Friday, August 14, 2009
Dounan Corn Caramels
There's a super funky shop in a neighboring area which sells all sorts of novelty items for the hip crowd that hangs around the live houses in the area. They sell a ton of imported junk like big plastic M & M's full of, well, M & M's and the kind of stuff your pervy uncle might take to a party to amuse himself. They also carry a huge variety of extreme and atypical sweets. One of the caramels they had, for instance, was "Ghengis caramels" with a picture of Ghengis Khan on the cover. I almost went for it, but chickened out and bought these corn caramels instead.
As is the case with many of the weird caramels I review, this is from Hokkaido. They are the Nestlé of the caramel trade, it would seem, in that they are intent on coming up with as many freaky caramel flavors as Nestlé Japan is with KitKats. I can't recall exactly what I paid for this, but I think it was in the ballpark of 100-150 yen (about a dollar to a dollar-fifty) for 18 small caramels.
Each caramel is around 16 calories and wrapped somewhat loosely in wax paper. I didn't open the plastic wrapper on this box for well over a month and they kept in pristine shape even in the summer heat and humidity. I'm guessing now that the seal is broken though, that they will get a bit gummy through time.
The caramels just smell sweet. I couldn't really detect any corn scent though these are made with real Hokkaido sweet corn. The flavor at first is pretty mild but the corn flavor ramps up as you chew. It really is like eating an ear of very sweet corn from a flavor point of view and is a pretty nice taste experience. You might expect it to be a tad strange, but I enjoyed it. However, I don't know if getting your corn in caramel form (as opposed to caramel corn) is everyone's cup of tea. I'd definitely consider getting these again if the mood struck me.