Friday, October 22, 2010
Tirol Hot Cake Butter & Maple Premium
For those who aren't familiar with Tirol (or haven't been paying attention to my prattle about them), there are two types of them on offer in Japan. One is a small version sold in variety packs with 9 candies usually in 3 or 4 flavors for around 100 yen ($1.20) per bag. The other is a slightly larger version (about 1" square) sold as a "premium" version for 20 yen (24 cents). The small type is about 2/3 the size of premium version.
The reason this distinction is of value is that the smaller ones are made with less sophistication and care than the larger ones, and this "hot cake" version was first released some time ago as part of variety pack. I didn't review the non-premium version because I refused to buy 6 candies I didn't want to sample 3 that I did want. However, Ebidebby at Snack Love reviewed it. The basic structure is the same, but the premium one has more sauce and the sauce is separated from the crispy biscuit. It is protected from getting soft from contact with the sauce by a layer of white chocolate. It's these little touches and a marginally larger size only that separate "premium" from regular.
I found this at at NewDays convenience store for the aforementioned price of 20 yen, but they are available at most convenience stores. This little morsel is only 51 calories, which will give you about 2 bites. Once you open the wrapper, you smell sweet, sweet maple syrup. The white chocolate outer portion is super soft and it nearly melts on your fingers at room temperature. The interior is a nice crispy cookie. It tastes like super sweet white chocolate with only the barest hint of maple. Mainly, it is dominated by a powdered sugar flavor. I didn't detect any "hot cake" or pancake flavor at all. I think the bland little biscuit in the center is supposed to be a surrogate for the hot cake, but it's not a very capable replacement.
This was rather a great disappointment because it's just pretty much a throat-burning sugar bomb with very little flavor. If it hadn't been so small, I probably wouldn't have finished it. To be fair, I'm not a great fan of white chocolate, so I reacted more unfavorably to this than others might. If you can find it cheap and adore white chocolate, it still may be worth a try, but if you have to acquire it expensively via an importer or hate super sweet candy, give it a miss.