Saturday, February 28, 2009
I have seen a few incarnations of this bar, I think Nestle Japan release one every year. Most probably for those pink chocolate lovers out there.
The box is very pretty and so are the two little packets inside that contain the fingers. They have strawberries on a white background, very cute and sweet. It could have almost been a late Valentine's present.
The chocolate is very fake pink white chocolate, and there is a lovely smell of strawberry milk. I love the smell. However when I bit into the bar I got a very fake strawberry taste followed by a very sour ending. Yasu can't taste or smell anything, but he had a bit of this and said "something tastes sour!" so even with no taste he could taste that sourness. That's how strong it is!
I don't like this Kit Kat at all. It lacks depth of flavour and originality. I would have preferred it without the sourness. Strawberries don't really have that amount of sourness unless they're unripe. I don't think the Nestle team have put much thought into this Kit Kat, and I am disappointed. They did a lovely job with the presentation and packaging, how could they let us down with the flavour? I wouldn't buy it again. I like my Strawberries sweet and juicy.
Right away I could smell the sweetness in this Kit Kat. The colour of the chocolate is a mix of yellow and orange, kind of halfway between (although it looks different in the photo). I really liked the smell of this bar. The first bite tasted like sweet caramel with a very faint undertaste of sweet potato. This sweet potato did not strike me as very full flavoured. It could have almost been a pumpkin, as it had that same kind of orange flesh taste. I found it sweet but not too sweet, and almost a musky taste of potato. I couldn't detect any soy sauce flavour, although it was a pleasant taste.
This Kit Kat is not a favourite of mine, the flavour lacks depth, and mostly the caramel shines through. I would like to see a sweet potato Kit Kat where the potato is the star. All in all, nice to try, but as I said not a favourite. I'm sure Yasu will beg to differ when he tries it (he's sick with a cold at the moment and can't taste or smell anything so I had to taste test on my own). I have seen quite a few reviews around the internet that say this is one of the best flavours, so I know this bar has its fans.
Roasted Corn 焼きもろこし
Upon opening the wrapper I got a very strong cream stew smell. Sort of like sniffing the blocks of cream stew before putting them into the pot. The chocolate was a light yellow coloured white chocolate. First bite revealed a very sweet flavour followed by more of the cream stew flavour. There was a very faint taste of canned corn kernels but overall it was like cream stew with lots of sugar, not really a great combination.
Hokkaido Potato 北海道じゃがいも
When I opened the wrapper I was struck by how artificially white the chocolate was. I guess it was made to look like a potato without skin. The smell was like that of a raw potato just after peeling one. There was a vague smell of potato chips from a packet. As I bit into it there was a huge rush of sweetness, and aftertaste of salt. A bit more into the bar and I could detect a very faint taste of potato, but mostly it was covered by the sweetness and salt. This was very weird! I expected a full-on potato flavour but this was like a flavourless potato covered in sugar and salt.
Neither of these bars met my expectations. What is with that sweetness in both of them? I can understand that corn can be sweet but not like it has been rolled in sugar. Both of these mini bars had very little of the flavour in them that they were represented by. A great let down, and I'm really glad that I didn't buy the boxes of them, that would be a total waste of money. It just goes to show that premium is not always better in this case.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
All these Mini bars are the equivalent of one finger of Kit Kat and are only available in a bag of 14 or more. Luckily the fellow I bought them from sells them individually so I don't have to get stuck with a whole bag full!
Houjicha - This is a tea that is usually roasted in a porcelain pot over charcoal. The high temperature changes the leaf colour from green to reddish brown, it also lowers the amount of caffeine present. Yasu was really excited about trying this Kit Kat. I'd never known him to drink Houjicha, or if he does, not in my prescence.
The first smell was of a basic tea leafy smell. Then the almost caramel flavour of roasted tea came through with a slight bitterness on the end. There was an almost roasted almond flavour present in this too. This was a very nice experience, the tea was blended well with the chocolate, and they complemented each other nicely. The aftertaste was a slight roasted tea flavour that lingered for about 10 minutes, it wasn't bitter, just mellow.
Yuzu - This is a citrus fruit that originated in East Asia. It's believed to be a hybrid of mandarin and lemon. It's widely used in Japanese confectionery. I had never tried Yuzu before and Yasu was unsure if he had ever tried it.
