Let’s be clear; I don’t speak Korean, so I’m utterly ignorant of all the great information on this label, and on a website listed on the can: Naver. In fact, I’m not even sure that Haitai is the name of the manufacturer, but it was the only thing in English I could find that looked like the candy’s maker listed on the label. If anyone can help me out with some translation detail, I’d be glad to learn more. Google didn’t deliver, alas. Automatic translating the Naver page also got me nowhere.
But check out that awesome container! Really, it’s why I bought this candy (well, that and the word “chocolate”…). I mean, it’s shiny METAL, 4 3/8″ high, with a 2″ diameter blue plastic snap lid. If the chocolate inside is as good as the outside, I’m gonna love this candy. And it should be decent at four dollars for 3 1/2 oz (100g).
All right, so I’ve pulled up the inner seal of the snap lid, and find a bunch of dime-sized, round-edged triangles of chocolate. They smell good. I pop one in my mouth and get to chewing. First impression isn’t that great: I get a waxy chocolate taste that’s pretty bland. Then the interior flavor hits, and my second impression is confusion: what is this flavor? It’s very faintly bitter, maybe like faintly sour milk? Whatever it is, it’s not a good addition to the chocolate. It’s not horrible because it’s also bland, and the waxy chocolate overlays much of what I just described, but it doesn’t make for a good candy flavor, either.
Now, what’s with the name of this candy, you might be asking. Is this chocolate supposed to enhance my power of concentration? And how? Well… please see paragraph one. I don’t know Korean. However, there’s a sticker listing the ingredients in English. They all look pretty normal for chocolate, and there’s no added caffeine, but the last ingredient is the following: “rice embryo bud extract.” Google redeems itself by bringing up two pages for this one.
Apparently, plant embryos contain linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid. They also contain vitamins B1, B2 and B6, E, K, Na, Ca, Mg and other trace elements. The second site says that rice embryo bud extract contains a lipase inhibitor, claimed “to provide a cosmetic, obesity-preventing food.” Hmmmm. Am I going to lose weight or increase my rational focus?
In the end, I don’t care, because these candies just aren’t very good. And this review took just as long to write, so I’m not feeling any increased mental acuity. If anything, my brain hurts from trying to figure out what I was tasting.
In conclusion, the container for Haitai’s Power of Concentration Chocolate is really cool. They just need to make some tasty candy to replace the waxy blah bud extract oddity that’s in there now.