Released every winter as the King of Seasonal Items: Meltykiss! The chocolate truffle in a box from Meiji. Smooth, luxurious chocolate with a dusting of cocoa on the exterior, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Meltykiss is most popular seasonal snack item in Japan. Every manufacturer has come up with a Meltykiss rip-off to try and get in on the action, but until I’ve got time to do a taste test comparing them, I’m just going to say they’re pale imitations and Meltykiss is the real deal…!
But even the King has to fight to stay on top, and so the standard sorts of variations like Green Tea and Strawberry have given way to Extra Milk Chocolate, Rum & Raisin, and recently (so far as I can tell) “Whips” (which is chocolate mousse) and Almond. Unlike last week’s disappointing Almond-flavoured LOOK chocolates, this box promises a whole almond in every bite and a unique shape from the traditional Meltykiss cube. I’m pretty excited!
Packaging: As mentioned, this box promises that the Meltykisses contained within will have a unique shape, and a whole almond hiding inside. Moreover, this is some high-end packaging! A cardboard box with printing on the exterior AND interior, a bonus 5th colour metalic gold ink on the exterior AND over-the-top gold foil-stamping! The whole box seems to be underprinted with some sort of iridescent or metallic ink, or on a special paper at least, because the whole box shimmers in the light!
The box opens to reveal writing, but also a foil package within! This might be one of the most elaborate packages for consumer chocolate I’ve seen, very nice.
Scent: Really lovely. The Meltykisses give off a strong, full scent, but it’s of a mild and sweet cocoa, and it’s apparent as soon as the package is opened. What I mean to say is that the scent itself is pleasant and mild, but it isn’t weak in any way… It smells like quality I guess you could say. There’s also a very good hit of almond in the mix, which is rather nice too.
Taste and Texture: As someone who grew up eating a lot of chocolate-covered almonds (basically 2-3 times a year all through highschool either my Brother and I, or one of our friends, would be selling them through school to raise money for something…), I have a really good baseline for what your average pack-of-candy chocolate covered almond should taste like, and these are clearly a cut above. As promised, there’s a whole almond in each candy, smothered in some sort of cream, milk chocolate, and I think a light dusting of cocoa. It’s sweet, for sure, but it’s got a lot going on with the different flavours of chocolate, whatever that cream is, and the really nutty, strong taste of the almond. It’s a great, well-balanced bite, and surprisingly excellent for a bite of commercial chocolate.
It does build up a super-sweetness in your mouth half-way through the box which is a little unpleasant, but maybe that’s nature’s way of telling you not to eat 500 calories of chocolates in a go.
Verdict: These are great! I’m so happy to find such an excellent chocolate that isn’t afraid to play with taste and texture in this way. It’s even more surprising when you realize it’s a ‘spin’ on an enormously popular type of candy with a very rigourous set of rules and a maniacally devoted fan following. Way to break the mold, Meiji! Of course, I feel a little bad that I haven’t reviewed the standard Meltykiss on here yet and jumped right to a variation, but since I’ve got 3 or 4 other flavours sitting in the fridge I might be able to get to that sooner than later.