Japanese Kit Kats, part II

I’m sure I left y’all on the edge of your computer chairs last Friday when I promised weird Japanese Kit Kat reviews. Here are the remaining three in order of escalating weirdness.

Apple and chocolate aren’t an unheard of combination, but I’ve not enjoyed it in the past. In the Kit Kat iteration, it’s less bad, but it’s still not good.

Visually, it seems just like a normal Kit Kat. Though it smells strongly of Fuji apples, it initially tastes mostly of chocolate. Then the apple comes in. It’s weird and unpleasant and kind of earthy, more like an apple core than an apple. A .

Next up, Muscat grape. Or, more specifically, Muscat of Alexandria. I don’t really know if a Muscat grape is any more special than the white seedless grapes you’d pick up at your local supermarket, and I also don’t know what makes Muscat of Alexandria special enough to warrant its own wikipedia entry. Or its own Kit Kat flavor.

I also don’t know why people thought grape flavored chocolate would be worth making. This bar is white chocolate with a pale green tinge, at once pretty and alien. I think it smells more like lychee than grape, but the taste is white grape all the way through. Would you want to eat grapes and white chocolate in the same bite? I wouldn’t, but I did try this bar, and I didn’t like it. Another .

Finally, the mystery flavored Kit Kat. I don’t know Japanese, but I know some Chinese, and there’s a lot of character overlap. I could make out the characters for “university” on here, which didn’t help at all. I guessed that it was candied sweet potato with black sesame seeds. Cassie had no clue, and my boyfriend thought it may be tofu. We consulted my friend Michael, who lives in Kobe. Turns out I was sort of right; it is sweet potato and sesame.

The “university” part was to signal that it was a limited edition bar, released for exam session when Japanese students test to get into universities. Just goes to show you how candy can teach you about other cultures. Can you imagine an SAT Kit Kat being sold in the U.S.?

This was another white chocolate bar, tinged pale yellow. It was slightly nutty with toastiness that may have come from the wafers. I don’t really get sweet potato, exactly. The white chocolate is the most prominent flavor. Another .

Thanks for the flavor adventure, Cassie! I enjoyed tasting them, even if the flavors weren’t that enjoyable. Guess there’s a reason they’re not widely available outside of Japan. Now, if only I could find a soy sauce flavored Kit Kat

  • cassie

    you’re welcome rosa! =)

  • I’m not sure if I should be horrified or intrigued. The sweet potato one horrifies me, but I’d be willing to give apple a shot.

  • Deb

    Thanks for the link! Actually, compared to some of the ones you reviewed, Soy Sauce flavor is delicious! I had the chance to buy the apple KitKat you reviewed, but I just had this feeling it would be bad, and skipped it.

  • Re: grapes, yes, muscat grapes are totally a different flavor than regular grocery store grapes — much richer and more intense. I agree with you, though, that grapes + white chocolate seems bizarre, regardless of the grape variety!

    If you’re ever at a farmers market in New York in the late summer or early autumn, try to find a grape vendor — you can usually sample the different grape varieties they have, and it is so crazy to me how different in taste and texture they are from each other and from supermarket grapes. I mean, I know that most supermarket produce is bred for size/shape/stability rather than taste, but some things I can’t really tell the difference in — bell peppers from the farmers market vs grocery store bell peppers, for example. But the grapes, whoa!

  • I stumbled upon your site when looking for my old favourite Asian candies to use as wedding favours!

    Re: Muscat of Alexandria – the poster above already commented on how different they taste, but I wanted to add that they’re also used in dessert wines! I don’t know if you drink wine, but if you paid attention to the differences in flavour, texture, and body of wines the same way you do candy, you’d definitely notice the differences! And our farmer’s market here in Santa Barbara has a couple vendors that will sell wine grape juice (currently syrah, cabernet, and merlot, with something added to prevent fermentation since they’re so naturally sugary!), and OH GOODNESS it’s amazing! http://www.meiersjuice.com/ sells a few different types of sparkling grape juices as well!

  • This is called Daigakuimo and is a traditional Japanese dish of fried sweet potato cane sugared sesame seeds.

    It got the name in the 1920’s when students living near Tokyo University started eating a lot of this and the name stuck (daigaku = university). It was originally sold at a small shop near the main gate of the university. It’s a pretty common dessert all around Japan these days.