Funky New Japanese Kit Kat Flavors
The Japanese tend to be adventuresome when it comes to candy, as I think these new Japanese Kit Kat flavors (and all the old ones) will prove
I've found the rainbow of Japanese Kit Kat flavors to be a thing of awe and wonder ever since I first heard about Baked Corn, a popular flavor in the Hokkaido region of the Land of the Rising Sun. Who'd have thought that anyone would actually try combining corn and chocolate?
Well, I should know better: after all, there's such a thing as chocolate sauerkraut cake, which actually tastes kind of good. So why not Baked Corn Kit Kat bars?
If you're like most Americans, you probably thought Kit Kats were limited to the U.S.A. Au contraire -- they're popular in many countries (they're sold in 72), and Japan wasn't even the first to try a flavored version. That was the UK, which was first treated to Kit Kat Orange back in '96.
Currently, Kit Kat offers 19 "standard" flavors and more than 45 purely Japanese varieties, including Orange and Brandy, Cherry, Red Bean, Melon, Baked Corn, Yuzu Fruit, Brown Sugar, Strawberry Cream Cake, Ginger Ale, Banana, Soy Sauce, and Gouda Cheese. I'm not making any of these up.
If you were wondering, a yuzu is a kind of citrus fruit, like a small grapefruit with wrinkly skin.
New Kids on the Block
As of December 20, Nestle launched two new Kit Kat flavors in the Japanese market: Daigaku Imo and Kohaku Mini Red and White. If your Japanese is rusty, "Daigaku Imo" means "candied sweet potato," which could actually taste pretty good if they did it right. They probably did.
The Kohaku Mini Red and White is less adventurous, though it would probably seem pretty wild to most American candy conservatives. It's a mix of white and milk chocolate together in one package. Ho hum.
Given that they're charging the equivalent of about $6.65 per candy bar (!), the Kit Kat guys are clearly pretty confident that these new Japanese candies will sell well. They should be: Kit Kat, in all its flavors, is the most popular candy bar in Japan.
One reason may be that the name sounds like "Kitto Katsu," which is Japanese for "Sure to win." Children in particular buy Kit Kats just to carry them to school exams for good luck. That may sound silly, but Japanese exams make ours look like recess, and they're much more influential to a student's future.
So if you've got a tough test coming up, maybe you should reach for a Kit Kat yourself. Or even if you don't, get some anyway; they're available for as little as $8 for a quarter-pound package of mini-bars online. These Japanese Kit Kat flavors can make a nice, diverting treat -- if you think you can handle 'em!