Traditional wagashi confection gets a very modern overhaul.

Back in 1972, respected Belgian chocolatier Godiva made its first foray into Japan, and over the years, it’s grown to become one of the country’s most popular and well-known chocolate brands. Now, to celebrate its 50th anniversary in Japan, Godiva is paying homage to customers here with an unprecedented release involving a traditional Japanese sweet — yokan.

▼  The Yokan is one of the new products in Godiva’s “Summer Collection”, available only from 25 May to 23 August.

Yokan is a traditional wagashi (Japanese confection) that’s commonly sold as a smooth and slightly firm block, which is usually cut into slices before being eaten. It’s traditionally made with red bean paste, agar, and sugar, but for this Godiva celebration, the yokan will be appearing in two flavours, Chocolate and Cacao Fruits.

Keen to find out what a Godiva yokan would taste like, we picked up a box of five and unwrapped the chocolate one first, which looked like a slab of chocolate ganache.

Slicing it in two revealed that familiar firm, jelly-like texture yokan is known for, but biting into it revealed it had a very unique taste. It was lighter than a yokan, with an intense chocolate flavour that left a lingering rich sweetness on the palate.

▼ No strong red bean taste here.

It was an incredibly high-quality sweet, which elevated our expectations for the Cacao Fruits version.

This one was even lighter in flavour than the chocolate one, and it was so silky smooth it felt as if it were about to slide off the fork at any moment. Upon eating it, the refreshing sweet-and-tart flavour profile of the cacao fruit immediately popped out to surprise the taste buds, yet it too left an elegant finish on the palate.

The texture was definitely the same as a traditional yokan, which creates a familiar starting point from which to enjoy the Western flavours. They were both brilliant, high-class luxury sweets that were well worth the indulgence, but there was one drawback, as the taste of red beans became lost in the stronger chocolate and cacao flavours.

However, if the strong flavour of red beans usually puts you off your yokan, you’ll be pleased with the way Godiva has dialled down the adzuki and turned up the chocolate in this new release.

Sold in boxes of five for 2,160 yen (US$23.17) and boxes of ten for 4,320 yen, these are indulgent sweets with equally indulgent price tags, so if you want to celebrate with something a little less expensive, Godiva’s new sweet sake Chocolixir will be a little more friendly on your wallet.

Photos © SoraNews24
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