Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Glico Giant Caplico Miracle Beat

Miracle Beat Giant Caplico

I don't know what I was thinking buying this. A year or two ago, I had a matcha Giant Caplico and didn't care for it. I guess the packaging just caught my eye for this one.

The packaging is pretty interesting. It says "Ramune and chocolate are a miracle match!" Basically, the little candies on top are ramune flavored. Ramune, for those who don't know, is a Japanese soda with a citrus flavor, and there are lots of candies with this flavor.

Giant Caplico Landing

Maybe mine was a little old, but those candies weren't nearly as bright as they were on the wrapper. Anyhow, the first thing I noticed is that the thing smelled like an Easter Bunny. A hollow, drugstore Easter Bunny. When I took a bite out of the top, the ramune and chocolate combination was weird, and definitely not a miracle. The ramune was sour, and the chocolate coating was kind of cheap, and the combination was just odd. Also, this is a messy snack. I'm glad I ate it at the table, because there were crumbs everywhere. You can even see crumbs in the picture (oops)!

There were definitely some good parts, though. Under the bizarre chocolate/ramune coating was a layer of aerated vanilla-flavored white chocolate, and a layer of aerated milk chocolate. These were actually pretty good, much better than the chocolate coating. The cake cone was just there for texture, but it sure made things messy. I don't think I'll be buying one of these again, but you never know when attractive packaging will sucker me in.


Glico Website (Japanese)

Dare Viva Puffs Raspberry

Dare Viva Puffs

My boss is very kind. Whenever she goes on a trip, for business or otherwise, she always brings something back for the lab to munch on. Most recently, she went to Ontairo, Canada, and brought us back some cookies. These Viva Puffs were one of the two kinds she shared.

Now, marshmallow fluff is not one of my favorite things. My mother likes it, but it really doesn't do anything for me. So, I didn't have very high expectations for these cookies. I guess that's probably why I liked them.

Raspberry Puff

These were pretty tasty! The marshmallow was soft and fluffy, as it should be. The raspberry filling, despite tasting slightly artificial, was delicate and not too sweet. The "chocolatey" coating was nothing special, but it got the job done.

My favorite part was the graham cracker bottom. It was chewy and soft, and I could have just eaten the cracker and been pleased. All in all, the cookies were enjoyable, but not something I'd look out for on my own. Plus, each cookie had 3 grams of fat, and they weren't very big or filling.


Dare Foods Website

Monday, December 22, 2008

Meiji Matcha Apollo

Matcha Apollo

While in Kyoto a few months ago, I picked up pretty much every matcha sweet I could find (except for hard candy, as it's not my sweet of choice), and I've finished pretty much all of them, but I was saving a couple of these matcha Apollo for later so I could write a review.

I've tried original (strawberry) Apollo, as well as blueberry and cheesecake. A few years ago, my friend sent me some matcha Apollo, but I certainly didn't remember it well enough to write a review. Well, I finally ate the last two chocolates, and I'm ready to review.

Meiji Matcha Apollo

I might have remembered these being better than they actually were. It's not that they aren't good, they're just not great compared to the plethora of marvelous Meiji matcha sweets out there, and not even as good as the other kinds of Apollo I've tried.

The chocolate was a little weak and the matcha flavor was very much in the background. They still tasted good, but they were disappointing compared to matcha Meltykiss or a plain Meiji matcha white chocolate bar, both of which manage to have a strong matcha flavor and rich, smooth chocolate. I suppose Apollo isn't meant to be rich chocolate, but I think my hopes were just too high.

These are certainly a pleasant snack, and would be good for those who don't like a strong green tea taste, but for a die-hard matcha fan, there are many better choices.


Meiji Website (Japanese)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Meiji Kinoko no Yama Mild Bitter

Mild Bitter Kinoko no Yama

Meiji snacks almost never disappoint me. Kinoko no Yama and Takenoko no Sato are especially reliable, not to mention adorable. The original flavors are great, and the special flavors are typically fantastic.

Mild Bitter Kinoko no YamaFrom what I can remember, this is probably the second or third kind of Kinoko no Yama that I've tried. Kinoko means mushroom in Japanese, so the name of this snack translates to Mushroom Mountain. Pretty cute, huh?

