Just in Time for Valentine's Day: Japanese Sweets and Chocolates



Just in Time for Valentine's Day: Japanese Sweets and Chocolates


This is a great time of year. Not only do we have Valentine's Day in February, but strawberry-flavored treats also starting to appear on the shelves of convenience stores and super markets. From the simply to delicious to the slightly strange, be on the look out for these items when you go shopping! 

Chocolaty Treats 

Bake Premium Creamy Chocolat 

This indulgent treat has a crisp baked crust and a melt-in-your-mouth creamy center. The contrast between these textures is one reason why this sweet is a popular choice in Japan. It's only available during the winter, so be sure to pick some up soon! 
Bake Premium Creamy Chocolat_1

You can see the difference in color between the baked crust and the rich center.
Bake Premium Creamy Chocolat_2

Marugoto Ichigo Tsutsunda Ootsubu Kinoko No Yama 

Those familiar with Japanese snacks might know the popular Kinoko No Yama (lit. mushroom mountain). These are little "mushrooms" made with a cookie stalk and a chocolate cap. These ichigo or strawberry-flavored ones are a little different from the regular kind. First, they're much bigger. Second, they're completely covered (marugoto tsutsunda) with strawberry-flavored chocolate. These are only available when strawberries are in season.
Marugoto Ichigo Tsutsunda Ootsubu Kinoko No Yama_1

As you can see, these cute little mushrooms still have a crispy cookie stalk.
Marugoto Ichigo Tsutsunda Ootsubu Kinoko No Yama_2

Uniquely-Flavored Chocolates


Tirol Choco Sakura Mochi

Tirol Choco is well-known in Japan for producing bite-sized chocolates in a variety of unique flavors. For example, here's one flavored like sakura mochi, one of Japan's famous traditional sweets.
Tirol Choco Sakura Mochi_1
True to its name, you can taste sweet anko (red bean paste) and salt-pickled sakura leaf in this chocolate just like you would when eating a real sakura mochi!
Tirol Choco Sakura Mochi_2

Tirol Choco Beard Papa's Choux Creme

In Japan, there is a very popular chain of stores specializing in choux cremes or cream puffs. Tirol Choco decided to partner with this popular brand and turn its much-loved pastries into tiny chocolates.
Tirol Choco Beard Papa's Choux Creme_1

The result is like an inside-out cream puff. The outside tastes like custard filling, and the inside has a cookie with a texture similar to the crust of the cream puff. 
Tirol Choco Beard Papa's Choux Creme_2

Simple Yet Satisfying Chocolate


meiji THE Chocolate Gianduja

Produced by Meiji, this "bean to bar" chocolate uses carefully selected cocoa beans that undergo a unique manufacturing process. They have a variety of sophisticated flavors including the Gianduja pictured here which has a hazelnut-chocolate filling. 
THE Chocolate Gianduja_1

The aroma of hazelnuts is immediately present from the moment you open the package. The flavor is mild yet rich and is best for savoring slowly a little at a time. 
THE Chocolate Gianduja_2

Ghana Nama Chocolate (Milk Chocolate)

From Lotte's Ghana chocolate line, we have this nama chocolate. These sweet treats are filled with nama chocolate, a common name for chocolate ganache in Japanese. These are also only available during the winter. 
Ghana Nama Chocolate_1

Cutting the chocolate in half, you can see that it's mostly made out of ganache. These little morsels are guaranteed to melt in your mouth the moment you break through the thin chocolate shell. 
Ghana Nama chocolate_2

How about Chocolate... Noodles? 


Peyoung Chocolate Yakisoba

To end this article, here's a type of chocolate that you've probably never seen before. Here we have instant yakisoba (fried noodles). But replacing the usual savory yakisoba sauce, we have-- you guessed it-- chocolate sauce. And that's not all. To top things off, there are crotons and powdered dried strawberry. 
Peyoung Chocolate Yakisoba_1

You prepare these instant yakisoba noodles like you would any other kind; fill the container with hot water, drain the water once the required amount of time has passed, and then add the sauce and toppings. 
Peyoung Chocolate Yakisoba_2

You can see what it looks like done below. Think you want to try?
Peyoung Chocolate Yakisoba_3

Indulge Your Sweet Tooth 

While it may be customary to give chocolate on Valentine's Day, there's no reason you can't treat yourself any day of the year. Because most of the products in this article are available for a limited period of time, you'll have to move fast to get some for yourself! But don't worry-- Japan is always coming out with new and delicious (and sometimes a little weird) treats to try! 

*Please note that products for this article were purchased on February 3, 2017. Items are only available while supplies last at participating retail locations. Seasonal items are only available for a limited period of time. 

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