Monday, August 10, 2009

Carameliser Macademia Chocolates

People who go to Hawaii for vacation often bring boxes of chocolate-covered macadamia nuts to their offices as a souvenir treat. Back in the early days of my stay in Japan, this used to be quite novel as it was expensive and relatively uncommon for one to find anything with macadamia nuts in Japan. These days, people still bring the same souvenirs from sojourns to paradise, but more often than not the exact same boxes of sweets can be bought at various shops around Tokyo.

So, the creamy, tasty macadamia nut has gone from exotic siren of the souvenir world to the plain girl down the street who you'd only take out on a date if you were invited to a wedding and couldn't sucker anyone else into accompanying you. There's no clearer indication of this than the fact that you can pick up a plethora of varieties of macadamia-based sweets at 99 yen shops. That's where I ran across these small gold foil packets.

I'm not sure what the deal is supposed to be with the caramel on these since there is no visible indication of anything other than a nut and chocolate. They smell like chocolate. They taste like super sweet, rich chocolate with a good, fresh, crispy macadamia nut. There are no detectable caramel notes, but I'm guessing that the nuts are probably cooked or rolled in caramel syrup such that there is a paper thin layer on them. What little caramel there is mainly makes them sweeter than usual and richer.

I love almost any sort of chocolate covered nut, and my affection for these was greater than usual. The only "problem" is that there are only 8 candies in a 43 gram (1.5 oz.) bag and 254 calories or 32 calories per chocolate-covered morsel and it's incredibly easy to just eat all of them in one sitting. I would definitely buy these again, but only if I think I can exercise some judicious control or decide to throw caution to the wind.


Anonymous said...

are those available here in the states too?

Kelly said...

You know a Japanese friend of mine went to Hawaii and brought me back a box of chocolate covered macadamias which I found weird because most of the macadamias are grown in Australia anyway, and sure enough, on the back of the box, it said "made in Australia".

As a country who exports the majority of Macadamia's, seeing them used in Japanese sweets puts me off, because i'm so over the who macadamia thing. It's like selling tea to china.

Orchid64 said...

Hi, maliboob, and thanks for reading and your comment. If you have an Asian grocery in your area, you may be able to find them since a lot of Lotte's products are carried overseas. It may not be predictable though since there are so many different things that any particular shop might not carry them. Good luck!

Kelly: I've actually never seen anything made with Australian macadamia nuts. All of the ones I've seen are Hawaiian, but I didn't check the origin of the nuts in this particular candy.

Sherry said...

You know, a lot of people take these trips and then just buy the stuff here in Japan. They don't want to bother having to bring it all back on the plane or deal with customs. They also need the space in their luggage for their own designer shopping. LOL!

There are catalogs at most travel agents that have things from the most populer destinations you can order and have delivered to your house to give away to people when you get back.

I think this may be why you see these sorts of nut chocolates and other supposedly regional treats sold everywhere now. Trying to make that whole darn omiyage thing less of a PITA!

Orchid64 said...

You raise an excellent point, Sherry. I hadn't thought of that, but I definitely agree!

Kelly said...

It's funny you should say that Sherry because I only just found that out last time a girl from Japan stayed at our house and was asking about some kind of macadamia chocolate she had seen online on one of those places you are talking about. Anyway, I hadn't heard of it, and finally after ringing around, it was only available in the departures lounge at our airport, so "aussies" can't buy them unless they're flying out somewhere, so much for being popular anyway we have yet to try them! I think they are quite misleading as to what they say is popular, of course people from overseas are trusting them and believe them, but it's not always true.