Saturday, November 22, 2008

Yuraku Caramel Almond Latte Chocolate Bar

When I saw this bar, I thought that someone was trying way too hard to throw the candy equivalent of the kitchen sink into one itty bitty bar. There are so many parts to the name of the bar that they can't simply write it across the package. They have to stack "caramel" on top of "amond" which is on top of "choco bar" and "latte". There's even more that doesn't fit into the name. There are also wheat puffs in it.

This is another of the candy options available in some stores for only 27 yen (25 cents) that you can pick up with kid's snacks. It's a little less than half the size of most bars and is made by a company named Yuraku (ユラク). It makes a variety of sweets including cookies, candy bars, chocolates and souvenir sweets. Most of its products are pretty low rent and either blandly or badly packaged. The company's "principle" is "contributing to society through making candy." That's some lofty goal. I wonder if one tiny little bar is going to live up to that.

The bar's smell is so mixed that it's hard to pin it down. The scent is like an elixir of malt, cereal, coffee, and chocolate. The "cereal" smell comes from the wheat puffs which are present in abundance. The large white bits in the detailed picture above are these puffs and the first bite of the bar strongly reveals the cereal flavor. In fact, the puffs portion tastes exactly like the Popeye wheat puff cereal my parents used to buy for me when I was a kid. Subsequent bites bring about a stronger sense of all of the flavors. All of them, the caramel, coffee, chocolate, almonds and wheat puffs are present in an extremely tasty mishmash of flavors. The bar is crunchy, but easy to bite into and chew.

The ingredients list for this bar is huge, but the whole bar contains a good balance of sweetness and complex flavors. It's no premium bar by any stretch of the imagination, but it's very good, particularly for 90 calories and for such a low price. It's definitely something I'd have again. The lesson learned from this experience is not to conclude that something is going to be bad because it's cheap and from a company which isn't very well known. This is a tasty little bar.

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