More brightly coloured chocolate fun from Japan – this time in the shape of miniature chocolate bananas from Meiji.
Inside the box are a multitude of tiny chocolates with a banana flavoured sugar shell. Now I have always had a problem with artificial fruit flavours – particularly strawberry and banana, which always seem to come out tasting like perfume – and so I was somewhat trepidatious about these little yellow fellows.
However my fears were unfounded, as the shells contain enough banana flavour to let you know you’re eating a sweet banana but not enough to make you think you’ve just been dosed with some sort of banana flavoured chemical. The shells are thin, crisp and not overly sweet, with a suitably restrained amount of banana flavouring. The chocolate actually gets to make itself known and the overall balance of flavours is pretty good. I couldn’t say what percentage of cocoa is in the chocolate, but judging from the taste it’s in the high 20′s or low 30 percent.
Obviously we’re not talking fine chocolate here. These are fun sweets for Japanese children and they’re devilishly moreish to boot. It doesn’t take too long to go from ‘full, rattley box’ to ‘last few bananas in the palm of your hand’ and in spite of myself I found myself wishing I had more to hand. I like the packaging (the box reminded me of the old Paynes Poppets packaging) and I think the flavour is done well. A shame we don’t have more ‘fun’ chocolate like this for British kids to munch on. Maybe someone should start a business importing Japanese chocolate into the UK?