Thursday, October 29, 2009

Soy Sauce Kit Kat - Tokyo Limited Edition

After several weeks of looking at it in my kitchen, I finally broke down and tried the Soy Sauce Kit Kat. I think this might be the most disgusting sounding Kit Kat I have tried so far. Luckily, it was not the most disgusting tasting (the Rose Kit Kat still maintains that honor.) That being said, I think I will keep my soy sauce for dipping my sushi in or pouring over my fried rice.

The Soy Sauce Kit Kat is another regional limited edition sold only in the Tokyo area or online. I bought mine online for 810 yen plus shipping. Each box comes with 12 mini Kit Kats and a little description of the area they are supposed to represent, (which I can't read because my Japanese is bad.)

Like most of the strange flavored Kit Kats this one is white chocolate. It had a very generic white chocolate smell - very sweet and with no detectable soy sauce smell. The actual soy sauce flavor was very very very slight and concentrated in the wafers. In fact, I had to take several bites to make sure I was even tasting any soy sauce. It certainly wasn't as salty as the real thing can be but I guess having a more intense soy sauce flavor might push these into the inedible category.

These are definitely a novelty flavor, and not something I would ever willingly eat again. Not that they were bad just that they were so underwhelming and bland that I would rather have something better when it comes to snack time. Some commenters have mentioned that they had a maple syrup-ish flavor to them and I can taste that, but it was just too sweet for me. If you like white chocolate then you might enjoy the little twist the soy sauce flavor adds but I won't be trying them again.

Final Score: 4

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Caramel Pudding Kit Kat

Halloween isn't really a tradition here in Japan other than what companies can do to market it. There is a Happy Halloween sign at my local grocery store and a display with what I would consider some pretty random Halloween products. Nestle Kit Kat's at least are candy and make sense but since they never get handed out to trick or treaters it is still a little strange to see them with Jack O'lanterns and happy witches flying across the package. There's some sort of campaign involved too where kids can send in points from the package in order to win their dream or wish (whatever that may be???) I was more interested in the taste than any possible prizes, however.

The Caramel Pudding Kit Kats are sold in packages of minis are individually at the conbini. Each Kit Kat is 66 calories. They are milk chocolate (yay!) with caramel in the wafers. I was afraid these would be too much like the Custard Pudding Kit Kats I tried back in June but really they turned out to be much more like the Salt and Caramel Kit Kat Bites I tried earlier this month. Chocolate and caramel with some wafers - a basic but delicious combination. Although I must say there was very little pudding taste. The Custard Pudding Kit Kat focused more on the pudding taste with just a hint of caramel while these went straight for the caramel taste. They lacked the perfect salty ending that I loved with the Salt and Caramel Kit Kat Bites but overall they were still very tasty.

I would probably prefer a Twix for satisfying my chocolate/caramel cravings but since those aren't readily available in Japan then these are a great substitute (for as long they last.) If you have to choose between the Caramel Pudding or the Salt and Caramel though I would definitely go with the Salt and Caramel.

Final Score: 7

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Roasted Sweet Potato Kit Kat

It's autumn in Japan and that means that purple sweet potatoes are in season. I'm surprised actually I haven't received a big bag of them yet from any of my farmer friends but I did help out the ninth grader sitting next to me at lunch today by taking hers off her hands. I couldn't believe she didn't like them. Although they aren't as good as an American yam, Japanese purple sweet potatoes are still pretty high on the list of veggies I like. And they are one of the few veggies I imagine that would make a good Kit Kat.

And a good Kit Kat it is. Unlike the other fall flavor, Kinako Ohagi Kit Kat, this one came in a mixed bag with the classic chocolate. (On a side note I love the mixed bags because I rarely have an excuse to buy regular Kit Kats and it reminds me just how awesome the classic chocolate really is.) Each Roasted Sweet Potato mini is roughly 68 calories. They are slightly yellow-ish in color and smell like sweet potatoes. Biting into it, there is definitely a distinct sweet potato taste with all of the texture of a Kit Kat. It helps I think that there is sweet potato flavoring in both the chocolate and the creme between the wafers (at least that's what is said on the back of the bag.) It's sweet in the way that a potato is sweet - in a good way but not overly so. If you like Sweet Potato Casserole or Sweet Potato Pie then you are already accustomed to the sweet potato being used in dessert so the jump to a Kit Kat is not a large one. For someone like me, who loves everything from sweet potato fries, sweet potato casserole, or sweet potatoes in my kyushoku, this was a success.

Final Score: 8

Monday, October 19, 2009

Miso Kit Kat - Tokkai Hokuirku Limited Edition

When I think of miso I think of miso soup. Or I think of the disgusting miso glazed fish I sometimes get in school lunch that makes my hands smell fishy and my breath bad for the rest of the day. I don't really think of Kit Kats. Until now of course with the Miso Kit Kat.

Although I should mention that miso is also used in sweets. Just not in the sweets that I am a fan of. Mochidango is sometimes covered in a thick miso glaze for instance so the jump to Kit Kat is not as strange as I first thought. But still...miso?

This is another regional limited edition from the Tokai area. The red miso or akamiso is popular in this area. When we have miso soup for school lunch it is almost always akamiso. Although that didn't really occur to me when I was making my online purchases. Almost immediately after ordering it online I had two different friends email me to tell me they had seen it in Nagoya and Toyohashi (basically not very far from where I live.) So I probably could have saved myself some shipping costs. Oh well.

This is another white chocolate Kit Kat. For 810 yen plus shipping I received a box of 12 minis. Once again on the inside panel there was a very nice description of what I can only imagine has something to do with either the Tokai region or the production of akamiso, maybe both. (I really need to bone up on the Japanese!) Each mini is 68 calories.

