12:22 pm #
  22. AHHH those sayings make no sense and they crack me up!! the ones on the sticks! ahha i love it!
    like the one that says “cow   muuu”
    and “moo” is spelt wrong!! they are so good though!

    Comment by cool girl on 5/01/07 at 4:46 pm #
  23. what do i do with GOLDEN EGG ? :o i found a panda and a rabbit they were so kute ;] i ate the duck sheep elephant and squirrel ! :D the whale looks cuuuuuuuuute dX

    Comment by Smiley ! :D on 5/21/07 at 1:23 pm #
  24. i love yan yan as well. Chocolate is my favorite.. but i do believe the cheese is in the sticks rather then the choco creme.

    what were the other things that were similar to yan yan but i believe they were american.. they had a peanut butter flavored one.. what were they called? anyone know?

    Comment by Xtina on 6/11/07 at 10:20 am #
  25. mmmmmmm… I got one that says golden egg. confused yes, but its sure tasty!!

    Comment by boogaboo on 7/11/07 at 1:43 pm #
  26. When i was young, my mother buy me this EVERY SINGLE day, so I stop doing stupid things. I don’t remember the name, but the new one includes a orange or lemon juice, wich means you can enjoy three times.


    Comment by Pere Saguer on 7/30/07 at 11:30 am #
  27. OHEMMGEE. YanYan is magical. I love it.

    Comment by Ana on 9/09/07 at 11:03 am #
  28. Ahah..YanYan have its own ‘spoof’ here in Malaysia! To me its taste 8/10. Its called Nini with hilarious TV ads…

    Comment by Anuar Salleh on 9/10/07 at 9:09 am #
  29. ?It came in a small blue plastic container with a foil top and inside was the mixture with a small spoon or stick to scoop out the yummy stuff.?

    The one candy I remember like this is a Mexican candy called “Duvain”

    Comment by Jessica on 10/03/07 at 5:52 pm #
  30. You can still get dunkaroos on amazon and sometimes stores such as big lots

    Comment by rachel on 10/20/07 at 12:34 pm #
  31. Check out that picture. It’s of a golden egg yan yan stick. :D I got one not too long ago and took a pic for prosperity. :D

    I can also post more pics of the other types of sticks found in Yan Yan.

    Comment by j3nnee on 5/24/08 at 12:23 am #
  32. secret

    Comment by dodie on 6/04/08 at 4:43 am #
  33. Is there ‘artificial vanilla’ in all the kind (including the peanut butter) or just certain flavours? I need to know so I can determine whether or not I’m allowed to eat them.

    Comment by Rawdha on 6/05/08 at 9:02 am #
  34. I love Yan-Yan, it’s a great snack and the little animals on it are so cute!
    I thought it was funny seeing that the squirrel one said: “Your Best Friend” because my totem animal (I’m Native American) is the squirrel.

    Comment by Sara Em on 10/28/08 at 3:58 pm #
  35. I wanted to post the image i took of “the golden egg” yan yan cookie. It’s the URL connected with my username or you can click here:

    I remember someone mentioned it here and I finally got one. :D


    Comment by j3nnee on 11/01/08 at 10:19 pm #
  36. Yan Yan and Hello Panda have melamine…. :(

    Comment by Carleene on 12/27/08 at 4:33 pm #
  37. I think pocky is better than yanyan BUT in yanyan i found a GOLDEN EGG wat should i do? do i win anything?

    Comment by SamanthaNN on 1/05/09 at 7:10 am #
  38. I was one and I got one that says “Golden Egg” on it. Is that good?

    Comment by Lauren on 4/06/09 at 12:43 pm #
  39. I got a yanyan stick with Golden egg on it. What should I do with it?

    Comment by SamanthaNew on 4/30/09 at 2:36 am #
  40. I just brought a pack of Yan Yan’s from WALMART!!!!! They are only .94 cents….they are delicious!!!

