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Japan

Jun
13



KitKat Sweet Potato

Since I’ve moved I now have greater access to bigger and more extensive Asian shopping markets. This is interesting to me because before on the east coast, the Asian markets seemed to jumble all the products of one Asian culture into one store. Here in California they have the cultures separated, which makes things both easier, and harder for finding sweets. Finding candy of any type feels like uncovering treasure to me, so this just means I have to widen my search. I came across some Japanese Kit Kats in Little Tokyo recently, one of which is this Sweet Potato Kit Kat.

I decided to photograph the individually wrapped Kit Kats since they looked practically the same as the large bag that help them. Just…less bloated. The bag held maybe 15-20 of these double-finger bars, which is a good amount of Kit Kat regardless of flavor. The coloring of the wrapper is a nice creamy yellow with royal purple accents. It’s like the Japanese sweet potato which has a purple outside and yellowish inside. Attractive, fitting and clever!

Upon opening the wrapper, the Kit Kats are creamy yellow in color, and striking similar to the yellow on the package. The smell sweet and toasted.

The flavor is very unique, but delicious. It starts out sweet with a district flavor of starch to it. Then I get a hint of vanilla that’s balanced with the starch, and it comes across as very buttery. The wafers inside taste mild and bland compared to the roasted potato white chocolate, and provides a nice back drop crunchy texture to the bar.

A tasty and unique Kit Kat. Certainly worth a try if you like the stranger flavors that Japan offers.

Rating: Will Eat Again

 

Will Eat Again

Links Japanese Kit Kat Website


Feb
23



Watering KissMint Lychee Lemon

It’s literally been years since I’ve had a Japanese gum. I first and last had it back in 2004 when I was in Japan doing an architectural study for college. It was a big exploration to go into one of the many convenience stores to find fun candy to try.  I found this packet of Watering KissMint in a Famimia in Hollywood during one of my lunch breaks. It reminded me back of those fun days of traveling, so I picked up a few flavors and took them home to review.

The packaging is nice. A silver background with splashes of color that conveys the “watering” in the title so well. The case is slim, so it’d easily fit into a pocket or purse. Inside there’s gum sticks wrapped nicely in silver foil, eight pieces in total. The sticks are shorter than the ones we find in America. They are wide and thin like most of them, but they’re only 3/4 of the length. Still, they’re a nice size and look very attractive in the packaging.

The gum smells sweet and peachy with a hint of grape, which is the best way I can describe a lychee’s flavor and aroma. I don’t smell any lemon mixed in there, as the lychee is such a strong smell.

The flavor starts off very strong of lychee, with very sharp perfumey notes of peach and muscat grape. Then the flavor sours slightly and you get the tartness of lemon. The two flavors mix well together, a nice sweet/sour mix that is very refreshing and clean to chew. I notice that the flavor disappears pretty quickly, at least it doesn’t last nearly a long as American gum flavors. Still, I really enjoyed it.

This is a nice departure from more domestic flavor you find in gum here. I enjoyed the originality of the flavor and if it lasted longer (I like to chew my gum for a long time) I would be going back for this more regularly.

Rating: Will Eat Again

 

Will Eat Again

LinksGlico Website


Nov
15



Crunky Strawberry Tart

Following up on last week’s review of the Crunky Purple Potato Chocolate, today’s another variation of the Crunky bar that I haven’t seen before: Strawberry cheese tart. The package is gorgeous with it’s pink background and bright, saturated red strawberries. Crunky is a jumbled engrish name which I think mixes “Chocolate” of “Chunky” or “Crunchy”. Or maybe they tried for “Crunchy” and screwed it up. It’s hard to say. But it sure is amusing.

This Crunky bar is a pretty light pink color. The crisps are easily visible and you also see little red flecks of strawberry pieces. It smells sweet of that “Japanese strawberry flavor” that’s this interesting mix of fruity/bubble gum/floral flavors. It comes across as playful and fruity.

The taste starts of sweet and…. tasting like cream cheese. There’s a very distinct cheesy note to it. Then you get the Japanese strawberry flavor that starts off very fruity and leave a hint of flowers in your mouth. It’s very nice. The texture of the crisps makes the bar’s texture much more interesting for sure. The bar doesn’t come across too sweet, but it’s not bizarre at all, especially if you’re have strawberry flavored Japanese candies before. I liked it, especially since the cheesiness of it added a new level of depth to the flavor.

So this candy was pretty accurate in regard to it’s flavor description! Yummy and unique, if you come across it it’s a nice change from a normal candy bar.

Rating: Will Buy Again

 

Will Buy Again

Links Lotte Website


Nov
10



Crunky Purple Potato Box

Trips to Japanese markets are always like Christmas in a way. You go in there not knowing what to expect and you always find interesting things that feel like presents to take home. My most recent trip to Mitsuwa Market yielded a lot of new candy surprised. One of them was this Lotte Crunky Sweet Potato Crisp chocolate.

One of the most popular sweet potatoes varieties in Japan are purple inside. Yeah, you heard me, purple. So naturally when they’re in season you find this sort of stuff in stores, purple potato chocolate. The image on the box depicts a bright purple color, so I’m curious to see the real thing. Like some Japanese candies, this box has individually wrapped single serving portions of the potato chocolate. Each little packet hold two squares of chocolate. As soon as I open one up I immediately take photos of it. This is just too strange to behold!

The color is much paler than the box suggests. It’s more of a light lavender than a intense purple. You can see the crisps in the chocolate easily, and it makes me excited to taste it as I love the texture they bring.

 

Crunky Purple Potato

Taking my first bite, the texture is awesome as the chocolate is nice and creamy and the crisps are crunchy and crispy, which is a great contrast. As for the flavor? Well, it’s sweet, a little starchy, but overall it’s kinda bland. Not that I mind, but I was hoping for something a little more punchy. Something that tasted more of potatoes. Still, I was impressed, as many white chocolate candies are just overpoweringly sweet.

There’s a novelty to eating purple chocolate so I’m glad I gave this a try. If you’re a fan of Crunky, Nestle Crunch, white chocolate or the color purple you might like this chocolate.

Rating: Not Worth It

 

Not Worth It

Links Lotte Website


Oct
11



Chelsea Milk Peach '10

Another Chelsea flavor to review today! Compared to last week’s this one is very colorful and very pink! It’s a flavor from over the summer, Peach Milk! I’ve been seeing this one show up for a few years, so I believe this one is a real favorite over in Japan.

As always the package has a gorgeous pink design, complete with retro flowers. I know I always say it, but, I love it.

The candies once unwrapped are a light beige/pink color. The klink together like dominoes.

The flavor is very creamy, sweet, and with a nice floral peach flavor. The taste of peach is lightly floral, and very juicy with notes of berries, apple and passion fruit. Overall it’s a nice well rounded flavor, not too strong, not too mild, not too sweet. It’s really nice.

Rating:  Will Buy Again

 

Will Buy Again

Links Chelsea Website (Japanese)


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