It had a strange smell, very sweet and kind of custardy. I'll admit to being a goof and sniffing the miso I had in the kitchen and comparing. It didn't really smell the same but I don't usually keep akamiso around (I prefer shiromiso) so that might account for the difference. As I said earlier I was thinking more miso soup than mochidango when I ate this so I was very pleasantly surprised. It was very sweet and reminded me of custard although it lacked the ending bitter note that the Custard Pudding Kit Kat had. The miso is already sweet and the combination with the white chocolate made it even more so. In the end, even with ice tea to wash it down, it was a little too sweet for me.

Final Score:5.5

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Blueberry Cheesecake Kit Kat - Koshin Limited Edition

So if you follow this blog you'll know that recently I realized that not only are there Kit Kats to be found in my local supermarket and conbini but that there are special limited edition boxes that are only sold in certain cities/regions of Japan or on the internet. So I broke down, pulled up the Nestle E-shop in one tab and Babelfish in the other, and ordered me some strange regional Kit Kats. This is not one of them. I mean it is a regional limited edition, Koshin Limited, according to the box, I just mean it's not that strange of a taste. This is the consolation prize I allowed myself for actually buying Miso Kit Kats and Soy Sauce Kit Kats. If I was spending all that money then I felt that I should at least have one box of appetizing sounding chocolate on there.

Despite all that the Blueberry Cheesecake Kit Kat was a little disappointing. Maybe I had my hopes too high, after all blueberry cheesecake is pretty awesome (and blueberry cheesecake ice cream is even better.) But the Blueberry Cheesecake Kit Kat failed to deliver. For 810 yen plus shipping I got a very nice box of 12 mini Kit Kats. There's also a very nice description of the area it's from on the inside. Or at least that's what I imagine it says since I can't really read it. I pretend that it says something about a lake and mountains and delicious blueberries because that's what the picture on the box evokes, but really it could be about anything. They are 69 calories for one bar. It was white chocolate with a very very faint hint of a blueberry smell. The blueberry taste was just as mild and if I wasn't such a conscientious reviewer and been looking for it I might have missed it all together.

I would have liked a much stronger blueberry taste. And even some more cheese flavor would have been good too. In other words, it wasn't a bad snacking experience but it wasn't one to write home about either. Definitely not worth the hassle of ordering it online but I also won't mind serving it to friends with tea when they come to visit. (Just a note if you ever visit me you will almost certainly be served Kit Kats because I have to get rid of all these mini packs somehow. They will also feature heavily in Christmas presents this year too.) Final score is middling for being a less than creative flavor without really delivering on the flavor.

Final Score: 5

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Sports Drink Kit Kat (or lack thereof)

I despair of ever finding a Sports Drink Kit Kat. It was released this summer while I was in the States visiting family and even though I've been searched in Toyohashi, Tokyo, and Kyoto I haven't been able to spot one. It was a joint venture with JFA Dream Asia, which promotes football in Japan, and tastes like one of the many grapefruit flavored sports drinks available here. I'm sorry I missed it but make sure to check out the review at one my favorite blogs, Japanese Snack Reviews. And also at Tasty Japan and Japanese Kat.

Since I don't have a review for you this time, instead I present you with pictures of another Kit Kat lover - my nephew. He certainly knows the value of a good chocolate bar but he does still struggle with the idea that you have to take it out of the package before you try to eat it. He's a quick learner though!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Salt and Caramel Kit Kat Bites

This new Kit Kat is part of Nestle's Halloween campaign (you can see a smiley face wearing a witch's hat in the corner.) There are also Caramel Pudding Kit Kats out right now and I haven't tried them yet to see how they stack up against this other Caramel incarnation. It is odd to have both out at the same time I think, but I'm glad all the same.

This was not a regular Kit Kat but was a small bag of Kit Kat bites. I would have preferred the normal fingers but overall the taste wasn't affected by the size or shape. Nope, I think fingers or not they were pretty tasty. Downright delicious actually. Although with caramel it didn't take much work to win me over. I'm already a fan. But this went above and beyond. You get smooth chocolate caramel-y taste at the beginning and finish on a salty note. I think it was the addition of the salt that really made it pop for me. I was hooked. Along with the Kinako Ohagi Kit Kat, you might see me in the 7-11 across the street buying some more Salt and Caramel Kit Kat Bites.

Final Score: 9

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Kinako Ohagi Kit Kat

It's fall in Japan so even though the weather is still hot and humid there is a plethora of autumn related products flooding the market. Nestle's latest Kit Kat is based off a traditional Japanese treat served during Higan, the three days around the spring and fall equinoxes where people visit their family graves and pray for their ancestors' souls. Ohagi - a treat similar to mochi covered in sweet beans, sesame, or kinako - is named after a fall flower called Hagi. (In spring the same treat is actually called botamochi.) If you remember from my Kinako Kit Kat review kinako is toasted soy flour and it's delicious. There's a picture of a piece of kinako ohagi on the Kit Kat box.

I've never had kinako ohagi and to be honest I probably never will. (I'm not a fan of mochi or sweet beans.) But the Kinako Ohagi Kit Kat hit the mark. It was milk chocolate and had the same nutty smell that the Kinako Kit Kat had. It's that nutty flavor of soy flour that I really like and it's concentrated in the wafers. In fact if you had given this to me in a blind taste test I might have guessed peanut butter first, although it's a little more subtle than your regular PB.

So that settles the kinako part but I was left a little confused about the ohagi. It wasn't until I read the back of the box that I realized that there are rice puffs in the chocolate coating to account for the ohagi. Their extra crunch is lost with the wafers, but I did spot one or two when I ate the second bar. Overall, I really enjoyed this Kit Kat. If I didn't have other Kit Kats in the kitchen and in the mail I would definitely buy this one again (I still might actually!)

Final Score: 9