Monday, November 29, 2010
Intense Roast Soybean KitKat (Tokyo Regional)
My husband and I learned about a large branch of a discount snack shop in a famous shopping area in Tokyo called Ameyokocho (aka Ameyayokocho) called Niki no Kashi. The shop carried a wide variety of domestic and imported snacks and some actual food. Even though that shop had a lot of interesting stuff, most of it was variations on common themes that I can get locally. Honestly, the best finds were imports - Rocky Road bars and malted milk balls from America and waffle cookies from Europe.
How does this relate to this regional KitKat? Well, one of the other shops in the Ameyokocho area was carrying this regional KitKat at a discount price. Usually, these cost 800 yen ($9.60) for 12 mini bars (66 calories each, so each mini is about 65% of the size of two fingers of a regular KitKat). at station shops and airports, but this little place had it for only 500 yen ($6.00). It also helps that this is a flavor I'm actually interested in trying, unlike many of the regional KitKats which very much look like reruns of commonly available flavors or stuff that's so weird that it isn't appealing.
Since I have tried kinako KitKats before (and liked them), the main question for me was what "intense" was going to mean. It turns out that "intense" tasted a lot less like toasted soybean flour than the regular kinako KitKat big bar. To me, this tasted very much like chocolates that are mixed with peanut butter such that you can't clearly taste the peanut butter but the chocolate carries some of the flavor.
It's hard to say if this is "intense" really. I think that roasted soybeans take on a peanutty flavor the more strongly they are roasted. They lose some of their soy flavor. I liked these quite a lot, but didn't feel they were particularly "Japanese" tasting so much as a (good) variation on milk chocolate. If they weren't more expensive than regular KitKat bars (and they are), I'd definitely buy them again.