Google Japanese Kit-Kats and you’re going to find a variety of blogs and articles talking about the “strange” flavors and vlogs of people opening the candies and showing their reactions to the flavors. As someone who has traveled and loves to try new foods, I wanted to join all the others. Unfortunately, I had put the idea out of my mind since it seemed like I had to know someone in Japan to send them to me.
Still, I decided to just search for places to buy them and lo and behold it wasn’t just a dream! I purchased the Kit-Kat “Western Japan” box that included two wrapped candies of six flavors. In this box, the flavors were hojicha, ujimatcha, kankitsu, strawberry, sweet purple potato (beniimo), and wasabi. A good place to start I would say.
When the box arrived, I was impressed with the neat packaging and thankful for the pictures so I and romanticized words so I wouldn’t have to Skype with my friend. One of the things I noticed in the picture is that Nestle’s name is featured on the box. To give a little background information, Nestle, the company that owns the Kit-Kat, does not distribute the candy in the U.S. Instead, Hershey distributes the candy under a license from Nestle and state on their bags and website that Kit-Kat is a registered trademark (you can read about it here). I have to admit, this was a bit of interesting trivia and I briefly wondered if the regular chocolate Kit-Kats from Nestle tasted different than the Hershey ones as I settled into my box.
The first thing that got me when I opened the package was the scent. I was pleasantly surprised by how fragrant the scents were and it made my day when I tried the candies.
The first flavor I tried was the sweet purple potato that was lilac in color and had a very sweet scent. I never had a sweet purple potato to reference from to see if the flavor matched. Despite that, it was very sweet to the point that I had to pause between the bars and grab a glass of water. Definitely something to try if you had a sweet purple potato or have an extreme sweet tooth.
Next was kankitsu, the citrus flavored candy. Taking that first bite, I was immediately reminded of an orange dreamsicle as the orange overpowered the other citrus fruits mixed in with what tasted like white chocolate. This time I had my mom tried it as well to get another opinion. She found the candy to be a bit too sweet for her liking. However, she did agree that it lived up to its name with how powerful the citrus flavor was.
The next sweetest flavor was strawberry and of all the flavors I think this is the one that could make it in the U.S. It had a very creamy texture and the strawberry flavor was in full force when you bit into it. Definitely a must to try if you’re a strawberry lover.
My favorite was the ujimatcha. It’s a little less sweet but it’s very fragrant and there’s no mistaking that it’s green tea. I think this flavor would go well in the more metropolitan areas who want to try something “exotic”.
Wasabi was the one I was a bit apprehensive about since the last time I tasted wasabi my sinuses were cleared and I could smell the whole world around me. The adventurous part of me won out as I decided to taste the candy. Of all the candies, this surprised me the most because it’s actually not that spicy! I don’t know if the heat was tempered by the candy coating or they intentionally made it not spicy but the wasabi kit-kat tasted more like sweet horseradish than anything else.
Finally, the last flavor I tried was hojicha which according to Google is a green tea that is roasted. This contrasts to the usual Japanese method of steaming the tea. Like beniimo, I had no idea what hojicha tasted like and was prepared for anything. Of the flavors, this one was the most bland in terms of taste and smell. Maybe it was because of the roasted tea but I didn’t get much out of the candy. I gave the second piece to my friend who actually told me she liked it and it reminded her of tea, in particular oolong. Maybe I have to be a tea connoisseur to appreciate the flavors.
If you want to take a trip on the adventurous side definitely give Japanese Kit-Kats a try. You can find them on Amazon, eBay, ShiokJapan, Tofu Cute, and Asian Market Stores in your area. Personally, I enjoyed myself trying each of the six flavors and plan to try more of the Japanese flavors.
My question to you all is have you tried a Kit-Kat from Japan? If so, what was your favorite flavor? Least favorite? If you hadn’t, what flavor do you want to try? Leave a comment below.