A friend inspired me to give flavored Kit Kats as Christmas gifts this year, an idea that went down very well with our family members! I hadn’t really gone “on the hunt” for Kit Kats beyond the few flavors I found at Tokyo station last year so it was a bit of a frantic search in the month or two before Christmas to accumulate a reasonable amount of different flavors. While the brand new Kit Kat store in Tokyo should make the hunt a bit more obsolete, here’s what I managed to track down in my travels:
1. Yatsuhashi – This cinnamon cookie is one of Kyoto’s famed products, yet you’re more likely to stumble across its much easier to bite into cousin, namayatsuhashi. Namayatsuhashi is a triangle-shaped sweet made from doughy mochi (pounded rice) and stuffed with various flavors like chestnut, red beans and chocolate. The mochi itself is often tinged with cinnamon. The Kit Kat has a pleasantly sweet taste with excellent hints of cinnamon. Probably my favorite of this whole bunch.
2. Houjicha (Tea) – Houjicha is a roasted tea, also popular in Kyoto. There is definitely a tea aftertaste to this Kit Kat, and not necessarily an enjoyable one like the green tea Kit Kats. Not one of my favorites but interesting nonetheless.
3. Strawberry Cheesecake – When my husband went to Hokkaido for work in December, I told him to be on the lookout for milk, corn or cheese flavored Kit Kats. (Yes, all of those do exist, though corn sounds quite disgusting.) He came back with strawberry cheesecake. Not a bad Kit Kat per se, but I’m not a strawberry fan. There was just more of a regular sugary taste to this one than a real strong bias towards either strawberries of Kit Kat.
4. Amaou strawberry – Now THIS Kit Kat definitely clocked in with a strong strawberry taste. Apparently, Kyushu in general – and Fukuoka in particular – is known for its Amaou strawberries. I had no idea but given that this is the ONLY Kit Kat available at Kumamoto airport, these fruits must be pretty popular. This would be a great Kit Kat for strawberry lovers. Sadly, I am not a strawberry lover.
5. Kobe Pudding – Thanks to its position as one of the first ports open to international trade, Kobe has a small amount of foreign influence in some of its dishes. This Kit Kat is a riff on their famous dessert, a milk-based pudding that has a light caramel syrup on top. Just like the dessert itself, it was delicious, but large quantities might feel like a sugar overdose. 🙂