Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Framboise Kit Kat

One of my favorite things to do during lunch is read my student's ridiculous t-shirts and pen cases that are covered with either French or English. I don't speak French very well but I can read enough to know that the Japanese mangle it just as much as they do English. It's hard to mess up one word though. I'm thankful that Nestle decided to just go with Framboise Kit Kat (that's French for raspberry by the way) and stuck with Japanese for the rest of the box.

The Framboise Kit Kat came in a box of two. Each pack is two fingers and has 97 calories. There is no picture on the packaging to indicate what kind of chocolate is used so I was expecting white chocolate but to my surprise it was actually milk chocolate. It had a faint raspberry smell to it. The chocolate itself had hints of raspberry but most of the fruity flavor was concentrated in the creme. The raspberry flavor was nice and a little tart - as close to authentic as you get with something like a Kit Kat (which is to say not very authentic.) The milk chocolate was creamy and reminded me why I love milk chocolate Kit Kats. There's something about them that just doesn't come through with a white chocolate or even (gasp!) a dark chocolate bar.

Like with other milk chocolate varieties, (I'm thinking mainly Yubari Melon Kit Kat) the fruit doesn't overwhelm the chocolate but works with it to make a very enjoyable snack. I only wish that my 7-11 stocked it. I am making a trip into the "big" city tomorrow so maybe when I'm picking up essentials like Starbucks coffee and guacamole mix I'll get another Framboise Kit Kat.

Final Score: 8

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Around the end of April last year I mentioned offhand to a friend back home that Japan had some crazy flavored candies, Kit Kats in particular. Her response was immediate and enthusiastic. I had to try them all and then tell her about them. And thus the idea for Jen Ken's Kit Kat Blog was born.

In fact my first post was one year ago today! In the past year I have posted 73 entries and tried 55 different Kit Kats. I don't even want to contemplate how much money I've spent on chocolate. What's funny is that at the beginning I considered reviewing other snacks as well because I was certain there wouldn't be enough Kit Kats to keep me busy. Boy, was I wrong! Sometimes I get overwhelmed with how many are in my kitchen waiting to be eaten (currently 3).

In just a year this blog has grown from just a few friends and family reading it to over 60 followers, a comment and a link on Twitter from a famous American musician, and links around the net from other snack bloggers. I just want to say thanks to everyone for reading and commenting. You have made the past year really fun!

To celebrate my one year anniversary I am having a contest. The rules are simple. Just leave a comment here telling me your favorite crazy flavored Kit Kat or if you haven't had the chance to try any then which ones you're dying to eat. And what flavor Kit Kat do you want to see? The crazier the better! After one month I will have one of my adorable students pick a number and that number comment will win some delicious (and some not so delicious) Japanese Kit Kats.

Fabulous prize

So what are you waiting for? Leave a comment-win some Kit Kats!

EDIT: The contest is now closed. I'll announce a winner later this week. Thanks everyone who commented!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Zunda Kit Kat - Yamagata Limited Edition

In the States the idea of a good dessert is something very sweet and chock full of calories. We like chocolate, ice cream, cakes, and frosting. You would never find a dessert in America that consists of a paste made by smashing up boiled soybeans and then putting that paste on balls of rice that have been beaten into a sticky consistency. But in Japan that's called Zunda Mochi. Sounds delicious, right?

I have never had Zunda Mochi or zunda anything for that matter although some light internet research shows that there are more zunda flavored products to be had. I will say that after eating the Zunda Kit Kat I am intrigued. I want to try more zunda if for no other reason than that zunda is really fun to say. Try it. Zunda! Zunda! Zunda!

Right, ok. So onto the review. The Zunda Kit Kat is a regional special edition hailing from Yamagata. I was resolved to try this before I left Japan even if that meant I had to hop a shinkansen to Sendai in order to get it but luckily NapaJapan saved me the trouble and finally got some in stock. Each Kit Kat mini is 68 calories. They are made with white chocolate and are a light green color. They smell very interesting, like edamame, salt, and chocolate.

But while the smell was intriguing the taste was underwhelming. The Zunda Kit Kat tasted mostly like white chocolate with only a hint of edamame. The edamame is there but the sweetness of the white chocolate overwhelms it. As I said before I've never had zunda so maybe some of the flavor of the edamame is lost when it's been smashed into a paste and maybe, just maybe, it's a good thing that the taste is subtle because a soybean flavored Kit Kat might be a bad idea but I was expecting more.

Overall, I was glad that this strange flavor didn't go the same route as the Corn Kit Kat and while it has sparked my interest in a traditional Japanese treat it's not something I would really want to eat again. What do you think? Have you had zunda or other zunda flavored snacks? Did you like it?

Final Score: 5

Friday, May 14, 2010

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Semi-Sweet Kit Kat

My mom doesn't make cookies very often but she does do a pretty good job of always having a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips in the kitchen cupboards. Sometimes there's more than one bag of chips even. As a teenager I would sometimes eat them straight from the bag if for some reason we were running low on other snacks (the main reason being 3 teenagers in one house.) I didn't use to like anything other than milk chocolate back then so eating chocolate chips meant for baking was an act of desperation. These days though dark chocolate reigns supreme. Since most of the more exotic flavors come in white chocolate I'm always excited to see some darker chocolate Kit Kats like the recently released Semi-Sweet Kit Kat.

Isn't the box nice?

The Semi-Sweet Kit Kat comes in a box of two bars, each with two fingers that have 97 calories. While it's not technically dark chocolate it's still darker than the classic milk chocolate Kit Kat bar and it smells great. It has a nice bitter taste and the chocolate is better than the Mild Bitter Kit Kat I sampled a few months ago. It doesn't have quite the melt in your mouth quality of a classic Kit Kat and it seems to be lacking some creme between the wafers, making it a little on the dry side, but otherwise it was a nice variation on the regular Kit Kat. If the recent Mixed Fruit Kit Kat was meant for kids then the Semi-Sweet is meant for adults (it even says so on the box!)

I still prefer Dars Bitter when it comes to cheap dark chocolate but if nothing else the Semi-Sweet Kit Kat is better than eating chocolate chips straight out of the bag. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who prefers their chocolate a little darker.

Final Score: 8

Check out some more dark(er) chocolate Kit Kat reviews:

Kit Kat Dark
Mild Bitter Kit Kat
Melt In Your Mouth Kit Kat
Raspberry Passion Fruit Kit Kat