Although they often live in the shadow of their cousin Pocky, Glico’s Pretz brand of cracker sticks are also usually quite tasty. They certainly have enough taste power to stand on their own, but now after joining forces with the children’s money magnet that is Youkai Watch they certainly are a snack force to be reckoned with. The result of this power coupling is Our Milk Flavored Youkai Watch Pretz.

The concept of youkai (traditional Japanese monsters) milk is kind of disgusting in the first place but fun for the kids so we’ll let that slide. However, one sharp-eyed Twitter user spotted in the fine print below: “milk solids 6 percent” leading many online to wonder if “our milk” might actually be something far more heinous. So, I grabbed a pack to take a gander at the actual ingredients and find out if Our Milk Flavored Youkai Watch Pretz actually taste like milk – youkai or otherwise – despite apparently hardly having any milk inside.

■ Overflowing with flavor

Here’s the original tweet that started the controversy.

“Give me a break, that’s seriously the flavor?”
[tweet  align=center]

This led to a lot of speculation as to what is going on inside this flavor of Pretz. You might already assume where the minds of many a netizen immediately went when presented with a biscuit coated in a mysterious white substance labelled as “our milk.”

“That looks disgusting.”
“Where exactly does that “milk” come out of?”
“Is that really safe for kids to eat?”
“It looks a little bitter.”
“Youkai spooge.”

■ Ghostbusting makes me feel good

And so in the name of science I set out to prove to the masses that Our Milk Flavored Youkai Watch Pretz are not made with monster fluids. It would be a tough mission requiring me to first purchase a pack of Pretz for 121 yen (US$1) plus tax. From there I had to wrestle with the 40g (0.09lbs) package to get to the elusive ingredients list.

“Flour, vegetable oil, sugar, lactose, whole milk powder, shortening, wheat protein, sweetened condensed milk, butter, nonfat dry milk, salt, artificial flavors, leavening agents, emulsifiers, seasonings, coloring, sweetener”

Actually there strangely seems to be a lot of mention of milk products here. There were also some ambiguous terms such as “emulsifiers” which could have been anything really, so I contacted a chemist friend who confirmed that none of the listed ingredients contain actual youkai semen. She also has yet to talk to me again.

At an impasse, I looked again at the back of the package. A message reads, “The faint flavor of sweet milk spreads gently.” Followed again by the disclaimer “milk solids 6 percent” which was when it struck me: What is a “milk solid” anyway?

■ Milk Solids

Milk solids are said to be all of the left over particles of dried milk or other dairy products which are often used as a flavoring and texture additive in other foods. That means in this case, the Milk Flavored Youkai Watch Pretz themselves were composed of 6 percent milk solids rather than the milk ingredients themselves being only 6 percent. Looking at it that way about one twentieth of a stick is made of milk components. Granted it’s not made from the freshest of pure milk, but it’s certainly quite loaded with milk derivatives and not at all what people had assumed.

■ How’s the taste?

Now that I knew there’s a fair bit of milk in these sticks it was time to find out what kind of milk it was. Luckily, I’m a seasoned milk drinker who drinks so much my bones are virtually unbreakable and I can scratch through sheet metal with my nails.

Sure enough upon opening the package I was immediately hit with a sweet and very milky aroma. The taste also lived up to the back of the package’s claims. It was very reminiscent of a sugary breakfast cereal, especially that sugary leftover milk I used to love slurping up at the end.

And so, Our Milk Flavor Youkai Watch Pretz are indeed very milky and actually quite good. Especially as cereal prices in Japan tend to be outrageously expensive, these provide a relatively reasonable substitute experience for those longing an affordable Frosted Flakes fix. In conclusion, either Our Milk Flavored Youkai Watch Pretz taste very milky, or Youkai “milk” tastes amazingly like sweet cows milk.

Source: Twitter via Hamusoku (Japanese)
Photos: RocketNews24