Monday, June 21, 2010
Tirol Hokkaido Milk Caramel
During one of the "famine" periods of new product releases, I snapped up this Tirol Premium chocolate. Within days, there was another "feast" cycle and a flurry of new items to review and sample came around and this got put on the back burner for several weeks. Normally, I would not be jumping on board with caramel chocolates because I'm not a big caramel fan and it was only the temporary dearth of new offerings. It's not that I hate them, but rather that they're not the sort of things that get my mojo worked up. Given a variety of options, I'll choose chestnut, sweet potato, milk chocolate, or nut-flavored candies over caramel.
At any rate, I let this candy sit on my desk for a day before eating it because I think the flavor of chocolate is better at room temperature. I had been keeping it in the refrigerator to keep it from melting, and I think it was a little worse for wear in terms of its appearance. The texture was super, super soft. It practically melted in my mouth the moment I put it on my tongue. It was like eating a super soft truffle from the texture angle. I liked that.
In terms of scent and taste, this hit me mainly as sweet, burnt brown sugar caramel rather than as a buttery caramel. The fact that it doesn't have butter notes makes the flavor less well-rounded and lacking in richness. The strange thing is that butter is one of the ingredients, but it's rather low on the list. Items that are higher on the list are a plethora of "powders" including cocoa, cream, and caramel powders.
This wasn't overly sweet, but it was sweeter than I might prefer in a "perfect" treat and the caramel flavor seemed a little fake. Like all Tirol Premium chocolates, this is a one-inch square (2.54 cm.), but unlike most, it's not around 50 calories. This has 64 calories. I'm guessing this is due to the extra fat used in the soft, creamy filling.
I liked this, but the way in which the caramel seemed fake (though I'm pretty sure it isn't) and the lack of profound buttery notes mean that I can't see buying another. That being said, this is a pretty nice chocolate. The texture is luxurious, and someone who is a greater fan of caramel than me may really love this. Don't take my indifferent rating too much to heart. I think this is a nice candy for people who love caramel. Unfortunately, I'm not sufficient enough a caramel fan to really appreciate this. These are available at most convenience stores in Tokyo for 32 yen (35 cents) per candy. This isn't the first time they have been on offer, and I'm guessing they'll disappear at some point and come back again as this seems to be part of the regular rotation of premium Tirol candies.