This weekend, while watching my middle son play soccer, my oldest son said, "Dad, I bought some pizza-flavored chocolate." Of course, I replied with "That sounds disgusting." He then asked if I wanted to try it. Oh yes, I said. Oh yes.
This is pizza and cheese-flavored Tirol Chocolate. This brand is incredibly famous in Japan, and typically, the chocolates are inexpensive and sold piece by piece. Common Tirol are milk chocolate, cookies and cream, almond, or strawberry—nothing too outrageous. Though, over the years, there have been unusual ones, such as corn, orange juice and pumpkin pudding. But, you know what, the peculiar flavors I've tried have been okay!
The pizza-flavored chocolate was not okay. It was not okay at all.
As you can see, this is the actual bag the sweets come in. It says "pizza" and "cheese" as the flavors. The reason is that the bag contains two different chocolates.
The chocolates are wrapped like cheese is sometimes wrapped in Japan. The reason must be simple: To mess with your head. I tried the cheese flavor first.
Now, in other Tirol, the flavor often comes from the filling. Sometimes, for example, it's caramel and a different kind of chocolate. For the cheese flavor, it was a cracker. A cheese flavored cracker. In chocolate.
So, you bite into this Tirol, you taste a mild white chocolate and then you crunch into the cracker. The result is a creamy cheese cracker experience. It sounds horrible, but actually, it was okay! Chocolate and salty flavors, such as potato chips, work okay. I liked this combination alright and ate several.
[Photo: Choco Labo]
The pizza chocolate, though, was not a pleasant experience. Like the cheese one, the outside was a mild white chocolate, providing a creamy flavor and texture. But as the packaging points out, the pizza chocolate has basil in it. It also says it uses "pizza fragrance."
This chocolate is so not screwing around.
So, you open the wrapper, and you smell pizza. You bite into the chocolate part and you get little basil bits. I don't want basil bits in my chocolate.
As in the cheese Tirol, the middle is a cracker, but it's a bright orange pizza-flavored cracker. You can see it through the white chocolate, which is disconcerting.
Biting into it, however, is worse. Because not only do you get that chocolate basil concoction, but also a crispy pizza cracker. Was this snack released as a dare? I wondered. A joke? Even among the odder snacks at Japan, which always seem to be released utterly free of taste surveys and as mere impulse buys, it still blows my mind that this is actually available in real stores.
The only explanation I have for the bite marks is a slight gag reflex. Once again, Chocolate-kun has a nice photo for a not-so-nice chocolate.
[Photo: Choco Labo]
The whole thing actually tastes like pizza, if pizza was slightly sweet and made from chocolate. But it's not. Pizza is made from pizza, and chocolate needs to stay the hell away.
Cheese and Pizza Chocolate went on sale in Japan earlier this month. A bag of eight chocolates is 130 yen ($1.1). The reaction on your face after eating them? Priceless.
チロルチョコ [Official Site]
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