Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ume (Plum) Soda KitKat

In summer in Japan, it's common for people to make plum wine (ume-shu) by themselves. I'm guessing that part of the motivation in choosing this as a summer flavor is related to the fondness people feel for their refreshing tipple of ume-shu. Another part of it though is that Nestle Japan did a survey and this flavor came out as the third most popular. There's nothing like a little market research to help churn out yet another KitKat flavor.

My husband picked this bar up at New Days convenience store in Shinjuku. It was released on July 13, and I was at a Family Mart at exactly that date scoping out new limited edition KitKats and came up empty. This seems to be slow in hitting the shelves, or it may possibly be only available at New Days. I can't be sure.

The back of the box says that the white chocolate outer coating is mixed with plum flavoring. The cream between the wafers comes with plum and what is essentially a kind of quasi-sour "soda" powder. The flavor is like a fizzy soda candy that you may have bought as a kid. It's tart, and has an Alka Seltzer quality on your tongue. Two fingers have 99 calories.

This bar smells and looks a lot like the KitKat Muscat of Alexandria. It's a generic fruity smell. It does taste like green plum soda though. The problem is that it's too sweet and the slightly sour plum flavor with chlorophyll overtones followed by a small soda-like bite just doesn't work as a combination. I think this would be a lot better with more of the soda powder in the filling to add more tartness to it. In fact, I only detected the soda powder on the first bite. It faded fast and vanished on the second bite.

I didn't find this offensive, but I can easily see other people disliking it rather intensely. This is definitely one for the more tolerant types out there. I don't think I'll be finishing the rest of it because I would prefer not to waste the calories on something I don't really enjoy.

This is also reviewed at Jen's KitKat review blog here.


Kelly said...

I saw this last week and I knew I didn't want to try it because I hate Ume and so does Yasu so I wouldn't be able to palm it off onto him.

Are plums in Japan green? I thought they were red...

Orchid64 said...

I think that the ones used for ume-shu are green, but the ones people eat are red/purplish in color.

I think you made the right decision to give this a miss. It's really not all that good.