Lotte‘s Charlotte range continues to be magnificent. This time, they have released a deliciously rich strawberry flavour, the strawberry julep. The chocolate, as is always the case with Charlotte, is deliciously intense milk chocolate and the strawberry flavour is just perfect, sharp and sweet but with sour notes too, just the way a good actual strawberry is. It’s only available for a limited time, so get it while you can!
Bandai is a company that deals mostly in what might be called “character foods”. Basically, they dabble in lots of things where the main point of the thing is the character rather than the quality of the object itself. An example that springs to mind is Sailor Moon mascara – it’s not about being a stunningly good cosmetic, it’s about it being in the shape of Sailor Moon’s wand. The Dinosaur Excavation (hakkutsu kyouryuu 発掘 恐竜) Chocolate is along those lines, even if it’s not for a particular brand or character – the fun is in the shape rather than the taste. All of that being said, though, the quality actually is pretty decent as well as being really fun! White chocolate in the shape of one dinosaur or another’s bones – mine was a woolly mammoth! – is embedded in rich chocolate with rice crisps inside. They’re Tasty and entertaining, so I’ll be on the lookout for more in the future!
Autumn has settled in, whatever the weather forecast might think, and so chocolate-flavored sweets are returning to the menus of Japan’s cafes. At the ubiquitous Doutor, there is the caramel and glacage au chocolate cake and it is glorious. Layers of smooth, creamy chocolate mousse and cake work wonderfully together, and the drizzle of caramel is a lovely added touch. It’s definitely worth trying if you happen to end up in Doutor during (what will eventually be) the cooler months!
For reasons I don’t know, Morinaga‘s Leafy Pie chocolate cookies have been regularly marked down at most of my local supermarkets lately. I have been using this random occurrence as justification to purchase and, yes, consume them. They’re nice, if not necessarily exciting enough to write home about. “Pie” biscuits, namely biscuits of a flaky texture with a mild sugar glaze, are quite popular here and the Leafy Pie follow the standard format. These have a chocolate-coated top, the chocolate itself being fairly mild as well, with a pretty white line running across them. Like I said, they’re not especially exciting, but they’re still an enjoyable treat and they go well with coffee or tea.
Every year, Mister Donut goes all out with Halloween-themed donuts and this year is no exception. Since early September, they’ve had a particular fun-looking range out and since we’re here for the chocolate, I tried out the Masked Gentle. Presumably Japanese-English for “gentleman”, he’s a chocolate donut in a jack-o’lantern shape that has been dipped half in white chocolate and half in dark chocolate. The latter overpowers the former a bit, and I find it’s almost too much chocolate (!); you can’t appreciate the separate flavors enough. Still, he’s nice enough and as I said, he’s fun-looking. There’s also the rest of the range to consider. I’m thinking the Masked Lady might be more tasty, and I already know that the white chocolate, tea-infused Mummy is definitely delicious!
I am sometimes surprised at myself that I don’t pick up Glico‘s Pocky more often. The famous chocolate-dipped biscuit sticks are certainly delicious, and combine two of my favourite food phenomenons (biscuits and chocolate). I guess I tend to like having both biscuits and chocolates, as two, separate, marvelous treats. I am very glad that these chocolate/raspberry ones piqued my curiosity, though, because they are very, very nice. The chocolate and the raspberry are both rich, bold flavours but neither overpowers the other. Instead, they work together perfectly and the result is a kind of addictive snack! While the texture is quite different and there’s no coconut to speak of, they reminded me a little of Cherry Ripes in my home country and that is definitely a big compliment! In very sad news, the line is set to be discontinued, so grab them while you can!
I do some writing for City-Cost, a blog hosting site somehow related to Kyodo News for expats in Japan to write about their experiences, and I wrote a review of Fujiya Look’s newest chocolate, Aki no Umaimon Hitorijime (the good taste of autumn) here. You may have noticed that my blogs about chocolates here tend to be pretty short, and that’s because I typically don’t have that much to say! In this case, though, three flavours and the general autumn flavour range context gave me plenty to say, and hence the longer review. Go have a look if you’re curious!