Today I wanted to share with you some of the snacks that I picked up from the annual Matsuri festival. The Matsuri festival is a popular annual event held in Downtown Phoenix, Arizona that is centered around celebrating Japanese culture. The event brings local businesses that embody Japanese culture in some way to hundreds of Arizonians; the festival has multiple food vendors that serve dishes such as ramen, mochi, takoyaki, miso soup and so much more. Of course, me being me, I was the most excited to get my hands on whatever snacks and sweets I could get my hands on with 20.00. Here’s what I found:
Calbee Seaweed and Potato Chips: I had two options to choose from this vendor: the Seaweed or the Hot & Spicy; since I don’t do well with spice, I chose these. As for the taste, I don’t think I like seaweed….at all. This was probably the first bag of “potato chips” that I did not finish. It wasn’t that it had a horrible taste, I just couldn’t get down the whole bag without having this distaste for the seaweed aftermath. It may be just me but seaweed is one thing potatoes don’t go with.
Ramune Strawberry: The lady at the booth said that this kind was popular and after a taste I could see why. This was my second time getting one of these and its the only flavor I’ll ever get. I will say that the design is not a practical and maybe more of a novelty design than practical but nevertheless, the taste of the drink was good. I seriously wish I could get a 6 pack of these all to myself. Somebody help me!
Ramune Flavor Gummy Candy: I have never actually had the Ramune Original Flavor, so I could not compare the taste to see if it was authentic but I still want to share my opinion of it alone anyway. Personally, I though the gummies almost tasted medicinal. I am not saying it tasted “bad” but it definitely wasn’t a flavor that I would gravitate to. That being said, what sets these gummies apart from any other gummy I ever had was that they were individually packaged PER gummy which gave them an unbelievable freshness/softness. Sure, it may not be the most efficient way to package an item but it surely is the freshest way. I love how soft they were that I am willing to try other flavors….strawberry, watermelon, MANGO, anyone ? Check it out here.
Kabaya Panda Cookies: These cookies sort of tasted like they were low-fat but then I feel like Japanese treats in general would be less sweet than the “sweet” that we have here in the States. That being said, I never quite ended up finishing the bag after I took them to work. They were bland enough not for me to finish them…..Adorable packaging but less than favorable taste.
Orange Soda: I am a self-professed Orange Soda fanatic so when I eyed this when I first got to the festival, it never quite left my mind. Unfortunately for me, when the lady did not seem to suggest this as a popular flavor, a taste later, I knew why. It was like a flat orange soda with a pale orange flavor. I could barely take anymore after a few sips and dumped it right in my sink. When you have a flavor like the Strawberry yet a flavor like this, it makes you not want to try any others. Meh, is all I have left to say.
Pocky Strawberry: Though Pocky can be found in the international section in most grocery stores, so I assume, I had these for the first time, probably back in 2016 and if my memory serves me correctly, they remind me of something I have had before….what, I have no idea. Anyway, I ended up using these to make Doughnut Cake Pops which I might be sharing here in the future. Overall, they make a nice light snack! I guess I am too conservative to try any of the other flavors though….and there are apparently plenty!
Sangaria Hajikete Orange Soda: If I wanted a more “real” tangeringy orange tasting soda, this one right here kind of was that. It did not taste like any canned orange soda that I had here in the states such as Fanta or Crush….it wasn’t better but it also wasn’t bad. That being said, it had less sugar than the American brands but still tasted good.
Overall, I really had wish I’ve gotten a chance to try the Kakigori ( Shaved Ice with vanilla ice cream in the middle with a candied syrup on the top) but I only had some change left after I visited the inflated priced booths : D. Anyhow, it was fun to see what was there and I hope to visit the Japanese markets that we have in Arizona to grab up more goodies and maybe even do a live video.
Thanks for joining me for today’s commute; join me soon for another.