Japan is great when it comes to seasonal snacks. In spring it is hard to enter a grocery store without finding at least one sakura (cherry blossom) flavored snack – my friend once brought me a cute little box of matcha-sakura flavored Kitkat when she visited from Japan in spring; they tasted like a steady chocolate-float ride through a peaceful matcha stream in the middle of (the week-long) cherry blossom season, just without all the crowds of sakura-admirers and instead with some extra sugar sprinkled on top. But enough of this pseudo-poetic writing!
Now that it’s fall (even though the temperatures feel a lot like winter), of course, the duck and I had to try some of the autumn-specific snacks Japan has to offer in that favorite season of ours. The first thing we found was this year’s autumn edition of Fujiya‘s LOOK chocolates.
The individual bite-size pieces of chocolate usually come in a box with two or four different varieties, such as LOOK 4 with 27%, 40%, 55% and 70% cacao chocolate or LOOK A La Mode with banana-, almond-, strawberry- and coffee-cream filled milk chocolate. Our catch, however, featured two Japan autumn classics: sweet potato and chestnut (as far as the duck and I could tell). This is our very personal review:
The taste’s nut too bad
(Those puns are getting worse but I’m not sorry!)
Since there are two flavors to discover in this one box of chocolates we decided to go with two individual reviews with a combined overall Duck-rating. Again, keep in mind that the duck and I have very specific tastes (refer back to this for some examples) and usually chocolate filled with anything remotely fruity does not rank very high on our chocolate-love-list (sometimes we accept raisins but that’s as fancy as it gets. Nuts, cornflakes, etc. are usually okay). So, sweet potato and chestnut was a rather risky (ohohoho, think about all those possible dangers lurking inside this sweet milky jacket) snack to get. But since we love fall and sweet potatoes we still wanted to give this a try!
Sweet Potato: Being sweet potato fans (with posters on our walls and everything), of course we had to try this one first. And, we were quite happy that the cream inside the chocolate did indeed remind of sweet potato, though it was too sweet for our tastes. There was also a little bit of jelly on top of the cream – a detail we had missed on the package even though it is clearly shown and probably even mentioned because normal people seem to love that jelly – which, unfortunately made the whole thing even sweeter. Also, while we are not too fond of most cream-filled chocolate, fruit jelly in combination with chocolate is very low on our chocolate-toleration list (Jaffa cakes, for example, we only eat if we are truly desperate). So, even though the idea is great and autumn food is amazing and, generally writing, I’m pretty sure Fujiya did a pretty decent job with this one, the duck and my taste buds were not too pleased. Anyway, we’ll give it a bonus Duck for the sweet potato! So, the overall grade for this one is 3/5 Ducks: pretty edible but not necessarily something we’d buy again.
Chestnut: To start this off I have to confess that the duck and I have not consciously eaten any chestnut flavored food, or actual chestnuts for that matter, in a very long time (or ever?), so this one we could only judge based on its taste rather than its success (or non-success) in recreating this chestnut flavor that is so beloved among most Japanese.
Compared to the sweet potato chocolate, this one was less sweet, though still a bit too sweet. At the same time it had a slight bitterness, which was a pretty pleasant addition to the taste and nice creamy texture. Taking all that into consideration we (shockingly) have to admit that we liked this one better than the sweet potato, even though we are proud members of the sweet potato fan-club! All in all, we give this a rounded up 4/5 Ducks because, apart from the sweetness, we liked it a lot!
Taking our ratings for both varieties into consideration, however, we would give this box 3/5 Ducks, which is still pretty good for chocolate – because we just love fall food! If it weren’t for our weird chocolate standards and decided dislike for anything liquid in our chocolate, this would have ranked at least one Duck higher. If we had to choose a creamy autumn flavor to go with our chocolate, it would be a less sweet version of the sweet potato with some chestnut added in there, too… however that would taste.
That’s it (for now) for our personal seasonal chocolate taste test.
Have a sweet weekend!