Saturday, January 31, 2009
Tirol Chocolate Milk Nougat
Most of the Tirol chocolate that you find in Japan is sold in tiny little squares. I found this larger bar, which is about the size of three of the smaller size candies, for 25 yen at a local 99 yen store. The old-fashioned wrapper, which seems to feature the FTD florist character in profile when he was a child, is rather curious compared to the newer, cuter package styles. This is the only Tirol candy sold as a bar sold in this size.
When I bought this bar, I thought it was a plain chocolate bar because the top just says "chocolate". The side also appears to simply say "chocolate" (in Japanese) as well, but if you look on the bottom, just under the Japanese word for chocolate is the Japanese for "nougat". So, when I bit into this bar, I was rather shocked to encounter some tough resistance from what I thought was some form of caramel.
While the texture of the nougat is tough and hard to bite through, and, like caramel, it sticks to your teeth, the taste is definitely nougat. The filling tastes a lot like a Three Musketeers bar though the texture is like eating taffy. This is a pretty typical texture combination for Tirol chocolates. The non-"premium" size of their kinako mochi candy has a similar tough to chew interior surrounded by a soft, sweet, mildly crumbly and easily melted exterior.
The bar smells like sweet, milky chocolate and the nougat has a very nice flavor, but I wouldn't want to eat this too often for fear of losing a filling. I also don't like to have to jog little blobs of nougat out of my teeth with my tongue. The portion control on this is great. It's small enough to satisfy without having to reach for another bar, unlike the smaller Tirol candies. It's only 113 calories for this 22 gram/.77 oz. bar.
There aren't many nougat bars in Japan, so if I was in the mood for it, I'd buy this again. I just wish the interior was less tough. Aside from the texture issue, this is a very enjoyable little bar. If you don't mind a good chew, you might want to sample this.
If you like the Tirol designs you've seen in the reviews of their candy on this site, you can download some wallpapers of this bar's design (though honestly, you'd look like a pedophile with a Greek God complex if you sported this design on your computer) or some of the other characters that have been shown on their wrappers including the little blobby cartoon fellow who looks like Shmoo on the kinako mochi candy.