Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tirol Pastries at Family Mart

Chocolate bread with "milk" and chocolate filling.  All images from Family Mart's web site.

There are a lot of experiences that I can have in America which mirror those I had in Japan, but one thing I can't have are convenience store (konbini) exclusives. I doubt that such short-lived offerings will ever make the trip to these shores. I can't say that is an enormous disappointment, but I would have tried one of these Tirol shelf-stable pastries that are being sold at Family Mart convenience stores.

Bread with kinako (toasted soy flour) cream and kinako chocolate cream.

Tirol seems to be stepping up the marriage of their chocolate-based concepts to others. For those who don't click on the link, Tirol is know for making little blocks of chocolate with various types of fillings. Their product line tends to be limited to chocolates and generally does not extend to pastries. This is a little like a Snickers or Milky Way pastry, only, you know, with a lot less sugar and a lot more bread.

White chocolate bread with cookie, "milk whipped cream" and cream filling. 

If you look at the illustrations (you can load a larger image if you click and open it in a new tab or window), you can't help but see that the filling sits at the bottom of the hollow spot in the center and doesn't really fill the space. These are clearly the typical "konbini" pastry which are mostly a large bit of bland bread or cake with a proportionally small amount of filling. This fulfills the tastes of Japanese consumers, who prefer their food bland and not terribly sweet. It was the sort of thing that I got used to, but never did much for me. That being said, I would buy the kinako one if I were still living in Tokyo, because I'm that big a sucker for anything kinako and I'd love to compare it to the Tirol kinako candy that I love so much. 

If you've given this a try, please comment and let me know how it lived up (or down) to expectations. 

1 comment:

Zak said...

I had the milk chocolate one yesterday, and felt betrayed.
I mean, I've been in Japan for a few years and am used to the disappointment of eating bread that looks sweet but tastes like buttery cardboard. I thought that this bread would be different since it was based on a chocolate bar, but how naive I was.

The product takes the appearance of a dinner roll that you would find at Golden Corral or Country Buffet, except it was colored chocolate brown to signify that it was the chocolate flavor(Which was Radically different from the plump pastry looking dessert that was on the package).

Even through the glorified dinner roll was brown, it did not taste like chocolate. Well, maybe a little like chocolate. Saying this bread is chocolate flavored is like calling a tall glass of milk with half a teaspoon of nesquick in it chocolate milk.

I guess the redeeming factor of this bread was the core.
The core had a "milk" layer, and "chocolate" layer.
The milk layer resembled the custard filling that is oh so common in other combini breads, while the chocolate layer was akin to a melted hersheys bar.
Custard and chocolate never taste bad together, so I wasn't complaining.

The only problem was that the filling literally lasted one bite until I was back to suffering through chocolate cardboard atrocity.

Don't buy this!