Friday, April 30, 2010

Mixed Juice Kit Kat

Nestle's latest Kit Kat brought back memories of childhood where the ideal snack was cookies and juice. Was it just me or did anyone else bite off the heads off their animal crackers and dip them in your red Kool-aid and then make animal in pain noises? The picture on this bag of minis is yellow though. I'm pretty sure that any juice cocktail I ever drank as a kid was red but maybe Japan is different. It makes for a lot less fun with animal crackers though. (Do they even sell those here?)

I wish I could say the Mixed Juice Kit Kat was as much fun as juice and cookies as a kid but that would be a lie. These came in a bag of 13 minis and each Kit Kat is 69 calories Made with white chocolate, they are a troubling orange color. The bag hints that there might be strawberry, banana, and peach flavors involved and it certainly smells fruity. It tasted fruity too but it proved difficult to really pinpoint exact flavors. There was definitely some peach in there. And it had a banana aftertaste. I didn't really get a sense of strawberry but it's possible I just missed it in the overwhelming sweetness.

Overall, the Mixed Fruit Kit Kat was much too sweet for my taste and the flavor was too nondescript for me to really enjoy it. It's a step up from the Vegetable Juice Kit Kat though. I'm not sure that's really saying much. So far juices and Kit Kats have been a bit of a bummer.

Total Score: 4

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Strawberry Kit Kat - Tochigi Limited Edition

A few weeks ago I took a trip up to Nikko where I ran across yet another regional limited edition. Usually I get excited about finding rare and hard to get Kit Kats when I travel but this time I actually questioned whether I should buy these or not.

Why? Well because this will be the FIFTH strawberry Kit Kat I have tried since I started this blog. This blog is still pretty young. It's been less than a year since I started on my crazy quest to try every Kit Kat Japan has to offer and already I have tried four other strawberry versions. But in the end I did buy them because you can't buy them online or find them in regular shops so if I was going to do it then it had to be while I was in Tochigi Prefecture visiting Nikko.

As a regional limited edition this particular Strawberry Kit Kat came in a box of 12 minis that cost 810 yen. Each mini is 68 calories. They are made with white chocolate and have an artificial strawberry scent to them. The taste is also artificial and this incarnation lacked the sour note on the end that redeemed the white chocolate versions that came before it. Without that little bit of sourness this bar was too sweet for me and because of the plethora of other strawberry Kit Kats out there this one was underwhelming.

I wholly suggest visiting Nikko but while there you should pass on the Strawberry Kit Kats and instead try the age yuba manju (a more traditional Japanese treat that is crispy, salty, and sweet all at once.)

Final Score: 5

Check out my other Strawberry Kit Kat reviews here:

Strawberry Kit Kat (circa May 2009)
Strawberry Cheese Cake Kit Kat
Sparkling Strawberry Kit Kat
Strawberry Kit Kat (circa January 2010)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Banana Kit Kat Bar

I'm back and with another Banana Kit Kat review. Don't confuse this with the Banana Kit Kat which I only reviewed back in February. I'm not sure what the rationale was behind releasing two different Banana Kit Kats so close together but it mirrors the same thinking with the Strawberry Kit Kat and the Sparkling Strawberry Kit Kat being released together. I don't try to understand the same minds that came up with the Rose Kit Kat or the Corn Kit Kat.

The Banana Kit Kat Bar is made with white chocolate and is colored a bright yellow. It has a very strong and very fake banana smell. Despite my love for bananas I don't really like banana flavored treats and just the smell of this made me cringe. I dreaded eating it, but I did because I knew it couldn't be worse than the Corn Kit Kat and it wasn't, but that's not really saying much.

The chocolate by itself has an overwhelming fake banana flavor that really put me off. But the wafers have a vanilla creme between them that together with the chocolate made for a more acceptable taste. However, it's still really sweet. With 243 calories it is not really diet friendly as say a Kit Kat mini but it was so sweet that I could only stomach half of it making that more like 122 calories. I'm not sure when or if I will ever finish the other half. There are too many other worthier sweets awaiting my attention. So the final verdict when it comes to Banana Kit Kats? I prefer the milk chocolate mini to this too sweet monstrosity. And I think any banana lovers out there will agree with me.

Final Score: 4

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Where to find Kit Kats

I've been traveling recently and when not doing that I've been gorging myself on all the Easter candy my mom brought me from the States. (I have the best mom ever!) So no reviews at the moment. Sorry!

In the meantime though I'd like to answer a question that I get a lot and that is "where do you get all of these crazy flavored Kit Kats? And more importantly where can I get them?"

The obvious answer is Japan. I live here, way out in the cabbage fields yes, but I still have a 7-11 across the street from my apartment so that's where my search usually starts. If you are lucky enough to also live here then you should start by looking in your neighborhood conbini.

Be aware though that not every convenient store will have each variety of Kit Kat. I've determined that my 7-11 only carries every other special edition Kit Kat so I also check the three conbinis near the train station in the next town over. (I go there once a month or so to meet friends for drinks and to hit up the international food store.) I've gone in one store and found one variety only to visit the next and found a different one. You have to be relentless in your search if you want to try every Kit Kat out there. They certainly don't make it easy.

I usually check the Nestle website to keep track of what I should be looking for. They change flavors every 6 weeks or so, so don't pass up a flavor thinking you will buy it later. A lot of what you see on this blog is already gone.

Regional Special Editions such as the Wasabi Kit Kat, Yuzu Kosho Kit Kat, or the Citrus Blend Kit Kat stick around a little longer and can be bought in the regions they come from, usually in the train station or in shops selling omiyage. Some of them can be purchased online but not all of them. In fact, I'm planning a trip to Sendai in part because I really want the Zunda Kit Kat and the Sakura Kit Kat and they aren't offered anywhere online that I can find.

But what if you don't live in Japan? You can also try crazy Japanese Kit Kats but there's less skulking in conbinis to do. My favorite site to order through is napaJapan. They are pretty good about having up to date Kit Kats and if I really can't find something in the stores then this is my next stop. Their prices are very reasonable and they ship internationally.

I've never ordered from them but the other site that I see recommended a lot is jlist. They have a variety of products from Japan - including recent Kit Kat flavors. You might also try any Asian grocers or international food stores in your area. If they don't offer any then try asking if they could start.

If you are my sister or best friend then you get your Kit Kat fix through me sending Kit Kats through the mail. So if you don't live in Japan but know someone who does then try asking them to send you some. (But not me because all of my extras go to the aforementioned best friend and sister.)

So there you have it. That's where I get my Kit Kats. Where do you get yours? Does anyone have any other suggestions for places to look? Say for example where I can get Zunda Kit Kats without schlepping all the way to Sendai?