Mild Bitter Kinoko no Yama

These are delicious and very addictive! The chocolate is great! It's not too sweet, with just enough bitterness, and it smells fantastic. With the cracker/cookie stick, the texture and flavor combination is perfect. My husband and I couldn't stop eating these!

They certainly aren't gourmet or anything, but they are a darn good snack. I'm glad I opened them when my husband was home, because otherwise, I would have eaten all of them in one sitting. I would absolutely buy these again, and would be more than willing to try other flavors!


Meiji Website (Japanese)

Nestle KitKat Dark

KitKat Dark

I'm taking the morning off to head off some bad weather (plus, I have to use my vacation by the end of the year or else I lose it), so I'm catching up on some reviews. I mentioned in the previous review that my father got a bunch of Canadian candy bars for me, so here is another one.

Americans get the short end of the KitKat stick. In Japan, there are tons of special flavors, and good or bad, they go away quickly to make room for new ones. European countries, Canada, and as far as I know, the rest of the world gets Nestle KitKats. I get Hershey KitKats. Oh, they're not bad, but I really do enjoy Nestle more.

KitKat Dark

I don't normally consider snap, especially not with a KitKat, but this bar has an awesome snap. The chocolate has a great texture, and a glossy finish. The chocolate is a very mild dark chocolate with just a little sweet cocoa taste. It's very refreshing after all the sickeningly sweet white chocolate varieties I've tried.

My husband and I both really enjoyed this KitKat, and are definitely thinking about vacationing in Canada in 2009. Of course, we wouldn't just go for the candy bars, but they certainly provide an added bonus.


Nestle Website

Nestle Caramel Aero

Caramel Aero

On a recent business trip to Ontario, my father had time to shop. He is a big fan of chocolate himself, and, knowing my hobby, he brought me a variety of candy bars to try. I live almost close enough to Canada to make it worth it to cross the border just to buy candy, but not quite, so we try to have other reasons.

I tried mint and regular Aero bars last time I was in Canada and thought they were a lot of fun. My husband and I never got to try caramel Aero, though, so I was glad to see it included in the stash from my dad. We were expecting it to be like the mint Aero - caramel-flavored bubbly inside. We were wrong.

Caramel Aero

There was actual caramel inside, and lots of it. It was good, but it was a little too much caramel for my taste. The chocolate coating was fine. My main beef is that this is hardly an Aero bar. My picture doesn't illustrate this at all, but there is a thin layer of the signature bubbly filling...and that's it. You can't even tell it's there, and the caramel is overpowering.

My husband is more of a caramel buff than I am, so even though he noticed the lack of Aero, he didn't mind. I would have liked to see a better balance, but that doesn't change the fact that this was still a tasty candy bar.


Nestle Website

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Mentos Melon 'n Cream and Ume (Plum)

Recently, a friend came to visit and we made a trip to a Japanese import store about an hour from my city and came back with a few treats. While in Japan, my husband and I saw many kinds of Mentos, and we bought some grapefruit ones for his sister. I never got to try any of the other kinds, though, so I was excited to see them here in America.

Melon 'n Cream Mentos

I'll start with Melon 'n Cream, as that's what I bought. I love melon soda, so I was pretty sure that these would be up my alley. Melon cream soda is also popular in Japan, and that's what these were trying to capture. They did a fairly good job of it, but the first taste I got from these was banana, but after some chewing, it did have a tasty (slightly floral) cantaloupe flavor. The coating actually tasted like cream, which was pretty neat. It tasted a lot like the drink. A-

Plum Mentos

Ume means Japanese plum, and there are many plum flavored treats in Japan. Umeboshi is a pickled plum that is very sour, and many Japanese people consider it to be a healthful food. I'm not crazy about umeboshi, but my friend loves ume flavored snacks, and I like many myself. These were very yummy, too! Like most ume candy, they were just a bit sour, reminiscent of umeboshi, but better. I've never had a Japanese plum that wasn't pickled, so I can't say if they are always sour. I have a hard time placing the flavor that ume reminds me of, but in these Mentos, it had a bit of a woodsy taste. A

Both of these flavors were a hit with me. I gave the ume flavor a slightly higher rating because I liked that one better (surprisingly).

