I'll be reviewing multiple flavors of Hi-Chew here, so if that bothers you... get over it. We're talking general terms about how good or bad this candy is, hopefully you can draw larger conclusions about specific flavors for yourself. Today I've got the flavors Grape, and Mango.
According to the wiki page Hi-Chew was developed in the 30s and 40s in Japan as a bubble gum that could be swallowed. You see, in Japanese culture its rude to be seen taking something out of your mouth after its been chewed, so traditional western gum wouldn't work. So what we get now is a cross between gum, and a Starburst. I'm definitely excited to get my teeth into this one. I see it in the stores all the time but just never get it.
Each piece of Hi-Chew comes individually wrapped. This seems to be a standard Eastern tradition with candies (or cookies), but man its sure a waste of wrapping paper. As for these specific ones, I like the design work, Both the grape and mango wrappers have nice pictures of the fruit in question, and I really like the logo. Its fun, and kind of cartoony, but being all caps its got an impact as well. Its almost like some kind of superhero font.
Getting into the "fruit chew" itself, there's a few small things to note. While a bit bigger than a Starburst, the candy has the same tackiness to the surface. Again according to the wiki all Hi-Chew (barring a few exceptions) have a colored flavored center surrounded by a white outer layer. Apparently the white layer does not have any flavoring in it. Why is it included if its got no flavoring? I just don't know.
Here's a good look at the end though and you can see obvious where the flavoring is and get a sense of size. It looks, and smells very good. In fact the smell is almost too much. Very strong and fruity.
A number of people have noted that this candy is very reminiscent of the 80s and 90s powerhouse Bonkers. Well it certainly looks the same, and people are incredibly nostalgic for that (I expect a revival any day now). I personally can't remember the taste of Bonkers, but I thought the comparison should be mentioned :)
I like this candy, its strongly flavored and may be too much for some, but I am a huge fan of Skittles and other strongly flavored fruit snacks so this is definitely up my alley. I like the fact that some of the flavors are more unusual in the western market. Even mango isn't too common, and we all know grape is a dying candy flavor. I like how bold this is. It doesn't pull any punches and should be commended for that. While it may not be for everyone, I can definitely recommend Hi-Chew.
Walking the Candy Aisle rates Hi-Chew - 4 / 5
Hi-Chew is a product of Morinaga and Company, you can find out more official stuff about Hi-Chew at http://www.hi-chew.com/