Mint is enjoying a surge of interest this Japanese summer. It’s been a long time coming, but there’s a huge array of mint chocolate products available at the moment.
One of those products are these, Mint Sorbet, from Fujiya‘s Salon de Look range. The chocolates look beautiful, each individually wrapped in pretty mint green wrappers, and I love the flavours too. The smooth mint filling is dominant and the chocolate is more subtle, definitely present but not as strong as you might expect. The picture on the packet is a bit misleading, for the chocolate isn’t actually all that dark or bitter, but I like my chocolate on the sweeter side and this suits me very well!
Hi there! Is anyone out there?
I know I haven’t updated in a long time, and I’m sorry about that. Life keeps getting in the way. I’ve got two children now and I have a job to juggle, and there are all the other interesting things that tend to get my attention.
But… I still like chocolate! I also still like writing, and this far less of a drain on my time than some of the other things I get busy doing. Thus, here I am!
I’m only aiming to post a couple of times a week. Tempting as some of the other sweets are, I’m also planning to return the focus to chocolate and chocolate-flavored products of Japan.
I hope someone is still out there reading, and I hope you enjoy the posts!
Japan collectively has something of a thing for the mysterious Moai heads on Easter Island. They tend to crop up as a motif in all sorts of places over here and, in this case, they’re being used for a chocolate biscuit snack (I really actually recommend clicking that link) by Bandai, makers of all manner of character-related merchandise. One side is a simple wheat biscuit and the other is a very pleasant, rich milk chocolate carefully crafted into the shape of a Moai head. If you’re familiar with Alfort, think a slightly bigger, Moai-themed single serving of that. Delicious and weirdly cute!
Purchased from: Yaks (the drug store)
Available at: selected drug stores, selected supermarkets
Status: seasonal (?) (summer), recurring
Price: 52 yen
Among Bourbon‘s many sweet treats are these, Pineapple Blanche cakes. Each box contains five individually wrapped sponge cakes with a filling of cream and pineapple pieces and a firm, delicately pineapple flavoured icing. They appeared last summer too and their return this year, along with a peach variation, is a nice surprise!
Bought from: Mamimart
Available at: various supermarkets
Status: Seasonal (summer), recurring
Price: 198 yen
With summer having started, whether or not you put much stock in the rainy season that precludes it, the refreshing sweets have well and truly infiltrated the shelves on convenience stores. “Salty” versions of regular flavours are on such and thus Morinaga‘s Dars has a Salty Vanilla box of chocolates out. They’re quite pleasant, a light vanilla flavour with a mild hint of salt encased in creamy Dars chocolate, and worth a try!
Bought from: Family Mart
Available at: Most convenience stores and some larger supermarkets
Status: Seasonal, limited
Price: 168 yen (varies a bit, but usually less than 200 yen)
Cacao Marché is one of those brands that has been available for awhile in the chocolate gift box section of department stores, offering up beautiful little chocolates for a not too high price. However, a recent collaboration with the ubiquitous Family Mart convenience stores has made it a lot more visible and I am very glad of it.
The sand cookies are basically cream-filled cookies – when they say sand, think a sandwich-looking cookie like an Oreo rather than the stuff of beaches – but they’re delicious. The biscuits are pleasantly firm and nice enough, but it’s the filling that makes them, rich, smooth and just melt-in-your-mouth. I have a personal preference for the bitter chocolate ones but the others are also delightful!
Bought at: FamilyMart convenience store
Available at: larger FamilyMart/Circle K/Sunkus convenience stores, the gift section of selected department stores
Cost: 197 yen for one cookie
Status: Currently available but unclear for how long
Summer is only just officially starting and that means that so-called cooling flavours have well and truly made their arrival for the season amongst the sweets of Japan. One of them is the Weekend Citron Donut from Tully’s. While I don’t think it will quite conquer the sheer wrath of the Japanese summer and I’m not sure what’s so weekend-ish about it, it is absolutely delicious. A citrus flavour infuses the icing of the Donut, lending got a tart edge that only enhances the sweetness of the Donut itself, which is a soft, cake-like texture that feels just right.