Monday, May 13, 2013
Meiji Hokkaido Aragiri Choco Potato
The last time I tried consumer-level chocolate-covered potato chip snacks, it was a disaster, so I was concerned that these might be scary as well. What was more worrisome (can you see my brow knitting as I fret over candy-covered salted snacks?) was that the former disaster was also made by Meiji. If I get more wrinkles, I'm going to have to consider a suit against said company.
Fortunately, these lacked the ingredient which I think torpedoed my last attempt and that was "cheese powder". There as a horrible pungency to them which killed the love I feel toward chocolate-covered salty things. And, yes, I do love them. One of the great loves of my life are Royce chocolate-covered chips and Snyder's chocolate-covered pretzels. I don't love them often, no, no, for that would mean that I'd have to buy new pants, but I do love them all too well when I have infrequent encounters with them.
This treat comes my way via the kind folks at Candysan, that's the importer I mentioned last week that beats the prices of local Asian grocery stores. I'm continuing to make my way through the generous box of snacks they sent me. They're offering this for $2.01 or 198 yen or even 1,54 euros. I never considered offering prices in the final currency, but they're an international sort of business. I realize this every time I go to their site to link to the product and find that I have to click on the little American flag in the upper right hand corner because my browser is apparently too dumb to recall my preferred settings (or I'm too dumb to configure it to remember... I guess I lived in Japan long enough to "take responsibility" for things that are my fault).
At any rate, I was pretty skeptical about the appeal of this particular product to me personally because of my less than enthusiastic response to white chocolate. I was pleased that they are sufficiently salty for the salty sweet aspect to shine through. Sometimes the saltiness is so subdued that your tongue has to think extra hard to find it. This is not what I want. There is also a nice crunchy chip hidden beneath a fairly thick layer of white chocolate that feels pleasantly cool and rich on the tongue.
The white chocolate is "the rub" on this, at least for someone like me who can be rubbed the wrong way by it. It's good white chocolate, actually, in that it's not horribly cloyingly sweet as the white stuff can sometimes be. It is fairly sweet, but it also has a nice buttery flavor and the sweetness is cut to some extent by the salty chips. That buttery element explains the baked potato with butter illustrated on the front of the box at least. On the down side, the white chocolate is soft and that's not something I like, as my refrigerated strawberry Pocky Midi in my review mentioned.
I have mixed feelings about this that make me wish my ratings system were different and that there was something between "happy" (which means I'd buy it again) and "indifferent" (which means I wouldn't buy it again). I enjoyed this and am very glad that I had the chance to sample it. However, I'm not sure I'd have it again. It has the same quality that bad pizza holds for me. I don't love it, but I can see craving the experience again when the planets are aligned properly and the stars tell me it is time to do so. There's something weird about wanting something you're not wild about, but it holds a particular charm. If you love white chocolate and the salty sweet combination, this is a no brainer to try. If you don't, and I do not, then it's an iffy proposition.