Azuki Caramel


Azuki for me is a hit and miss flavour. If you're unfamiliar with azuki, it's a red bean paste that's very common in Japanese sweets. Most commonly it's found as a center filling for cookies and donuts in Japan. It's a sweet bean, so it works very well with sweet treats, and I particularly like it in ice cream. I've had many azuki flavoured and filled snacks in my day, and the trick to it working is balance. Too much azuki can leave your mouth with a strange texture similar to a mouth full of lima beans. Too little azuki can pretty much leave with no azuki flavour at all, since it's a very subtle taste.

This treat suffers from the too little azuki problem, in fact, it suffers from the I didn't taste any azuki at all problem. The only thing that suggests that this has azuki is the fact that it says it does on the package, and that each square is pink. Worse still, there's no real caramel flavour either. Instead you basically have what should be a fruit chew type candy, with a slightly strange, not azuki, taste. Maybe this treat wasn't supposed to have any caramel flavour either, but I think that would have worked really well with azuki.

I've sampled the Morinaga milk caramels before, and they had a really smooth caramel taste, and I think it would have worked very well with azuki. Unfortunately the folks at Morinaga decided to take out the milky caramel flavour, and go so light on the azuki that you get nothing at all. It's very disappointing to not get what you're promised, and even more so when you're expecting it to be great.