Thursday, July 4, 2013

Iyokan Tirol Chocolate (product announcement)

Several months ago, I visited my father-in-law and he showed me a couple of oranges which he said he was going to toss out because they tasted like grapefruit to him. I looked at them, and they looked and sounded like iyokan. That's an orange in Japan which is slightly sour, but still sweeter than a grapefruit. It turned out that those were Mineola oranges, which aren't the same as iyokan, but are probably second cousins to one another on the taste scale.

Tirol has decided that iyokan, which is the second most widely produced citrus fruit in Japan after mikan (small Japanese oranges which are similar to Clementines), is a good choice for one of their chocolates. Frankly, I concur, and I hope to locate a bag of these beauties at one of the local Japanese markets in the not too distant future.

There are two types of iyokan chocolates in the bag. One is a cookie variety, which I'm sure just has Tirol's trademark bland crispy little biscuit with some orange sauce on it. The other is a marshmallow with orange sauce over it. Even though this is white chocolate, the bitter notes of iyokan show potential for off-setting the cloying nature of it.


Sherry said...

Did you ever have an orange push up as a kid?
These remind me of that.

Orchid64 said...

I've heard of orange push-ups, but I don't recall having one. Is that like the orange dreamsicle bars (ice cream and orange popsicle)?

Sherry said...

Maybe. I've never had a dreamsicle.

Portland via Japan said...

Mikan are "tangerines" (not oranges) in English. And iyokan aren't really like minneolas at all....minneolas are the same as tangelos which are really like dekopon which someone named "Sumo Oranges" (ugh) in English.

Orchid64 said...

I agree with you, but, I don't name them, I just report what they are named.

That being said, depending on where you buy these, they are called "Sumo Mandarins" or "Sumo Oranges". I still refer to them as dekopon when I speak with my husband. We've bought about two dozen since they've become available and we tend to split one per day when we have them. I always ask if he'd like to "split a dekopon", not a "Sumo orange".

And, as I said in my post, I said minneolas resembled iyokan, but were not the same. I am not a citrus expert, however. Iyokan and minneolas are similar in that they are both on the less sweet side for citrus and have a hint of grapefruit in terms of flavor. That being said, I haven'et eaten a large quantity of either - only two minneolas and about a half dozen iyokan. As is always the case with fruit, it could be my taste experiences were atypical. YMMV