    Comment by Saharam2006 on 5/03/09 at 1:08 pm #
  41. Dunk a roos are a knock off of skinny dips from back in the day. Nobody seems to remember them but I do. When I crave them i take animal crackers and dip them in chocolate frosting, very similar.

    Comment by amy on 11/13/09 at 9:35 am #
  42. I didnt know a golden egg existed till i pulled it out of the box. O_o;;; Does it do anything, other then taiste good?

    Comment by Natalie Cordial on 11/21/09 at 12:37 pm #
  43. we have these all over in grocery stores they are so yummy, so glad I don’t have to go to Toronto to find them and they are only 99 cents sometimes cheaper smile

    Comment by Dawn on 12/14/09 at 3:13 pm #
  44. I have to agree with thaneda, I’m pretty sure the cheese is in the biscuits, not the dip.

    Comment by toomanynouns on 2/22/10 at 3:55 pm #
  45. I love Dunkaroos I know they are definatly still there in USA.

    Comment by E on 4/12/10 at 2:14 pm #
  46. Love Yan Yans. Only wish there was more choc dip coz I’m always left with biscuits and no dip!

    Comment by Russ on 5/12/10 at 11:18 pm #
  47. I bought a package of Yan Yan and was sorely disappointed. The sticks on the package seem so different than the ones inside. I also hate to think of anyone trying to learn English from them because I just pulled a Whale stick out of my package and it says “Biggesy Mammal”. However I did try Pucca and they are pretty good. My favorite candy remains to be Pocky though. The only problem is that one package of Pocky costs over 3 dollars at the local grocery store.

    Comment by April Dawn on 7/13/10 at 1:13 pm #
  48. What company made this snack? What is the address of the company than made this snack? Please write back.

    Comment by Jeremiah Clemente on 12/30/10 at 6:19 pm #
  49. I can confirm that the cheese is definitely in the biscuits. On the old (early 90s) packets the sticks were called ‘cheese flavoured’ and the ingredients for the sauce and biscuits were seperate. As the taste hasn’t changed - only the packaging, I can say with 99.99% surety that the cheese is in the biscuits.

    Comment by Kate on 1/05/11 at 12:01 pm #
  50. i love these and i just got a GOLDEN EGG on my yan yan!!!

    Comment by Kat on 8/18/11 at 4:54 pm #
  51. I got the golden egg on my first cup and was wondering if that means good luck? Thats what i have been told! but i thought the fact that i got the whale, the cow, and the chiken was adorable! They didnt spell moo right they spelled it “muuuuu” and they put “Whale BiggseY Mammal” i thought it was adorable! The chiken one said kokekokko!

    Comment by Pretty Kitty Sydnii on 9/20/11 at 5:46 pm #
  52. As an Asian who grew up eating these, I was really disappointed to buy a tube at the local Asian grocery only to discover my adult self doesn’t love the frosting. I don’t remember the lettering on the biscuit pieces when I was a kid either (maybe this is new?). But in any case, yours and mine were manufactured in Singapore, where I was born - and most of the population does speak English there, so the wording isn’t meant to help you learn English. I think it’s just supposed to be cute.

    Comment by Dawn @ Kitchen Lore on 2/08/12 at 11:41 pm #
  53. I like the information but when was it made and where?

    Comment by Duck McGee on 3/22/13 at 12:57 pm #
  54. i real love your products is the best thing in the hold world i every had i real wish and hope and pray that you can please home mail me some coupons or samples please sorry hun but i don’t have any printer i real wish i did have one but i don’t :( sorry i don’t live ware libraries is i live in Boondock and i don’t know anybody and i don’t have a car :(i love your product is the best in the world i every had can you please home mail me some coupons or samples please sorry hun but i don’t have any printer i real wish i did have one but i don’t :( sorry i don’t live ware libraries is i live in Boondock and i don’t know anybody and i don’t have a car :(

    Comment by helen moller on 8/21/14 at 9:18 pm #
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