( in Japanese) listen is a Japanese snack food produced by the Ezaki Glico Company of Japan. It was first sold in 1965, and consists of a biscuit stick coated with chocolate. Pocky was an instant hit among Japanese teenagers, and brought in sales of 30 billion yen in its first two years. The name was changed to "Pocky", after the Japanese onomatopoetic word for the sound Pocky makes when bitten, pokkin (ポッキン). The original was followed by "Almond Pocky" in 1971, with an almond coating, and "Strawberry Pocky" in 1977. Today, the product line includes such variations as milk, mousse, green tea and coconut flavored coatings, and themed products such as "Decorer Pocky", with colorful decorative stripes in the coating, and "Men's Pocky", a dark (bittersweet) chocolate and "mature" version.
Pocky is very popular in Japan. In bars, it is sometimes served in a glass of ice water. It also has a significant presence in other East Asian countries such as China and South Korea, where the similar Pepero snack dominates the market. In Europe, Pocky is renamed Mikado after the game Mikado. In the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, Pocky can be found in Asian supermarkets and the international section of most large supermarkets, such as World Market http://www.worldmarket.com/home.jsp, Wegmans, at select f.y.e. stores http://www.fye.com/Store-Locator_stcVVcatId474286VVviewcat.htm, and anime convention dealers' rooms. In Malaysia, Pocky was renamed as Rocky, perhaps to avoid a vulgar word in Malay with similar pronunciation. Pocky has recently been marketed in America by LU, a company of the Danone Group, although it is also marketed by Ezaki Glico's American division, Ezaki Glico USA Corporation. In Australia, Pocky is usually sold in Asian convenience markets along with other asian foods and products.
Outside of Japan, Pocky is fairly popular among Japanophiles and anime fans. Its constant association with the Engrish phenomenon and the oddness of some of its versions (like the "Men's Pocky" bittersweet flavor) , as well as the several Pocky parodies seen on many anime/manga series, contribute to the snack's reputation.
- For full list of flavors please see List of Pocky flavors
Pocky can be found in dozens of varieties. The most popular flavors include chocolate, strawberry, and almond. Some of the more unusual flavors include the seasonal flavors of honey (spring) and kiwifruit mango (summer). There is also the bittersweet version of chocolate Pocky called Men's Pocky. There are also regional flavors of Pocky such as grape (Nagano), yūbari melon (Hokkaidō), giant mikan (tangerine, sold in Kyūshū), powdered tea azuki bean (Kyoto), Kobe wine (Kobe). There are also such flavors as banana, coffee, caramel, marble royal milk tea, melon, milk, honey and milk, cream cheese, berry, sweet potato, coconut, crush (crunchy cracker pieces in chocolate), pineapple, pumpkin, pizza and hazelnut.
Some other unique Pocky flavors include kurogoma (black sesame), kinako (soy bean flour), marron, and green tea, which are popular Asian cuisine items cleverly incorporated into dessert flavours.
Special variations of Pocky include Decorer Pocky (which features extra decorative icing) and Mousse Pocky (which features extra thick, "creamy" mousse-like icing and is more exclusive). Unlike other Pocky variations, Mousse Pocky packages especially contain fewer pieces than regular Pocky with only nine pieces per pack.
A related product is Pretz, which is an unglazed version of Pocky, featuring savory flavors like tomato and salad, as well as sweet flavors such as French toast.
PronunciationThere is some confusion in the English-speaking world as to how to pronounce "Pocky". The Japanese pronunciation is , but based on the English-style spelling and the katakana transcription which is consistent with the conventions of transcribing English to Japanese, it is possible that "Pocky" is intended to be an English-style word, albeit a made-up one. Since "Pocky" is one letter away from "rocky" and the Japanese pronunciation "pokkī" rhymes with the Japanese transcription of "rocky" ("rokkī"), the case could be made that the intended English pronunciation is .
Pocky in popular cultureThere are many references to Pocky—sometimes with different names—in popular culture, most often in anime and manga.
- In the manga Gravitation, Shuichi Shindou's favorite food is Strawberry Pocky.
- Superchunk, an American indie rock band, named one of its albums No Pocky for Kitty.
- Ze Frank from The Show has been known to eat Men's Pocky.
- In the video game series Trauma Center, Dr. Derek Stiles and nurse Angie Thompson return to Caduceus USA after visiting Caduceus Japan. With them, they bring back souvenirs of Pocky.
- In the movie The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Han is seen eating a stick of Pocky.
- In the Funniest Commercials of 2005, a TV show, a French commercial showed two office workers eating Pocky.
- November 11th is "Pocky Day" (11/11).
- Reference to Pocky in the webcomic created by Steve Napierski
- Viva Piñata (both cartoon and video game) feature a pony character named "Ponocky," named after the popular Japanese treat.
- Ranka Lee is eating a pocky during the interview with Sheryl in the 6'th episode of "Macross Frontier".
pocky in German: Pocky
pocky in French: Pocky
pocky in Korean: 포키
pocky in Japanese: ポッキー
pocky in Finnish: Pocky
pocky in Swedish: Pocky
pocky in Thai: ป๊อกกี้
pocky in Chinese: 百奇
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