Manufactured by Meiji, which means bright or brilliant in Japanese, Yan Yan appears to be named after a brave and loyal Chinese general of the Kingdom of Shu, who lived between AD 153 and AD 220. I’m not sure how he’d feel about a snack food being named after him, but being remembered nearly two thousand years after you lived would be pretty special at least.
Tearing off the lid of the tall tube I noticed that there were sixteen biscuit sticks that were brown, thin and around ten centimetres in length. Each stick had English words printed onto them, such as “Golden Egg”, “Elephant Jumbo” and “Sheep Wool Sweaters”. The crispy cracker sticks were weak, brittle and easily snap, so dunking deeply into the tub of thick white vanilla provided can break the stick. The biscuit is crunchy and tastes slightly salty on its own, but the combination of the gloopy vanilla creates a moreish taste sensation in your mouth that automatically changes you into a dipping munching machine. Before I knew it, I’d forgotten to read the words on each stick and was rapidly running out of sticks. I’m pretty greedy, so wouldn’t have minded more sticks and more vanilla, although I found the amount of sticks provided was just right to finish off all of the vanilla, without having to stick my finger into the tub to finish off. Besides licking my fingers in a busy office may have raised some eyebrows!