Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Crunky Pumpkin Purin
In addition to missing out on American holidays, there are some holiday-related dubious pleasures that I also cannot take advantage of. One of these is the post-Halloween candy sales where everyone goes out and picks up snack-size bags of treats bearing a Halloween motif for a fraction of their former price.
I can say now that I have had my first experience in Japan with buying reduced price Halloween candy, and that it was completely planned. The Crunky Pumpkin Purin (pudding) candy had been recommended to me by a few friends so I went looking for it. When I found it, the 238 yen ($2.65) price for 49 grams (1.7 oz.) rubbed me the wrong way. To offer you a point of comparison, a regulation size Crunky bar is also 49 grams/1.7 oz. and sells for only 100 yen ($1.11). I found this at Family Mart in a bargain basket on November 2 for 119 yen ($1.32).
This variation is essentially a broken up bar with it's squares wrapped in foil packets and put in a nicely designed Halloween themed box. Each square is 3.9 grams (.14 oz.) and 22 calories. It's a monument to wasteful packaging in the service of cuteness. The candy itself is very sweet, as is so often the case with white chocolate-based bars. That being said, the strong sweetness works well with the pumpkin flavor.
I felt the pumpkin flavor (and smell) was very strong in a positive way, and that there was a hint of salt. My husband said he couldn't detect it at all, but something was there that he couldn't identify. I think that was because he was expecting pumpkin pie rather than the squash-like flavor of Japanese pumpkin. The texture is just right with enough malt puff crispy pieces (not rice) to lend texture without undermining the pumpkin flavor.
This is a nice thing to have around for a small treat with tea, but I wouldn't buy it at the original price. I would also warn those who don't like super sweet treats that this is not for them. That being said, I'd certainly buy it again if it rolled around again next year for a more reasonable price.