Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Kinako Ohagi KitKat
This is a shiny new KitKat that was released yesterday. My husband came home from the gym brandishing it. I normally regard all things kinako with happy anticipation, but I've got two KitKats (sports drink and vegetable - reviews to come in the near future, hopefully) in the fridge waiting for sampling, so I was a little less excited about another being added to the pile. Nonetheless, it looked interesting and I would have purchased it if I had come across it first.
The traditional Japanese sweet pictured on the box is a ball of what looks like rice-based cake (mochi) covered in kinako powder and filled with red beans. I wasn't familiar with "ohagi" and didn't come up with anything definitive when I did a search, but I believe that it is a sweet which has a different name depending on the time of year. In fall, it's called "hagi" and has other names including botamochi. "Hagi" comes from some fall flower, as best I can tell.
The bar smells vaguely of kinako, which isn't surprising considering that the kinako is infused with the chocolate on the outside as well as the cream between the wafers. The first bite is mostly milk chocolate, but the chaser is highly reminiscent of the dreaded Oshiruko KitKat. That taste is a bit of a woodsy, vaguely "mossy" flavor. It's hard to describe, but it is what you think forest dirt might taste like. I realize that this flavor is not the kinako, but the mochiko puffs that are embedded in the chocolate. Both the Oshiruko KitKat and this one have those puffs in common.
This wasn't bad, and I will probably eat the rest, but I definitely wouldn't repeat it because of the flavor of those puffs. The overall flavor is okay, and I'm betting I'd love this if they took out the mochi puffs, but they just ruin the finish for me.
This is also reviewed at Jen's KitKat blog here.