Name: Meiji Black Chocolate
Found at: Mitsuwa, Costa Mesa
Sugar, Cacao Mass, Palm Oil, Sunflower Oil, Shea Nuts Oil, Illipe Butter, Whole Milk Powder, Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin, Artificial Flavor.
Why I Bought It:
This is not the first or last Japanese to use "black" as descriptor. Perhaps it's by coincidence that it was on the same shelf with Black Black Hard, which you might recall was the caffeinated gum I profiled for this column a few weeks ago. But this chocolate has nothing to do with that product, or at least I don't think so, because "black" here simply means "dark", as in dark chocolate.
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The chocolate is indeed dark, but it is not as bitter or intensely cocoa-y as those that would designate themselves as "dark" over here in the States. In the chocolate spectrum, it sits in the sweet spot between Hershey's Symphony and those seriously bitter bars only loved by serious cocoa-nuts.
If you're one whose chocolate habits requires the counting of percentage of cocoa content, these are probably not the darkest chocolate you'll find. I've read posts where it's called "dark chocolate for wimps".
For everyone else, this chocolate bar delicious, and also inordinately smooth, melting into a lingering creaminess after the initially bitter bite.
I'm debating whether I want to take a few squares of white chocolate and a few squares of the black chocolate, let them live in harmony in my stomach a la Seinfeld.