The Japanese Mentos site (linked below) is pretty weird. Each flavor is represented by a character. Ume is a funky Japanese girl. Melon 'n Cream is a rather well endowed lady who enjoys country music. Their heights and weights are also listed, in case you were curious.

Mentos Website (Japan)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Kinder Überraschung (Surprise)

Kinder Überraschung

A friend of mine at work just got back from a European vacation. I was able to set aside my insane jealousy for a moment when she brought chocolate to share. Basically, this is a chocolate egg with a toy inside! Kinder eggs are especially neat to Americans because we can't be trusted with them here, choking hazard, you know. Somehow, I managed not to choke on this one.

The egg has some weight to it, obviously from the toy inside. It's also very satisfying to shake, but while I was shaking mine, it started to melt. Not good for photographs, so I put it down in my desk until I would have a chance to review properly.

The Egg

The egg came home with me and after dinner, my husband and I decided to crack it. Well, it actually just fell apart when I unwrapped it, but it broke in half pretty evenly. I suspect the yellow plastic egg (with toy inside) is what I was supposed to choke on.

Cracked Egg

As the pictures show, the egg had a milk chocolate outer layer and a white chocolate inner layer. I wish it had just been milk chocolate, because the white chocolate layer made it too sweet. I wasn't in love with the chocolate, but since the chocolate is only part of the deal here, I'll let it slide. It's definitely for kids, but at least it tasted better than Palmer. It's nice when companies give kids a little credit.

The Toy

I wasn't crazy about the toy, though. It was definitely fun to wonder which toy I would get. Too bad I got this one. All in all, though, it was a fun experience that Americans don't often get to enjoy. The chocolate was a B-, but the experience was an A!


Magic Kinder Website

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Meiji Takenoko no Sato Cookies and Cream

Cookies and Cream Takenoko no Sato

For some reason I thought I already posted review for this one, but I looked back and found that I did not! Anyhow, it's more Meiji chocolate (yum)! I love Takenoko no Sato, and this is the third kind I've tried. Once again, it did not disappoint. I picked this up at a Lawson in Kyoto, I think. It didn't come in a box.

One of the things I really like about Takenoko no Sato is the texture balance of cookie and chocolate. There are a lot of similar snacks in Japan, by Meiji and other companies, but this one really gets it right. Plus, they are adorable.

Meiji Cookies & Cream Takenoko no Sato

See? Although they always come out of the bag dusty. One of these days I should brush them off and take pictures. But getting back to the point, these are attractive little snacks, especially in this flavor.

The cookie part reminded me of the cookie part of an Oreo, only not as sweet or as dense. The cream was milky, rich, and similar to but not as sweet as a Hershey's Cookies & Cream bar. This is proof that there is Japanese white chocolate that doesn't burn my throat!

Overall, they tasted like cookies and cream ice cream, so my husband and I were pretty much won over. As I mentioned above, they were well balanced and had a great texture. I would definitely recommend trying any flavor of Takenoko no Sato!


Meiji Website (Japanese)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Nestle KitKat White

KitKat White

Recently, my parents went to the Chicago area because my grandpa lives there, and those Chicago area trips usually include a visit to Mitsuwa, a big Japanese grocery store. I asked them to pick up some groceries for me, and they brought me, among other things, KitKat White.

We have white chocolate KitKats in the US, but I believe they are only in mini KitKat variety packs (along with darks and regulars) and are no longer available in full size. I actually really like those mini white chocolate KitKats, but maybe it's because they are small.

KitKat White

This one was not small. The Japanese version tasted creamier than its American counterpart, but, as is expected with white chocolate KitKats, it was very sweet. It wasn't as bad as some others have been, but it was the kind of sweet that burns your throat. But in this case, there was none of the bizarre flavor payoff that makes it kind of worth it!

To be fair, it wasn't supposed to be a bizarre flavor, but I just can't help feeling like something is missing. I realize I'm being biased and that there should be basic KitKat flavors, but I just wish this one didn't have that painful sweetness. I found the box to be very elegant, though, it's definitely got that going for it.


KitKat Website (Japanese)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Hershey's Miniatures Mint Collection

Mint Collection

Apparently, these have been around for years, and I either don't remember them or never saw them at all, but this year, they are new to me. I usually don't choose Hershey's chocolate, but it's limited edition, so I felt compelled.

