Pocky Day: 11 Fun Facts About Our Favorite Snack in a Stick

Pocky Day: 11 Fun Facts About Our Favorite Snack in a Stick

While every day is Pocky Day here at Pearl River, this yummy Japanese snack in a stick is celebrated worldwide every November 11 (11-11, get it?). What better time to munch on 11 mouth-watering morsels about this distinctive cookie?

The origin of the company name isn’t Japanese

While Pocky might seem iconically Japanese, the name of the company that makes it, Glico, sounds anything but. That’s because it comes from the English word "glycogen," a kind of glucose or energy the body stores for future use. In 1921, founder Ri-ichi Ezaki developed a kind of energy supplement called Glico-Caramel, complete with a triumphant running man as its logo.

Oyster candy, anyone?

So where did the glycogen in Glico-Caramel come from? Oysters of course. It seems Ezaki had heard that oyster glycogen was a rich source of energy and that upon being fed a oyster glycogen extract, Ezaki’s typhoid-suffering son immediately improved. The rest, as they say, is history.

Before there was Pocky, there was Pretz

While Pretz might seem like Pocky’s less popular (yet no less delicious) little brother, it was actually created first. In 1962 to be exact. The first flavor was "sod," according to Glico’s site. Pocky was born four years later.

The name comes from a noise

While Glico comes from “glycogen” and Pretz comes from “pretzel,” where does Pocky come from? The Japanese word, "pokkin," onomatopoeia for the sound of a stick snapping.

The design is based on tidiness

You might have noticed that Pocky sticks are only mostly covered. This wasn’t always the case. When they were first developed (apparently as a sweet version of savory Pretz), the sticks were completely covered with chocolate. However, the creators quickly realized snackers would have a mess on their hands. Hence, the bare bottom half.

In Europe and the UK, it’s named after a stick game

In the United Kingdom and some European countries, including Austria, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, Pocky is known as Mikado. The name, in addition to referring to the emperor of Japan, is based on a European game that involves, you guessed it, sticks.

In Malaysia, it was once known as “Rocky”

In Malaysia the biscuit was known for many years as “Rocky.” It was thought that “Pocky” was too close to “pork,” which is verboten by the large Muslim population in the country. However, by 2014, it was re-released as Pocky.

There’s Pocky just for men (not)

No, Men’s Pocky doesn’t taste like tools, motor oil, or football but like bittersweet chocolate, which seems like it would be fine for women or anyone else too.

Milk and cookies aren’t just for kids anymore

Otona no Milk ("Milk for Adults") Pocky is considered "adult only," although we're not sure why. Perhaps the extra butteriness and crunchiness of the cookie along with the semi-dark chocolate are too much for young 'uns to handle? Our guess is that Pocky lovers of all ages would gobble it up.

You can enjoy Pocky with a stiff drink

A limited run of Adult Amber Pocky was released back in 2016 as an accompaniment to whiskey (with “amber” referring to the color of the liquor). More Pretz than Pocky, the dough for the stick contained malt extract and was sprinkled with salt before being coated in a rich and bitter chocolate, which sounds like a delectable combination.

There’s a Pocky party game

You know that scene in Lady and the Tramp with the spaghetti? Just replace the spaghetti with Pocky and you have the Pocky party game. The “loser” is apparently whoever lets the stick break first -- or perhaps the person who doesn’t want to get kissed.

In the mood for Pocky now? Check out our available flavors. You can also learn some fun facts about Asian candy, a brief history of egg tarts, and eight things you might not know about fortune cookies.
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