Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Meiji Chelsea Kokutou Black Sugar

Meiji Chelsea Kokutou Black SugarAs a kid I would eat brown sugar straight from the bag. I loved finding chunks of the stuff in my oatmeal. As an adult I discovered muscovado sugar and love finding new ways to use it in everyday food.

As a candy, this molasses rich sugar is quite popular in Japan, where Japanese prize their Okanawan Black Sugar. It’s mostly found in hard candies but sometimes used in caramels. I was excited to see the Meiji Chelsea line of hard butterscotch candies came out with a variety pack based on flavors of Kuro Sato called Chelsea Kokutou Black Sugar. The flavors are milk, black sugar and ginger.

The packaging is always charming. A stark black background with little calico inspired flowers dot the wrappers. In this case each wrapper is a different muted pastel with black flowers on it.

Meiji Chelsea Kokutou Black Sugar

The candy comes in two different packaging styles. There are little flat boxes that hold foil wrapped pieces of butterscotch, then there are the bags, which often have assortments instead of a single flavor. The sealed wrappers are great because they keep the candies from becoming sticky. However, the candy is expensive. I think I paid 3.99 for this package that holds only 2.5 ounces. I’ve seen other packages for sale online for over $5 a package as well.

Meiji Chelsea Kokutou Black Sugar - Milk

The light purple wrapper holds the Milk flavored piece. It looks like ordinary butterscotch but tastes like sweet, creamy rum. The texture of Chelsea is extraordinary. It’s smooth. The pieces always look and sound like glass. If you like to let your candy dissolve, these last a long time with consistent flavor all the way through. If you’re a cruncher, these are crispy and buttery.

The milk flavor mellows the strength of the black sugar, which can have bitter components to it. It’s fresh tasting, like a very mellow black tea.

Meiji Chelsea Kokutou Black Sugar

The light red wrappers hold the best of all, the Black Sugar flavor. The pieces are very dark brown, glossy and hard. The flavor is dark and complex. It’s like that charcoal-like flavor of a toasted marshmallow. It’s more earthy and cereal-like than just molasses. It’s creamy and smooth, woodsy with a hint of toffee and coffee.

What’s so amazing about black sugar are all the flavors and nuances. It’s like chocolate, coffee or wine in that way.

Meiji Chelsea Kokutou Black Sugar - Ginger

The lightest looking piece of the set is the Ginger. This is less about the black sugar but an interesting combination of flavors. The ginger is woodsy and smooth with a warm component to it. The flavor is less of the tangy fresh juice flavor and more of the dried ginger with milk profile. The black sugar is lost, so the sugary notes are more like maple than molasses. Still, a great ginger candy, far and away better than most other toffee style gingers.

This was a great mix and I found it hard not to eat them all right away. I even tried going back to Little Tokyo to find more, but couldn’t find a single grocer that carried them still. I’m very sad, but hoping that Meiji will bring back the Black Sugar at least as a single flavor in the boxes at some point and I will stock up.

Related Candies

  1. Zeke’s Butterscotch
  2. Mandy’s Old Fashioned Confections: Butterscotch & Caramel
  3. Molasses Pops
  4. Japanese Black Sugar & Tropical Chews
  5. Japanese Black Sugar Candy Finds
  6. Green and Black Caramels

Name: Chelsea Kokutou (Black Sugar)
Brand: Meiji
Place Purchased: Marukai Marketplace (Gardena)
Price: $3.99
Size: 2.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 125
Categories: Candy, Meiji, Hard Candy & Lollipops, Toffee, 10-Superb, Japan

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:12 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry     CandyReviewMeijiHard Candy & LollipopsToffee10-SuperbJapan

  1. If you have never tried it, Woodstock Farms makes awesome brown sugar.  You will love it. I use it in my home made bread and it is fantastic.

    Comment by Celeste Fland on 8/15/12 at 4:13 pm #
  2. I try to try out you 10s. These are amazing. Eating a packet right now, and am going to get a second just as soon as I run out.

    Never would have tried Haribo Ingwer-Zitrone if it weren’t for you!

    Comment by Mr. P on 10/05/12 at 6:53 am #
  3. I looked up the ingredients in these and they have monosodium glutamate in them!

    Comment by ZZ on 3/23/13 at 5:48 pm #
  4. There was an MSG scare a while back, based on faulty research.  The media blew it up a bit, but before freaking out because something has MSG in it, do a bit of research from reliable sources.  By “reliable” I mean from actual health institutes or peer-reviewed journals, and check to see who fund the research.

    All in all, MSG is likely only a problem for those highly allergic to it; similar to how peanuts are a problem for those who have peanut allergies.  There is nothing that suggests MSG is associated with cancer or any other serious disease in non-allergic individuals.

    PubMed also has a ton of articles on this, but it will just block access if you’re not signed in/subscribed.

    Comment by SW on 4/08/13 at 9:29 am #
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