Fourteen Japanese Caramels

Food dreams are the absolute worst. Not dreams with food in them- I have no intentions of rambling on and on about the last dream I had, only to accidentally reveal a sordid repressed history of a life of teenaged crime off an ABC After School Special. I’m talking about the rare dream about food, some sort of product that infiltrates your subconscious that dream-you wholly believes to be authentic. I woke up this morning hell-bent on reaching into my real live purse and taking out a box of real live Japanese Inside-Out Chocolate Brownie Kit-Kats that my dream boyfriend gave me, only to discover that they never existed in the first place. I died a little this morning.
Luckily, Japan’s exportation coda requires all edible items shipped to the States to be completely wild and insane, so for today’s review, I’ve collected a whole bunch of bizarre caramels, some from Miss Love, others from J-List, to write about and review today. These make Brach’s look about as edgy as a broken Hummel figurine.
Sweet potato: Amazing! Tangy, slightly metallic, with a rich, creamy, starchy potato flavor. Very brown sugar and caramel-heavy, but delicious. Probably the best retention of the caramel and potato essence.
Corn:Milky and sweet, like fresh corn on the cob. Definitely candied and sugary, but distinctly vegetal. Butter: Disturbingly accurate—waxy, like margarine, with a forward salinity and sweet flavor, like sweet cream. Really rich.
Chestnut: The most dense caramel with a rich, coffee-like flavor and hint of nuttiness. Tasted more like chestnut syrup than actual chestnuts, but we weren’t complaining!
Matcha: Grainy and vivacious in texture and flavor, with an intense and concentrated flavor. Matcha buillion. Ghenghis Khan: Based off lamb curry (!!!) this was surprisingly mild, but not without a slight gaminess and faux-grilled tang. An excellent novelty.

Cantaloupe: The best, hands down. Tangy, cool, creamy, and sweet, with that quintessential pulpy melon flavor. This is what Starburst wishes it was. We demolished this box completely.
Persimmon: Prickly, sweet fruit with a slightly spicy undertone. I’ve never had a raw persimmon, but there was a distinct flavor to this that leads me to believe this wasn’t just half-assed.

Sticky rice in coconut: Definitely reminiscent of the coconut part, not sure about the sticky rice. Definitely had a glutenous chew, though!
City lights: I have no idea what this is supposed to represent. I’m going to go with either “pixels” or “14-year old girl,” and based on the sweet, berry-like flavor, it’s likely the latter. Japan, you so crazy. This tastes like boysenberries and haskap, slightly musky and sweet.
Natural yogurt: Their words, not mine. This tastes exactly like lemon cheesecake filling—tangy and fruity, with very little dairy. It’s bizarre.
Yuzu: This was the most unique as it was contained in an edible rice paper package, which offered a unique crunchy contrast to the sweet, gummy caramel inside. This was the chewiest and sweetest of the bunch.

These are delicious. And they’re even available at Japanese dollar stores. Kind of makes my local Family Dollar selection of crushed Saltines and headless dolls look even sadder.

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