All About Asian Food

Pocky Rant: Posers, Snobs, and Other Pocky Problems

pocky poc.jpgDear Pocky,
We've had a lot of good times together: Late nights watching Conan O'Brien, picnics in the park, sneaking you into the theater. You were there for me during my worst snack attacks. When I found you, so calm and collected in the middle of an bustling Asian grocer, I picked you up and carried you home. I love you Pocky. But every relationship has its ups and downs. Don't take it personally Pocky, but these are the things I DON'T like about you.

Begin Pocky Rant

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Rant 1: Men's Pocky

Where's the women's Pocky? I heart dark chocolate Men's Pocky. It's been a regular in my Asian snack rotation for years. Every time I pull out a box, someone exclaims, "Hey you're not a man!" as if I was somehow blissfully unaware a) that I'm a woman and b) that I'm eating Men's Pocky. The tagline on some boxes of Men's Pocky reads: "For the intelligent connoisseur who enjoys the finer things in life." I'm an intelligent connoisseur who happens to be a woman. Here's my tagline suggestion - "For the guy who think a bigger truck makes him a man." Guys, please be aware that Men's Pocky contains no testosterone. Ladies, for the time being, we'll have to settle for the pretty-in-pink Strawberry Pocky

Rant 2: Pronunciation and Misspellings

Mispronunciation is perhaps the most egregious of Pocky crimes. It's not pronounced Pockey (like the pony from Gumby) - it's Pocky. Misspellings of the names, perhaps in attempt at cuteness, also pop up all over the place. Please don't write Pocki or Pockie and dot the "I" with a heart. How would you feel if someone misspelled your name? Fun fact: The name was changed to "Pocky", after the Japanese onomatopoetic word for the sound Pocky makes when bitten, "pokkin." 

Rant 3: Pocky Snobs and Posers

pocky snob.pngThere are three kinds of Pocky people: Plain Pocky lovers (me), Pocky snobs, and Pocky posers. Pocky snobs and Pocky posers should relinquish their rights to Pocky. Pocky snobs like to point out that they've tried every flavor of Pocky known to man. If you dare jump into a conversation about Japanese food with this person, prepare to be out-Pockied.

First sign you've come across a Pocky snob, if they start the conversation with, "When I was in Japan...." This phrase is not always indicative that you're in the presence of a Pocky snob. Perhaps the person just wants to tell you about their travels. But when they proceed to go on...and on...and on about the gap-year they spent in Tokyo and how they got to try all the rare forms of Pocky (like bluberry Pocky) that the unfortunate rubes in the States will never try, you've come across a Pocky snob.

A Pocky poser eats Pocky because it's a Japanese snack, not because it's sweet and delicious. Deep down inside, they don't even *Like* Pocky. They put Pocky on display like it's a trophy, but rarely open a box. The only time they nibble on Pocky sticks is when watching anime with their friends - never alone. Pocky posers like to make up odd flavors and tell you they've tried them, but when you google "Pickle-Peanut-Butter Pocky," you'll find there is no such thing. Sounds like a wonderful Pocky for pregnant women though doesn't it?

Rant 4: Pocky Imposters

There is only one Pocky in the world and it's Glico Pocky. Since Chocolate Pocky was first introduced in 1970's, imposters invaded grocery stores around the world. There's no mistaking those tasty Pocky sticks. If you've ever bitten into an imposter, you'll notice it's lacking the addictive crunch-and-sweetness quality that defines Pocky. Why even try? Nothing beats Pocky.

Thanks for listening to me rant. Vote on the next Pocky flavor! Or comment below with what flavor you want to see and your own Pocky rants. Try Pocky and other Asian snacks at AsianFoodGrocer!


ani said:

The end of your rant reminded me about the recent Pringles (Pringles Stix) take on trying to rip off Pocky. But if it's not covered in chocolate it's not for me. I think Women's pocky should be white chocolate. I'd like that. But I also find it a bit annoying about the dark chocolate being referred to as "Mens". Why can't i eat it huh?

edith tuskan said:

The blueberry pocky is avaliable at

Michelle Castro said:

I pockey, i wish they would bring back the banana one, where can I find more variety. love the blueberry, thanks will look there.

Taeko said:

It sounds delicious. I think I will try it.

Great site...keep up the good work.

Great site...keep up the good work. I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I'm glad I found your blog. Thanks,

tavisha said:

I just got some Banana Pocky with chocolate swirl at Marukai in Little Tokyo, LA this weekend for my niece to try~it was her very first Pocky and she loved it~!

Hey Tavisha :) That's awesome! We're looking to get our new shipment of Pumpkin Pocky here real soon. Keep you eyes open :p

fcnf said:

I'm pretty sure the regular red-box pocky uses dark chocolate. It doesn't really taste like milk chocolate.

Kk said:

the milk coffee pocky is the best to me! Next comes strawberry and finally chocolate.

Hmm.... I think that making a mint chocolate pocky would be kind of awesome. I love that kind of ice cream and if I could get it in an easy to transport, non melting pocky form that would be great! XD
Also, making any kind of coffee related pocky would be good.

