I love Japanese Kit kats. Even though my review history hasn’t shown it, I do keep up with all the new flavors that are released, almost obsessively so. I have a pretty big backlog of these, I assure you. Getting a timely review of them up, considering the quantity of Kit kats that I have and the ones I’ve yet to taste, make it a very difficult endeavor. So I hope you don’t mind that when I review these flavors that some of them may be unavailable. Unless you look on eBay, of course.
So, all that aside, these were a release from this summer. They’re Kokuto “black sugar” flavor and they come in this giant bag filled with mini, two-fingered bars. Now, you may be wondering what “black sugar” is, and it’s an easy thing to not know about unless you’re into regional Japanese foods. Okinawa produces a special kind of sugar, the very black sugar that’s flavoring these Kit kats, and it’s similar to brown sugar. This black sugar contains lots of minerals and is considered a very healthy, and tasty, sugar to eat. You can easily find hard candies made from this special sugar, and I am ashamed to say I have not yet tried them.
The base of these Kit Kats are white chocolate, which I feel is a good decision since I don’t want heavy flavors to overpower what flavors the black sugar may impart. The bars are attractive as Kit kats always are.
As for the flavor? It tastes of molasses. Thick, blackstrap molasses. I’m a big fan of molasses, so I’m immediately addicted. The rest of the bar is the tried and true Kit kat, with crisp wafers and a nice balance of chocolate to wafer.
I love the flavor, and these are great with a nice cup of tea. I wish I had gotten more.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Japanese Kit Kat Webpage
These were a last minute find in the Los Angeles Mitsuwa. I was in the check out line, and I saw these sitting on the shelf, obviously misplaced. Curious, I picked up the box and couldn’t make out what the heck they were. The name and the illustration on the box does little to explain what the candy is. Since further investigation was required, I took them home to the candy labs for a throughout analysis.
Inside the box, there’s a half dozen of individual packets that are colored coded. Half orange, half purple. Each packet holds two sticks, which are crispy and break cleanly in the mouth. I’m immediately impressed with how much fun they are to chomp and am taken aback slightly when I find they have a fizz to them. The telltale tingling on the tongue is really pleasant.
I finally get it. Soda flavored candy.
Grape: Wow, this is awesome. It really tastes of grapes and/or grape soda with that deep pear/preach, strawberry flavor with the acidic twang to them that you associate with wine grapes. Added to the fizz texture, it sort of feels a bit alcoholic, but thankfully this is innocent and way more tasty.
Orange Soda: Wow, again! The flavor of this is orange soda, spot on. I guess that’s pretty easy to do as it’s an artificial flavor to begin with, yes? This is like eating a Sunkist Orange soda: and good mix of tang and the real zest of orange combined with the fizzy texture. Yum.
A very successful purchase and taste in the dark here. I hope I run across more candy of this variety soon. I’d love to try more!
Rating: Will Buy Again
I found these in a random farmers/polish market on the way to my car dealership. I walked the aisles taking in all the different foods; jams, cookies, spices, soups and whatever other interesting things that aren’t in your normal supermarket. I then spied these Coronado Paleta de Cajeta lollipops, or “Goat’s Milk Lollipops”. I’ve heard of these traditional Mexican candies before and had yet to try them. Here goes nothing!
Lovely oblong flat disc shape. It’s an interesting texture, I expected it to be somewhat soft, but it’s rock hard. It made me question if that’s the real texture, or if the lollipops were old and on the stale side.
The flavor is milky and sweet, and that’s about it. I was hoping for more deep, creamy, dulce de la leche flavors but it doesn’t have them. I also get no “goatiness” from them at all, which I’m not sure is a good or bad thing. Goat’s milk has this strange odious tang to it and I didn’t detect any of this here.
I fun thing to try but I don’t see myself craving these again in the future. At least, not unless I was offered the fresh stuff….
