January 2nd: Glico Winter Kiss Almond

Kcal 363 Fat 26.2g Carbs 25.0g (per 60.0g)

Just before 2009 drew to a close my friends in the Far Eat J-List sent me another batch of goodies of their latest stock to review on ChocolateMission. Of course it goes without saying that you can expect a lot of Japanese reviews this month - from past experiences with Far East snacks I am sure they will range from the sublime to the bizarre! Kicking things off we have these Glico Winter Kiss Almond chocolates which J-List describe on their website as 'almond nuts covered in milk chocolate with a sprinkling of cocoa powder'.

These chocolate covered nuts came in a 60.0g size and were contained within an inner foil packet and cardboard box combo. As with the majority of things from the Far East the packaging was a real strength of the product and the outer box in particular was well decorated with some nice looking illustrations and Japanese wording. Inside the dainty looking box the almonds looked exactly as they did on the exterior pictures and they smelt wonderfully tempting, emanating some fine nutty scents when the foil packet was unsealed.

As I received these from J-List in December these were a product that I shared with my family over Christmas and they suited this occasion perfectly. In total these Glico Winter Kiss Almond lasted for only one day sat on our coffee table as they combined that dangerous combination of having both a moreish and fair taste. One of the things that I noticed immediately with these were the thickness of the chocolate shells, and it was nice to see that the portioning of the chocolate was generous in comparison to products such as M&M's etc. Speaking of the chocolate itself the quality wasn't quite what I would describe as the 'finest' (as the packaging stated!) but it was pleasant nonetheless with its friendly, milk rooted taste. The cocoa dusting added little in terms of flavour but it did bring the desired melty feel when each piece was placed in the mouth. Given the fair yet unremarkable standard of the chocolate a lot was going to be left up to the quality of the almonds which I can report were equally as average. The almonds were crunchy fresh, but not so fresh tasting and brought only minor buttery, nut notes to the party.

Overall it is not often I say this about a product from the Far East but these were pretty average ... mundane even! Don't get me wrong these were not bad at all, but packaging aside these Glico Winter Kiss Almond aren't anything you can't get quite readily available in the West. The quality of both the nuts and chocolate were good but not worth getting overly excited about at the same time. This may sound a little stupid but one thing I did really like was how nice the packaging looked. The Japanese always seem to do a great job presenting their snacks, though I guess some may think it is a bit on the excessive side. Based on taste I can't really recommend these as a product you should invest in or import as I am sure there has to be an equivalent product closer to hand. Based on the look of the rest of the J-List stuff there is more exciting stuff to come - take a look at the website HERE if there is anything you want me to take a look at.

7.7 out of 10