Who doesn’t love a pretzel stick with creamy filling? It’s Friday, so read on to see which flavour of the Lotte company’s Toppo sticks you should stock up on for the weekend.
This is my go-to flavour of Toppo. Lacking the sweetness of the regular chocolate stick, and the over-the-top flavouring of the specialty sticks, Toppo Bitter is, as advertised, a flavour reminiscent of dark chocolate, in a crispy pretzel stick. I’m not sure how much actual dark chocolate is in them since I can’t read the packaging, but they taste convincing enough, and they make for a nice mid-morning treat on occasion. In fact, since I prefer them over the regular sticks and they’re widely available, I almost never buy the regular sticks.
Unlike many of the flavours below, Toppo Bitter are available most of the time. You can find them at Asian Food Grocer.
Toppo Matcha Milk
One of the core flavours of Toppo, Matcha Milk is regularly available year round. While I enjoy matcha-flavoured sweets, they don’t tend to be the first thing I reach for when having a sugar craving. In this case, since the flavour is matcha milk, the bitterness is mitigated by a sweeter, creamier taste, and only lingers as a background note in the sticks.
As per usual, the sticks are crispy, and break in a satisfying manner, and they are the usual slim Toppo size, as opposed to the seasonal flavours below. If you like matcha, these might not satisfy your flavour cravings, but if you’re not a fan of chocolate, then these might be the Toppo for you. You can find these at Marukai eStore.
Toppo Mont Blanc
A classic fall flavour, Mont Blanc flavoured Toppo is supposed to taste like pureed chestnut with cream. I have an odd fascination for the trickery of food scientists, who can recreate flavours without any of the original ingredients being involved.
I’m going to assume that’s what happened here, because while the flavour was pretty close to chestnuts and cream, it also had a chemical aftertaste that lingered in my mouth. This is only available in a Fall 2014 edition, so it was worth it for the novelty, but I probably wouldn’t try this again. In case you want to, you can find them on www.candysan.com.
Toppo Chocolate Cake
I’m not entirely clear on what the difference between chocolate flavour and chocolate cake flavour is supposed to be in the context of a pretzel stick, but since the two flavours exist and I’m a glutton, I made an effort to try both. The chocolate cake flavour has a wider stick and more filling, thus feeling more, dare I say it, cake-like. It’s a milder chocolate flavour with more creaminess to it, and it’s enjoyable enough that I would occasionally pay the price difference for the fancier version. Not my favourite, but a good standby when I’m in the mood for variety. If you can’t buy them in a store near you, they can also be found at Asian Food Grocer.
Toppo Coffee Vanilla Ice Cream
The picture on the front of this box depicts an affogato, a scoop of vanilla ice cream which a shot of espresso poured over top. The sticks in this package are substantially wider and have more filling than the regular sticks, and the biscuit had a pleasing crunch before giving way to the softer insides. Upon opening, you do get a sharp smell of coffee and vanilla ice cream. For the first couple of sticks, that flavour was pretty prevalent, but as I ate, it started to fade, until the dominant flavour became cream with a mild hint of coffee. This leads me to believe that this flavour is based mostly on the smell, and as I got desensitized to the smell, I lost the flavour entirely. The trick here would be to only eat a couple of sticks at a time, to preserve the taste.
Alternately, save up your calories and go have an actual affogato, which is guaranteed to taste like an affogato all the way down. These sticks were once available at Napa Japan, but I picked them up at Sunrise Mart on a recent trip to New York.
Toppo Strawberries and Cream
It’s hard to leave aside the fact that I would never normally eat strawberries and cream flavour, since I’m not a fan of artificial strawberry. Lucky for me, by the end of the pack, the strawberry flavour had died down to a background note, and what remained was something mildly reminiscent of strawberry ice cream (I’m still not a fan, but at least it’s bearable).
Otherwise, my enjoyment of these sticks came from the always crispy texture of the sticks, which break in my mouth in an enjoyable manner. If you love strawberry, you can find these at Asian Food Grocer.
Readers: which flavour of Toppo is your favourite?
Chomp away in the Comments below.