Monday, November 11, 2013

Meiji Earl Grey Meltyblend

One of the things that Japan has a much better market for than America is chocolate that straddles the line between the plebian consumer tastes and the more upscale market. In order to cater to these candy in-betweeners, they sell things like Melty Kiss (the line that this is directly related to). It's somewhat more expensive, comes in smaller portions, and is a little less widely available, but is by no means hard to find or expensive. The result is a little like a truffle, and it's one of those things that should catch on as an import in other countries, but has not.

I have a few opinions about why this sort of thing isn't popular here. The primary one is that these are relatively delicate candies. It says "winter limited" in the corner for a reason. These things would be puddles of goo in the heat and that means they can't be shipped from just anywhere at just any time. The other reason is that, if they are imported, they are generally quite expensive. In Japanese markets, I tend to see the Melty line for about $4.00 per box. For about 2 oz. (15 pieces) of candy, that's on the higher than I'd like to pay side. I only bought this one because it was part of a half price sale at Marukai market.

I'm not generally a fan of the pairing of black tea and chocolate, but this was the most interesting of the three flavors on offer (the other two were strawberry and chocolate). On occasion, I will have a square of chocolate (usually Lindt if I have it around) with a cup of tea, but that's a rather different experience as they are distinctly different flavors.

The Earl Grey flavor and the chocolate are definitely firmly manacled together like a couple of prisoners on a chain gang. They both jump out and seize your tongue immediately. Both are potent, though not necessarily in a bad way. That is not to say that they work together in a good way either. If these two were breaking rocks together, they'd chip away at a few sizable rocks, but I wouldn't count of them to tackle any enormous boulders.

The main appeal of the Melty line is that it's rich, fatty, and, unsurprisingly, melts on the tongue. The reason it is only available in the colder months is that it is designed to melt when you put it in your mouth and is fragile even in somewhat warmer temperatures. All of the decadent textural elements of the line are present in this chocolate, and that's probably what puts it over the line in terms of being something I kinda, sorta liked and probably wouldn't have cared for.

I think this actually has the elements of a high end chocolate that you'd buy in one of those specialty stores like Leonidas or a custom chocolatier. That's all well and dandy, but my tastes are somewhat more pedestrian than such lofty delicacies. I think that, if you like strong flavor mixes that are quite authentic, there is the potential to truly love this. As it was, I liked it enough to be happy to finish the box, but not enough to buy another one in the future.

1 comment:

kfc said...

I love earl grey and the meiji meltyblends so I hope my vendor here will bring them in! They look so good.