Every culture produces a candy version of its money. I like to imagine this started with Hanukkah gelt, because that's the oldest religion I know of which includes an ongoing custom that offers up candy money. However, considering that chocolate is a New World crop, and that the ancient peoples who grew it drank it much like we drink coffee, I'm guessing that the true origins of things like chocolate coins will remain unverifiable. Such is the loss to humanity.
I knew when I picked up this bag of Tirol chocolate 5-yen coins that it wasn't going to be full of some unique candy that I'd be struggling to describe the flavor of. I bought this out of a sense of culturally transplanted nostalgia. That being said, I had forgotten how obnoxious relatives liked to tease me with hints that I was getting actual money then give me the chocolate stuff. They were always amused by this gag, but my sister and I were far less impressed. Nonetheless, when old sorts weren't trying to pull one over on my diminutive self, I always loved getting gold foil-covered coins at various holidays (usually Christmas) and I couldn't resist the Japanese take on this childhood favorite. Also, frankly, since most Tirol candy is sold in individual squares, I wanted to sample this unusual offering from that company.
The candy is actually quite a bit bigger than a real five-yen coin.
The packet contains 54 grams (about 2 oz.) of individually wrapped candies. Each packet is 28 calories and has two "coins", one white and one semisweet chocolate version, in it placed back to back. Both are fairly thin and nicely crisp with a good snap. Well, at least mine were after I kept them in the refrigerator. The white chocolate one is mellow and sweet. It's actually less cloying and offensive than most offerings of the white stuff. The other one is actually quite tasty with a nice bit of bitterness and a strong chocolate flavor.
I liked these quite a lot and would be pleased to keep a bag around for a quick bite of chocolate if they were all the semisweet chocolate variety. As it is, I tolerate the white one amiably, but find it less than fulfilling as a sweet snack. Right now, my chocolate bits of choice are Crunky mini bites (which are 14 calories each), but these are a serviceable substitute for portion-controlled nibbles.