Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bambi White Pudding Caramels

Animals seem to be quite good at producing various caramels in Japan. This box of "Bambi" caramels was purchased at the same time as the ferocious Ezo brown bear strawberry caramels. There must be some sort of woodland critters production facility in Hokkaido. They probably have to keep the bears and deer separated when they have meetings just in case there is a heated disagreement and the bear does something unseemly.

While these caramels are called "white pudding", they are actually condensed milk ("dulce de leche") flavor. You can buy tubes of sweetened condensed milk in Japan and it is often eaten on strawberries. While condensed milk tends to be used in baking or in preparing sweet desserts back home, the Japanese use it fro more direct consumption like putting it on shaved ice (like a snow cone) and using it in coffee. These caramels are like a somewhat soft cube version of it rather than pudding.

These smell like milk and sugar, unsurprisingly. The cubes are rather firm when you first put them in your mouth, but warm up and grow soft fairly quickly. They have a strong milky flavor and are fairly sweet, but not sickenly so. Fortunately, they don't stick to your teeth like, but can have a more peanut butter type of tendency to stick in a blob to your gums, palate, or teeth.

One box of these was 99 yen (about a dollar) for 18 caramels and these are pleasant enough. There is no calorie information, but I'm guessing they're probably about 20 calories or so each. The flavor is nice and sweet, but you have to be a fan of condensed milk straight from the can to really love these, and I can't say that I am. Certainly these are quite tasty and well made. It's the sort of thing I'd happily keep in a drawer in my desk and consume when I was in the mood, but it wouldn't be a mainstay or something I'd find myself craving.

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