I would have to say that I'm somewhere between a Plain Pocky lover and a snob. I eat the classic chocolate flavor quite often. What makes me more of a snob is that I keep a list of all the flavors that I've been fortunate enough to taste.

The way Pocky is packaged (in individual wraps) makes it a great snack that you can share with others (friends and strangers alike. As long as you open the correct side of the wrapper, you can keep your fingers quite clean. I keep a pack or a 4-pack box in my travel bag most of the time.

Most of the flavors I've tried (so far) have been tasty, with the exception of Chocolate Orange. I did not enjoy that one. I haven't tried Meiji's Lucky product yet but I will get around to it.

Good work on the article.

I Wish I Was Asian!! said:

Hey, I was just wondering how Tony Marcelino opens his Pocky. I have only gotten the Glico Chocolate Pocky as of yet, and I just open the cardboard top and tear open the foil packet inside, but I have noticed that there is a small semi circle push out thing at the bottom of the packet. This would be cool to use if the Pocky was loose to shake it out but I have found it impossible to extract the Pocky through this hole without opening the cardboard (at the other end). There's something in Japanese written next to it, ha, it probably says "You can't eat Pocky through this hole fool". ^.^

Does anyone know the purpose of the push out hole on the bottom side of the Glico Pocky packets?

Kara Vortex said:

I don't consider myself a pocky snob, but I have gotten to try some of the harder-to-find in the states pocky. I don't go out much and unfortunately the place I used to go to for a good pocky variety closed down. I don't understand why either, for a small store it seemed that it wasn't painfully lacking customers at all...But if I ever do go to Japan I'm certainly going to try any of the pocky flavors I've been wanting to try but couldn't find here over in the states. They should be a bit easier to find since it's the birthplace of Pocky, right? hahaha

And I'll certainly post somewhere about how happy* I was to have gotten the chance to try certain flavors. I disagree it makes one a snob though to share what pocky flavors they've tried.

*(or disappointed in the flavor)

Anyway, most places I go to the flavors I always see are the regular chocolate (eww) then you have the choice of strawberry or almond crunch. That's it. I will get the almond type sometimes but I'm not a huge fan of almonds. I don't know why the "regular" chocolate pocky tastes like dark chocolate. I once had a discussion about the "Men's Pocky" too. I haven't tried it but I probably wouldn't like it because it's dark chocolate. From what I remember of the conversation there's something silly over in Japan where it's not considered manly to like sweets too much but it's, like, ok for men to like dark chocolate and supposedly men like dark chocolate more than women. Sweets - especially strawberry flavored treats - seem to be categorized as a girl / girly thing not just in Japan but supposedly worldwide as well.

I agree that misspelling Pocky matters and pretending to like Pocky when you don't is ridiculous.

Hahaha, I have always wondered about the heart shaped holes too. With the way I open the box those holes just become completely unusable anyway so I don't understand the point of the holes unless it's just for the temporary kawaii (cute) factor.

I don't really have an issue with "imposter" pocky - in fact in my opinion sometimes non-glico snack sticks are better than what glico puts out! Well, when it comes to the chocolate ones anyway. I would love to try some white chocolate pocky....

Great post Kara! We try and offer a great variety of Pocky and Pocky posers. One of my favorites is White Winter Pocky. It tastes like white chocolate fudge. I would recommend you try our Fran sticks. Meiji has always made good chocolate, and these are loaded with cream and flavor :)

I just pull out the strip on the front of the pocky boxes or pop the top (depends on the box style). I open the individual packets using scissors if possible.

There are actually some Pocky boxes that have two of those push in holes at the back ( one near the top of the box, and the other at the usual bottom) They seem to have the same 2 lines of Japanese text + arrow pointer, as well. I don't know what it says. I also think the hearts at the bottom are for the cuteness factor.

I'm uber glad that there is such a large Japanese/ Japanese-American community here in Illinois. That's how I get to try different flavors aside from Classic chocolate and Strawberry.

Jessie said:

It really sucks that there are POSITIVELY NO STORES THAT SELL POCKY WHERE I LIVE. What is even worse is that I took some to school the other day, my friends swiped some from me, (we are talking regular awesome pocky, not the super awesome delicious kind) and were SCREAMING at me to get more. I am still getting the stinkeye from some of them. I cant really buy from here, (broke and no pay pal) so ill just have to stock up at Castle Point in April... Wish me luck~ y u no be nice to pocky NJ?!?!?

John said:

Thanks for the RANT. Yes, Pocky (po as in po-boy, and key as in key} Po-key. I love Pocky esp. strawberry. I don't which type I am, but I did spend 17 years in Japan. YES, after living and working in Japan,I CAN speak Japanese. thank-YOU (for all the people that ask)

Jen said:

I just want to say that I loved this rant. It had a lot of points to it.

Men's Pocky? Why is there Men's Pocky but not Women's Pocky? I do agree with the one user that said that women's pocky should be white chocolate flavor.

Ryo said:

Bring back melon pocky!!!!!

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