By Lucy Dayman
While the Belgians and Swiss may have a reputation for being the reigning champions of the chocolate world, Japan, however, is pushing the boundaries of how we enjoy the humble cocoa bean. From chocolate slices to iconic chocolate sticks, here are some of the best ways to savor one of the world’s greatest sweets.
5. Chocolate Potato Chips
Feeling like treating yourself to a little junk food binge, but can’t figure out whether you want salty or sweet? Lucky you’re in Japan because, like for most things, this country has the answer to all of life’s cravings—no matter how bizarre. Chocolate covered chips are exactly what you would guess: crispy, salty plain potato chips covered in smooth, sweet milk chocolate. So simple and obvious, this guilty snack hybrid is now a snack mainstay at most combini (convenience stores). If you want to try the very best, Royce is the chocolate king, producing caramel and white chocolate cheese versions as well as the classic milk chocolate.
4. Muji Chocolates
The brains behind the iconic Japanese lifestyle store, Muji, have managed to perfect the art of simplicity in every facet of life. Sweets, of course, are no exception. Muji’s food aisles are a chocolate lover’s paradise. From classics like peanut chocolates, chocolate marshmallow, chocolate wheat puffs, to the more obscure green tea chocolate-coated strawberries, chocolate blueberries, chocolate corn nuggets and chocolate-coated orange peels, Muji has it all.
As delicious as they are popular, Pocky, Japan’s much loved chocolate-covered biscuit sticks are snacking ergonomics at their best. Taking their name from the onomatopoetic word pokkin pokkin (the snapping sound of a biscuit), what makes these little chocolate treats so addictive are how fun they are to eat. Like many other food items in Japan, there are a variety of options when it comes to selecting Pocky flavors. From classic milk chocolate and matcha to regional flavors like Nagano grape, Kobe wine or Hokkaido’s Yubari melon, Pocky is essentially its own food group.
2. Bourbon Chocolate Slices
Making international waves online, the announcement of confectionery company Bourbon’s sandwich-ready chocolate slices whipped chocolate lovers into a sugar-induced frenzy. Made from nama chocolate, which is a thick, creamy incarnation of chocolate, these slices were made with versatility in mind. Similar to cheese slices in both consistency and packaging, the introduction of Bourbon’s milk and white chocolate slices are putting some serious pressure on Nutella’s reign as the go-to sandwich chocolate.
1. Kit Kat
Did you know that if you wanted to eat a different type of Kit Kat each day for a year, it would be almost possible here in Japan? With over 300 region-specific and seasonal flavors, the country’s love for the versatile wafer finger is, for many foreigners, beyond comprehension. The name “Kit Kat” sounds, coincidentally, like the phrase kitto kattsu, which loosely translates to “You’ll win.” Thus, this humble snack has become unanimous with good luck gift-giving. Some of the more adventurous flavors the country has produced include wasabi, soy sauce, Japanese sake and a very fancy golden leaf edition.
Article courtesy of All About Japan