Chocolate is well loved and heartily consumed in Japan, and Meiji is probably the top-selling chocolate brand. According to Mari on the Japanese lifestyle blog Watashi to Tokyo, Meiji manufactures six of the top ten best-selling chocolate bars in Japan (data from Nikkei). The number one spot went to Meiji Milk Chocolate, and Meiji’s Black Chocolate and Hi Milk Chocolate came in fourth and eighth, respectively. These are the three flavors included in the Meiji Best 3 variety pack I picked up at a local Asian market.
Now, while I love Japanese chocolate bars, I also don’t think it is of very high quality. It has a distinct flavor, and it seems to have a lot of fillers. Japanese chocolate is just not, well, very chocolatey. The flavor generally is much more subtle. I found this to be the case with the Meiji Best 3. All three of the bars were on the hard, snappy side (as opposed to, say, Hershey’s Chocolate Bars, which I believe is the U.S. equivalent to the Meiji bars and which are a rather soft chocolate). One thing that struck me was how different the three bars tasted. Here’s the individual breakdown:
Hi Milk Chocolate: This is the milkiest of the bunch (hence the name Hi Milk, I suppose!). It is a little bit creamier than the other bars but has a bit of a powdered milk flavoring. There is a slight fruit undertone, but it isn’t overwhelming or annoying (I am not a huge fan of fruity chocolates).
Milk Chocolate: The number one chocolate slab in Japan, according to Nikkei. Personally, I prefer the Hi Milk Chocolate. I think it has a little more chocolate flavor than the Milk Chocolate. The Milk Chocolate has a very slight tang to it. It’s an unassuming bar.
Black Chocolate: Let’s just say this is dark chocolate for wimps (and I count myself among the wimps. I really prefer milk chocolate to dark chocolate). The undercurrent of cocoa makes the bar a little earthier than the Hi Milk or the Milk, but the flavor is still not particularly strong or overwhelming. The Black certainly doesn’t taste like a serious dark chocolate bar.
All in all, I think these bars are just okay. I don’t think I would buy these again, but I would probably buy a large, regular-sized bar of these just to compare them with the mini slabs I purchased.
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