Monday, June 29, 2009

Soda Kit Kat

It's summer time in Japan and that means hot weather, high humidity, and summer flavored Kit Kats like the Soda Kit Kat. I found some individual minis at 7-11 and was so excited to see them that I made friends Nathan and Kaoru try them right there in the store (after I paid for them.) Actually, I tried and failed to get Kaoru to eat it because she didn't savor the idea of A) snacking in the middle of a crowded conbini and B) snacking standing up. She did say she would try it later though. She reads this blog, so hi Kaoru! I hope you liked the Soda Kit Kat!

I know I liked the Soda Kit Kat. For one thing, it's blue. And how can you not like a blue-colored candy bar? Can you even name another blue-colored candy bar? I can't. Because it's blue that means it's another white chocolate bar but that hardly mattered with this Kit Kat. It had such an odd combination of flavors (fruity, sweet, and a little sour) that I hardly noticed that it was white chocolate and not milk like I prefer.

But first, I wondered just what kind of soda flavor this was supposed to be. There are many different kinds out there. Once you open the package though it's pretty clear from the smell that it was Creme Soda they were aiming for when they meant soda. They got the aroma of Creme Soda right with no problems. The taste they had a little more trouble on. It tasted nothing like Creme Soda and everything like Fruity Pebbles cereal but with less crunch. Very different but a good kind of different. But I'll admit that it being blue really wins the most points with me. What can I say? I like blue.

Now I'm on the lookout for the Sports Drink Kit Kat. Can't wait to try it! I wonder what color it will be...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Kinako Kit Kat

So what's a Kinako Kit Kat? Don't worry I had to come home and type it into my Japanese dictionary because I didn't know either. Kinako is soy flour. They sprinkle it on mochi here in Japan - think rice taffy dipped in soy flour. Sounds delicious, right? That's one reason I avoid traditional Japanese sweets and go for the Kit Kats. There are very few mochi desserts that I like because they're just too chewy. Although I am pretty good at making mochi. It's not very hard. You basically beat at some rice with a very large stick while another brave soul sticks his wet hands in and repositions it until it achieves the right sticky consistency. (See picture.) Then you pull it out, dunk it in some soy flour and serve, or in my case smile politely and remember you left your purse unattended and should go look for it.*

My experience with mochi did not lead me to believe that I would like the Kinako Kit Kat, so I was surprised to find that I not only liked it, I really liked it. Maybe even really really liked it. It was a Kit Kat Bar so only one large finger and it was made with milk chocolate. The soy flour, concentrated in the wafers, gave it a nice nutty flavor. I've had kinako mochi before and with the rice taffy it's a little bland and sucks all the moisture from your mouth. You definitely want to be drinking something when you eat it. But kinako combined with chocolate is a match made in heaven. Soy Flour Kit Kats for the win!

Check out the mountain of kinako on the package

*Don't listen to me. Lots of people, including foreigners in Japan, think mochi is delicious. I can eat some kinds of mochi but usually I can't get past the texture.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Custard Pudding Kit Kat

I always get excited when we get pudding with kyushoku, or school lunch, so when I discovered a bag of Custard Pudding Kit Kat Minis hiding on a bottom shelf of the 7-11 across the street from my house, I snatched them up. This flavor was released a little before I started the blog so I was really lucky to find any left. I got the last the 7-11 had at any rate.

They were really tasty, not quite as good as a custard pudding, but still really good. They were white chocolate and a little yellow in color. They smelled great and if I had one complaint it was that they were just a little too sweet. The best part of a custard pudding is the contrast of the bitter caramel on bottom with the sweet pudding. The Custard Pudding Kit Kat had a hint of caramel taste but I could have used a little more. Still, I won't have any problems finishing off this bag, so I would count this a success.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Tanjobi Omedetou

Last week was my birthday and friends Nathan and Miyuki bought me a great present - a bottle of Beaujolais and a Kit Kat. They really know what I like. Thanks guys!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Apple Vinegar Kit Kat

Despite trying the Lemon Vinegar Kit Kat and liking it, I was still nervous about eating the Apple Vinegar Kit Kat. Words can evoke powerful emotions and just seeing the word Vinegar and Kit Kat next to each other made me want to saw ewwwww before even opening the package. I've come to the conclusion however that "vinegar" must mean something completely different in Japanese because the Apple Vinegar Kit Kat was surprisingly tasty and there was no hint of vinegar about it and like the Lemon Vinegar there is a picture of some drink on the box. Apple Cider maybe?

Once I finally broke down and ate it, I liked it. It was white chocolate, but I had tea to drink with it so I could overlook that minor flaw. It certainly smelled of apple. I've noticed that all of these flavors have been very pleasing in the olfactory department. That's the only thing the Rose Kit Kat had going for it. But the Apple Vinegar tasted as good as it smelled. The first bite I thought it was a little too sweet. The more I tasted it though the better it got. It was very apple-ly. I'd say a Pink Lady or Fuji apple because it was a little tart. The white chocolate was probably a good choice in the end because the tartness of the apple flavor balanced well with the sweetness of the chocolate. By the end of the first two fingers I was a fan. Now if they could just get rid of the vinegar in the name it would be perfect.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Kitto Katsu or one reason why Kits Kats are popular in Japan

Living in Japan you become accustomed to what's called "katakana English." That's where they've tried to wrestle foreign words into something they can write in the katakana script. A lot of times that means extra vowels are tacked onto the ends of words. My students like to tell me that they "go to beddo atto six o'clocki."

The same thing happens to Kit Kat. If you go with the singular Kit Kat it translates to "kitto katto" which can be translated to "You will surely miss the cut." You certainly wouldn't want to give anyone a single Kit Kat for fear of giving offense.

However, if you go with the plural , Kit Kats, becomes "kitto katsu" which can be translated to "You will surely win!" It helps explain some of their popularity here in the land of the rising sun. In fact, parents are known to give their kids Kit Kats on exam days as a sort of good luck charm.

Although none of this explains flavors like the Soy Sauce Kit Kat or Grilled Corn Kit Kat.