It was while doing a little background research into this product that I learned two things. One, Itsu was started by the people that started Pret A Manger. Two, Itsu is (at present) mainly a ‘London Thing’, although their snacking range (of which this is just a small part) are more widely available in branches of Waitrose & Sainsbury’s, Moto service stations, and some cinemas.
So, for those that don’t know, Itsu is a chain of fast Japanese food style restaurants which served the usual assortment of Bento boxes, Sushi and noodle dishes. This little box of chocolate coated edamame (Soy beans to you & me) is part of their foray into the snack/sweet market. The chocolate is 35% cocoa but also worryingly contains ‘vegetable fats in addition to cocoa butter’. The packaging is simple enough – a flip top cardboard box and a sellophane bag to keep the beans fresh.
I’ll be frank about the chooclate – it’s okay. Not awful by any means, particularly as it boasts a reasonably healthy 35% cocoa solids, but obviously not high-end. It’s definitely not too sweet, which means I found it quite tolerable, and it does work remarkably well with slightly salty edamame. These little nuggets put me in mind of chocolate coated peanuts, but without the disappointment of having to chew your way through a load of peanuts once the chocolate has all gone. The edamame are very tasty and devilishly moreish. They’re crisp, light, and pack a far more interesting flavour than boring old peanuts (I was never a fan) and if the packaging is to be believed, provide a good source of fibre and ‘may help lower cholesterol’.
Personally, I would definitely buy these again, not so much for the quality of the chocolate but more because of the lovely way the edamame combine with the chocolate. It’s a rich, semi-sweet, nutty, earthy combination with a hint of saltiness to cut through the chocolate. In fact, truth be told – I’d quite like William Curley to do a ‘posh’ version of these (and to send me a lifetime supply for suggesting such a thing).