Monday, November 9, 2009
Green Tea Kinako Big KitKat
Recently, one of my students bought the yuzu koshyu sembei that I reviewed previously after I recommended it to her. I asked her what she drank with it and she said "green tea". The thought of sour and peppery salted snack treats with green tea really didn't sit right with me. I associate tea with sweets, not savory foods. She told me that it was traditional for Japanese people to have green tea and sembei at tea time. It makes sense, but I have my sembei with Coca-cola Zero because I'm a heretic like that.
It strikes me that green tea and kinako are a much nicer fit than green tea and sembei, so it was only natural that Nestlé Japan put them together. My husband found this big bar KitKat at New Days convenience store near his office in Shinjuku for 120 yen ($1.32) and presented it to me the next day. As I've mentioned before, I like these big bars more than regular KitKats because of the higher wafer to chocolate ratio. I loves me some wafers. The big bars are 44 grams (1.55 oz.) and this one was 242 calories.
The bar smells good. It has some mild kinako notes and that familiar sweet smell of white chocolate. The ingredients include "green tea paste" and "kinako". The green tea flavoring is all in the coating and the kinako in the wafer filling.
I could only manage to eat half of the bar for sampling because it's a whole lot of candy bar. The green tea flavor is strongest on the first bite. After that, the familiar bitterness of it is largely drowned out by white chocolate sweetness. The kinako is also very faint and mainly tastes like soy without much of a roasted flavor.
This wasn't a bad bar at all, but it's just too sweet and that overwhelms the subtle kinako and tea flavors. The texture is great and it doesn't taste bad at all, but it just isn't all that interesting. If you are so-so on green tea and kinako, or timid about trying them, this may be a good bar for you to try because it's not going to hit you too hard on the flavor front. Otherwise, I'd say give it a pass.