As anyone who knows me in real life would tell you, I may be enthusiastic about candy, but I’m head over heels crazy for pumpkin. I adore all things pumpkin and it’s really one of my favorite things to eat. This is why I was super excited when I saw this box of Caramel Pumpkin candy in Sunrise Mart in New York City. Pumpkin and candy rolled into one? Sign me up!
From the look of the box, I was expecting this to be one of the many “reverse Pocky” candies that the Japanese love so much. Essentially, it’s a biscuit stick with a hollow inside that’s filled with a flavored chocolate. Although, I would have realized that this is not the case here, if only my Japanese was a bit better.
The sticks come in sealed packets of two, so you get a small about to snack on without overdoing it. They’re golden in color and smell sweet and of squash. A good sign!
The texture is not crispy like I would have expected, but instead it’s dense and creamy. It’s more of a tube of chocolate, than a hollow biscuit with chocolate inside. Interesting.
The flavor is unique, but in a good way. First you taste the sweetness, then the roasted flavor of acorn squash comes through with it’s sweet, yet earthy flavors. Then you taste the caramel, which adds a nice burnt sugar taste to it. It reminds of of oven roasted acorn squash like my Mom makes, as she melts some butter and brown sugar in the center. The aftertaste is sweet, slightly squashy, but more of the caramel flavor. I have to say, I like it a lot!
This is an excellent example of a great pumpkin candy, and I’m pleased to have found it to try. It’s really yummy and it satisfies that sweet pumpkin craving I get sometimes (yes, I realize that’s strange). So if you want to try something a bit different, I’d give these a go.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Links Morinaga candy Website (Japanese)
Continuing on with my reviews of all the Japanese Kit Kats I’ve acquired in the past couple of months. I’ve been following (and tasting!) the Japanese Kit Kats for a few years now (since 2006) and I have to say I’m impressed with the new and fun flavors they keep coming out with. When I began it felt like I was limited to green tea, red bean, strawberry and maybe soybean thrown in there. Now the flavors reach all over and I really can’t say what to expect next. I like that.
I was immediately interested in this Kit Kat when I first laid eyes on it online. I think the only other Kit Kat that got me so excited were the Pumpkin ones that came out for the past two Halloween seasons. I love sweet potatoes, so I was horribly curious as to how they’re lend themselves to this candy.
First, the sweet potatoes shown on the box is a type of dish called daigakuimo where Japanese potato/yam chunks are fried, then covered in a sugar glaze and black sesame seeds. If you ever get the chance to try this, and you’ll often see it in bento boxes in Asian markets, I do recommend it.
Ok, back to Kit Kat. The fingers have a wonderful light orange creamy color. They smell sweet and very strong of vanilla and cream. I’m reminded of thick homemade custard or pudding. The flavor mimics the aroma perfectly, as it’s very creamy, sweet and heavy on vanilla and caramel flavors. I’m sad to report I get no official sweet potato flavor here. I could get really disappointed by this and let it drag my whole experience with this Kit Kat. Yet, I find myself enjoying it for that really rich custard taste, so much so that I don’t care if it’s supposed to be sweet potato. It’s tasty just as it is. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the packaging that lied to me, not the flavor elements of this one.
White and Yellow Peach:
This bag of minis are white chocolate based peach flavored Kit Kats. The packets inside are colored either pink or yellow, yet I haven’t been able to taste a difference between the two.They certainly look different from one another though. The pink one is a creamy white, and the yellow a light orange color. For some reason slices of cheddar and American cheese come to mind. They both smell very juicy and peachy. I take a bite of one then the other, and I repeat the process a few times to just say they taste basically the same. The flavor is sweet, lightly of peach which is very juicy and floral with a perfumey smell. The flavoring isn’t too strong, and just enough ti cut the sweetness of the white chocolate.
Passion Fruit Kit Kat
This is an interesting little Kit Kat, as it was included as a bonus in a box of Nestle flavored coffee drinks. I’m guessing they’re some sort of Valentines Day release, as the packages are covered in hearts. This have a dark chocolate outside with a passion fruit creme between the wafers. The bitter dark chocolate compliments the intensely fruity, juicy tartness of the passion fruit. It’s nice with notes of pineapple, apple, cherry, plums, peaches. The bar is beautifully bright and fragrant and really, really tasty. I’m reminded on one of the old regional Tokyo Kit Kats that came out a few years ago that was also stellar.
The bar is has a milk chocolate base, nice and looks like a normal Kit Kat. It’s the smell that tells you there’s something different about this one. It’s a very bright smell of citrus with a strong tart note, and a kiss of hazelnut. It tastes like a normal milk chocolate Kit Kat, and despite the added flavors, and the chocolate remains the main flavor in this. It’s supplemented by very nice tart citrus note, it’s neither orange nor lemon. I also get a hint of hazelnut there too, which I find confusing as there’s no hazelnut in this Kit Kat. Very interesting. I really like it and overall I’m reminded of the flavors of Manner Biscuits that my Mom is crazy for.
Two thumbs up Japan! Keep ‘em coming!
Rating: Sweet Potato:
Will Buy Again
Links Kit Kat Japan Website
I’ve realized my love for Japanese Kit Kats has led me to acquire so many that I haven’t gotten around to reviewing them all! For shame! I will try and remedy this in the upcoming weeks, with a format similar to this post. I don’t feel like I need to go into too much detail on these, as we all know what Kit Kats are like. Am I right? I will go into the bits of these that are different from the Kit Kats you can get anywhere else, so I’ll mostly be commenting on the flavor of these beauties.
On with the reviews!
