The famous flavored Kit Kats sold in Japan are not quite what you'd call delicious treats.

Happy Valentine's Day to you from Japan!


From the archives. The very iffy photo shows that it is from the very early days of Just Hungry! I look back at this with nostalgia, because not only have my photography skills improved somewhat, it reflects a time in my life when I was into a far more complicated kind of cooking than I am now. I no longer bake things like this, but if you want a pretty spectacular chocolate dessert for Valentine's Day, and have the time and patience, I do highly recommend this rich yet feathery light little confection. I've edited it slightly to be more accurate (what the heck did I mean by 'small container of cream' anyhow). Originally published on February 13, 2004.

roulade au chocholat

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A tall stack of Swiss chocolate bars

I spent the last couple of weeks surrounded by chocolate bars. Oh, the temptation.

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re-ment-girichoco.jpgAs I wrote about last year, Valentine's Day in Japan is fraught with social stress. Somehow, the chocolate manufacturers have managed to convince the whole society that a girl or woman can't just give chocolates to the ones they love. (And it's only the women who give chocolates in Japan on the 14th, not men, unlike other countries.) She must also give giri choco, or 'obligation chocolates', to people she 'owes'; bosses, teachers, and fathers-in-law.

Now you can see this kind of social giving in miniature! Re-ment, the maker of amazingly detailed diecast miniatures which I've also written about before, has this set of two types of chocolates: _Honmei or giri?!_ (Your real target, or obligation?!) The caption says this:

Chocolate. It's such a lovely, malleable substance. It can be shaped into anything really. Anything.

But, one wonders what kind of twisted mind came up with this idea...chocolate truffles shaped like kabutomushi (rhinocerous beetle) larvae!

Avert your eyes if you are squeamish. You may not want to read this while you're eating.

(If you're getting here from the front page, pause and breathe in deeply before clicking that 'continue reading'.

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Coop seems to have OEM'ed the famous Dolfin spicy Masala chocolate bar! All evidence points to this....

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Normally, all the junk mail we get goes straight to the trash. Not these things we got in our mailbox yesterday though.


These are two full-size bars of Cailler (Nestlé) milk chocolate. No messing about with tiny sample sizes here.

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My friends Alan and Mimi from Cornwall alerted me to this alarming article in the Independent. Could we be facing a global chocolate shortage?

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