The history of chocolate began in Mesoamerica, and today chocolate is one of the most popular and favorite sweet in the world. Any chocolate lover will most certainly agree that the melting of chocolate in the mouth is a true moment of ecstasy.
Japanese love chocolates
Japanese are said to consume the most chocolate in Asia, especially pensioners who are Japan’s largest consumer of confectionary products. Working people in Japan are over-stressed because of long working hours and they have found a solution in premium chocolates as a great way to get relief from stress. Japan has an established chocolate market and Japanese chocolates are very popular because of the taste, flavors and package. Japanese chocolates are available as solid chocolate bars, chocolate covered bars, chocolate snacks, box chocolates and seasonal chocolates, and in various flavors such as mango, strawberry, blackberry, and also flavors like chili, garlic and vinegar.
No Valentine’s Day in Japan without chocolates
Chocolate plays a very important role in Japan for Valentine’s Day. In fact, more than half the year sales of chocolate are on Valentine’s Day[Source]. If it is flowers in other countries, it is chocolate in Japan. All the stores in Japan sell different kinds of chocolate on February 14th on Valentine’s Day and March 14th White Day. Valentine’s Day is the day for Women to give men chocolates and in return, men give chocolates to women on White day. Well, chocolates are given by women not only to express their love. Chocolate given to men with whom the woman is in love is called Honmei-choko which is a true love chocolate. On the other hand, women also give chocolates to men whom they have no crush like boss, friends, collogues etc. This chocolate is called giri-choco. Nowadays women also give chocolates to their female friends, and this friend chocolate is called tomo-choco.
Japanese have become health conscious
Chocolate does contains fat and sugar, but the good news is that dark chocolate is very good for health. Today, the latest trend in Japan is that Japanese have become health conscious and chocolate companies influenced by this growing trend, have started manufacturing dark chocolates. Japanese men and women have realized the importance of remaining healthy and have started eating healthy diets and they so they prefer dark chocolates than the normal ones because dark chocolates lowers the risk of heart diseases and cancer. The Japanese chocolate manufacturers have pioneered to the needs of the health conscious Japanese people by incorporating healthy ingredients like fruits and vegetables into the chocolates for improving the function of the brain.
Japanese chocolate producers
The leading chocolate producers in Japan are;
Meiji Seika Kaisha Ltd. – Founded in 1916, this company is one of Japan’s leading confectioners. Their latest brand is called Meiji 56 chocolates.
Ezaki Glico – Founded in 1922, and headquartered in Osaka, this company is another leading confectionery manufacturer in Japan. Their popular product is Pocky, chocolate coated pretzel sticks.
Lotto group – Established in 1948 in Tokyo, this company is the third largest confectionary manufacturer in Japan.
Morinaga – A confectionery company in Tokyo, operating since 1899. The practice of women giving chocolates to men on Valentine’s Day was started by this company in 1960, which strongly influenced the present Valentine’s Day culture in Japan[Source].
Royce – Japan’s chocolate company, founded in 1983 and headquartered in Sapporo. The Royce Marshmallow Chocolate (Milk Coffee) is slightly sweet marshmallows coated with flavorful coffee chocolate. The coffee flavored marshmallows just melt in your mouth.
Marsh Mallow Chocolates
Now that you have read about those delicious lip-smacking chocolates of Japan, you should surely try them when you visit that country. Japanese dark chocolates has all the health benefits required and weight watchers can now enjoy eating chocolate without worrying about gaining extra pounds.