Monday, August 9, 2010
KitKat Salted Caramel (Big Bar)
I'm no foodie, or gourmand, but I do check out the food porn sites for recipes on a regular basis and I've seen people offering up elegant pictures of blocks of caramel with big salt crystals lying on top of them. I don't know if salty caramel is one of those things people who think they're too good for a Sugar Daddy eat, or if it is now as mundane as a KitKat.
Salty sweets, of course, are old hat by now. In fact, I think I've tried some variations on this concept before (salty vanilla, for instance). I was actually looking forward to trying this particular player in the endless parade of Japanese KitKats. Even though I don't like caramel much, I do like salty sweet combinations when they work.
I found this at 7-11 for 120 yen ($1.40). It's 44 grams (1.55 oz.) and the entire bar is 238 calories. I don't know when it was introduced, but I couldn't find it on Nestle Japan's webs site for KitKats at the time this review was written (August 6). I've found that the 7-11 shops in my area seem to get new KitKats before they show up on the manufacturer's site sometimes. This was also the case with the cola and lemon squash KitKat.
This bar smells like strong, fake caramel. That's not such a shock. One has to expect such things. The thing that I was most interested in was how prominent the salt as going to be and how strongly chemical the caramel came across as. As for the former, this is a very salty bar. The salt definitely hits you pretty hard, especially on the first bite. On the second bite, it mellows a bit because it's usual for ones tongue to acclimate to salt quickly and taste it less strongly. The caramel is also definitely there and the fake nature of it was muted by the salt and the pleasant combination with the sweet milk chocolate coating.
I really enjoyed the salty sweet aspect of this and was pleased that the salt wasn't hiding in a dark corner where it could barely be detected. That being said, I could easily see where someone else might find the salty aspects to be overbearing. In fact, it was so salty that it sort of burned my mouth a bit, but I still liked this. It helps that it's a "big bar" and is full of fresh, crispy wafers. I enjoy the higher wafer to chocolate ratio so that gave this a leg-up right there. If you're open-minded about the salt and sweet combination, I'd recommend giving this a try, but be prepared for some potent saltiness.