Crunchy and Fragrant Peanut Black Chocolate

Brand: Family Mart

Cost: DOESN’T MATTER but actually 108 yen

Found At: Family Mart

I’m not sniffy when it comes to chocolate. I can recognize good chocolate, but I will eat Hershey’s chocolate bars happily enough. I’ve heard the arguments against cheap chocolate – often from Europeans who are clearly working through some candy-based trauma. However, as far as I am concerned, chocolate is like pizza – bad pizza is still pizza. Bad chocolate is still chocolate.

None of that applies to these chocolates. These chocolates are a freak of nature. Not only are they cheap, but they are also ugly, which is uncharacteristic of Japan. When you open them up, you are greeted with a few haphazard blobs of peanuts and chocolate. They are not uniform in size or shape, nor are they secured in any way in the package. They tumble around pell-mell, melting into a single chocolate mass if left in the heat too long. But it doesn’t matter because they are possibly the most delicious chocolates I have ever eaten. And I do not say this lightly – I have spent embarrassing amounts on artisan chocolates in a variety of exotic flavors. I have traveled to Bruges and tasted Belgian chocolates that melt in your mouth. I have watched sniffy department store clerks hand select a flight of obscenely expensive morsels for me to sample. I have eaten Trader Joes truffles with salubrious intellectuals and a bottle of excellent red wine. And somehow, these 200-yen chocolates are just as good – if not better! The chocolate melts as the peanuts crunch, and the two flavors combine with the perfect balance of chocolate and nuttiness, and for one beautiful moment, the entire world is in harmony.

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