Pocky. One of my all time favorite Japanese snacks. Delicate cookie sticks covered in chocolate of different flavors, they are so easy to eat and share with others. Today, I share with you 5 fun facts about Pocky that you may not have already known! 

1. Pocky was named after the snapping sound made when eating the chocolate covered sticks- “pokkin.” 

The Japanese language uses a lot of onomatopoeia, which are words that represent the actual sound something makes. In English, some examples are pop, sizzle, and meow. Some common Japanese words include “za- za-” for heavy rain falling, “sala sala” for describing the sound and texture of something silky, and “don” for something hitting a hard surface. Next time you eat Pocky, see if you can snap the sticks in your mouth and listen for the sound, "pokkin!"

2. Pocky was initially made by hand dipping each individual stick in chocolate. 

When I heard this, I imagined all of the workers lined up, dipping biscuit sticks in a pot of chocolate. If that was my job, I probably wouldn't be able to stop myself from eating Pocky as I made them! This process leads to why the end of the sticks (where they were held when dipping in chocolate) are left free of the chocolate coating. Even after machines took over for more efficient production, the signature handle remained. Consumers also loved how the chocolate-free end allowed for multi-tasking and clean eating without having chocolate melt on their hands!

3. Pocky Day on November 11th is an unofficial national holiday in Japan. 

The date (11/11) was chosen because the sticks look like the number “1”! Glico, the company that created Pocky, even made videos and had famous Japanese pop stars perform a dance to promote the day. Now, some people like to celebrate Pocky Day on November 11th by buying different kinds of Pocky to eat while having a party with friends. 

4. There’s a Pocky party game that can be played by two people.

Each player takes one end of Pocky in their mouths and at the same time, start eating it while their mouthes move towards the middle. The goal is to try to be the last player to hold onto the Pocky! If both players are determined to win, the game will result in two mouths meeting in the middle… just like in “Lady and the Tramp!” Do you have someone you want to play this game with?

5. There are more than 50 different flavors of Pocky! 

I've seen milk chocolate, strawberry, matcha, almond crunch, and cookies and cream in the Boston area, and they are all so delicious. In Japan, there are many more unique flavors including red bean, coconut, grape, and cheesecake!

I hope you learned something new about these wonderful Japanese snacks! Now, it's time to snap into it and go buy yourself some Pocky and "stick to fun." Be sure to check out other Japanese snacks as well!