I know, I know, what am I doing posting about a candy that was a limited edition during the summer, and in Japan no less. Well, lets just say as we creep deeper and deeper into winter, I can’t help but look back and wish it was summer! I hate the colder months and I miss the green trees and the warmer weather.
I remember getting these back in June as a birthday gift from a dear Japanese friend of mine. I got the box on route to a weekend in the Poconos with my boyfriend. We stopped for lunch at a local sandwich shop and I sat outside in the bright sun and opened this box. It was like uncovering a treasure and I pulled out these different Kitkats that my friend so kindly saved and mailed to me.
Espresso Kitkat: This has a white chocolate base. It smells sweet like cookies and creme, and strangely no coffee aroma. The flavor is definitely coffee, and the flavors are strong one they hit your tongue. The coffee is strong in flavor with compliments of cream from the white chocolate. You know what it’s like? It’s like eating coffee ice cream in Kitkat form.
Apple Vinegar: I know this may sound very strange as a flavor for a candy. In Japan vinegar is considered a health food, and many drink it for its supposed benefits. This Kitkat is also white chocolate based, and has a yellowish tint to it. It smells sour and fruity. The taste is like sour apple, it’s not vinegar per se, perhaps in the first second it touched you tongue you get the zing of the vinegar. It tastes like an apple jolly rancher, so while it wasn’t horrible, it didn’t impress me much.
Cherry: I’m not quite sure how this cherry Kitkat is different from the others. I think it’s the packaging. It’s very pink in color, like Pepto Bismal. It smells fruity and floral, of berries and cherry. It’s kinda artificial, with a hint of banana and cream in there. The flavor is not so much cherry, actually more tropical. I get notes of banana, pineapple, cherry and strawberry, oddly just like he aroma.
Tiramisu: A single finger, that’s more tall than wide. It’s white chocolate and smells sweet, creamy and of coffee. It tastes very strongly of coffee…like a real cappuccino or coffee ice cream. It’s sweeter than the Espresso one mentioned above. It has a really authentic coffee bitterness to it int the after taste and it’s quite nice.
Matcha Latte: Same format as the Tiramisu, and it’s also white chocolate based. It’s light green in color and smells sweet and very lightly grassy. The flavor is kinda odd. It’s doesn’t really taste like anything. No, wait, it does. It tastes like those bland rainbow sprinkles you get on top of ice cream. It’s slightly sweet, kinda starchy tasting.
Jasmine Tea: I was expecting this Kitkat to be white chocolate based, but wait, whaa? It’s milk chocolate? Ok, surprised! It smells sweet and milky at first, then the smell of jasmine hits you like a train. And wow, it’s extremely floral and authentic. The flavor is sweet and lightly chocolately, but the whole this is just seeped (get it? haha) in jasmine flavor. It’s very strong and leaves an odd aftertaste. It’s…kinda off putting actually and I’m not sure I really like it. It’s interesting, but not something I’d return to.
Kitkat Cookies Wholegrain: This is formatted as one medium sized finger as opposed to two mini ones. smells like a normal Kitkat,sweet, chocolatey and a little hint of cream. This Kitkat is all about texture. There’s a layer of crumbled cookies atop the wafers. It’s like one of the graham cracker crusts you can buy for cheesecake in the store. It doesn’t add flavor or anything, but a grainy crunch to the bar. It’s just like a normal tasting Kitkat but with that extra cookie grain to it.
So there you have it. They were tasty and I’m glad I tried them. I’m sure if you’re hardcore enough you may be able to find them on Ebay still.
Rating: Might Eat Again
Links Japanese Kitkat Site (Breaktown)
While on a recent trip to my local gourmet food store, I was in the mood to try some new licorice. They often stock new varieties on the shelves (yet they never get in the Skoolkrijt I keep requesting of them) and was drawn to many new packages on the shelf. Trying to be good, I limited myself to three, and I have them here a a review for you today.
Klene Krokantkes: This bag I recognized the package right away because Cybele over at Candyblog.net reviewed them, and found them to be kinda strange. Liking a challenge, I decided to give them a go myself.
Small black: It’s light and crunchy. I was expecting the shell to be soft. I get a big hit of salt, then there’s this overwhelming flavor of chlorine. The aftertaste is very metallic and small bursts of molasses. Ew.
Small white: This one is also crunchy, but it’s much harder and more substantial. It’s minty and really heavy on the anise and molasses flavors. The three combined makes this taste very herbal and woodsy. I feel like I’m eating medicine when I’m not supposed to be.
Large white: Very sweet. The shell is crunchy and the rest of the insides are chewy. It’s minty, sweet and has nice licorice flavors. There’s a small dash of salt in there too, but it heightens the flavors rather than overpowers them. I liked this the best of the bunch.
These Licorice Rockies were un-branded, but many companies make versions of this. They’re sweet black licorice tubes filled with a fruit flavored creme. The colors are white or pink. The interior texture is creamy, and feels cool and slick on my tongue.
The licorice part is a tad salty. The white flavoring is sweet and slight fruity, but I can’t lay my finger on exactly a specific one. The licorice is a nicely balanced flavor with anise and herbals notes coming through. The pink flavor taste more tropical and floral than the white. I get notes of banana and paired with the licorice it tastes very smoky.
These didn’t really do it for me. After tasting a few I quickly lost interest.
I see these Licorice Beehives around a lot. These were also in an un-labeled bag, but you can find them pretty readily. The texture is firm, but not rock hard. They’re easy to chew but it gets lumpy and starchy in the mouth as opposed to chewy and sticky. The flavor is sweet and you really taste the honey accents amongst the flavors of molasses and licorice. It’s much milder than I anticipated, but I think that works well here, as sometimes you’re just not in the mood for something very strong in flavor. These are nice, but I like more punch in my licorice candy, and these just left me craving something more powerful.
