I know the name Morinaga for one simple reason: it’s the company behind Hi-Chew, a marvellous line of gummy yogurt fruit candies that can be found in the sugary snacks aisle of well-stocked Asian grocery stores. I adore Hi-Chew, so seeing the Morinaga brand on these two tins of candy, found at a small Asian import shop tucked away down an alley in Old Strathcona, was enough to make me snap them up.
The Packaging: Sucks. I hate it. The metal tins are hard to open (I had to pry it open with a spoon), and you have to shake the candy out. That seems harmless enough until you realize there’s powdered sugar in there, too. I narrowly avoided a sugar-meets-Nikon moment while shooting photos for this review.
The Look: I don’t speak the language used on the packaging, and the only words I can make out are “mixed,” “drops,” and “Morinaga,” along with a web address. One of the boxes features a cryptic smiling milk jug and what appear to be drops of milk with arms, legs and faces. (They may be dancing; I can’t tell.) I’m thinking those ones are milky drops. The candy itself is colourful and cheery, with the milk drops more cloudy and pastel-toned than the regular fruit drops.
The Taste (Fruit Drops): Good. They’re similar to a lot of other hard candies that are easy to come by in Canada. The flavours are standard things like strawberry, pineapple, orange, lime (my favourite), mint and grape, as well as chocolate, which threw me for a loop when I popped it in my mouth expecting grape. If you’re familiar with the usual lollipop flavours available in Canada, these are similar.
The Taste (Milk Drops): A sweet, creamy, fruity candy that comes in a handful of flavours. The flavours are hard to figure out (there are no visual or English-language clues on the tin), but ones I could informally identify include mango, melon, mysterious floral light pink, spicy berry pink, purple berry, and fruity milk. All the flavours are blended with a creamy, milky taste that adds something interesting to the candy. Much less run-of-the-mill than the regular fruit drops in the other tin.
RATINGS AND DETAILS
Cost: $5 per tin at Gama Store in Old Strathcona, on sale for $2.50 per tin. (Yay!)
Value for cash money: Not on sale, OK. On sale, excellent.
Availability: Limited in Edmonton. I haven’t seen these before, though I’ve admittedly never looked for them before, either.
Nutrition?: No idea. I can’t read the label’s nutritional info panel.
Nation of origin?: I think they’re from Taiwan, given the website domain name listed on the packaging: www.morinaga.com.tw.
The verdict: The regular mixed drops were good, but the milky drops stand out.