Monday, March 31, 2014

Meiji Meltyblend Fruity Strawberry

When I recently reviewed the chocolate version of "Meltyblend", I remarked that these are usually called "Melty Kiss" in Japan. What's in a name? In this case, I was thinking it might be the potential for a lawsuit between Hershey's and Meiji if they tried to called their small bits of individually wrapped chocolate treats "kisses". The truth is that I have no idea why this is called "Meltyblend", but a little research revealed the unlikelihood that the product has been renamed because of what I'm sure are Hershey's armies of industrial grade trademark protection lawyers. 

Research into how Hershey's came to call their little drops of chocolate "kisses" in the first place provided an explanation, but not a very credible one. Hershey claims that the sounds that the chocolate makes when it's plopped out of the machine resembles the sucking wet of a kiss. They neglected to mention that, back in old timey days, "kiss" was a common name for any small sweet and that there were products of all sorts referred to as a "kiss". My guess is that that origin is lost, but that the concept comes from the idea that it is a small touch of a confection on the lips - sweet and often short - and you want more.

This "Meltyblend", not "Melty Kiss", but they actually are the same product is the last of my "winter limited edition" Japanese sweets in stock. It's only limited to winter because of the low melting point aspects. It's not because it's strawberry. Trust me on this. If you're around for the random picture I'm planning to use on Wednesday, you'll know that strawberry is anything but "limited" right now. In fact, spring seems to have sprung in an absolute explosion of this particular fruit.

As for the candy, I'm sorry to say that this is the biggest "miss" I've experienced in the Melty Kiss line. It's not bad at all, but compared to the almost sublime varieties that I've sampled before, it comes across as humdrum and lacking in flavor power. They smell faintly of strawberries, and have a pretty decent strawberry taste at the start, but as the taste develops on your tongue, it becomes too strong and isn't balanced out by the chocolate portion. If it has had a ratio of 1/3 chocolate to 2/3 strawberry, I think the bitterness of the chocolate may have provided for an interested contrast. As it is, it just came across to me as 90% berry and with an almost inconsequential bit of chocolate. 

If you're a bigger fan of strawberry than me, this might be the bee's knees. It still has the soft, almost truffle-like, qualities of Melty Miss and melts nicely on the tongue. I just really need more chocolate in my chocolates. If this were a real kiss, it'd be the sort which didn't end up igniting much passion, at least in me. Perhaps it's more someone else's type.

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