If you haven't already, I recommend reading Cybele's reviews on and articles about the reformulation of Hershey's chocolate. For example, here's one about the standard Hershey's Miniatures. She's done a lot of delving into the situation, and it's very interesting, to say the least. I can only assume that these Mint Miniatures were affected, too.

Mint White Creme

First, I tried the Mint White Creme. If this were a beauty contest, this would be the hands-down winner! It's so festive! But unfortunately, the white chocolate was chalky. The mint was nice, and it reminded me of those pastel meltaway mints with sprinkles, but the white chocolate wasn't creamy enough. At least it was pretty! B-

Mint Sweet Chocolate

Next up was the Mint Sweet Chocolate. I used to like Hershey Special Dark, but lately, it tastes pretty bland. It wasn't much better with mint. The chocolate itself was grainy, and it didn't really go with the Special Dark taste too terribly well. A York Peppermint Patty would be a much more pleasing dark/mint treat. My husband liked this one, though. C-

Mint Milk Chocolate

Finally, I tried the Mint Milk Chocolate. Surprisingly, this was the best of the bunch for me. It had a mint taste reminiscent of an Andes mint, but again, had a chalky texture. The flavor was good, but I wish the chocolate was smoother. My father also liked this one best. B

Overall, these were pretty unremarkable. I can't say any of them tasted bad, but I certainly wouldn't buy them again. It was the texture that really got me, since all of them were grainy or chalky. Maybe that can be blamed on the temperature when I tasted them, though, so I'd be interested in hearing what other people think of these.


Hershey's Website (English)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Nestle Caramel Macchiato McFlurry KitKat

Caramel Macchiato McFlurry KitKat

Has there ever been a KitKat with a longer name? I bought some of these KitKats while in Japan, and the package says it's a collaboration with McDonalds (hence the McFlurry part of the name). But right away, I knew this wouldn't be the KitKat for me. I'm not a huge fan of coffee-flavored things, even though I love coffee. However, with Japanese KitKats, I feel that I have an obligation to taste them.

The box boasts of a "delicate aroma and milky flavor" but the whiff I got when I opened the package was not at all delicate. Like many caramel KitKats of late, my first impression was a strong smell of caramel. I didn't pick up on the coffee or on any ice cream scent. My expectations were pretty low at that point.

Caramel Macchiato McFlurry KitKat

It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I'm a sucker for pretty chocolate, and I do love a swirly looking KitKat. The coffee taste was very much in the background, with the exception of a few bites. It could have been my imagination, but I think the darker swirls in the white chocolate had a stronger coffee flavor. For the most part, the taste was a chemical-y caramel.

The white chocolate itself was creamy and decent (not chalky), and I finished one of the two sticks before my throat started to burn from the sweetness. With some bites having more coffee flavor than others, it seemed inconsistent, and they might as well have left off the McFlurry part, campaign be darned.

So, this isn't in the running for favorite KitKat by any stretch of the imagination, but at least it was better than Muscat of Alexandria (review coming soon). I was a little too kind when reviewing this last night, so as of 11/28, the rating has changed...again. Japanese Snack Reviews also has a review of this KitKat.


KitKat Website (Japanese)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Morinaga Koeda Deep Matcha

Deep Matcha

Yet another box of sweets from my recent trip to Japan! These were purchased at a grocery store in Osaka about a block from my hostel. On a side note, I'd definitely recommend staying at that hostel (J-Hoppers) if you are traveling on a budget! My husband and I both found the beds comfortable, the rooms quiet and clean, and the location very convenient. But back to the chocolate...

Basically, these are chocolate covered matcha sticks. Koeda means twig, and I suppose that's a more picturesque description. The matcha part has a crispy texture, possibly from rice. There was also a chestnut flavor, but I gave those away to a friend, so sadly, I have no idea what they taste like. In any case, I find the packaging to be pretty and even classy. Who doesn't love classy chocolate? You can see from the picture of the box (which wasn't photographed very well, I apologize) that the outer layer is chocolate and inside is matcha white chocolate and (presumably) crisp rice.