Rating: Will Eat Again
Sometimes the strangest holiday candies are released. Most make sense like the mint flavors I’m seeing everywhere; Mint Truffle Kisses, Hershey’s Bliss Creme de Menthe, Hershey’s Mint Miniatures, and the Mint M&Ms, just to name a few. Then I spot these two oddities: Holiday Edition Sugar Babies and Inside Out Junior Mints. I was perplexed right away, but since I hadn’t tried them, and are a fan of the originals, I picked them up.
From the outside of the box, the Holiday Sugar Babies don’t seem to be very different. The selling point is that they’re covered in a “candy shell” in holiday colors: white, red and green.
They look terrible. They’re matte and flat looking. Nothing about them feels inviting or attractive. Which leads me to ask, why color them to begin with? If you were going to put the in a bowl for guests or anything, so you can “see” them in there festive colors, why not make them look…nice.
The candy shell is indeed a shell as opposed to a soft, colored coating as I suspected. It actually cracks when I bite down and it softens from there, turning into a regular Sugar Baby. The taste is the same: intensely creamy, burnt caramel flavors with a sticky, grainy chewy texture. I don’t see a point to getting these over the regular ones…unless you have a thing for food coloring.
The Inside Out Junior Mints I was excited about. They’ve been a limited edition candy for years, yet I haven’t seen them until now. I did see the new edition of Junior Mints Peppermint Crunch that were released last year and I reviewed for CandyAddict.
These have white outside and a chocolate interior, just the opposite from the originals. Reading the description on the back where it calls the outside a “white topping”, I knew something was amiss. Uh oh. Mockolate.
The exterior is slightly hard and it “cracks” a little when you bite into it. The intense minty flavor we associate with Junior Mints is there, but it’s hard to say exactly where it’s coming from. I just sucked on one for a bit and I got no mint from the exterior. So my guess is the center is doing double duty here. Other than the appearance, I don’t really see the draw of these. Nothing says to me that these are any improvement or especially unique, so I don’t get the point.
Both these candies don’t do anything to improve or tweak the original enough for me to justify buying them. I just had to satisfy my curiosity. Learn from me and stick with the originals.
Rating: Not Worth It
Junior Mints Webpage
Sugar Babies Webpage
Tirol Choco is a classic Japanese candy. It’s well known as the cheapest chocolate you can buy, in the best ways possible, with each little square available at the store for 5 yen apiece. This makes it an easily accessible candy for many children and therefore it has a big nostalgic value for many people.
Like many Japanese companies, Tirol Choco releases flavors specific to the seasons. These Dango chocolates are meant for spring and represent a traditional Japanese sweet that’s eaten while viewing the cherry blossoms. I realize I’m reviewing them quite out out season, when spring is only a sliver in hope in one’s mind. Still, the flavors and attractiveness of these little squares is not diminished at all by the snow drifts outside my window. I do imagine that they’d taste better watching the sakura, though.
True to the Dango sweets, these come in flavors of strawberry, green tea and milk, with the colors representing the cherry blossoms and leaves. There’s also a small, chewy mochi (a rice dough) in the center.
Ichigo: (strawberry)bright carton pink color and immediately smells strongly of strawberry with a tart yogurty tang. This tastes of melted strawberry ice cream. The strawberry flavor is so fresh and real I can’t believe it. I really just feel like i ate a spoonful of Breyer’s Grand. YUM!
Matcha: (green tea) Dark green and very grassy looking. Smells lightly of tea. Flavor is of matcha, so it’s grassy and bitter at first, then it sweetens and you get some milky flavors.
Sweet Milk: White chocolate with vanilla bean flecks. It smells so strongly of vanilla. The flavor tastes of vanilla ice cream. It’s amazing. The mochi center is nice and chewy.
These were delightful little morsels and they went great with a cup of green tea. I am interested now in trying the other flavors in Tirol’s Choco line.
Rating: Will Eat Again.
Tirol Choco Website