Monday, October 18, 2010
Meiji Creamy Marshmallow Chocolate
I'll be honest. These days the chocolate sections of most stores leave me a bit cold. A lot of it is a reissue of things I've already reviewed in slightly different or the same packaging. Japan is big on seasonal and "limited edition" stuff, but I'm starting to see that what goes away almost always comes back. For example, the caramel purin KitKat in Halloween packaging has made a return visit this year as the season of the jack-o-lantern is coming upon us. It's still tasty, but it's less interesting as a repeat. I'm really only interested in something new.
Fortunately, Meiji offered something which would be common back home, but is relatively uncommon in Japan. Marshmallows and chocolate are not usually combined in Japan, though marshmallows are incorporated into a variety of other snacks. There aren't enough for me to indulge in a "week of marshmallow snacks", but I wish there were. I love marshmallow anything and the combination of chocolate with it in particular.
This large bar, 42 grams or 1.5 oz., can be had in almost any shop in Japan for about 100 yen ($1.20). I can't even remember where I bought mine, but I think it was a drug store in my neighborhood. One thing about any product made by Meiji is that the distribution is pretty wide and the products quite accessible. They're probably bribing store managers and stock boys nation-wide to ensure that this situation continues.
The ingredients list is relatively simple. It's chocolate, marshmallow including gelatin, cocoa butter, and powdered milk. I don't know if the gelatin is Japanese-style and made from seaweed or Western and made from hooves, but I'm guessing the former. The bar doesn't smell like much of anything, which is odd because chocolate usually smells like chocolate. The taste is sweet, milky, mild chocolate with a little hint of marshmallow. The marshmallow bits, while quite visible, are not all that intense. Mainly they add a textural element. The bar has a firm outside with a softer interior. Inside, it is actually creamy and the marshmallows are soft and slightly sticky. The entire bar has 229 calories or 23 calories per square.
This has a nice, mild flavor with a little too small an amount of marshmallow for my tastes. It is pleasant nonetheless. I think that compared to most Japanese chocolate offerings, this is notable because it lacks the bittersweet notes you often experience and lacks sour or bitter aftertaste that comes along with it. While I was a little disappointed at the less than prominent use of marshmallow, I'd still buy this again.