I was persuaded a few nights ago to buy a package of Yan Yan when someone put it in my hand and said "this is like Pocky that you make yourself. You dip it." Pocky is another snack food that I'd never tried, but everyone said Pocky was good, and this if this stuff was like Pocky, then it must be good by association, right?

Yeah, I'm pretty easily convinced sometimes.


The package is a steep inverted cone with the tip chopped off. Or if you like, it's a cylinder with the bottom narrower than the top. It's probably the level surface for something, too, but I'm just scraping by in that class and wouldn't want to misinform. The top of this thing is one of those paper tops that you peel off, like with yogurt and other such abominations. It says four things:

  1. "Meiji"
  2. "yan yan"
  3. "Choco Snack"
  4. "Your favorite chocolity-flavored dip"

The front of the container forgoes that last bit in favor of a balloon informing you that the Yan Yan sticks are made "WITH ROASTED SESAME". Yum!

A Critical Review
Since I've already revealed that there are sticks and sesame involved, we should talk about the substance and form of Yan Yan. What you see when you open that cone (cylinder, whatever) is that it's divided down the middle. On one side is a bunch of cracker sticks that are about four inches long (the height of the container), made "WITH ROASTED SESAME", and reasonably tasty. The other side is your icing dip of choice-- in my case, "choco". The full list of available flavors, according to the website, are as follows:

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Strawberry
  • Double Cream
  • Tsukebo Choco
  • Tsukebo Strawberry

As far as I can tell, "Double Cream" splits the icing and gives you chocolate and strawberry. "Tsukebo Choco" seems to be a chocolate panda bear, and "Tsukebo Strawberry" can only be strawberry panda bear. Whether they use real panda or artificial panda flavoring, I don't know. Word on the street is strawberry should be avoided, but dolt that I am I'll probably pick some up the next time I'm over on Buford Highway.

This dip stuff, I have to say, is a little bit disappointing. As it turns out, "chocolity-flavored" is a pretty apt description. You're also in for a bit of a surprise if you thought it would be chocolity dip all the way down. As it turns out, the dip sits in a tray that's maybe an inch deep, suspended at the top of the Yan Yan container. Boo, hiss. As I ate my Yan Yan, I tried to conserve the meager chocolity dip supply, but overcompensated and ended up running out of sticks and being forced to lick the remaining dip off of my finger. You have been warned.

The Manufacturer: Meiji Seika
The "Meiji" on the top is the logo of a nearly 100-year-old Japanese company called Meiji Seika Kaisha. According to the website of the Singapore branch, Meiji works "in the related fields of confectionary, food products, medicine, health, agricultural chemicals, veterinary medicines, and the environment." The company's president is a chemical engineer named Ichiro Kitasato, whose motto is "consistency." (Seriously, that's his whole motto.) Apparently, it is located on the only good road in Singapore.


The ingredients are listed like they're sentences.

Wheat flour. Partially hydrogenated Canola & Palm oils. Sugar. Whole milk powder. Skim milk powder. Cocoa powder. Cocoa mass. Leavening (Sodium & Ammonium bicarbonate). Cheddar cheese (contains Milk. Cheese culture. Salt). Sesame. Salt. Emulsifier (Soya lecithin). Artificial chocolate flavoring. Yeast. Natural coloring (β-Carotene).

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 10 pieces (30g) Servings Per Container About 2 ----------------------------------- Calories 162 Calories from Fat 74 Amount Per Serving % Daily Value Total Fat 8g 12% Saturated Fat 4g 20% Cholestrol 0mg 0% Sodium 80mg 3% Total Carbohydrate 20g 7% Dietary Fiber 2g 8% Sugars 8g Protein 2g ------------------------------------ Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 0% Calcium 4% Iron 4%


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