(All photos from sadaharuaoki.fr)I just watched a fascinating video by WSJ Asia about the different categories chocolatiers introduced to Japan to capitalize on Valentine's Day. Chocolates are marketed to women to give to female friends, male colleagues and male subordinates (like a T-shirt shaped chocolate that says "I gave you this, now can you work harder?").
Usually I disapprove of traditions that were created solely to sell people more stuff, but chocolate warps my powers of critical thinking. CHOCOLATE!!! The words "Japan" and "chocolate" make me think of the gorgeous macarons and candy by Sadaharu Aoki. He has a shop in Bellavita shopping mall here in Taipei. Everything is pricey, but I've sampled a few Sadaharu Aoki macarons before. They were so pretty to look at that I was sad to eat them, but eat them I did. The polka-dotted candies below are actually macarons enrobed in dark chocolate. My friend bought me some for my birthday and they were fantastic.