Monday, January 4, 2010
Kuchidoke Cacao KitKat (mini)
"Kuchi" in Japanese means "mouth" and "doke" means melt, so this is a "melt in your mouth chocolate" KitKat. I'm not sure if that is meant to conjure up the idea that you'll have a mouth full of the rich chocolate sauce on the box or if this is part of what seems to be a winter fad in Japan right now for fondue. I noticed when I was shopping around Christmas time that fondue sets (and marshmallows) seemed to be on offer everywhere. In fact, there was a woman melting Ghana bars at the entrance of one of the tonier supermarkets about a week before Christmas and offering up samples.
This variety has been on offer for quite awhile, and I've been avoiding it because it is a little expensive for a relatively small amount. A box of 5 mini bars costs 189 yen ($2.06) at Seiyu. The total amount of candy is about 1.25 KitKats (about 5 regular fingers) in my rough estimation. Since a regular KitKat costs about 100 yen ($1.09), this makes this 50% more expensive than a regular bar. Of course, it is a special variety, so one has to expect a little increase in price, but I'm a cheapskate. The truth is that my husband picked this up not knowing that I was waiting for it to end up in the bargain bin, and he plunked it on my desk.
The description on the back says that the exterior coating is "melt in your mouth chocolate" and between the wafers is croquant. I hadn't heard of croquant before, but it is a French confection made up of carmelized sugar that does not include butter or cream. It is usually just water and sugar and one of its uses is to make a type of nut brittle (particularly with almonds).
Each mini bar is individually wrapped, has 70 calories, and smells nicely of chocolate. The cocoa scent is definitely stronger than the chocolate on a normal KitKat. The flavor is also richer and deeper. It's a little like a really strong hot chocolate, but with no bitter notes. Despite being called a "melt in your mouth cocoa" bar, it isn't softer than a normal KitKat and doesn't actually melt in your mouth. That's okay though. It's still one tasty version of a KitKat and I wish that regular bars were flavored like this one. I didn't detect the croquant portion, but my husband said that he detected something a bit malt-like when he sampled it. It could be that the flavor is very subtle and I just missed it.
Though this isn't a strongly divergent variation on the regular KitKat, it is a superior quality one in terms of the deep chocolate flavor. I would definitely recommend giving it a try and I wouldn't hesitate to buy it again.
This was also (very favorably) reviewed at Jen's KitKat blog.