Monday, March 28, 2011
Samba Kisses Better
Samba Kisses Better has to be one of the worst names I've ever come across for a product. It's too long, not the least bit descriptive, and frankly sounds dumb. I have to wonder if the name makes more sense in Denmark, the home of GEI Corporation and maker of this treat.
Samba Kisses Better are currently being marketed rather aggressively in Japan. They aren't widely available in basic markets or convenience stores, but they are being sold at stands outside of major stations, in department stores, and at select shops. I have found them at National Azabu Supermarket in Hiroo, Village Vanguard in Koenji and at Okashi no Marche discount snack shop. They have a FaceBook page which details exactly where you can find them in Japan. Though the company originated in Denmark, they currently have a main office in Yokohama and are clearly situating themselves to be a bigger player in the Japanese confection market.
I've known about Samba Kisses Better for quite awhile, and have bought them at least 4 times as of writing this post. I never considered reviewing them because I didn't think they seemed "Japanese" enough, but the truth is that this product is not available worldwide and is being sold here more and more. If you live in Japan, you may have seen it on offer for between 350-400 yen ($4.33) per 6-pack, and not known what you were missing.
The exterior of a Samba Kisses Better is a wafer thin shell of moderately dark and every so slightly bittersweet chocolate surrounding a sweet, cloud-like filling of whipped egg whites and sugar. The interior is like the fluffiest, lightest, tastiest marshmallow you can imagine perched on a super thin wafer base. The slightly crispy shell of the chocolate makes a delightful contrast to the almost whipped cream-like interior, though it can be messy to eat as the high dome means you may get the cream on your nose when trying to bite into it. The base, incidentally, is not a hard wafer and really doesn't do much other that provide structure to keep this from collapsing when you eat it. That's okay because the chocolate and foamy filling do all of the heavy lifting on both the taste and texture front. Note that there is no nutritional information on the package, but I tracked down a page on the web (not GEI Corporation's) which claimed that these have 77 calories each. That sounds about right for the size and sweetness.
This is absolutely a hit with me because I love marshmallow and meringue and this is like the most glorious love child of those two elements ever. I can't imagine that anyone could make this style treat any better than this. If you like chocolate-covered marshmallows, then this is the caviar version of it and I strongly recommend tracking some down.