Ore-no-(nama)dorayaki kuri「俺の 生どら焼 栗」is the latest sweet from the 'ore-no' range of treats at Family Mart. I am a big fan of this brand as it includes some of my favorite snacks such as the ore-no-tiramisu and ore-no-pudding.
The words 'ore-no' are actually a manly way to talk about oneself in Japanese, so unsurprisingly this range is targeted at men. According to Family Mart, this range of snacks offers 'volume', 'moderate sweetness' and are for people who 'are picky about what goes into their food'.
Clearly volume is an important part of this dorayaki's appeal. The ore-no-dorayaki is a lot thicker than a typical dorayaki (Mine was over 5cm thick!). At first I assumed that most of this thickness was due to the bean paste, but when I cut the dorayaki in half, there were a few surprises. Whole beans are spread throughout the paste giving it a chunky look and there is a big piece of chewy, yellow chestnut in the middle. Running throughout this mixture is a white vein of cream. There are a lot of flavors here.
So what about the taste? The first bite is actually a little disappointing. Despite its unusual, dark color, the 'pancake' outer part of the dorayaki has a fairly typical taste. Because of its unusual color, I was expecting some kind of special flavor, but honestly it was a little too bland. In the absence of a strong taste, the texture becomes more important. Luckily they got this part right as the pancake feels nice and soft, it's just a shame that it likes any real 'bite' to convince me that I should paying more than the usual price.
Perhaps the blandness of the pancake is intentional. After all, the most important part of the dorayaki is the bean paste. Clearly the makers of the 'ore no' range would agree, as a lot of effort has gone into making the bean paste smooth and melty on the tongue. It has a very full taste and is only slightly sweet. It is nice to see a brand that is confident to not pack their products full of sugar and instead fill them full of quality ingredients!
Interestingly, after this initial taste, there is a slight alcohol aftertaste. Looking on the ingredients, I soon found that two different types of alcohol are included. I really enjoyed this combination of sweetness and alcohol, but it may be a little overpowering for some people. Regardless, the alcoholic taste soon dissipates leaving the overwhelming flavor of the beans.
Because of the variety of ingredients that go into these treats, the dorayaki has to be kept cool for the optimum flavor. I experimented by keeping one outside of my fridge, but the next day, a lot of the ingredients had separated. It was still edible, but was a bit of a mess.
Overall, the 'ore-no' range has achieved another success. It is genuinely nice to see a product that contains lots of ingredients in novel combinations instead of stuffing the product full of sugar or flavorings. If you aren't a fan of beans and alcohol, you would be probably best avoiding this as there isn't much else; but as a snack to enjoy after dinner or with a light drink, this is perfect.