It’s no longer a secret that Kit Kats in Japan inhabit a parallel universe to their overseas cousins. I’ve been sampling their delights ever since I was offered a Wasabi Kit Kat many moons ago.
‘Back in the day’ all these exotic Kit Kats being pumped out of Japan really seemed to capture the imagination of people here in Japan and particularly abroad. Fitting Japan’s ‘wacky’ image while remixing a perennial classic. Box office gold.
I started reviewing them in various corners of the net, even dedicating a blog to them at one point (the remnants of which can be seen here). Those heady days are over though. Traditional media is all over it, and us intrepid investigative chocolatists have moved on.
Until this week that is.
A routine visit to 7-11 lead to a chance encounter with the latest LOCAL Kit Kat flavour. If you’re ever in a train station/airport (the best places to hunt Kit Kats kids) in Japan you’re sure to find a flavour based on some kind of traditional product of the area. Kind of boringly, so far, Hiroshima-ken’s sole offering has been a type of citrus fruit blend. That’s all changed.
Until Okonomiyaki flavour comes along you won’t get a more Hiroshima flavour than Momiji-manju – those little maple leaf shaped cakes filled with sweet bean paste, chocolate etc that are sold all over Miyajima. And whilst Okonomiyaki flavour would appeal to Kit Kat fans who like to live on the edge, this is potentially a GREAT Kit Kat.
So, how is it?
Bang average I’m afraid. I have two issues with this Kit Kat.
1. It doesn’t particularly taste of what it’s supposed to. It just has that slightly sickly sweet taste that a lot of these novelty Kit Kats seem to. It’s quite nice, just a bit dull. The purple wafer isn’t particularly purple either.
2. This Kit Kat’s biggest crime, however, is that IT’S NOT TWO FINGERS. Akin to tourists pouring soy sauce on their rice, seeing locals eating their Kit Kats without breaking apart the fingers has always grated. This one has a poorly rendered momiji maple leaf on it that means you can’t break it apart. Even if you want to.
So, resurrecting my old scoring system, Momiji Manju Kit Kats get a 8/10 for originality and a 5/10 for niceness.
Looking through my old blog just now I came across this review of Azuki Sandwich Kit Kats. I seem to remember they definitely DID have that red bean taste. White bread Azuki bean sandwiches though? What?
Anyway, you’ll be pleased to know these Kit Kats are available all over the region as far as I can tell. Try them out for yourself. Perhaps a Pokemon Go-esque fight might break out in the comments section. Oh, and if you are wondering what the worst Kit Kat flavour is. It’s Cheese.