Kcal 269 Fat 16.4g Carbs 27.3g (per 48.0g)
ChocolateMission readers beware!!! Brace yourselves for a deluge of Japanese themed reviews over the next week! J-List have just sent me another huge box of samples full of chocolate goodies, which I have to get reviewed and up on the site before they shut down the chocolate part of their business for the summer. With the help of my very willing family, today I started my latest sample box off by trying this Lotte Crunky Chocolate Banana & Cereal bar. Those with long memories may remember that it was the Strawberry Tart variant of the Crunky brand that I reviewed last from Lotte (See HERE). Given their expertise with fruit flavoured chocolates displayed there, I was really looking forward to see what they could do with this Banana & Cereal flavoured chocolate. It was going to be interesting to see if they could outdo Meiji's attempt at a banana chocolate (See HERE).
This bar came in a 48.0 size that we ate across just the one sitting. The packaging and presentation was very much to my liking, which has to be said, isn't that unusual for me to say about products from Japan. It was bright, welcoming and exciting looking with it's funky fonts and pictures, whilst it was also very functional, as the combination of the cardboard box and inner foil wrapper kept everything in immaculate condition. Unwrapped from the branded silver foil layer the chocolate was both visually striking and noteworthy for it's smell. In terms of looks the bumpy surface told me that the chocolate was packed full of cereal, and I thought the golden cream colour looked pretty appetising. The aromas emanated were very forthcoming, but I couldn't quite decide whether I thought the sweet fruity banana scents were enticing or just artificial smelling.
As I mentioned above I did have two fellow taste testers - one of which was my mother who goes absolutely 'head-over-heels' at just the prospect of trying banana flavoured chocolates. After not being totally convinced by the fragrance of the chocolate there was one way to gauge how good it was, and that was of course through tasting it. Despite the bar constituting quite heavilly of rice cereal, the blocks were easy to break up, and they did so with a nice snap each time. Placing the first block in my mouth, I was immediately rid of all wariness around the banana element tasting artificial, and it soon became apparent that fruit had actually been implemented very well. At the heart of the taste the white chocolate wasn't anything that exceptional, but it melted at nice rate and was the sweet, milk rooted base tones were relatively ok. Similarly the puff cereal was equally average with it's mild malty taste, however I understood that it was more there to bring excitement to the texture. Where this bar really picked up the points was the fruit element, which was immediately detectable and delivered some delightfully fresh tasting banana flavours that left a real lasting impression in the mouth. Between three of us this bar lasted no time at all, though I am sure that if a single person was to eat the whole thing it would seem like a decent sized snack.
Overall credit where credit is due, I think this is another well manufactured fruit flavoured chocolate by Lotte. My banana chocolate loving Mother similarly thought that this was a tasty bar - she said wasn't perhaps the best banana chocolate she had ever tasted, but she thought it was decent nonetheless and said that she would have it again if given the chance. Looking back at my review of the Crunky Strawberry Tart it seems like I came to some very similar conclusions about this bar than I did with that one. The white chocolate base wasn't the greatest, and the cereal element was unspectacular, however the integration of the fruit into the chocolate was well done and it took my perceptions that this was just an average product and made me think that it was a pretty decent one. As far as recommendations go I don't think this is a 'must try' for the average person, though I would say if you like your banana chocolates I am very confident you would really enjoy it.
7.8 out of 10