Friday, February 5, 2010
Maple KitKat Mini
Back when I was working at a Japanese office, one of my coworkers was an amiable, but rather goofy, American fellow named Scott. Scott used to make up weird hobbies and interests when students asked him questions because he got bored giving the same answers. Among the things he said was that he was interested in dancing (and he'd vary the type of dance, but it was ballet for awhile), ska music, and Harvey Keitel. Of course, anyone who knows who Harvey Keitel is knows that no one could possibly be interested in Harvey Keitel, but cultural differences allowed Scott to pull off this type of transparent lying.
I'm not a fan of lying to people for the sake of amusing myself. In fact, I'm not a fan of lying in general. Scott and I did have two things in common though. Both of us are writers and enjoy writing for its own sake, though Scott was a fiction writer and I'm strictly non-fiction. He wrote a short story called "The Man With the Golden Penis" (I kid you not), and I write about things like why Japanese service is polite and professional, but sometimes robotic in nature.
The other thing that Scott and I had/have in common is that neither of us likes pure maple syrup. In one of those discussions that can only occur when you're sitting at work bored but trapped at your desk, we talked about how we both preferred pancake syrup to 100% maple syrup because we didn't care for the strength of the hard stuff. Of course, this makes us heretics. It also reflects the fact that I don't like really strong maple flavor in candies, cakes, etc. I'm not sure if it's very flattering to share this taste sensitivity with a man who writes stories about men with golden ding-dongs, but it is a fact nonetheless.
My husband and I came across these maple mini KitKats at Okashi no Machioka discount candy shop. He snapped them up immediately for 280 yen ($3.10) as he is an enormous fan of maple. There is an unlucky number of little bars in the bag, thirteen. Each small pair of fingers is 69 calories and would probably make about 1.25 regular fingers if laid end-to-end. The bag mentions that the maple sugar used in these is derived from syrup from Quebec, Canada. Of course, it fails to mention what percentage of the bars is composed of this fine quality product.
I had very low expectations of these because of my aversion to maple syrup, but ended up surprised. These smell lightly and pleasantly of maple. The taste is super sweet white chocolate with very weak maple notes that tend to be revealed more with subsequent bites. My husband found these wanting on the maple taste front, but I found them just right for me. I'm not sure why the super sweet white chocolate base didn't hit me as overwhelming this time as it so often does, but I liked them enough to have a second mini the next day.
I can recommend this provisionally. I think serious maple syrup fans are going to be disappointed, as my husband was, and those who really dislike very sweet white chocolate will want to give them a pass. Those who, like me, find a little maple flavor appealing may find them much more enjoyable. That being said, I had my mini bar with a cup of tea the first time and a cup of coffee the second time so I'd also recommend a good palate cleanser between bites.