Friday, October 10, 2008

Adzuki KitKat

KitKats that are flavored with traditional Japanese tastes should hold the promise of an interesting and unique experience. The KitKat Adzuki flavor box encourages this idea. It tells you that this "can be used as a Japanese snack" and it has a fan design and fancy Japanese writing. The packaging is whacking you over the head with the very Japanese-ness of this flavor.

With the aforementioned notion in mind, I picked up the adzuki (or azuki, depending on whose spelling you take as valid) variety at the local 99 yen shop. Upon opening the bar, I was immediately disappointed to see that it was a white chocolate bar studded with little brown spots.

The reason this is disappointing is that the beans being sprinkled throughout the white chocolate means that the flavor is almost certainly going to be buried deep in sweet white chocolate. I gave the bar a few good sniffs and strained my nostrils to detect any whiff of beany goodness (if nostrils can be strained). Remember receiving white chocolate rabbits in your Easter basket when you were a kid? Yeah, you remember because they were the ones your mother bought to add an aesthetically pleasing look to the basket by mixing the rabbit colors. You were disappointed to see the white ones. This bar smells like those rabbits, like bland white chocolate. It smells like disappointment.

My first bite revealed a massively sweet flavor with only the barest bit of adzuki flavor at the tail end. I was hoping that once my tongue recovered from the initial sugar shock that I'd be able to taste more of the adzuki. It's also sometimes the case that you can get the effect of layering a subtle flavor through continued consumption. Sometimes your tongue becomes more attuned to such flavors as you eat more. In this case, I found that I actually tasted less adzuki as I continued to eat. My tongue grew immune to what few notes of bean there were.

Two fingers and 114 calories later, I remained disappointed and my throat was burning from the sweetness. A look at the ingredients reveals that adzuki is pretty far down the line after several types of sugar. American candy is often cited for being too incredibly sweet, but the truth is that Japanese candy can be just as bad, or worse, than some American candy. This adzuki bar certainly proves that.


ebidebby said...

I've never tried this one, but I was expecting Azuki white chocolate, like the matcha white chocolate ones they put out sometimes. That's too bad!

Orchid64 said...

I think they infuse green tea flavor into chocolate much more effectively than some other flavors. Flavors that are dispersed in liquids are easier to get into white chocolate than those which are part of a substance like beans. It is a shame, really.

BTW, thanks for adding a link to my blog on your blog! I've returned the favor.

yunike said...

When I read the title "adzuki kit kat" I expected to see light red color of the kit kat because of the red bean. Too bad that the flavor of adzuki was buried on the white chocolate :((

Orchid64 said...

Hi, Yunike, and many thanks for reading and commenting!

I, too, was hoping for something which had a much stronger overtone of adzuki bean flavor. If the bar had been a brick color (or even pink), it'd have been more encouraging.

Anonymous said...

I actually bought this one but ended up giving it to some friends, so i never tried it.

I did buy one before this came out and i think it was Hokkaido azuki, because the colour was a pinkish colour on the outside and there was bean paste between the wafers. When you opened the wrapper you could smell the azuki. Sounds like it was much better than the one i gave away, so luckily i might not have missed out on too much!