Review: “Extreme” Japanese Candy in Epcot! (Or, How I Ruined the Hotel Pipes With Pop Rocks)

Just about every veteran Disney World visitor knows to block off at least 30 minutes to wander around the black hole of awesomeness that is Mitsukoshi Department Store in Epcot’s Japan pavilion, right?

Mitsukoshi - Exterior of Store

In addition to everything else under the sun — from plush toys to bamboo to coffee mugs — Mitsukoshi offers a plethora of Japanese packaged food items!

Back in December, our fearless guest author Galloping Gourmand (a.k.a. Eric) wrote up a rad review of some more unique Japanese eats found at the store. And we all love indulging in some Pocky now and again.

But the last time I was there (spending my allotted time wandering through kimonos and Hello Kitty paraphernalia), I picked up a couple of appealing-looking packets of “extreme” candy to sample for you! :-)

Japanese Pop Rocks

The first thing I couldn’t wait to try for this “extreme” candy session was a Japanese version of Pop Rocks!

I originally picked these up to give to Heather‘s kids, but decided that you guys would totally want to experience what would obviously be a truly incredible candy adventure. So I’m doing a review instead. ;-)

Japanese Pop Rocks

For those who haven’t seen Pop Rocks before, they’re basically tiny crystals of candy that have been exposed to carbon dioxide at high pressure and allowed to cool. As a result, when they come into contact with liquid, the carbon dioxide is released making the candy pop and sizzle.

Contrary to popular belief (why?!?), nobody has actually died by eating Pop Rocks and drinking carbonated beverages (I know you were wondering). ;-)

Back of Japanese Pop Rocks

On my excursion, I picked up the Grape version and the Cola version. At least that’s what I understood them to be by looking at the excited pictures on the packets!

The packets contained the pop rocks crystals as well as little pastel candies. The pastel candies weren’t “poppy,” so I’m guessing there were there for an added sweetness? Upon trying the Pop Rocks, there were just as I’d remembered them from my kid-hood: fun and explosive without too much flavor. ;-)

Close Up Look at Contents of Japanese Pop Rocks Packets

BUT, here’s a word to the wise…

If you do have a packet of Pop Rocks (Japanese or otherwise) that you’re reviewing for a food blog about 5 minutes before you have to be checked out of your hotel room and the housekeeper is knocking on your door telling you she has to get the room ready for the next occupant, do not…I repeat DO NOT [Read more…]

First Look! Clarabelle’s Ice Cream Opens In Disney California Adventure

A few weeks ago, we shared our excitement about Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream, opening up today on Disney California Adventure’s Buena Vista Street. 

Well, it’s time to hop on the Red Trolley and take a ride to check it out. Be sure to notice the fun ad for Clarabelle’s while you’re in the trolley. See you there!

Red Trolley Stop #1 at the Entrance to Buena Vista Street

Red Trolley Clarabelle's Ad: "It's Udderly Fabulous!"

Clarabelle’s Back Story

From the moment I heard about Clarabelle’s, I was really looking forward to checking it out. It has a fabulous little back story. 

In the early 1920’s, it’s said that a young Walt Disney often visited an ice cream shop run by “Clarabelle Cowherd.” The bovine-obsessed Clarabelle ran her ice cream shop using farm fresh dairy products, and used old fashioned churns to make her flavorful hand scooped ice creams. 

It’s said that she was the inspiration for Disney’s humorous Clarabelle Cow character. And I love that Clarabelle’s story is a part of the decor of this new ice cream stop on Buena Vista Street!

Clarabelle's Signage with Ice Cream Cone Inspired Light

Outdoor Wall Signage

Located smack in between the new Fiddler, Fifer, & Practical Cafe and Trolley Treats, Clarabelle’s is a walk-up counter service spot to get some traditional Disneyland Resort goodies as well as something totally new to the parks’ menus: The Hand Dipped Ice Cream Bar.

Clarabelle's Menu

Atmosphere

Clarabelle’s is tiny. With just three registers to place an order, I think on a hot day this cow-crazy cone shop is going to be an E-Ticket attraction sized line. 

Don’t let it’s size fool you, though, because imagineers were able to pack some very snazzy decor into a [Read more…]