Lotte’s Koala March are “chocolate crème filled cookies” that can be found in Asian grocery stores in America. I recently got a free box from the folks at MunchPak, along with Koala March competitors Hello Panda (which I will review later).
The pillow-shaped cookies are imprinted with adorable pictures of koalas in various garbs and doing different activities. The biscuit portion was dry, crunchy, and airy, with just the barest hint of sweetness.
Each hollow cookie had chocolate in its center. Though it was depicted as limpid on the package, the chocolate filling wasn’t quite so fluid in reality. Instead, it was softer than solid chocolate but not quite a ganache, and it tasted of lightly semisweet chocolate.
The mix of crunchy plain biscuit and semisweet soft chocolate was quite tasty, and it was fun to look at the different koalas and try to guess what they were doing. Where is the be-suited koala off to, I wonder? An OM.
Though I could do without the silly “trading cards” that were built into the packaging:
This box of Lotte Sasha Chocolate is the last of my Asian goodies from Emma and Jason. No worries if you want to read more Asian candy reviews here – I’ve still got a few more Japanese treats from Nana and Justin to write up.
A quick googling shows that Sasha Chocolate refers to the unique and pretty way Lotte’s chosen to package this chocolate. My box had 16 individually wrapped rectangles made of wavy chocolate stripes of green, brown, and white.
I’m only guessing that these are matcha flavored. I recognized the character for tea on the box, and they’ve got that distinctive pea green color of matcha. Plus they’re from Japan, so matcha seems like a good educated guess.
I could feel the individual threads of chocolate break when I bit into the chocolate, though the rectangle broke as a whole with a sharp solid snap. It had a smooth and creamy melt. The texture was somewhat thick, but it didn’t linger and coat my tongue like some extra thick milk chocolates do.
The chocolate flavor was quite pleasant – lightly sweet with fruity overtones that hit high notes against the milk chocolate undertones. The finish had a hint of lightly bitter herbal grassiness, which was the only clue that it was tea flavored chocolate.
I liked these more than I thought I would. I haven’t liked matcha-flavored chocolates in the past, but these won me over because they went easy on the matcha and were easy on the eyes. An OM.
Lotte‘s Crunky Nude Balls were the most hilariously named of the Korean candies that Nana and Justin sent me. Here’s Nana’s description: “Bought just for the name…Crunky is a Korean Nestle Crunch rice chocolate; here the puffed rice is on the outside.” Like the Pepero, it’s “nude”, meaning inside out.
They came packaged in a plastic barrel with a flip-top, which was quite fun. Each ball was about the size of a grape and covered in tiny rice crisps. When I say covered, I do mean covered. There’s very little chocolate that showed through on the surface area of the ball.
The rice crisps were nuttier than I expected. I wonder if they were brown rice crisps? They tasted almost like cornflakes or sesame seeds. The rice crisps were also found within each ball.
The chocolate was thick with dusky hints of malt. The texture paired well with the airy puffs of rice. The sesame/cornflake notes were a different taste experience. I’m not sure exactly how much I appreciated the flavor pairing, but the texture and delivery of the chocolate treats was quite fun.
I give these an OM. I bet they’d be even better with cookie bits or more normal-tasting rice puffs.
Hooray for globetrotting friends! My friends Nana and Justin recently finished up a three year stint teaching English in Korea (next stop for them: Scotland). Before they left Korea, they were kind enough to buy and mail me a bunch of Korean candy for the blog. Thanks for the help, as always, Nana and Justin!
First up is Lotte‘s Pepero. I thought it would be fitting to start with one of Nana’s favorites. According to Nana, this box was “nude”, which is how Korean’s refer to inside-out. It’s basically like an inside out Pocky, with a hollow cookie shell filled with chocolate.
The box had a sealed plastic bag full of Peperos. I kind of chomped right through them and lost count of how many there were. The cookie shell was rather mild, with a hint of buttery nuttiness.
The Peperos weren’t so much filled with chocolate as lined on the inside with chocolate. In other words, I could suck air through it like a straw. The chocolate was slightly fruity with a chalky cocoa hit.
Like Pocky, these are more cookie than candy. Also like Pocky, they’re a nice snack, and I polished off the box fairly quickly, but I don’t know if I’d ever seek them out to buy them again. They’d remain an impulse buy for me – that is, if I could find them in the states; I think I’ve seen them in Asian grocery stores before? – so an O. I do see why Nana likes them, though!