I originally titled this post ‘Paleo Chocolate in Japan’ and while it may have delivered a few more clicks or ranked a little more favourably in Google I realised the absurdity and oxymoron of such a title. While chocolate is something that can be enjoyed in moderation it isn’t a staple component of the Paleo diet (as much as I’m sure so many of us wish it was). Much like red wine it isn’t really Paleo at all, but many class it as a sensible indulgence.
And knowing how much people like to sensibly indulge I took it upon myself to research high cacao chocolate in Japan. Anything under 70% cacao really can’t be classed as ‘high cacao’ as far as my definition goes, and as far as my tastebuds go if it’s under 85% it’s virtually inedible. Luckily, there are some good options available here in Japan. Here are three I’ve discovered.
Meiji 95% Cacao
Ingredients: Cocoa mass, cocoa powder, sugar, emulsifier (soy), flavouring.
This is by far the lowest priced high cacao chocolate I have found thus far in Japan. It’s also available in a variety of supermarkets and Create SDS. While this is certainly bitter enough and doesn’t pinch of being too sweet at 95%, when you’ve experienced the luxury of other high cacao chocolates it falls somewhat short in the taste department, and let’s be honest that somewhat defeats the point of an occasional indulgence, right? While it’s a smarter alternative than the lower cacao fare you’ll find more readily available, you can do better than this if you choose to search a little further and want to enjoy richer more luxuriant chocolate. Meiji is also available in 85% and 72% cacao (apparently there’s also a 99% cacao variant, though I’m yet to discover it).
Lindt 99% Cacao
Now this is more like it, Lindt 99% cacao chocolate. Not only does this boast a higher cacao content but it has a ‘melt in your mouth’ texture that really puts its Meiji counterpart to shame. Funnily enough when you open up the packaging you’re presented with a disclaimer that advises you to ‘work up’ to 99% cacao before jumping right in. For the seasoned Paleo eater with a naturally sensitive palette, untainted by the excess sugar of processed foods, I don’t envisage this will be much of a problem.
You can pick this up from most Kaldi Coffee Farm stores and if you’re a coffee drinker you really should pick up some of their fresh organic coffee beans while you’re there, too.
Rapunzel 85% Kakao
Found in the organic section of 01 01 Supermarket is Rapunzel 85% Kakao. A rich and creamy chocolate from Bolivia that is very more-ish. Proudly wearing its organic-certified label on its sleeve, Rapunzel also states it’s lactose-free, gluten-free (goodness, you’d be worried if it wasn’t) and made from cocoa beans from the Hand in Hand Project in Bolivia. Certainly the best tasting chocolate on the list with a near-perfect blend of chocolate to creamy texture, the only drawback is just how much you’ll want to keep eating it!
These aren’t the only high cacao chocolates available in Japan, but for affordability I haven’t found one to match Meiji, for cacao percentage Lindt is the flat-out winner and for absolute magnificence to the tastebud Rapunzel takes the biscuit, or chocolate in this case. I’ll be sure to update you if there are any other high cacao chocolate bars that rival these and do please post any recommendations you have in the comments section below.