Carrying an armful of purchases from my favorite local Japanese Dollar Store, I’m nearly to the register when I am literally stopped dead in my tracks. Amongst the impulse-buy displays of candy and snacks is a form of Pocky I have never imagined. My abrupt stop before the display has caused a cheap bottle of sake to roll of the top of my armload of purchases, and onto the ground. Cleanup near register, someone mumbles over the loudspeaker, as if to further bring my presence to the attention of the sixteen-year-old cashier, and all four other people in the store. Like an under-aged kid considering buying contraband with a fake ID, everyone around can see that I am clearly considering making a purchase that I should not. After all, this mysterious flavor appears to be too bold for the female sex, too powerful. But I must, I absolutely have to have this new Pocky flavor. I need to try this MEN’S POCKY.

First of all, in case you are unaware of what Pocky is, I will explain. Pocky consists of a pretzel-like stick covered in chocolate, strawberry sauce, coconut, sesame, you name it. It’s not particularly filling, but it is fun to enjoy on the go, and the proportion of the packaging along with the individual Pocky stick make you feel like you have a pack of Virginia Slims (which, depending on who you are, might or might not make you feel cool).

Feeling slightly embarrassed, I retreat to my car where I can examine this mysterious Pocky package in private. The box explains to me that MEN’S POCKY is for those with a more, mature and refined palette. I don’t know whether to be jealous or offended at this statement. I decide that since I’ve seen my boyfriend enjoy the occasional Luna Bar and not feel bad about it, I can try this Pocky.

I was simultaneously surprised and disappointed. It turns out it was just dark chocolate. WTF??!!! Since when have women not loved the taste of dark chocolate, or found it too refined for them? If that’s the case, Dove Promises really has to re-think their entire marketing scheme. Upon further inspecting the package, it is implied that MEN’S POCKY also has something to do with smoking, since the chocolate being poured onto the stick looks like it’s smoldering. If the Pocky is meant to make men feel like they’re holding a cigarette, they’re going to look like Zsa-Zsa Gabor or Holly Golightly doing it.

Bottom line, MEN’S POCKY is delightful in taste, but perhaps is more suited to the palettes of middle aged, menopausal women rather than those of refined, cultured gentlemen.

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