Review: LOOK A La Mode Chocolate

Review: Look A La Mode Chocolate
Price: CDN$1.99
Best Before: July 2012
Review: March 2012

http://fujiya-peko.co.jp/

I didn’t really dig on my last “Look” chocolate experience too much, designed as it was to capture the joy and sensation of a green-tea-with-red-bean-ice-cream-sundae sort of a thing, but when I saw the 4-flavours-in-one of A La Mode on the shelf, of course I had to pick it up. Banana, Almond, Strawberry, and Caramel all in one? It sounds ‘interesting’ at the very least, and has pretty amazing potential!

Packaging: I’ve never purchased this sort of Look Chocolate before–the packaging is closer to a contemporary gum wrapper. A box (resealable) that folds open and closed, containing a foil packet inside. This makes a lot of sense for gum, because gum is individually wrapped and that handy resealable package keeps things tidy in your pocket or purse, but since this product is just one big foil wrapper? Seems like a waste.

Things get even weirder inside, as opening the foil packet reveals a dozen individual chocolates on a cardboard tray! I think this is maybe the first time I’ve bought a chocolate bar and gotten a box of chocolates. Admittedly if I’d paid closer attention to the pictures on the back I might’ve gotten a heads-up, but yeah, 12 little chocolates, 3 of each flavour. My hopes are dashed a little–I was expecting all 4 flavours in one, but it’s not the end of the world… it does make the box make sense a little more (it’s portion controlled so you’ll eat it over a longer period), but it also still seems a little disfunctional, as the foil packet isn’t resealable and slipping everything back together and in the box seems pretty dangerous, if you don’t want the inside of your pocket coated in chcolate…

I will say that the packaging exterior, with its bright photographs of delicious looking ingredients, had me picking this up off the shelf immediately so that’s definitely a point in their favour.

Scent: Right after opening the foil, the scent of the chocolate filled the room. It was kind of remarkable how intense it was, and how mixed. It also had an alcoholic, run-balls sort of a thing going for it, maybe because of the complexity of all of the flavours? Very sweet too.

Bringing each individual chocolate up to my nose, the scent remained very big. Banana was probably the biggest and most easily discerned, with Almond being the weakest and strawberry and caramel in the middle somewhere. The overwhelming scent is of ‘sweetness’, rather than milk chocolate. I’m not getting much of a chocolate hit off of these chocolates at all.

Taste: I went with banana first as I like artificial banana (in the way that most people do not), and it tasted like it smelled, strong, artificial, and very sweet. It’s not a bad little bite, but the even eating it the chocolate taste is almost non-existent. I jumped to caramel next, and interestingly it had a different texture, more chewy (like caramel, obvs), though the right carmel flavour I was expecting isn’t there. It’s a little salty, a little burnt, and sweet, but caramel and chocolate are not very present here either.

Next, almond. I should point out at this point that all of these candies have creamy interiors, and while I was expecting an almond (either whole or perhaps ground) in this one, it was similarly smooth and creamy… and flavourless. Which isn’t to say that it didn’t taste like anything–it tasted like the rest of the chocolates–but there’s nothing at all here that I can identify as almond flavour.

Strawberry candy, on the other hand, is practically a food group in Japan, there’s so much of it! The strawberry chocolates don’t disappoint, with a strong hit of very sweet strawberry coming to the fore as soon as I bit in. If you like your strawberry candy so sweet it tangs, you’ll be happy with this flavour. Again, it’s not very chocolatey at all, but it tastes alright.

Verdict: Well it’s not terrible, but Look hasn’t done much to change my mind about their products. Really low-grade, plastic-textured chocolate with almost no flavour, and the fillings lack any sort of subtlety at all, ranging from very strong, sweet banana and strawberry on the one end to flavourless almond and caramel on the other. I think I’m just going to pass on Look chocolates in the future… except for the ones already in my pantry waiting to be reviewed. :(

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