I'm trying a new layout! Please bear with me while I work out the kinks. Anyhow, this is another one of the spoils of my Toronto trip last month. I'm always up for a different flavor of Takenoko no Sato (or Kinoko no Yama) and had yet to be disappointed...until this one.
I didn't know Hokkaido was known for azuki (red beans), but the island is known for agriculture in general, so nothing would surprise me. Azuki and an (sweet red bean paste) are often too sweet for my taste, which is strange, since it is so popular in Japan and I'm used to super sweet American candy like Skittles. Once, I made an from scratch, and it involved quite a lot of sugar.
As you can see, the little chocolates are kind of a dusty rose color (oddly similar to the color of my wedding dress), which is much lighter than real azuki beans (you can see them on the box).
The texture of these was weird. It really did seem like I was eating an, right down to the texture of the beans. The chocolate (if it can even be called chocolate) was very soft and grainy and had no snap to it at all, which threw off the usual balance of crunchy cookie and smooth chocolate that I love about Takenoko no Sato. The flavor was very mild, but because of the texture, it seemed very authentic.
If you are a big azuki fan, by all means, check these out. Otherwise, they are just a neat novelty.
Meiji Website (Japanese)