So while this experiment was a failure in the sense I didn’t find any new favorites here, I’m certainly glad that I gave them a try. Once great thing about licorice is that there’s so many varieties out there, so it’s really just tasty footwork to find the ones you like.
Rating: Not Worth It
This is the Lee’s Jaffa bar, the second bar of my purchase from a recent trip to Wegman’s grocery store. I tried the sister bar, the Lee’s Mint bar, the other day and while I liked the texture and construction, I couldn’t get past the bold flavor. I looked forward to trying this bar so much more. This bar is a spin off of a popular cookie in the UK called Jaffa Cakes, and they’re an cookie with an orange jam filling. I imagined that this bar took that popular Jaffa orange flavor and made it into a candy bar. Yum!
Like the Minty bar, this bar feels heavy and thick in my hand. Unwrapped, it has the same beautiful dark chocolate coating. Again, the ingredients are simple and they even list “jaffa orange oil” there. Ha ha.
The bar immediately smells intensely of orange. It’s really enticing.
The fondant is very, very dense. The bar broke easily with no crumbling. The center reminds me, texture wise, of a thick, hardened frosting and the inside of a Cadbury Creme Egg. It’s dense, creamy and sweet. It really coats the tongue with a layer of sugar. The flavor is mainly of the fondant which is extremely sweet with a strong flavor of fresh, zesty, juicy orange oil. The chocolate is deep and takes an edge of the sweetness but is not the star of the show by any means. Everything about this bar is thick, smooth, sweet and very, very bold. It’s not for the faint of heart.
I found the best way to eat this bar is nice and slowly, one nibble at a time. That way it decreases the intense sugar burn you may get at the back of your throat.
I liked this bar much better than it’s minty relative, and next time I see them I’m getting more.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Links Lee’s Website
I found this, along with the Lee’s Jaffa Orange bar, in my local Wegman’s international aisle. I love browsing this section of the store, as they’re always bringing in new and different things for me to look at every time I visit. On this specific occasion I found these bars by the Scottish manufacturer Lee’s. I was first drawn to the Jaffa bar, but noticed this sister bar next to it, so I decided to bring both home.
This bar is described as a “A delicious mint creme fondant covered in real dark chocolate”. The packaging design is classic and very reminiscent of UK design with it’s tartan patterned stripes and bold background. The bar itself feels heavy in the hand and has a heft to it. Turning it over, I see the ingredients are so simple and straightforward. No funny business going on here.
As soon as I open the wrapper I immediately get a powerful scent of mint and peppermint. Wowza.
The bar itself is gorgeous. The dark chocolate coating is beautifully dark and rippled like sand when wind blows on it. The break is dense and clean and the mint fondant center is fresh and fragrant. The texture of the fondant is dense, and well, reminds me of hardened frosting, much like the Blue Monday bar I reviewed before.
The flavor is fresh, very minty and sweet. Like an intense, gourmet Andes mint. It’s good, but not quite my cup of tea. Afterward I felt like I ate some chocolate and chased it down with some Scope or toothpaste.
An awesome bar for those of you really into mint flavors. I appreciated it, but I can’t see myself getting it again out of personal preference.
Rating: Might Eat Again
Links Lee’s Website
The last and hopefully not the least of my Teenee Beanee reviews. I have to admit now that, I only ended up finding three of the four flavors mixed that Teenee Beanee offers. The missing one is the Luxor Licorice, which I am pretty bummed about missing, as I love licorice beans. No matter, I’m here to focus on the Island Breeze flavor mix, and that’s what I’ll do.
Again, the package is very pretty and fitting. It does feel very tropical. The description this time reads: “Includes exotic flavors so authentic you can almost hear the sound of steel drums. Get ready, get set, get away!”.
The bag smells very fruity and tropical, like Hawaiian Punch when I opened it. It was a nice smell, and I found myself just sticking my nose into the bag and inhaling a few times even before reaching to eat the beans. The mix is pretty to look at, with the colors bright and almost neon.
Caribbean Punch (blue): This bean tastes just like Hawaiian punch. The flavors of strawberry, peach, blue raspberry and pineapple all blend together to make that iconic punchy taste.
Cabana Strawbana (red): Such a cute name! This bean tastes more starchy and sweet of fake banana than of strawberries, or any berries for that matter. It has an extra sweet edge which I think is supposed to be the strawberry part. But that’s only if I imagine really hard.
Kauai Pineapple Banana (yellow): Tastes more pineapple than banana. Heck, I don’t taste any banana here at all until the very end where there’s a slight starchy aftertaste. The pineapple is fruity, tart and authentic. I’m a fan.
St. Kitts Kiwi Lime (green): This has that immediate tart kick of lime that is followed by a sweeter, more tropical flavor of kiwi. It’s very floral and zesty with no hint of bathroom cleaner.
Martinique Orange Pineapple (orange): So very smooth and clean in flavor. The orange is weak, like Tang, lacking zest and tartness. I’m sadly not getting much pineapple here either, as none of this flavor reads as “tropical” to me. Just smooth, creamy, orange notes.
I liked this mix for what it was, a sampling of tropical flavors, even though they were a bit confusing with their flavors. That’s the trend I see with the whole Teenee Beanee line, in fact. The Island Breeze is my favorite of the trio I tried, and it’s something I don’t think I’ll be reaching for again. The jelly beans I normally buy are hard to knock out of the top slots on my favorites list, yes. That doesn’t excuse the fact that I had to think about what a flavor of the bean was in the Teenee Beenee mixes. I should just taste it.
Rating: Might Eat Again
Links Teenee Beanee Website
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