The duck and I love the saying that “good things come in threes.” We also love chocolate. So, as soon as we espied a new Ritter Sport chocolate variety called Konnichiwa at the grocery store, we knew this meant the third chocolate-based subjective snack review of the year. The pink wrapper features images of a maneki-neko (a beckoning cat figurine said to bring good luck to its owner, often found placed at the entrance of Japanese businesses) and cherry blossoms, together with cherries and almonds, the primary flavors of this chocolate bar. The duck and I felt like Ritter Sport knew how much we miss Japan‘s seasonal snacks, especially the spring-themed ones (even those that advertise sakura but are basically cherry-flavored), and created this variety exclusively for us. After some research, we learned that Konnichiwa is part of a trio of new location-based chocolate bars. Buenos días seems to be the white mango passion fruit chocolate we reviewed in our vacation Ritter Sport review two years ago (we should get a full-size bar sometime if only to find out whether the new name will make it even tastier). Hey there features salted caramel crisps, something the duck and I have slowly learned to look out for before buying any new chocolate. The blurb on the Ritter Sport product site for Konnichiwa confirmed what we had expected going by the design of the packaging: This chocolate bar is based on the beauty and transience of the Japanese cherry blossom, probably the most prominent symbol (and our favorite photography subject) of Japanese spring! Even though we were a bit skeptical about the fruitiness of it all, we couldn’t wait to subjectively review this chocolaty German Japanese spring-themed snack:
Cherry chocolate curiosity
What our expectations said:
Of course, the duck and I waited until we were home before we had an actual look at what the beckoning cat and our sakura memories had made us buy. The Konnichiwa bar consists of milk chocolate with a sour cherry and bitter almond cream filling and finely chopped almonds. We like Ritter Sport milk chocolate. But we were wary about the cherry and bitter almond cream because of our stance on fruity chocolate, a bad experience I had once made when I added too much bitter almond aroma to a cake, and our general distrust concerning milk creams. I was beginning to question our sanity when we picked out this chocolate bar. Mercifully, the duck reminded me that we liked the sour cherry syrup we made Phryne Fisher’s Cherry Flavored Mystery with and that the chili pepper-flavored cherry pieces in one of our chocolate highlights of 2021 had reminded us of that taste. So, I gathered my courage and, synchronously with the duck, took the first bite.
What our taste buds had to say:
The whole thing was a bit fruitier than we had hoped for, tasting more like “regular” cherry than the sour cherry flavor we like. Fortunately, I was spared reliving my terrible bitter almond memory. Even though we couldn’t taste any bitter almond flavor per se, the duck and I suspect that it adds to the milk cream’s not-very-milky taste. Despite its fruitiness, we don’t mind the filling in combination with the milk chocolate (because, according to our particular chocolate tastes, fruit is more acceptable in milk- or white- rather than dark chocolate), but we prefer the more balanced chocolate-to-filling ratio in the corner pieces to the fruitiness of the ones in the center. The consistency of the cream reminds us of kinder chocolate, our gold standard of milk fillings, and we love how the almond pieces in the cream add texture and make each bite interesting.* Overall, the duck and I gladly award this a rounded-up 3/5 ducks. Konnichiwa is a bit too fruity for our taste. But we love that the packaging gives us the idea of spring (even though the cherries and almond aroma makes this more of a summer flavor in our books).
The duck and I half expected this chocolate to be fruity when we bought it. So, we weren’t too disappointed when that expectation proved true. Overall, we don’t regret trying this Japan-themed snack. Although apart from the packaging and the blurb on the website, it has little to do with Japanese spring, the Ritter Sport Konnichiwa chocolate bar made us remember spring in Tokyo. And that is good enough for us. After all, life is like a box of chocolates (in that you can’t revere all varieties that exist in the world), isn’t it?
What is your favorite (seasonal) flavor?
*At this point, I should add that on top of being super subjective, our reviews also rely on how we (and the producer, distributor, and grocery store we got it from) stored the snack before it found its way into the duck and my mouths and tummies. Out of curiosity, the duck and I tried another one of the coffee & cookie chocolate bars we wrote about earlier this year. This time around, we didn’t store it in our heated bedroom for weeks, and – lo and behold! – this new chocolate bar wasn’t as crumbly and messy to eat as the one we reviewed.