Confectionery company Meiji is responsible for many heavy hitters of the Japanese snack world. You may have heard of Poifull jellybeans, Hello Panda cookies or the suggestively named Meltykiss chocolate cubes, but one snack that might not be not so well-known outside of Japan is Apollo, a rocket-tip shaped chocolate treat. And while it didn’t make the top five popular snacks list, it is still a well-loved staple in any convenience store across the country. In fact, in 2019 Apollo celebrated its 50th anniversary, so there’s no denying its staying power. Apollo chocolate is known for its two distinctive layers – the upper layer is strawberry flavored, with the lower layer being milk chocolate.
To celebrate its 50th anniversary, Meiji released a new variety of Apollo that was a surprise to chocolate fans everywhere – mostly because it’s not chocolate. No, Apollo’s new venture into the treat universe comes in the form of a yoghurt.
Even at a first glance, the package design is almost identical to the instantly recognisable Apollo chocolate packaging, but how does it differ on the inside? How are they going to recreate the strawberry chocolatey goodness in a yoghurt form?
Well, as expected, the upper layer is strawberry flavored.
“But it’s just strawberry yoghurt, right?” you might say. Well, yeah. It’s strawberry yoghurt. It has a slightly sour yet refreshing taste; not quite the same as the original Apollo.
“And what about the lower chocolate layer?” we hear you cry. “The original Apollo has a milk chocolate layer on the bottom!” Well, here’s the yoghurt version.
The bottom layer is a caramel sauce, much like the one you’d find on a caramel custard. And while we were skeptical with the strawberry yoghurt by itself, eating the strawberry and chocolate layer together… we were convinced. It pretty much tastes just like Apollo.
That’s right. The key to making this yoghurt taste so much like the original is the sauce. When you try the sauce by itself, it doesn’t taste like just any chocolate sauce; there’s a strong berry taste in there too. According to the PR office at Meiji, the sauce contains strawberry pulp, as well as chocolate, cocoa powder and the usual ingredients you’d expect.
That’s right. While it’s hard to see, the caramel sauce contains actual strawberry pulp. The taste of strawberry is evenly spread throughout the sauce.
And if the decadent berry flavoured chocolate sauce isn’t enough to get you to rush to the nearest supermarket to stock up, there’s one more secret weapon Apollo yoghurts can boast. One pot of Apollo yoghurt (70 grams [2.5 ounces]) is just 83 calories.
For all you calorie-conscious types out there, you can enjoy Apollo yoghurts guilt free. In comparison, a box of the original chocolate Apollo is 261 calories, meaning you could eat three of these yoghurts and still consume less calories than the chocolate. Amazing.
Apollo yoghurt is currently available in packs of two. You can also buy an individual 80-gram pack. But be sure to stock up soon, as the yoghurt is a limited-time only item and will be on sale until the end of March.
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