Kit Kat Hojicha Tea
Hoijicha is a type of roasted tea in Japan. It’s one of my favorites actually. The bar captures it perfectly, as the milk chocolate is light, creamy, sweet and carried the flavor of the tea well. The flavor of the tea, usually in chocolate, is too light and it swallowed up by the chocolate. Not so here. It’s got a wonderful roasted, tea-like, malty flavor that blends beautifully with the chocolate and gives it some really nice herbal and earthy flavors. It takes the milk chocolate and the Kit Kat to a whole new level for me, and it’s really tasty. I’m sad I only got one bag!
Kit Kat Watermelon Salt
I thought salting watermelons was a thing from the South, not in Japan. Whether or not this is a cultural nod to them or not, I found this combination one of the most unusual I’ve encountered yet.
This Kit Kat has nice milk chocolate base. The bar smells light, watery and fruity like melons. The aroma is a tad fake, only because the scent is more floral that real melons are.
The flavor is so beautifully and realistically watermelon. It’s awesome. You get that wonderfully fresh, juicy flavor of the watermelon combined with the creamy, sweet flavors of the milk chocolate. I know it sounds odd, but trust me, it’s really good. You don’t taste the salt until the finish and aftertaste. It’s not very pronounced, but it does give a nice edge to the bar. Yum!
Kit Kat Alexandria Grape
It’s a pale green in color with a white chocolate base. It smells very sweet and (what do you know!) lightly of green, muscat grapes. Fruity, bits of melon, and lightly tangy.
The flavor is….oddly grape. It’s floral, light, sweet, and has notes of cantaloupe and tang just like the in the aroma. The flavor ends on a nice, milky, white chocolate note: creamy, smooth, chocolatey, and lightly fruity. I’m weirded out and confused by the idea of this one, especially how the flavor turned out. It’s this strange medium between authentic and fake, and my taste buds don’t know what to make of it. If you’re a grape fan, I’m sure you can still get your hands on some if you want to.
Kit Kat McFlurry Caramel Macchiato
This flavor was particularly unique in my mind as it was a flavor based on a McDonald’s McFlurry. I don’t know much about the Macchiato, as I don’t eat at McD’s, much less get their McFlurries, so I can’t make any commentary here as it’d be totally unfounded. My guess is it’s pretty darned popular if Kit Kat goes and makes a flavor based off it it.
The base of this bar is white chocolate, with no special markings or colors. I was expecting it to have swirls of caramel on the surface, I have to admit. Instead, they’re smooth, pristine, white fingers. The Kit Kat smells very intensely of brown sugar and fake butter. Together they combine to make a caramel-like smell that’s slightly fake.
The flavor is mildly sweet and milky at first. It takes a few beats before that odd fake butter flavor to kick in. Thankfully it’s not as intense as the aroma suggests. I do taste a little coffee in there, but it’s very faint, so it’s more like a cappuccino. The bar but it does succeed in having a nice cream flavor that is reminiscent of a milkshake. It’s been ages since I’ve had one, but it’s a flavor you just don’t forget. It’s ok, I might eat this again. nothing stellar about this flavor, I’d rather have a coffee or a plain whit choc Kit Kat.
So there you have it. The great, the good and the “meh” of this round of Kit Kats. Have you had any of these flavors? If so, what did you think of them?
Rating: Hojicha and Watermelon Salt: Hoard
Grape and McFlurry: Will Buy Again
Links Kit Kat Japan (Breaktown) Website
This Kit Kat was a summer limited edition from Japan. Yes, I’m still quite late on the pickup. This edition is a mix of blueberry, strawberry and cranberry.
Opening the box, then one of the two two-finger packages inside, the Kit Kat immediately smells mostly of that of Japanese artificial strawberry flavor. It’s a sweet, jam-like, floral, frosting-like smell. I kinda with it was a perfume. The Kit Kat has a white chocolate base, and it’s pretty to look at since it’s pink with white stripes.
The flavor is very fruity yet delicate. I taste the blueberry and strawberry right away: jammy, sweet, and very floral with rose qualities. The wafers give a nice crispiness, as always. The cranberry shows at the end as a bit of tartness, which, in the overall scheme of things, is still very mild. Overall the bar has a great fruity flavor with a little vanilla taste from the wafers, which gives it a breakfast cereal type feel to it. Like berry berry kix, but more sweet.
This was a nice one to try, but not anything I’d go crazy for trying to hunt it down again.
Rating: Might Eat Again
Links Kit Kat Japan (Breaktown) Website
This Japanese Kit Kat is special, as it’s not only a new flavor (lemon) but also a novelty because the packaging is different. It’s a “Share with a Friend” box, that opens like a love letter, and it’s decorated with hears just in time for Valentines Day (yes, I know, way late on the pickup). It’s pretty to look at and I appreciate how unique it looks. It’s certainly catch my eye at the convenience store, that’s for sure.
The box opens so it’s like a letter and the two packets of the Kit Kat pop out perfectly inviting to give to a friend or lover. I can’t read the text, as my Japanese isn’t fluent enough, but I’m sure it’s something sappy. The color of the fingers is a nice creamy pastel yellow. It’s very spring-like aura to it. The bar smells less like lemon but more strong and sweet like a pudding or custard. Now that I think about it, it’s exactly like lemon pudding pie. It’s just a heavenly smell.
The flavor is out of this world! It tastes just like lemon curd. It’s tart, so terribly authentically tart. There’s a little hint of something in there that tastes of creamy cheesecake, and overall it’s terribly creamy, smooth and a little sweet. So awesome. Yum.
What could I say? After my first bite or two to taste I couldn’t gobble this Kit Kat down fast enough. I don’t understand why I’d want to share this one. It’s too good I need to keep it for myself. (I’m guess I’m bad to think like that, but in all honesty, I did share this with the boy.)
Links Kit Kat Japan (Breaktown) Website