Genghis Khan Caramels

Genghis Khan Caramels

‘Genghis Khan’ is the name given to a slightly spicy dish made with grilled lamb, which is a speciality of Hokkaido and thus fair game when it comes to picking interesting local flavours and turning them into something surprising as a souvenir – like this pack of caramel candies.

No-one is suggesting that Genghis Khan ever visited Hokkaido, in fact the name comes from the dome shaped grill pan this particular dish is cooked on, which looks a bit like the hats the Mongol warriors used to wear.

When it comes to Hokkaido souvenirs I am far more likely to select sweeter, cuter, items, such as carved wooden bears or melon chocolates, but this was so odd I felt I had to try it.

The smell of the unwrapped caramel nearly put me off, but it turned out that this was the ‘meatiest’ part of the experience. The natural flavour of the caramel, which is made with rich Hokkaido milk, overpowers anything else (and this also applies to the other flavours I have sampled, including lavender and melon), although there is a faint aftertaste of barbeque.

If you are the sort of person who loves the crispy, caramelised burnt bits on the edges of your char-grilled meat, this will probably appeal, otherwise you should stick to the more mainstream flavours. It wasn’t as bad as I was expecting, but now I have satisfied my curiosity I doubt I will be eating any more.