Monday, July 25, 2011
Meiji Mango Chocolate
This is a chocolate party that I am more than fashionably late in attending. In fact, I'd say I'm showing up just about as the hostess is clearing away the dishes and shooing out the final round of guests. The fact that I waited so long to pick up a bar of this chocolate is a reflection of how many other things were more interesting than this rather than a lack of desire to try it. The fact of the matter is that fruit-flavored chocolate is very common in Japan and if I sampled every one of them, I'd have time to write about little else.
All of that being said, mango isn't the most common of such pairings, though mango is currently the fruit-flavored darling of Japan. Dried mango was talked about for its health benefits a year or two ago (I can't keep track of when these food fads start, I've got blog posts to write!) and since then you see mango everywhere and in everything. One thing I can definitely say about Japan is that where the media leads, the people follow with a vengeance. Someone once said eating bananas in the morning would help you lose weight and there wasn't a banana to be found for awhile. I still know women who eat a banana every morning for breakfast based on this (mistaken) notion.
Getting back to mango, and this chocolate in particular. It is a thin layer of mango-flavored chocolate in the center sandwiched between two milk chocolate layers. The mango flavor is very strong and on the sweeter side. The chocolate is fairly overpowered and doesn't really have a strong effect on the overall taste. I wonder if its main effect is to mitigate some of the cloying nature of white chocolate based fruit flavoring rather than to mix and pair with the mango.
All of that in no way says this is bad. It's actually pretty tasty. I think it could have been a little better had the chocolate played a bigger role (or have been a bit darker), but it's still good. I wouldn't say I'm over the moon about it, but I am enjoying slowly eating the bar one or two squares at a time. This is definitely not the sort of thing you're going to wolf down all at one go though. If you're a mango fan, this is worth a try, but perhaps not something worth tracking down at all costs.