Thursday, February 10, 2011

Pasco Stick Melon Choco

I read the results of a study recently which said that putting calorie information on menus didn't have any impact on purchasing decisions. I think that's a big, fat lie. Personally, seeing calorie information actually encourages me to buy certain things. I've taken to inspecting the calorie counts on interesting looking breakfast foods, and anything which is a reasonable portion size and under 100 calories is likely to go into my basket.

These "stick melon choco" (chocolate chip "melon" bread) are 99 calories each, and the perfect size to have two for breakfast or one at tea time. There are 5 in the bag and it only cost 99 yen ($1.22) at Seiyu supermarket. I like melon pan when it's good, because the contrast between the crispy cookie exterior shell and soft, fluffy white-bread-like exterior can be sublime. The main problem is that store-bought melon pan usually is soft, but I was lured into buying this because there was something on the front that said I could make them crispy again by putting them in the toaster oven. I'm dumb like that.

It squishes easily when you cut it.

The flavor is heavily influenced by margarine and white flour. Despite the fact that there are a few chocolate chips and what looks like layers of chocolate, that component is very subdued. The sweetness is also on the light side except when you catch some of the granulated sugar sprinkled on the top on your tongue.

Even wrapped in foil for toaster oven heating, the bottom burned slightly around the edges. Without foil, it turned to a black crispy horror. The packaging should have warned me that I shouldn't put it directly in the oven, but instead just said, "use the toaster oven and it'll be crispy"! Thanks for nothing, Pasco! I charbroiled one in the oven to learn this lesson.

The texture varies widely depending on how it is prepared. Straight out of the bag, it's slightly doughy and a lot like standard white bread. Heated in the toaster oven in foil, the bottom gets a little crispy. Warmed in the microwave, it becomes doughier and quite soft. The flavor of the chocolate came out the best when heated in the microwave, but the texture was best when done in foil in the toaster oven.

There were fine, but I was disappointed that the chocolate aspect wasn't stronger. I liked them well enough, but perhaps not enough to have them again. Chances are that I will opt to sample something else rather than re-visit these. It's not that they're bad in any way, but rather that they're not special enough to become anything resembling a "favorite".

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