The first scent of this did indeed smell very lemony but also had notes of a mandarin. To me this tasted very much like a mandarin but when biting through the wafer it melded into a lemon flavour. This chocolate is like a lesson in duality. It starts out with one flavour and ends on another. I found this also went well with the milk chocolate, and while the milk chocolate stayed on the sidelines, it wasn't taken over by the yuzu, merely there in a supportive role. Yasu realised that he had indeed had a Yuzu before, though a very long time ago, and we both agreed this was a very nice Kit Kat.
Suika - Suika is the Japanese word for watermelon. If you didn't know that you could easily guess by the packaging which is red with black pips and green edges. It's a very cute wrapper.
When I opened the wrapper, all I could smell was a chemical-like perfume with a faint aroma of watermelon. I thought "uh-oh" this is not going to be good. There is definitely a melon taste when you bite into the wafers but it tastes like rockmelon (cantaloupe) to me more than a watermelon. I couldn't taste watermelon at all, whereas Yasu said it was definitely watermelon flavour. I tried it again but all i could get was the rockmelon flavour with a saltiness at the end. It did not have the sweetness that watermelon has. I take issue with a chocolate that is meant to be one fruit but tastes like another, and Yasu was not really fussed on this flavour prefering the yuzu and houjicha. As I ate more of the watermelon a definite salt flavour did build up but I still couldn't taste the watermelon. If anyone else has tried this please let me know what you thought.
In all the Houjicha and Yuzu were the winners.
Friday, February 6, 2009
I picked up this bag of 14 mini's at the same time as the double berry. We have eaten down to the last 3 and so I thought this was also relevant to my blog as an interesting flavour.
The flavour, 黒糖 (kokutou), or black sugar is a common ingredient in sweets that hail from Okinawa. It's also started to become widely used in products throughout Japan probably to give it that 'exotic' feeling. It's like a souvenir from some distant land without going anywhere.
This is simply a milk chocolate bar thankfully, I couldn't imagine what it would be like with white chocolate, but never fear, that may be just around the corner knowing how Nestle Japan's mind works!
The packet states that these are better eaten when refridgerated. I found that the smell was stronger when it was left out of the fridge for a while. Overall, it didn't make much difference to the flavour.
The smell when opened is a very strong smell of molasses. The first bite is not as strong as the smell but it does build up quite rapidly. You can definitely taste the black sugar component between the wafers of this kit kat. Thankfully the milk chocolate is just plain without flavouring, otherwise it would be too strong.
The aftertaste to me is like a black licorice flavour. If it wasn't for the crunchiness of the wafers inside, I would think I had just eaten a strap of black licorice.
This flavour is really nice for black sugar lovers like my husband, but for me it's an aquired taste. I like the black sugar caramels, but i'm not sure if I like the mixture of black sugar and chocolate together. Although I love licorice, I would rather eat licorice because after eating this chocolate I don't feel satisfied. I feel like I want to go eat some licorice! Make sense? Probably not.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
I bought this sometime last year and my husband and I have been slowly snacking through them. We are just about at the end of the pack of 14 mini's so I thought I should immortalize them on my blog.
I'm not sure why this is called 星に願いを (wishing on a star), but the wrapper in a royal blue colour with a kind of fruity instead of milky way running through the middle is quite pretty.
The two flavours that make up the double berry are Strawberry and Cranberry.
Unlike alot of strawberry Kit Kats made in Japan this is made with milk chocolate instead of strawberry flavoured white chocolate. I think this is because it is paired with cranberry.
When I opened the wrapper of this chocolate there was a nice smell, it reminded me of a chocolate coated turkish delight. I couldn't smell either berry individually, and as i've never had both berries together i can only assume this is what it smells like combined.
The milk chocolate is plain and the flavour stems from the filling in between the wafers. The flavouring is very light on the first bite, but builds up as you eat more. The scent then, is much stronger than the initial taste of the chocolate. I bet these would be nice to put in a bowl on the kitchen counter or living room to freshen the air, pity I didn't think of that sooner as I only have about 3 left!
I'm not usually a fan of berries but i really enjoyed this Kit Kat flavour. I'm not sure how often cranberry is used in Japanese products but here in Australia it is next to nil unless it's a cereal bar. This was a very nice summery chocolate and if it was released again I would definitely buy it.