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07 August 2016 @ 12:04 pm
Darker than Black, C-C-C-COMBO BREAKER 1: いちごパーティーチョコレート  
Yes, I realize that this isn't dark chocolate, but that's why it's a combo breaker! It is from Japan where I just spent two weeks, and that's why we're doing it now.

softlykarou and I get a shipment of Japanese food every month called Skoshbox with candy and snacks. Some of it is more famous foods like matcha kitkats, some of it is food we loved like pretz or BAKE crème brûlée bites, and every once in a while, we get some chocolate. Despite there being dark chocolate in Japan--dark chocolate is marketed as men's dessert, in contrast to the giant sugary parfaits that are the domain of women--we haven't gotten any of it in our monthly box yet, but we did get a chocolate bar that was distinctly Japanese a couple months ago, so I set it aside to use it in a future Darker than Black, and the time has come.

And then I opened it up and it's actually a bunch of little choco-bites in the shape of Sanrio characters. well, I already did the dark chocolate critters, which were similar even if they weren't cute characters. They were cute animals and also dark chocolate, though, which puts it one up on this one.

But I'm getting a bit ahead of myself.

Chō-kawaii ne.  photo emot-3.gif

Japanese flavored chocolate all has a very similar quality to me. It's all a bit smooth, a bit too sugary, and a bit chemical. This wasn't any different. It did taste like strawberry, but it tasted like candy strawberry, the kind of flavor that you know was never even in the same room as the actual berry. And checking the ingredients proves that correct--the "いちごパーティー" here was a food science party composed out of sugar, milk powder, vegetable color, and artificial flavor. Not even flavors, plural--just the one, and you can tell. The main draw is the cutesy characters on the outside and the character interview on the inside of the packaging.

Each character has a single question and an answer, and I can tell it's aimed at children because there's barely any kanji used and what kanji is there has furigana above it. They ask the dog rabbi--the internet tells me its name is Pompompurin--what its dream is, and it says to get a lot bigger accompanied by a cute picture of it jumping up and down. Aww. Keep dreaming there, buddy.  photo Emot-happycat.gif

They put more effort into those than the chocolate itself. It's simple, with sugar and fake strawberry the only flavors and designed to melt quickly in the mouth. The kind of chocolate designed for children who love sweet things and don't yet have the palate for bitter flavors. I almost wrote "more complex flavors" there, but that's a little too pretentious even for me. Children don't like bitter foods because evolutionarily, that's the best way to keep them from stuffing poison into their mouths while their parents aren't looking. Something simple and sweet isn't likely to be dangerous, but as for me, it's not going to stick in my mind and make me want to eat more of it either.

Double-packaged because Japan.

softlykarou's Opinion
I like cute things. I like sweet things. This should be good for me but in all honesty, most of what it has going for it is the cute. The milk chocolate and strawberry chocolate is not super high quality and it left a weird aftertaste even if it was initially pleasant. The Sanrio characters I spent two weeks revisiting were cute to see stamped on chocolate (even if they didn't have Batz Maru who is my favorite) but not enough that if I saw this somewhere I would feel compelled to buy it or eat it again.
I am in the same boat.

The random nature of the Skoshbox means that sometimes we get something we really like and then it doesn't show up again for months. However, the benefit of that is the sometimes when we find something we don't care about,we don't have to worry about it coming again. This is one of those times. This chocolate is the only one of them we've received, and if we're lucky, that will continue to be the case.
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