Friday, December 28, 2007

Wheat Chocolate

Wheat ChocolateFor a couple of years, over in the snack aisle of the Japanese market, I’ve noticed these larger bags of chocolate covered grains on the bottom shelf. Most are wheat, some are rice. They’re usually in rather generic looking bags and not as demanding of my attention as the other Japanese candies on the other side of the aisle. But last time I just had to pick this up. It was called by the very simple name of Wheat Chocolate (Mugi Chocolate).

It looks like it’s a puffed wheat covered in shiny milk chocolate. And that’s pretty much what it is.

The English nutrition label says that the ingredients are barley puffs, not wheat. These are a little small, about half the size of the wheat puffs you might be familiar with if you eat Sugar Smacks. Of course the idea of barley was pretty appealing to me (I’m a barley nut).

Wheat Chocolate

Whatever grain they are, they’re all perfectly crisped and coated with a thin layer of milk chocolate and then given a shiny confectioners glaze.

They’re all about the size of a green pea, though a few are doubles stuck together. The chocolate is sweet and thin with a pretty strong milky flavor to it. This goes perfectly with the strong malty puffed grain inside. Each is foamy and crisp.

The bag held 5.46 ounces and I ate it in two days. Seriously addictive stuff. I couldn’t stop popping them in my mouth and I have to wonder why I can’t get an American version of these. The package was really charming too, mostly clear cellophane to display the lovely chocolate and bordered with pink and some little drawings of people and houses. (It felt kind of Dutch to me, honestly.)
As far as nutrition goes, there are 3 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber in each 35 gram serving. Because they’re so filled with air, 35 grams is about half a cup ... it looks like a lot. (Okay, there are also 9 grams of fat in there, too.)

Kinder CountryOddly enough I also had another puffed grain candy from the other side of the world recently too. It’s called Kinder Country made by Ferrero. It’s a small bar (23 grams - a little more than 3/4 of an ounce), about half the size of a regular Hershey’s (though a bit thicker). I got this at Mel & Rose’s Wine & Spirits on Melrose in Los Angeles.

The outside is a milk chocolate shell, which is that really sticky sweet milk chocolate that Kinder is known for. Inside is a smooth and buttery cream filling. It’s not quite white chocolate, much more dairy flavored and not too sweet. The fun part is that it’s studded with puffed rice. (Not crisped rice.) The flavor combination is like cereal and milk. The puffs are so light and airy, it makes this tiny bar pretty satisfying. (Sera also reviewed it this week - her wrapper looked different than this import though.)

It’s a tasty bar. Not quite as addictive as the Wheat Chocolate, but certainly different from our usual American crisped rice goodies.

Related Candies

  1. Peeps Monster Mash Ups
  2. 100 Grand Dark
  3. Balisto
  4. Malted Crisped Rice Squares
  5. Ritter Sport Assortment
Name: Wheat Chocolate
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Japan Confectionery Co.
Place Purchased: Mitsuwa (Little Tokyo)
Price: $2.39
Size: 5.46 ounces
Calories per ounce: 138
Categories: Chocolate, Cookie, Japan

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:05 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. Huh, that’s funny about the different wrappers. I got mine at some random gas station shop in New Jersey. I think you got the authentic one. smile

    The Wheat Chocolate is something I’ve never seen before, which baffles me since I spend so much time in Asian markets. You found them in the candy aisle, right?

    Comment by Sera on 12/28/07 at 11:18 am #
  2. Hmmm…  I smell a recipe coming on.  Chocolate covered Honey Smacks or Corn Pops.  Or should I go with the Shredded Wheat?  What would you do?

    Comment by Heidi Schulz on 12/28/07 at 4:12 pm #
  3. gosh - those wheat chocolate things look AMAZING (i love barley too) - is there anywhere you can get them online?

    Comment by Fay on 12/30/07 at 12:12 am #
  4. There’s good mugi choco and bad mugi choco. In Japan, you can pick it up at almost any store including convenience stores for as little as 90 cents a bag. The main problem with a lot of it is that the coating is often “mockolate”. In fact, I’d be surprised if any varieties were made with quality chocolate. Also, the lacquered confectioner’s coating often mutes the flavor because you can’t taste it when they’re first on your tongue.

    I’ve never seen the variety Cybele reviewed in shops in my part of Tokyo (the bag design is pretty distinctive) and I wonder if, despite the Japanese writing on the bag, it may be a variety for export.

    Comment by Shari on 12/30/07 at 7:33 pm #
  5. Ooooh!  I just got some Kinder Country as a stocking stuffer for Christmas.  And as much as I favor dark chocolate over milk, I actually liked this a lot.  I think part of it was nostalgia (I grew up in Germany, so Kinder Chocolate was the norm) but there was something really tasty about the puffed rice in the bar.  If you can get a hold of some, do try it.  It’s a nice change of pace, just don’t try to think of it as ‘chocolate’.  Just candy.

    Comment by Maggi on 1/01/08 at 7:35 am #
  6. Mugi means barley in Japanese, so the name “wheat chocolate was a translation error.  And it is a delightful candy.

    Comment by Renee on 10/05/08 at 8:21 am #
  7. I’ve been looking for this candy for two and a half years!! Finally picked up a bag at Uwajimaya in Seattle and am regretting not getting more. Ingredients list includes shellac - yum.

    Comment by cindy on 5/04/10 at 4:50 pm #
  8. we sell the puffed wheat as a cerial here in britain, called sugar puffs or puffed wheat if its a super market own brand. im sure they would be really easy to make. sugar puffs are the best, you can replace popcorn with these little delights. they have a sweet thin layer of dried sugar sypup.

    Comment by Taniss on 1/08/13 at 1:41 am #
  9. Let me tell you, this doesn’t sound quite appetizing, but I’m willing to try it…

    Comment by Rebecca on 1/17/14 at 2:42 pm #
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