/ Doug's Chocolate Republic /
Review: Meiji Strawberry Chocolate
Meiji Strawberry Chocolate
Posted: 1 November 2014
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.
price/gram: USD 0.03
Cocoa %: 16
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
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
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,
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
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.