Monday, April 19, 2010
Tirol Premium Hokkaido Cheese Chocolate
This is actually my second attempt to review this flavor of Tirol chocolate. I bought one last year and left it in my refrigerator for several weeks where I managed to allow it to get wet. Since I didn't know if the moisture was leakage from defrosting meat, condensation, or a bottle of water that dribbled out somehow, I tossed it out. The chocolate disappeared and I didn't see it again until now. For the record, the premium chocolates are often reissued seasonally so you can revisit one you missed in most cases.
As I opened the package to reveal the 2.54 cm/1 in. square of white chocolate, I told my square of candy, "so, we meet again, Tirol cheese chocolate." Well, I said that in my mind, not aloud. I'm not quite crazy enough to hold conversations with food... yet. My expectations of this were quite low since the wedge of cheese on the package lets you know this is going to taste like actual cheese, not cream cheese. I don't know about most people but I don't prefer to have sugar mixed with my cheddar, Gouda, or Parmesan.
The scent of this was that of sour dairy and vaguely pungent cheese. When I cut it in half, little brittle cookie bits splintered all over the place from the bland, crisp biscuit tucked inside. Sometimes I think Tirol puts these biscuits in their candies to take up room with cheap ingredients. After all, some crappy little dry cookie probably costs less per ounce than chocolate. The exterior is somewhat soft white chocolate infused with cheese flavor and the cookie is crispy and tasteless.
The textures are all well and fine, but the taste was worse than I expected. When I think something is going to be weird, I am more charitable. When it's worse than my low hope, then you know it's pretty bad. This reminded me of processed cheese and milk that has gone off mixed with sugar. On the plus side, it's not horribly sweet as some white chocolate is in Japan. That's me reaching pretty far for a "plus" side to this.
I'm used to the rude greeting of strong cheese flavors in my sweets in Japan by now, but this was an even more impolite gesture than most. I certainly would not recommend this unless you prefer your savory cheese products sweet. I ate half of this small bit of candy, and threw the rest away. The best thing I can say is that hating it saved me from ingesting half of the square's 51 calories. If you're nutty enough to want to try this, you can pick one up at any big name convenience store (7-11, Family Mart, etc.) for about 30 yen (33 cents)