Black Thunder

My co-worker Charlie S. gave me this cookie bar to try. What an unusual name?!

This small bar was a crispy wafer and rice crisps, covered in dark chocolate. It reminded me of a small Twix bar. The label said it was made in Japan, which surprised me given that it was quite sweet. Japanese chocolate bars are usually not very sweet, but I liked this bar anyway. It was just the right size to take the edge off of a chocolate craving.

Thanks Charlie!

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Meito Cacao 58% Dominica Blend

I found this bag of chocolates at Mitsuwa over the holiday break.

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Inside the bag were a couple dozen individually wrapped chocolates.

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Each one was a cube of chocolate.

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These cubes were OK chocolate. I expected something darker tasting for 58% cacao, plus they were a little dry and mealy. I was not impressed, and neither were my co-workers. I had over a dozen of these left over, even two days later.

Meiji Black Chocolate Blocks

My co-worker Grant W. brought me these chocolate tablets.

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I had had these before, back in 2001, but the package had changed, so I wanted to document them again.

The package slid open to reveal the tablets.

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Each tablet was wrapped in gold foil.

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They were just as good as I remembered. Each tablet had a deep chocolate flavor, and I guessed they were about 40% cacao (looked it up and they are 43%). But they taste much richer than you’d expect at that cacao level. My co-workers liked them too, with everyone grabbing a second one when I offered. I think they were a hit!

Thanks Grant!

Carré De Chocolat Venezuela Bitter

My co-worker Grant gave me a box of these wonderful Japanese chocolates.

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The box opened to reveal an array of chocolate squares (since carré is French for square).

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Each square was individually wrapped.

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It turns out that I have had these squares before, over ten years ago, but they are just as good today. Each one had a very deep rich chocolate flavor, and my co-workers agreed they were very good. Many wanted seconds, and there were still some squares left over to go into my emergency stash. What, you don’t have an emergency chocolate stash?!

Thanks Grant!

Royce Pure Chocolate: Mild Bitter and Extra Bitter

My co-worker Grant W. gave me an incredible assortment of Japanese chocolates, including this Royce box.

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The box contained two trays of individually wrapped chocolate disks.

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One disk looked like this.

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I have had a Royce Pure box before. That one contained Venezuela Bitter and Ghana Sweet, and it was very good. This one was equally amazing. Both of the bitter chocolates were fantastic. I thought I would like the Extra Bitter more, but the Mild Bitter had such a rich and fudgey chocolate flavor that I could not decide which one I liked more, even after several taste tests. My co-workers were equally mixed, liking both kinds. One co-worker, Justin B., eloquently described the Mild Bitter as “started good and became OK” and the Extra Bitter as “tasted like crunchy nothing but then tasted like something”. He’s a future food reviewer, that one.

Thanks Grant!

Bourbon Matcha Crunch

I found this at a Japanese grocery store in Irvine over the holiday break, but I saved it for trying at work during a chocolate eating meeting.

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Hmm, these were…different. The outside was milk chocolate, not very noteworthy at that, and the inside was a crunchy green tea flavored goo. I wasn’t very fond of them, and neither were my co-workers. One of them liked milk chocolate and green tea, but even she thought these candies tasted odd.

Lotte On Chocolate Bar

I found this weird Japanese bar at a Mitsuwa grocery store over the holiday break, but I waited to take it to work after the New Year.

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Why was this bar weird? In so many ways. It was very thin, probably half the thickness of a normal bar, and it was covered in greenish…stuff. The most likely culprit from the ingredient list was “milk cake nut”, whatever that is, with some green tea in it. It tasted like cake batter, and surprisingly, the bar itself was milk chocolate. Most Japanese bars are dark, since a lot of Japanese people are lactose intolerant, so that was another oddity. But weirdest of all was that despite sugar being the first ingredient, this bar also had sorbitol and sucralose in it, which is both a lot of sugar and a lot of different sugars. And all of them together made this bar really sweet.

All in all, this was an unusual Japanese bar. I cannot say I liked it or would get it again, but I was glad I tried it.