Aji WOW is my series of unusual Japanese food/drink reviews. 'Aji' (味) means 'flavour', and the name's also a pun on 'ajiwau' (味わう) - 'to enjoy the taste of'.
This time: Morinaga BAKE chocolate, coriander flavour.
These were a hot topic several months ago. You might've seen other sites reviewing this back in the spring. BAKE comes in a bunch of different flavours, like mint, and the coriander was a new addition to the range.
I should've tried them back then.
But to be 100% honest with you, I've been putting off eating these for as long as I can. I was curious, but not keen. And now, with not much else interesting to chow down on this weekend, it's time to bite the BAKE bullet.
Something about 'bitterness that adults can enjoy' on the pack. And there's also a lot of coriander in that design, as if it wasn't obvious enough.
Morinaga's website claims: "One bite will send your tastebuds into a spin as the flavor of fresh coriander combines with the bitter chocolate, creating an addictive taste that'll leave you wanting more."
We'll see about that...
Opening the pack up was a little tricky. I'd dropped it on the floor, and lots of crispy crumbs fell out when I tore the top off the packaging. Be careful, these are crumbly.
They look like mini choco brownies, and they smell... mostly like chocolate. Which was a relief. The coriander scent doesn't overpower, or even come through at all, really. Just chocolate brownies. If these turned out anything like mini brownies, I would've been satisfied.
That was just the looks, though. On a first bite, there was definitely something off about the taste. It's not immediately coriander - it's indescribable. Not herb-y, or grass-y. There's just something not right about the chocolate.
What comes through far more than the coriander is the 'adult' bitterness. As I've said in previous reviews, Japan's idea of an 'adult' flavour is to take out all the sugar. Mixed in with the general bitter taste is whatever I can't recognise.
BAKE bites are crunchy on the outside, gooey in the middle. Maybe they're meant to be like that, or maybe I left them out in a hot apartment for too long. The texture is nice, anyway.
There are 10 bits per pack. I managed 3 and chucked the rest. I'd expected to be put off by the coriander flavour, but no. The bitter aspect of BAKE is what I couldn't deal with. Maybe next time I'll try the mint ones.
Verdict: 4/10. I like my chocolate sweet, herbs and leaves optional.