Saturday, May 21, 2016

The Exotic KitKats of Japan

Recently a friend was leaving for a trip to Japan, and I begged for souvenirs.

Very specific souvenirs.

"Bring me the exotic KitKats that I see in Buzzfeed posts! I want to eat the Green Tea KitKats!"

"You can buy those in Knoxville."


"Go buy the Green Tea ones at Sunrise Grocery or Lucky Mart by the mall."


Things have been a little busy at work, so it took me a week or so to get over to Sunrise Grocery. Once there, I paced the candy aisle, but there were no Green Tea KitKats. I checked all of the racks by the registers, but there were no Green Tea KitKats there, either. I whined to friends in our ongoing "Brunch Scheduling and Other Chatter" months-long group text that I couldn't find the Green Tea KitKats, and then, just as I was about to leave, I decided to walk all of the aisles, and found the Green Tea KitKats exactly where you would think to look for candy.

In the produce section.

I can be excused for missing them, at first, because they weren't individually packaged like I thought they'd be. Instead, the Green Tea KitKats at Sunrise Grocery come in a big bag:

Japanese KitKats 2

that fortunately has an English ingredients label stuck to the back, so I could make sure I wasn't eating anything I was allergic to.

Japanese KitKats 3

Sunrise Grocery was adventure enough. (Seriously, I might go back for the herb-flavored gelatin cups, because I'm so curious about them.) I didn't also want a trip to the emergency room. I did decide that I might as well also grab the Raspberry KitKats, because why not? They might also be exciting.

Japanese KitKats 1

Once I got the KitKats home, I tore open the bag

Japanese KitKats 5

and then tore open a Green Tea KitKat:

Japanese KitKats 6

I didn't buy any American KitKats for comparison, but I think that's about the same size as a snack sized KitKat that you get in the bags of Halloween candy. It might be slightly smaller, but again, that's a guess, not a definite. I was immediately dismayed to see that they appeared to be made of white chocolate, a vile waxen imitation of real chocolate, but excited to see that they're definitely green.

In the interests of science, I bit one:

Japanese KitKats 7

and I was immediately disappointed.

They taste like a regular white chocolate KitKat. I drink green tea fairly often, and I didn't get even a hint of it from these. I ate another just to be sure, and still didn't taste anything but white chocolate and KitKat wafers.

Dreams crushed, I turned my attention to the Raspberry KitKats, which were similar to the Green Tea KitKats in appearance:

Japanese KitKats 8

but also had noticeable differences: as soon as I opened the wrapper, this smelled strongly of raspberries. Granted, it was a little bit of an artificial raspberry candy raspberry smell, but it was way better than the Green Tea KitKats, which smell only of foul white chocolate.

Intrigued and hopeful, I bit one:

Japanese KitKats 9

These are so good. I can't believe they don't make this flavor in the United States, because it would sell heavily if they could convince people to try it the first time. It might be hard to tell in the picture, but instead of regular KitKat filling, which is actually made of other KitKats ("Soylent Green is people! It's people!"), they are filled with some kind of raspberry jelly or puree and it's so good that my mouth is watering right now just thinking about them even though I just ate one.

I might take the Green Tea ones to work and dump them in my candy dish there. Maybe someone will like them.

Then I might go to the Lucky Mart, and see if they have flavors that Sunrise Grocery didn't.

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