Koeda Matcha Sticks

The box contains several bags (6-8, I can't remember), each containing two twigs. The whole box has over 20 grams of fat, so it's definitely a "pace yourself" kind of sweet. Pacing myself was not easy, however, because these are delicious! The matcha taste is just right, and the smooth chocolate melts with the crispiness so well. They were not too sweet, but not bitter, either. I was so sad when they were gone and will be asking my Japanese friend to bring more when she visits this winter.

In the past, I have used these as an edible garnish for matcha ice cream because I find them so delicate and pretty. They also tasted good cold. I could eat these forever. Again, I may be biased. It seems a lot of my matcha reviews are As...


Morinaga Website (Japanese)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Morinaga Strawberry Yogurt Hi-Chew

NOTE: Kelly has informed me that Morinaga has issued a recall on some flavors of Hi-chew, as they may contain pieces of rubber gloves. Here's an English article about it, which contains a link to a Japanese article. The flavors being recalled are grape and green apple with expiration dates in June 2009. Thanks to Kelly, and please take care, everyone.

Strawberry Yogurt Hi-chew

I am a big fan of Hi-chew. The texture is great, and to date, there has only been one flavor (out of at least 10) that I have tried and not liked. That flavor was watermelon, by the way, and it tasted like cucumber. I like cucumber, but not in chewy candy form. Anyhow, I found some of my notes on this flavor and thought I should post the review.

The packaging is cute and fun, as usual, and caught my eye. I didn't buy this, though, a friend of mine did and she gave me a few so I could review them. This is how I get a lot of my candy.

Strawberry Yogurt Hi-chew

Strawberry yogurt (the real thing) is delicious, and even though these weren't quite as delicious, they were pretty good. The strawberry flavor was nice and tart and pretty authentic. The yogurty sourness was also good, but I think I'd rather have plain strawberry Hi-Chew, if given the choice.


Morinaga Website (Japanese)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Meiji Dark Rum Meltykiss

Dark Rum Meltykiss

Dark Rum Meltykiss was one of the first treats I bought in Japan (along with Pure Blueberry gummies) from the Lawson near our hotel. As I've said many times, I'm a sucker for limited edition and new candies, so I couldn't pass these up. I'm also a huge fan of Meltykiss.

These are special for winter, and I think there were two other flavors available: strawberry and maybe a regular milk chocolate. I can't remember. Anyhow, Dark Rum sounded the most interesting, so my husband and I chose that one. Inside the box, the chocolates came individually wrapped in lovely metallic purple wrappers.

As usual with Meltykiss, there is a thin coating of cocoa powder on the outside of the chocolate (not nearly as uniform as the picture on the box). The first taste was a nice rum flavor, not overly strong but the taste of alcohol was definitely there. After that, as the chocolate melted, it was pretty much the usual smooth Meltykiss milk chocolate. Very tasty, but the rum flavor was mostly gone.

In any case, my husband and I both liked them, as did the friends who tried these. However, if you don't like candy that tastes like alcohol, you won't care for these.


Meiji Website (Japanese)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Nestle Kyoto Edition Matcha KitKat

Kyoto Matcha KitKat

At the train station and souvenir shops in Kyoto, it felt like I was in heaven. Matcha was everywhere! Kyoto is famous for matcha, so it makes sense. In any case, I picked up this pretty box of Uji Matcha KitKats...for myself. Like the Soy Sauce KitKat box, it was designed to be a gift. Don't worry, I shared some.

Kyoto Matcha KitKat

The box says "Fastidious Uji Matcha." Uji is a city known for matcha, and fastidious is the best translation I could come up with. I guess maybe "authentic" would be a better word? In any case, it's definitely matcha.

Kyoto Matcha KitKat

I don't know what to say as far as a review, because these are exactly the same as the last matcha KitKat I reviewed, only in a 15 pack of miniatures. They are delicious, creamy, rich, and strong. Highly recommended for fans of matcha sweets.


KitKat Website (Japanese)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tirol Pumpkin Tart

Pumpkin Tart

The biggest reason my husband and I went to Japan was to visit with one of my best friends. She lives in Kyoto, but she was an exchange student at my university a few years ago, and was a bridesmaid in my wedding last year. Sometimes we send each other candy or clothes from our respective countries, so I get a lot of candy recommendations from her, and one of her favorite things is Tirol chocolate!

