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Anan News reports on a new line of chocolates that look amazing, reflect the Japanese aesthetic, and at least in one case, contain sake.

Although chocolate is a European sweet, a Japanese master chocolatier can transform it into traditional-style “Japonisme chocolate”. The article picks their “top 3”, including gorgeous “temari chocolate” made to look like a traditional decorative ball, and others covered with an image taken from a famous snow scene by the woodblock artist Utamaro.

Bel Amer, a Kyoto chocolate shop, produces the Mizuho no Shizuku range (瑞穂のしずく, Drops of Japan, Land of Verdant Rice Plants). These bonbons look like masu drinking boxes filled to the brim with shimmering sake, and like their other products are aimed squarely at the Japanese market. Sake made from rice grown in Kyoto is made into a gel, then poured into the chocolate cups. Five pieces will set you back JPY 1,512 (tax included).

The Bel Amer page gives more details on which sake has been matched with what chocolate:

  • Iwai, a junmai ginjō from the Kitakawa Honke brewery, combined with bitter chocolate.
  • Karaku, a junmai ginjō from the Shotoku brewery, combined with milk chocolate.
  • Tsuki no Katsura, from Masuda Tokubee Shoten Co., Ltd., combined with white chocolate.
  • Kinshi Masamune, from the Kinshi Masamune brewery, combined with bitter chocolate.
  • Shinsei, a daiginjō from the Yamamoto Honke brewery, combined with milk chocolate.