Friday, April 8, 2011

Lawson VL Choco Pie

There are a lot of things in Japan called "choco pie". One of the most popular resembles a moon pie. It's a couple of cakey slabs with vanilla cream in the center and covered in chocolate. Even though they're not very good, I used to eat them regularly when I first came to Japan. I think I did it because they were relative innocuous looking, and I had not yet developed the high level of gustatory "courage" that I have now.

These Lawson VL Choco Pies are different because, well, they are actual pies. They're puff pastries with a toothpaste squirt size stream of chocolate "cream" down the center. For a mere 100 yen ($1.24) for 4 small pies, I'm not exactly complaining about that or the fact that the pie is rather pale and anemic-looking.

Among the ingredients are flour, "chocolate flour paste" (yummy sounding!), margarine, and shortening. It's pretty clear this is both a carb and bad fat festival. Still, they're only 151 calories of nastiness as long as one limits oneself to one pie.

The pie itself has an extremely familiar taste.There are other types of puff pastry pies on the market which either use the same pastry (but cooked a bit crisper and darker). I'm guessing Lawson's obtains the basic pie material from that company, or that this is the equivalent of "store brand" varieties back home. That is, the store name is slapped onto something which may be sold under another brand elsewhere.

The chocolate cream tastes a little like consumer-level chocolate pudding. This doesn't really matter since there is so little of it that you don't get much of a taste of it at all. That being said, the pie part isn't bad at all. It has a nice "baked goods" flavor to it with a certain floury nature and fatty moistness. If you like the flavor of raw pie dough, there may be something in this for you.

I'm rather torn about this. It's the sort of bad food that I might crave once in a blue moon, but not the sort of thing I'd seek out early or often. I will definitely finish the packet, though I'll probably toss the remainder in the freezer and eat it rather slowly when I get a particular craving for white flour carbs.


gossip_bangkok said...

Looks good. I think I will have to try one!

Dani said...

It's so strange how these "pies" look oddly uncooked. LOL!

OMG, Orchid! Sorry for this tangent, but you reviewed these almond cheese sembei a while ago and I recently found them at my local Japanese market called Mitsuwa. I LOVE them!! If it had not been for your review, I honestly don't think I would have ever noticed these little delights! Thank you! :)

Burp and Slurp~! said...

Meh. Korea has a similar pie but with jam filling. I only liked the filling, didn't care for the pastry part.

Orchid64 said...

Thanks to everyone for commenting!

gossip: I hope you like them more than me! There's also a vanilla cream one, but it has pale cream in the pie paleness!

Dani: They *do* look uncooked, and I'm so pleased that my review helped you sample a delight!

Burp: They have those fruit pies in Japan, too! They're not really the same as these though. They're crispier, have a little sugar on top, and the filling has a lot more punch! I wouldn't be surprised if the Korean ones were similar (or the same) as the Japanese ones. I've found that the exact same things are sold in each market.

There was an apple pie I had that experience with here:

That being said, I've found that Korean tea and some other foods quite different in a very positive way! I've got a Korean food item coming up that was surprisingly good.