Monday, December 2, 2013

Look Hawaiian Chocolate

When I was a very young child, I had a puzzle which was a map of the United States. Each piece was a state and the point was to teach children the names of the states and their capitals. Since it would be very boring design to just have each state with words on it, they also put a picture or a few pictures of representative images for each place on the puzzle piece.

For some states, this was easy since they had very clear industries or famous places. California had Hollywood. Michigan had cars. Florida had oranges. Idaho had potatoes. My home state, Pennsylvania, had the Liberty Bell and coal. Some of the states were represented by rather silly things and those are the states that nobody remembers the position of on the map. Of course, Hawaii was easy. It had pineapples, coconuts, and hula girls. In fact, it also has a good deal more these days as we can also connect it with coffee, and macadamia nuts. In fact, I think more people know Hawaii as a stereotype than as an actual place to live (except the marvelous Marvo at The Impulsive Buy since he actually does live there).

I imagine that this offering from Fujiya for their Look line is based on favored stereotypical flavors. The box has all of the images that my old puzzle map used to have, including the hula dancer. Maybe one of their designers had that very same toy as a child.

Of course, there must be pineapple and there's also Kona coffee and macadamia, but the final flavor is pure Japan. That flavor is "blue Hawaii". My first experience with the "blue Hawaii" flavor was when considering a kakigori (shaved ice) treat for the first time. The syrup flavors included that non-descript flavor. We though that it might be blueberry at first, but it turned out to be some weird flavor that we could not figure out. Of all of the options in this box of Look chocolates, that one would absolutely be the biggest surprise as I had no idea what it was going to be.

pineapple: This was very subtle at first and I mainly tasted the bittersweet chocolate. The pineapple hit somewhere in the middle as an acidic burst and then faded away. I don't think chocolate and pineapple are a particularly good pairing in general and this did nothing to change my feeling about that.

macadamia: I had some expectations that this might work pretty well because, you know, nuts and chocolate, but it tasted strangely artificial and funky. It was if it had been contaminated by some bizarre artificial flavoring.There was only a modest nutty flavor mixed with the strange chemical taste.

Kona coffee: I figured this might be pretty good, but it also had a little of that odd flavor coupled with coconut. It had a rich, coffee finishing taste and was the best of the bunch. That is not to say it was fantastic, but it was complex and tasted closest to what one might expect.

blue Hawaii: This is where that strange chemical flavor came from. I wonder if the other flavors were "contaminated" in some fashion by the bubble gum-like flavor of this filling as that same essence is what I detected in the macadamia and Kona coffee to some extent. The pineapple is the furthest physically in the box from the blue Hawaii so it may not have been absorbing the scent/flavor as much. As much as I may feel that pineapple and chocolate are not a natural partnering, bubble gum and chocolate are about as mismatched as it gets.

None of these was terrible. I didn't exactly want to spit them back out, but that is more of a testimonial to how weak the fillings were and how serviceable the semi-sweet chocolate was. I can eat these, but I wouldn't say they'd be my first choice or even my second or third. If I was desperate for chocolate and this was all I had, I'd turn to it, but it's really not great. Maybe I got a bad box, or mine was older and sitting on the shelf caused flavors to coalesce into a mutant entity, but I wouldn't buy this again.


Hirayuki said...

Apparently a Blue Hawaii is a frozen drink that contains coconut rum, blue curacao, pineapple juice, and sweet and sour. Maybe it's a good drink, but it sure sounds like a gross chocolate filling. :/

Greg Pitfield said...

Original Hawaiian sweets - the first to augment, hand-pick, sun-dry and method only Hawaiian developed cocoa beans, non-blended to assure purity and quality. Like as a japanese chocolate.....