I hope you all had some fantastic holidays and equally amazing New Years! I spent the days together with my family and friends in the town I grew up and it was so good to see them all again.
Of course, just returning from Japan, there were many questions asked, many stories shared and so many pictures to be shown. And as if that did not already do to convey the fantastic craziness I could find in Japan, I also brought some sweets to try for everyone.
And by sweets I mean mainly KitKat, because for some reason Japan has infinite flavours of KitKat chocolate.
KitKat with “green tea flavour” is marketed today as the “number one souvenir from Japan” because of how uncanny it is.
There are a bunch of western sweets paired with green tea flavour in Japan and to be honest, it matches quite well to combine the sweetness of chocolate with the bitterness of green tea.
Those slightly bitter sweets are labeled “adult’s sweetness” in Japanese, but don’t get confused: The green tea here is paired with white chocolate and it’s bitterness comes nowhere close to that above 60% dark chocolate.
Strawberry is the next standard flavour that Japanese just seem to love. I guess I’ll have to admit at this point that I’m not really into strawberries and these ones feature an especially strong flavour. My little sister loved them, though.
We’ll stay at fruity and pink. While strawberry didn’t do it for me, I really liked the raspberry flavour.
This one, again, was part of the “adult’s sweetness” series and really conveyed the raspberry for me. I always gave just a few away to selected people, just so I could have some more for myself, haha.
My personal favourite however was “rum raisin” which actually tasted like a raisin drained in rum. It was amazing.
The box it was in also features “Tokyo” written on it, so I believe this one is a special flavour only available in the Tokyo area. When I was in Aomori six years ago, I remember how everything featured apples, and also how we had our own special “Aomori Apple”-KitKat.
Nestle actually provides KitKat-hunters a map for those regional special flavours.
It really is a pity that I basically never left Tokyo this time.
But besides the regional special flavour there are also seasonal ones. When autumn came around, I found the flavours of baked sweet potato and red beans in a leaf-shaped bread.
Both were super tasty.
From my trip to Mt. Takao, I actually brought the leaf-shaped breads with red beans as a goodbye souvenir for my coworkers.
The KitKat version of them even has a differing shape, so that the recognizable leaf-shape could be engraved on them.
Unfortunately, over all this excitement, I apparently completely missed the pumpkin flavoured Halloween special, which is supposedly the best thing about autumn in Japan…
During my last weeks I found the flavour “butter cookie”, which I probably would have ignored, had I not seen the character for “baking” on it. Yes, this KitKat is bakeable.
You are supposed to store it in a frigde and then put it in a Japanese toast oven, which I unfortunately don’t have here in Germany. So far, I just managed to melt them, but I’ll keep you guys updated.
I also found another unexpected KitKat shape with the flavour “cranberry and almond”.
Instead of two bars of KitKat, this one only consists of one for some reason.
I believe over the last month there were also some more Christmas flavours. I heard of a “ginger”-flavoured KitKat and since on Christmas you eat strawberry cake in Japan (again: for some reason), I can very much imagine a KitKat flavour for that, too.
Last but not least, when I went souvenir shopping on my very last day, I found some extremely Japanese flavours in one shop and I believe those are also purely marketed for tourists, like me, who want to tell some crazy stories. Naturally, I gave in to that marketing strategy and bought them.
They were “sake” and “wasabi”.
Sake actually impressed me with it’s smell, which I thought of as quite authentic.
Wasabi however didn’t smell at all. That didn’t quite help with my fear of trying it.
Both flavours, however, were not intense at all. (Can’t scare the paying tourists away, I guess…)
Wasabi actually contains only the flavour of the horseradish and absolutely zero of it’s spiciness. Sake, comparably, contains no alcohol.
Trying so many flavours was quite fun actually, but keep in mind, that most of these are only intended to last a few months or target tourists, whether from Japan, on a visit to another region, or from overseas. Not all of them are intended to be a gourmet masterpiece – and you can taste that. 😉