Thursday, March 25, 2010

Japanese Kit Kat Tasting - Final Act

This is the third of a three part series. Read Act One here. Read Act Two here.

Hokkaido Roasted Corn
Released: Fall, 2009

Hokkaido (capital: Sapporo) is the second largest island of Japan and it comprises nearly a quarter of the total arable land (land that can be used for growing crops).

This Kit Kat has a corn scent similar to those biodegradble packing peanuts (confession time: I have eaten one of those peanuts on more than one occasion). The white chocolate coating and the cream between the wafers combine to produce a flavor that tastes like lightly salted and buttered corn. It is a strange mix of savory and sweet, which actually works because real corn is fairly sweet on its own. I think this was my favorite just because it was so weird. The rest of the group was more than happy to let me have the leftovers all to myself.

ITO EN Jujitsu Yasai (Vegetable Juice)
Released: August, 2009

ITO EN is a popular beverage company in Japan. “Jujitsu Yasai” (“vegetables galore”) is their line of vegetable juice beverages. Based on the information on their web site, I get the impression that they are like the V8 splash vegetable + fruit juice blends.

The wrapper of this Kit Kat clearly shows apples and carrots. The bar smells and tastes like apple. Unlike the Yubari melon, it is not particularly appetizing – coating the bar in flavored white chocolate instead of milk chocolate may have been the difference. Only one taster (Lauren) tasted anything remotely close to a vegetable (carrot or otherwise), and the rest of us thought she was probably lying. Anica liked this one the best, which is surprising because she usually doesn’t like things that taste gross.

Shouyu (Soy Sauce)
Released: Summer, 2009

This one left us confused. The first puzzling thing you notice upon opening the wrapper is that the bar is covered in white chocolate. I have had salted dark chocolate before, and it is delicious. I think Nestle missed the boat. The second puzzling thing you notice is that it smells distinctly of maple syrup. I just ran downstairs to the kitchen to confirm that soy sauce smells nothing like maple syrup. Biting into it reveals that the chocolate tastes like…maple syrup!? The cream between the wafers is salty – the only thing even remotely like soy sauce about this candy bar.

Instead of calling this one soy sauce flavored, they should have called it maple syrup and bacon flavored. Granted, it doesn’t taste like bacon – but it doesn’t exactly taste like soy sauce, either. However, bacon is salty and it goes well with maple syrup.

Suppai Orange (Sour Orange)
Released: August, 2009

The milk chocolate coating has an orange scent and a slight orange flavor. The cream between the wafers is quite sour. There is a strong orange aftertaste. Overall it’s an appealing combination of flavors, but sort of ho-hum. We have chocolate oranges here in the USA, after all… I’m only interested in exotic flavors.

Raspberry & Passion Fruit (Valentine’s Day)
Released: January, 2010

A limited edition Valentine’s Day release, this raspberry and passion fruit flavored Kit Kat comes in a box which is adorned with little pink and red hearts and features a blank space for you to address it to the object of your affection.

The bar is coated in dark chocolate, which smells like chocolate and nothing else. The chocolate has a subtle raspberry flavor – one taster compared it to raspberry hot chocolate. The filling is sour, but doesn’t taste particularly passion fruity.

Ichigo (Sparkling Strawberry)
Released: December, 2009

“Ichigo” literally translates to “strawberry” in Japanese. However, if you Google “ichigo” it can also refer to other things, including the popular anime hero “Ichigo Kurosaki.” Only a true badass can pull off the name “Strawberry Kurosaki.”

This Kit Kat is coated in pink chocolate and has a sweet strawberry scent. The cream between the wafers is a bit tart and has an effervescence when it hits your tongue. The sourness is lingering. Overall this was a crowd pleaser.


  1. This was an excellent series. I feel like I missed out on a huge part of Japanese culture when I went there seven years ago. Good work, Daniel-san.

  2. roasted corn... how interesting.


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