Monday, October 24, 2011
Gateau du Mont-Blanc KitKat
Lately, KitKat offerings have been uninspired yawn-fests. With the exception of the Tohoku special Zunda KitKat, it's been a steady parade of dark chocolate, white chocolate, and strawberry offerings with the occasional re-issue of a seasonal flavor. If Japanese KitKats were a television show, it'd be a sitcom in which each week the story is basically the same but the characters crack the same types of hackneyed jokes or a boring re-run. The show would be amusing enough on occasion that it'd manage to stay on the air, but generally keep viewers out of a sense of familiarity rather than the show's true entertainment value.
When I saw this box of Mont Blanc KitKats in a Natural Lawson convenience store, I felt like I was seeing the most enticing "preview" that I'd seen in a long time. Though this is not the most creative flavor idea for Japan (there are plenty of mont blanc treats here), it is still novel enough to get this lover of chestnut sweets excited. I forked over my 168 yen ($2.20) and prepared for what I hoped would be a novel experience.
A sniff revealed coffee and caramel notes. This is fairly typical for chestnut sweets because the roasting of nuts often causes a similar aroma to that of roasted coffee beans. The caramel scent, unfortunately, comes from the artificial flavoring that is used. These have an intense sweetness and the finish is definitely of chestnut, but the first hit really is more like fake caramel. The chestnut element is gotten from powder rather than actual chestnuts.
This is an okay, albeit very sweet KitKat. I wish the depth of flavor were better. This might have been achieved by dialing back the super sweet aspects, but this is a candy bar and a white-chocolate-based one at that. Real mont blanc cakes are sweet as well, but not as overpowering as this. They also have a richness that they get from the fatty filling which is utterly absent in this bar. Though I will finish the box, I wouldn't buy this again.