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Home / Doug's Chocolate Republic  /   Review: Meiji Strawberry Chocolate

     
Meiji Strawberry Chocolate 
Posted: 1 November 2014    6.5 
Meiji Strawberry Chocolate from Japan This is not great chocolate, and Meiji isn't even saying it is. They're saying it's Japanese quality which is saying something in itself. The strawberry cream filling in the chocolate doesn't fool you that it's made from freshly pureed strawberries. You know you're in for artificial strawberry all the way with a Meiji bar, but at least you know it's Japanese quality artificial.    
Avg price/gram: USD 0.03   Cocoa %: 16  Size: 46g   
       


The first two chocolate bars reviewed on the Chocolate Republic were Meiji bars, neither of which failed to disappoint.  The Meiji Strawberry Chocolate bar is Meiji low cacao-solid chocolate surrounding a likely artificially flavored strawberry filling.        

Since reviewing the first two Meiji bars, I've been back to Japan twice and never cease to be amazed with what they can do with impure ingredients.  On my last trip, my wife and I visited an Asahi brewery in Fukuoka.  For fifteen minutes at the end of the tour, we could sample as much of three types of Asahi brews made on premises.  The regular, dark, and special all tasted so  balanced, chilled to their perfect temperatures, served with just the right amount of head.  Of course, the Japanese were using foaming agents, fillers, added sugars.  They probably employed food science shortcuts during the fermentation process.  Satisfying the stringent criteria of the German purity law these beers don't.  And yet, for the industrial  beers they are, they taste superb.         

Meiji does the same in the chocosphere. The chocolate is smooth, but there's a slickness to it. You don't taste the terroir or traces of plum and boysenberry or what have you. Meiji -- and all Korjap chocolate -- is designed to have a uniform taste and feel. Here are the basic guidelines of chocolate, as laid out by some Japanese edict, and all the Japanese manufacturers diligently adhere to those guidelines without going above and beyond.

But meeting those minimum standards, by Japanese standards, is still high.  The Japanese don't hesitate to sacrifice expensive and delicious cocoa butter for cheaper vegetable oils, and they don't hide it either.  They embellish the recipes with a number of other artificial ingredients that, I'm reluctant to admit, taste great!       

This is not great chocolate, and Meiji isn't even saying it is.  They're saying it's Japanese quality which is saying something in itself.  The strawberry cream filling in the chocolate doesn't fool you that it's made from freshly pureed strawberries.  You know you're in for artificial strawberry all the way with a Meiji bar, but at least you know it's Japanese quality artificial.        

The Meiji Strawberry Chocolate bar is a perfect example of how Japanese craftsmanship can turn a bar with practically no cocoa solids (7.8% cocoa mass, 7.8% cocoa butter) and flavor essences into a snack that satisfies more than Snickers.        

Slumming it with a major brand doesn't mean selling out.  Not in Japan.        

If you liked reading this, consider savoring these reviews:
 Dove Milk Chocolate from China -- 29% cocoa solids
 Patsys Raspberry Bar from USA -- 45% cocoa solids
 The Complete Chocolate Republic Index


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