Just in time for the summertime heat, here comes unagi chocolate.

For sweets fans in Japan, Tirol Chocolate is an archetypal impulse purchase. Bite-sized, inexpensive, and available in just about every convenience store and supermarket in the country, deciding to buy one usually requires next to no cognitive self-convincing.

That said, the newest special flavor of Tirol is something you might need to spend some time mulling over before buying, because the special ingredient is eel.

Yes, following up on last month’s Peach Parfait Tirol, this month the company is going with the less conventional pairing of chocolate with unagi, or freshwater eel. In the above cross-section, the top right arrow is pointing to powdered unagi extract, a measure of which goes into each and every piece of the eel Tirol. The other ingredients are less eyebrow-raising/spine-chilling, being pie crust-flavored chocolate, coarse granulated brown sugar, and fiantine (baked crepe dough).

In some ways, the idea isn’t as crazy as it initially seems. Grilled unagi is a popular delicacy in Japan, and there’s even a pre-existing snack food from Shizuoka Prefecture called Unagi Pie that’s made with eel. However, Unagi Pie is dry, wafer-like, and not all that sweet, and it’s going to be interesting, to say the least, to see what happens on the taste buds when unagi extract mixes with something as sugary and creamy as chocolate (maybe even as interesting as when we tried Tirol’s cheese pizza chocolate).

For their part, at least, Tirol is promising a sweet, crunchy, and “fragrant” morsel, with the intended aroma ostensibly being that of the pie crust-inspired chocolate, not a bouquet of sizzling eel flesh. They’ve also timed its release to coincide with rising temperatures in Japan, as many Japanese people believe eating unagi is a good way to ward off summertime heat exhaustion, and Unagi Tirol is on sale now, priced at 162 yen (1.50) for a pack of seven pieces.

Source: PR Times via Hachima Kiko
Images: PR Times
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