Tirol chocolates are small, cheap, and cute. Some kinds are better than others, but like many other Japanese candies, there are always new, limited edition kinds to try. I bought this Pumpkin Tart flavor at a Lawson convenience store for about 40 yen, I think, and it's a "Premium" Tirol chocolate. I think that just means it's bigger than the normal size. Also, the Jack-o-Lantern on the wrapper suggests that this flavor is a limited edition for Halloween.

Pumpkin Tart

Oddly enough, my friend who loves Tirol chocolate hates pumpkin, so she passed on this one. To me, the pumpkin flavored white chocolate wasn't very strong or spicy. It just had a hint of pumpkin and cinnamon. I really like pumpkin treats to taste like pumpkin pie with whipped cream, but that's probably a little too rich for Tirol.

Inside the chocolate, there was a little cookie. I'm guessing that was the "tart" part. It was crunchy and more savory than sweet, and it added a great texture. Tirol chocolates often have great textures; many are made with mochi (pounded rice) centers. In fact, check out Orchid64's Japanese Snack Reviews for a great review of another Tirol chocolate (Kinako Mochi) that was available at the same time as this one. She also has a review of this one!

I liked the Pumpkin Tart, but do wish the chocolate had been a bit richer and spicier. Of course, pumpkin pie as I know it isn't really a Japanese taste, so I'll take this chocolate as it is.


Tirol Chocolate website (Japanese)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Nestle Blueberry Cheesecake and Strawberry Cheesecake KitKats

KitKat Singles

Fianlly, another recent candy review. It's KitKats again, but I got these at a convenience store during my recent trip to Japan. These are single serving packets, and I paid about 40 yen for each.

Both are white chocolate KitKats, and neither had a particularly strong flavor. Neither tastes much like cheesecake, either, except for a hint of tartness.

The strawberry one tasted like very artificial strawberry, but maybe that was just the tartness. It definitely wasn't as good as other strawberry KitKats but it wasn't bad. Pretty forgettable.

The blueberry one was better! At first, the blueberry taste was very weak, but as I ate, it got stronger and was tasty. I haven't had any other blueberry KitKats, so I can't really compare it to anything, but I liked this one much more than the strawberry.

I like the single serving KitKats, but there is a bit of a mark-up. I also saw solo KitKats in Canada, but I think they were a little longer than these. For another take on these KitKats, check out the review at Japanese Snack Reviews.

Strawberry: B-
Blueberry: B+

KitKat Website (Japanese)

Nestle Strawberry KitKat

Strawberry KitKat

Here is another Japanese KitKat review. I've caught the Japanese KitKat bug, and there are several more on deck, including new ones from my recent trip to Japan. This review is about an older KitKat.

To be specific, this is not just a strawberry KitKat, it's a Tochiotome Strawberry KitKat. I don't know if there's a translation for that or not, but it's a variety of strawberry in Japan. I believe they are grown in Tochigi prefecture in Japan. Maybe that's where Tochi comes from, and otome means maiden.

Strawberry KitKat

The KitKat is a milky pink, as is most strawberry chocolate. I don't know that it tasted different from other Japanese strawberry chocolate, but it was smooth, creamy, tart, and flavorful. The strawberry flavor went really well with the wafers, and it was altogether tasty!

If you like strawberry chocolate, I'm sure you'd like this KitKat. It's no longer available, but it's only a matter of time before Nestle puts another one on the market.


KitKat Website (Japanese)

Nestle Fragrant Black Tea KitKat

Black Tea KitKat

Continuing with my recent theme of Japanese snacks, here's another KitKat review I've been lazy about posting. October was a busy month, so I kind of let candy blogging get put on the back burner.

As far as I know, there were four different flavors released in this series of wider, more filling/less cracker KitKats. This is my third, and since these are no longer being made, I doubt I will ever try the fourth. The fourth is an apple flavor, though, so I'm not too upset. Fruity KitKats are not my favorites, with the exception of orange. Actually, there may be a fifth variety of this kind of KitKat that is orange, but I'm not sure if it came out at the same time.

Black Tea KitKat

Anyhow, the KitKat pictured above is called "Fragrant Black Tea" and it certainly was. The chocolate coating is smooth, as always. As for the filling, it was the bitterest KitKat I have ever tasted. It was much stronger in flavor than any KitKat I've ever tried. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it was a little weird. Delicious, but weird.

