Shiroi Koibito is a premium sandwich cookie made in Hokkaido. It's usually given as a present to co-workers, friends and family on return from Hokkaido.
These days with the invention of the internet, you can simply go to their online shop if you live in Japan and get it delivered to you, rather than going all the way to Hokkaido. It is also available at airports nationwide, I saw it in Nagoya airport along with the Shiroi Koibito drink which I will expand upon at the bottom.
I've never actually bought it anywhere other than Hokkaido, I think it tastes better that way. I know when I'm in Hokkaido I'm home, so for me this is the taste of home.
The boxes come in a manner of different sizes, this here is the smallest one, retailing at 740 yen or around $7.50 for 12 individually wrapped pieces.
When I came home from Japan I bought a suitcase full of unique candies including Shiroi Koibito, and from the 100 yen store I bought some paper bags. I then filled up the bags with the candy and one each of the Shiroi Koibito. They were very much a hit and for weeks on end we had Yasu's co-workers asking us where they could get some more of this whitey goodness! They didn't realise we still had one small box stashed away in our cupboard for ourselves, and we weren't willing to share!
Anyway, so back to the cookie itself. It has French on the box that says
"Chocolate blanc et langue de chat". Googling that I found that it means "Chocolate and white cats tongue". The actual name of the cookie means "white lover". I guess Hokkaido could be known as my white lover anytime!
The cookie is 5cm x 5cm in diameter, is slightly rounded with the white filling poking out the corners. The cookie is golden and has a slightly more golden colour around the edges.
It's quite crumbly and breaking it in half means that a thousand crumbs fall off the edges. The filling is a thin layer of white creamy chocolate that just melts in my mouth, and is beautiful white chocolate in a demure way.
The cookie itself, despite using shortening has a really nice texture and has a slight taste of coconut. It's not oily or dry, its just right.
They use cocoa butter, cocoa powder and milk from Akayama (the maker's home town) to come up with a cookie I can't ever resist, no matter how many times I have it.
Yasu is quite the slave to Shiroi Koibito, and I have to hide it in the cupboard otherwise he would eat the whole box in one sitting and wouldn't save any for me!! Despite the fact that he's from Hokkaido and had it countless times when he lived there.
Ishiya have realised that when you do something you should do it well, and they have. It's been a stayer in the market for 30 years and still going strong.
As an aside, they have a website with a video showing how Shiroi Koibito is made, and they also have Shiroi Koibito Park, where for 600 yen entry you can make your own version of Shiroi Koibito. There is a chocolate tower and a lounge where you can indulge in all your favourite Ishiya delights, a chance to watch SK being made, do some shopping and relax in the restaurant. Each box also comes with a discount voucher for the park. If anyone here is planning on going and they want the voucher you are welcome to email me (adults get 100 yen off and children 50 yen).
Ishiya also make a Shiroi Koibito chocolate drink, which I picked up at Nagoya airport, funnily enough I couldn't find it where I was staying in Hokkaido. The drink was just as great as the biscuit, but in another dimension, it was also creamy and had that definite taste. You can buy a box of 2 for 420 yen.
This photo was borrowed from Ishiya website
Okay, so when it comes to Shiroi Koibito I have one thing to say, these are my favourite and I'm not into sharing! So go get your own! ;)