February 7th: 'Bits n Bobs' Japanese Meiji Selection 2011

Following the acclaim that last weeks 'Bits n Bobs' Japanese Selection received I thought it only right to follow up this week with another set of Japanese themed mini reviews. If you are new to the site and are wondering where all these treats from the Far East are being sourced from, you may want to have a wander over to J-List. The very friendly company owner Peter has been sending samples for ChocolateMission for years, here are another four products one of my favourite Japanese brands called Meiji - I hope something tickles your fancy.


Meiji Winter Chopan
Kcal 241 Fat 17.5g Carbs 18.6g (per 42.0g pack)

The Meiji Chopan range is one that has appeared on the site a few times already. I have previously reviewed the Meiji Chopan Strawberry Assort (See HERE), and the milk chocolate Chopan was also included in my Buyers Guide last Christmas (See HERE). Seemingly like most other Japanese ranges, Chopan is one that gets at least one new flavour every season - presenting the Meiji Winter Chopan.

Matching the rather suave outer aesthetics, the chocolates themselves both looked and tasted the part. The outer dark chocolate cups provided a decent initial raft of unsweetened cocoa flavours that progressed nicely into the more buttery, creamy flavours of the truffle filling sat in the middle. Placed on top of each piece, a crispy disc of both swirled white and dark chocolate added a nice crisp textural element. This crispy disc wasn't quite the x-factor that the biscuit pieces were on top of the strawberry Chopan variety, but it was a nice addition nonetheless. These are yet another one of those 'not a must try, but still very decent' product from our friends in the Far East. They would be a cute, authentic present for someone.

7.7 out of 10

Meiji Meltykiss Whips
Kcal 303 Fat 21.5g Carbs 23.7g (per 50.0g)

Just like the Meiji Chopan above, Meltykiss cubes were another Japanese chocolate that I had previous experience with (See Meiji Meltykiss Creamy Milk Chocolate / Caramelized Almond HERE). A bit of Meltykiss trivia that you might not know is that all the Meltykiss products are only sold during the colder winter months in Japan - you learn something new everyday on this website :D

These Meltykiss Whips came billed as 'lighter, extra soft and dreamy chocolate cubes' - a somewhat surprising proposition given that I thought the original Meltykiss matched that very description already. Just like the original variants, these Whips came beautifully presented in a sky blue colour box and individual foil wrappers. The chocolates were too small for my liking, and consuming them was a bit of a irritant given the amount of packaging, however this was one of my only few irritants. Taste wise they were delicious. The chocolate was sweet, but very creamy and despite the fast paced, soft flowing melt the flavours lasted a sufficient amount of time in the mouth. These chocolates left me thinking that a substantial bar of Meiji Meltykiss could be a decent competitor to the Cadbury Wispa.

7.4 out of 10

Meiji Meltykiss Fran
Kcal 100 Fat 6.0g Carbs 10.1g (per 18.0g pack)

The second Meiji Meltykiss product today is part of Meiji's Fran range - yet another range that has previously featured on ChocolateMission before (See Meiji Fran Matcha Green Tea HERE). Meiji Fran is one of the many product offerings similar to the Glico Pocky range that I'm sure we are all aware of being immensely popular both in Japan and outside.

Borrowing the product description from J-List, these came described as 'cocoa cookie sticks dipped in "Meltykiss" chocolate' - I'm sure you probably could have worked this out for yourself. The product was presented in a typically inviting manner, with the total box split into four 18.0g packets containing a fairly well portioned amount of four sticks. Having tried more than a few Pocky/Fran/Toppo variants in my time, I was surprised by how good I thought these were. As ever my feeling towards the cookie sticks were rather blasie, however the chocolate on the outer portion of them was certainly better than average. As you would expect with Meltykiss chocolate it had a creamier than average taste, and it melted like a dream almost instantly in the mouth. If you are looking for a decent Pocky alternative you needn't look further.

8.3 out of 10

Meiji Meltykiss Macadamia
Kcal 492 Fat 39.8g Carbs 28.7g (per 75.0g)

Had enough Meiji Meltykiss yet? ... I hope not because there is one more to come :D Yes indeed, I think I am always saying that we have a shocking lack of macadamia chocolates here in the UK. Whether this is down to consumer taste trends, or the fact they are a more expensive nut - this is seemingly not a similar problem they have in Japan. The last product featured today are these Meiji Meltykiss Macadamia.

Described as 'chocolatey creamy treats with macadamia nut filled centers' these sounded a non-threatening, yet tantalising proposition. I hope from my photographs you can determine that the packaging was again a real treat on the eyes. Lavished with sparkly fonts, and premium gold colours, the chocolates inside were similarly pleasant looking - even the macadamia nuts didn't upset the immaculate, shiny, clean cut surfaces. When it came to the taste test these proved to be a real favourite amongst my family. The chocolate was just as described above in the other Meltykiss reviews, but the real treat were the nuts which were delicious. The macadamias were buttery and slightly salted - boy did these chocolates prove to be moreish. My only reason for not totally backing them as a great importing option would be that compared to the other two Meltykiss options on show today, they aren't as unique in regards to being an Eastern proposition.

8.1 out of 10