I liked this KitKat, but it's not a new favorite. It was definitely a fun tasting experience, especially if you enjoy tea. It really tastes like black tea, and it doesn't taste like a rehash of an old KitKat.


KitKat Website (Japanese)

Nestle Gianduja KitKat

Gianduja (Hazelnut Paste) KitKat

Before this KitKat, I had never heard the word "Gianduja" before in my life. Wikipedia tells me that it is "a sweet chocolate containing about 50% hazelnut paste" that is similar to Nutella.

I'm not a huge fan of Nutella, so I was a little wary of this one, but my husband loves the stuff, so he was very excited. This is another KitKat that has more filling and less cracker, but unlike the matcha version, this one worked.

Gianduja (Hazelnut Paste) KitKat

The hazelnut flavor wasn't strong, but it was very pleasant and just strong enough to give the cream a flavor. Both the chocolate coating and the chocolate/hazelnut cream were smooth, rich, and melty. It made for a very pleasant KitKat.

Unlike the matcha version where the green tea flavor was missing, the hazelnut flavor here was just enough. I'm sure I would have liked it more if I was more of a hazelnut lover. My husband really enjoyed it, though.


KitKat Website (Japanese)

Meiji Blueberry White Chocolate

Blueberry White Chocolate

All over my apartment, I have scrap pieces of paper with tasting notes. This review is for chocolate that I ate a while ago, but I thought since I have the pictures, I should post a review.

I love Meiji chocolate. They do flavored white chocolate very well, especially green tea flavored. A few months back, I reviewed Blueberry Apollo, and this one is pretty similar.

Meiji Blueberry White Chocolate

The chocolates are very pretty, and again come individually wrapped. Like the Apollo, it has the "Meiji Hokkaido Label" from the Hokkaido factory. These are labeled as blueberry and yogurt flavor, but they tasted very similar to the Apollo, which were not promoted to contain yogurt.

The texture of the white chocolate was a little to flaky at first, but it melted well to a smooth consistency. The blueberry flavor melded well with the white chocolate, but it didn't really knock me out. I think I liked the Apollo better just because of the novelty of the shape.

So, these were tasty, but not exceptional. I don't even know if they are still being made, but Meiji recently put out a lavender flavored version of the same kind of chocolate. I'll have to try to get my hands on it.


Meiji Website (Japanese)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Nestle Soy Sauce KitKat

Soy Sauce KitKat

I spent the last part of October and the first couple days of November in Japan with my husband. What a vacation! I'm still jet-lagged as I type this, but I'm trying very hard to get back on my local time schedule. Anyhow, I thought I'd do a little blogging to help me stay awake.

Here we have the Tokyo only limited edition Soy Sauce KitKat. This is pretty much the weirdest sounding KitKat in the world. I bought this one at Tokyo station just before catching my train. They also had a kinako (toasted soybean flour) flavor, which sounded a lot better, but I couldn't find it and I was in a hurry.

Soy Sauce KitKat

The packaging is very stylish and fancy, as this is meant to be a gift (おみやげ). In Japan, most regions are known for some kind of snack or food, and it's common to bring those things back for other people when you visit that particular place. I don't know if Tokyo is known for soy sauce, but they had a matcha version in Kyoto, so maybe.

I had read about this flavor before leaving for my vacation, so I knew what to expect. Not to be anti-climactic, but I can confirm what everyone else says: it tastes like maple syrup. I could go on and on about how nasty the flavor sounds, but the truth is, they don't taste like soy sauce. They might have had a slight soy aftertaste, but that might have just been my imagination.

The bars are white chocolate, and a little smaller than the normal KitKat double-stick. The box contains 12 mini bars. I've seen these special regional KitKat boxes for anywhere from 700 to 900 yen, so they are a little pricey.

If you were expecting a fun tasting experience, prepare yourself for disappointment. At least they don't taste bad, even if I secretly wanted them to. All in all, if you like maple syrup, you'll like these. Maybe they should repackage them and sell them in Canada or Vermont.

Check out other reviews: The Impulsive Buy, The AV Club, Pretty Pretty Yum Yum, Hamburger Calculus, and Jen's Kit Kat Blog. PHEW!


KitKat Website (Japanese)