Aji WOW: KitKats, part 2
Aji WOW is my series of unusual Japanese food/drink reviews. 'Aji' (味) means 'flavour', and the name's also a pun on 'ajiwau' (味わう) - 'to enjoy the taste of'.
This time: special KitKat flavours again! If you missed part 1, read it here.
Not just any apple, mind you. Shinshu apple, from the old Shinshu province which is now Nagano prefecture. (Prefectures in Japan are like UK counties.)
You can see from the gold inset text that these are some premium apples.
You can tell from the taste that no real premium apples were used in the making of this KitKat. So fake, a real disappointment. There is the crunchiness of biting through peel, but that's about it.
The apple taste is like hard candy. It seriously overwhelms the chocolate flavour. I may as well have been eating a crunchy throat sweet. That said, I like apple candy by itself so I might let some of this slide.
Verdict: 6/10, I only sort of like these apples.
Adzuki sando - red bean sandwich
Putting red beans into a KitKat wasn't enough, so the 'sando' was added for good measure. Yep, that's bread. Looks a little toasted.
I was instantly put off by the smell of these. No sweetness, just... strangeness. I can't even describe it. Unlike anything that has ever wafted up my nose before. Adzuki is not the sweetest flavour in the world, but it's nicer than this.
On taking a bite, I made it maybe halfway through the bite before gagging. They're disgusting. Didn't even chew. There's nothing more to tell you about the flavour than that, because I couldn't hack it.
The only KitKat I didn't even manage a full bite of, and the only pack I immediately binned.
Verdict: -4/10, you couldn't pay me to even sniff these ever again.
As with the sake KitKats from last time, this is a flavour I shouldn't have been able to get hold of. It was an Easter special, as you can see from the bunnies and eggs all over the packaging.
Mind you, considering Halloween starts on September 1st here it's not so much of a surprise.
I'd like to point out some sneaky Japanese marketing at work here. It says that the KitKats are marked with 13 different Easter designs. There are 12 KitKats per pack. Can't buy just one!
The pancake KitKats smelled burnt. I've had some creme brulee chocolate recently, and they smelled just like that. Certain other KitKat editions were intended to be slightly cooked after purchasing. These weren't, but maybe they'd benefit from a little grilling.
I don't know what the taste of these was, but it sure wasn't pancake. Burnt butter? The aftertaste in particular was very buttery. Sadly not looking forward to eating any more of these.
Verdict: 1/10, worst Easter surprise ever.
Beni imo - purple potato
Made with 1.4% potato powder, according to the box. I like purple, so I had high hopes.
The purple colour isn't offputting, but it is strange. It's more of a light lilac. The kind your grandmother would wear to parties.
If I'd had to guess in a blind taste test, I'd have said these KitKats were made with at least 1.4% pot pourri. The flavour is extremely floral, as if they'd been soaked in room spray before serving. Not nice.
Verdict: 0/10, not even purple saved this one.
Bonus round - heart-shaped strawberry Pocky!
Not KitKats, I know. I found these tucked away in a corner of the shop, almost fully concealed by stock boxes. Leads me to suspect that they're left over from Valentine's Day.
In two unusual twists, the Pocky sticks are shaped like hearts and covered in extra bits of strawberry. Cute! The double flavouring makes them much stronger than your standard strawberry Pocky. It really pops at times - yeah, I guess likening it to popping candy is appropriate.
I do like these, but I'm not 100% used to the taste yet. I might have to open the second pack and try them out, just to be sure.
Verdict: Research ongoing...