Okay, I’ve already established how much the duck and I love that Japan does seasonal snacks so incredibly well. And, even though spring is only our second favorite season (because of the pollen, but we already mentioned that) it’s definitely our favorite snack season because of all the matcha flavored snacks! That’s why, when we discovered the spring edition of Fujiya’s LOOK chocolates featuring Uji matcha – *gasp* we’ve been to Uji! We had matcha there! – we had a nostalgic flashback to the time we taste-tested the autumn edition when we were still young, naive and not marked by the gruesome Tokyo winter that we had to go through (gosh, we’re dramatic!) to finally arrive at this beautiful season for beautiful snacks. Anyway, let’s stop the rambling and get to our subjective taste test:
Matcha say to these chocolates, duck?
(If you thought we’ve already reached rock bottom with our bad puns, you were so wrong!)
First of all, let me write about the box those cute little chocolates came in: The sparkly gold lettering on the beautiful matcha green backdrop surely made the duck and me feel sophisticated and special and majorly excited about what majestic flavors would await us inside the milk-chocolaty shell of those little messengers (or shall I write ‘matchangers’? Eheheheh, still not at rock bottom) of spring. Since this box, as well, features two different kinds of flavors, there will, again, be two individual reviews with a combined overall Duck-rating. So, what else is there to write other than the usual: we have a specific taste, we tend to be rather critical toward fruity chocolate, don’t take the duck and me too seriously (I know we don’t)- I think that’s it. Let’s get started!
Kaori matcha: As per tradition, the duck and I went with the jelly-filled variety first. And, right away, we were happy that the cream inside the chocolate did have a distinct matcha taste – that alone won the chocolate three Duck-points. The cream does have the promised slightly bitter matcha flavor but when the sweet jelly part kicks in it becomes slightly fruity and, surprisingly, we don’t hate it. Actually, ‘kaori matcha‘ roughly translates to aroma or fragrance matcha which does make sense to us; instead of a rather literal bitter matcha taste we got more of a light aroma that reminded the duck and me of the matcha that we love to much. In fact, together with the sweetness of the chocolate the sweet freshness of the matcha filling seemed very well matched and impressed us more than we would have expected from the fruitier variety of the two. Because of that we would award this flavor alone 4.5/5 Ducks.
Koi matcha: This one we had high expectations for! The ‘koi‘ stands for strong, deep matcha which also shows in the filling that is a bit darker and deeper in color. This variety also has, compared to the kaori matcha, a deeper and less sweet flavor. In fact, we really love how the cream does give you this characteristic slightly bitter matcha taste, rather than just hinting at it. As the golden letters on the package suggested, this filling does taste a bit more sophisticated than those of the other LOOK varieties we’ve tried so far. If you’d compare it to a time of day (because that’s what everyone does with chocolate, right?), I’d say it’s more solemn, like an evening, whereas the kaori matcha filling is fresher, like a morning. So, taking just the cream filling into account, this variety is perfect (for us)! However, there still is the chocolate shell and that, unfortunately, confused our taste buds a bit. We love the deep matcha flavor of the filling, but somehow we just couldn’t decide if it goes well with the shell; the sweetness of the chocolate was a bit too strong (for our tastes) and seemed to mask some of that great (but rather subtle) flavor of the cream. While the kaori matcha variety felt like a pretty good symbiosis of the sweetness and fragrance of the matcha filling and the milk chocolate, here, the combination of the two seemed a bit mismatched… Still, this is criticism on a high level as the duck and I still love matcha in most all shapes and forms. Therefore this one gets a nice 3/5 Ducks – only because it confused us a bit too much when we were trying to figure out whether we liked or loved this chocolate.
Taking both ratings and our love for matcha into account we just have to give this pretty little box of chocolates a combined rating of 4/5 Ducks because matcha is amazing! But we have also tried matcha snacks that we liked a bit better than this one.
I think that, had the chocolate of the koi matcha chocolates been less sweet, that variety could have been a solid 4/5, but we have to be fair in our subjective ratings, right?
Anyway, that’s it for our second personal seasonal chocolate taste test.
Have a sweet week!