Monday, April 18, 2011
Meiji Porute Extra Whip
I think I purchased these chocolates just under the wire because they are a "winter only" release. That's not because they're seasonal, but because they're almost certainly going to melt if exposed to any temperature over 70 degrees. Fortunately, I know from past experience that when these vanish in the foggy heat of late spring, they'll be back at the end of next October. I've seen these come and go for a few years, so if you miss them, try again when the leaves start to change colors.
The basic notion behind these are that they are whipped cream served up on a crispy cookie base and coated in chocolate then dusted with cocoa powder. Sounds pretty good, eh? This variety is "extra whip" because they have 20% more "whipped cream" stacked on their crunchy base. Of course, "whipped cream" isn't really a correct way of describing what these are topped with. It's actually a solid, shelf stable form that is firm and only starts to yield something resembling actual whipped cream if you hold it on your tongue and let it melt a bit. The ingredients don't include "cream" but rather "cream powder" alone with cocoa and whey powders.
Though my description may make it sound less than stellar, these are actually pretty good consumer chocolates. My husband, who is a big fan of real cream in his coffee, loved these. They have good contrasting flavors with the bittersweet chocolate shell and the rich creamy flavor. There's also a nice textural mixture with the crispy cookie base and firm meringue-like structure of the "cream" portion.
Each of these is about 1.3 times the size of a Hershey's Kiss and only 31 calories, so if you have some self-control, these make for very sensible snacking. It helps that they're wrapped individually so you won't worry about them going stale once you pop open the box. I paid 169 yen ($1.99) for my box, but they retail for 198 yen ($2.34). They're a little expensive for only 9 pieces, but worth it if you're a fan of cream and chocolate.
To me, these tasted like a low-rent truffle with a less rich texture. There was also a flavor which I found reminiscent of alcohol in chocolates. I think that may be part of how the cream portion is processed rather than any actual booze in the mix. For my husband, these would be a "very happy" rating. For me, they were a "happy" rating. I will definitely buy them again, but probably not until they come back around next autumn. It's not that I didn't enjoy them quite a bit, but rather that there are other options I might choose first.