Monday, June 7, 2010

Meiji Milk Chocolate

I couple of months ago I went on a buying spree in Little Tokyo and bought this Meiji Milk Chocolate bar. I photographed the packaged but then ate it without taking a picture of the contents. After consuming it, I thought, I should really review this.

Meiji Milk Chocolate

I don’t know much about Meiji as a company. Everything I know about them is what I have experience interacting (eating) their products that I can get a hold of in the United States. I don’t know their politics, I don’t know how the Japanese regard the products and company and I don’t know anything about their history (except that they’re over 80 years old). It’s kind of a strange approach for me, as I often like to immerse myself with a lot of context when it comes to candy.

Late last year Meiji’s chocolate bar line got a new look. (Here’s what the package used to look with along with Orchid64’s review and some other more professional evaluations of the redesign.) Here’s another view of their classic-style packages.

I loved their old wrapper, but I have to say, I really dig the new one. I like the font but what I really enjoy is the bold simplicity; partly because what’s inside is simple and partly because it stands out so well amongst the very chaotic and colorful candy packaging common in Japan.

Meiji Milk Chocolate

The ingredients are great: sugar, cacao mass, whole milk powder, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, artificial flavor.

The bar measures 6.25” long and 2.75” wide. There are 15 segments - five across and three down. They don’t really do much besides provide visual interest - I found the bar broke into pieces wherever it felt like, not along the supposed section dividers. Under the embossed paper sleeve the bar is wrapped in a rather thin and devilish foil. I found it difficult to get the bar out and even worse to get it back in. (Basically I just re-wrapped it the best I could and put it in a zipper plastic bag for later consumption.)

In Japan the bar is about a dollar, so it’s like the Hershey bar in that it’s widely available and cheap. (In the US I paid twice that though, $1.99 in Little Tokyo.) The bar is bigger than a Hershey’s Milk Chocolate which is 1.55 ounces and the Meiji Milk Chocolate is 2.04 ounces.

Meiji Milk Chocolate

The flavor is deep and smoky. It’s much darker than ordinary milk chocolates, but also much less milky. It has charcoal and cocoa overtones, it reminds me of chocolate pudding I make at home - which is often very low in sugar and very high in chocolate (usually a mix of chocolate and cocoa). The melt is cool and exceptionally smooth - smoother and more consistent than Dove. It was actually comparable in mouthfeel to Amano’s Milk Chocolate bars. It’s thick but not sticky, silky but not greasy.

The toasty caramel and charcoal notes have a bitter aftertaste that’s quite pronounced. I enjoyed it quite a bit and found no problem eating a whole bar in one sitting. It’s not for everyone, but I applaud the good use of ingredients, fresh and unique flavor profile and decent price. The bar is extremely fatty - it clocks in at 167 calories per ounce, which is much higher than many milk chocolate bars which are known to be very sugary - but there’s also 15% of your calcium in each serving, 6% of your Vitamin C & Iron plus 2 grams of protein.

I’m willing to continue spending $2 for this bar and seeking it out in Japanese markets.

Related Candies

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Name: Milk Chocolate
Brand: Meiji
Place Purchased: Little Tokyo Market (Little Tokyo)
Price: $1.99
Size: 2.04 ounces
Calories per ounce: 167
Categories: Candy, Meiji, Chocolate, 9-Yummy, Japan

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:43 am Tracker Pixel for Entry     CandyMeijiChocolate9-YummyJapan

  1. I’m also finding this bar to be very typographically beautiful. The old packaging is quite pretty, too, though every so slightly dated. Once this packaging looks old, they should bring back the classic packaging. By then it’ll look fresh again.

    Comment by Karen on 6/08/10 at 8:38 am #
  2. I don’t know if I will bother heading into Little Tokyo to seek this bar out, but I do think I’d like to try your homemade chocolate pudding.

    Comment by Joseph on 6/09/10 at 5:27 pm #
  3. I love Japanese chocolate. I remember spending my last Yen at Narita on various chocolate bars…yum!

    Comment by RR on 6/09/10 at 5:48 pm #
  4. I am a big fan of the taste of Maji’s products, I have never come across this bar, It sounds really yummy!

    Have you tried their “Apolo” Chocolates? So Yum. I’d love to hear what you think of them.

    Comment by CHar O on 6/10/10 at 3:32 pm #
  5. Those little cups look perfect to put peanut butter in! I would love to spread a little PB on those things.

    Comment by Helldog on 6/11/10 at 1:01 am #
  6. Great review on the Meiji bar, Cybele—and Belated Congratz on Candyblog’s 5th anniversary!

    Meiji has an illustrious history, and is one of the top chocolate brands in Japan. I preferred their bars over Morinaga when I lived in Sapporo back in the 70s, mainly because of the relative complexity of their flavors, as you describe.

    Keep up the great work!

    Comment by Pete Healy on 6/11/10 at 7:38 am #
  7. i prefer Meiji Black Choco.

    Comment by u8mypinkcookies on 6/16/10 at 2:09 am #
  8. Oh I love love love Japanese chocolates, particularly the ones from the Meiji brand. It’s weird, but Jap chocolates still stay in shape (although soft to touch) on a hot day, so I just pop it in a fridge for a few inutes

    Comment by ShoppaHolique on 6/17/10 at 12:57 pm #
  9. I finally got some of this after reading your review, and man I must say… in my opinion, this is far superior to Hershey’s chocolate.

    Comment by Rachel on 7/09/10 at 7:44 pm #
  10. Noticed Meiji now owns a US company that mostly sells cookies…

    Not that it matters any further, but it would be a nice springboard to get more of this stuff into regular stores!

    Comment by Chris Sobieniak on 7/12/10 at 1:19 am #
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