Cost: 27 yen
Found at: Daiso
Why did you buy four Double Soybean Black Thunder bars, you ask? Are they really that good? Are they an equal to their single-soybean counterpart?
No they are not.
But I am a weak.
In trying to buy one of these chocolates – and only one – I very nearly gave the young, nervous Daiso employee a heart attack. She looked at me, looked at the candy bar, looked at the “4 for 100 yen” sign, looked at her checkout stand, looked at her manager, looked at me, and then looked at the floor muttering in Japanese “you need to buy 4.” I tried to tell her that I only needed one. I tried to tell her that I would pay 100 yen for one. But she looked so sad, so scared, and so defeated at the prospect of entering such a request into the system that I gave in. “Fine” I told her. “I’ll buy 4.”
She is either the most anxious person in the world, or the most under-appreciated sales genius I have ever met. If she’d looked nervous enough, I might as easily have bought 30 candy bars and a face massager.
Unfortunately, I do not think that I am the target demographic for the double soybean flour. “Kinako” – sweet toasted sesame flour – is a frequent addition to many traditional Japanese sweets. Its aromatic, nutty, almost coffee-like flavor is delicious, but a little lost on me – maybe because it’s unfamiliar and maybe because, in my mind, it plays second fiddle to the other flavoring options: matcha, sesame, and peanuts being chief among them. It’s overall effect in this candy bar is underwhelming. It adds a nice crunch and a nice powderiness, but the flavor overpowers the chocolate that holds it together. And when it comes to black thunder, I definitely came for the chocolate.
All in all, if you prefer Japanese flavors, the double soybean is probably the right choice. If you are a choc-o-holic, then stick with the original.
Fun fact: I recently learned that, in Japan, “double” is often represented by a “W” because the transliteration of double (daburu) sounds like double-u. This new knowledge has led to a significant increase in my spaghetti intake. I did not need to know that double was an option.