Tuesday, June 8, 2010
KitKat Aloe and Yogurt
This is the second collaboration between the Tokyo Beauty Clinic (TBC) and Nestlé Japan. The first bar was the bitter almond, which had a very tenuous link to beauty (the flavor was supposed to suit women's tastes). This bar boasts a better claim and that is that it contains collagen. Collagen is something which you see plastered on many products in Japan because consumption of it supposedly promotes skin elasticity, and as I've mentioned before, Japanese women are bonkers for skin health. The thing is, the collagen in this bar does not come from aloe or yogurt. One of the ingredients is pork gelatin. Yeah, this bar is fortified with pig connective tissue and it appears higher on the ingredient list than aloe.
Of course, being crazy about skin health doesn't seem to translate to much except a fanatical avoidance of the sun and tons of money spent on expensive face creams. I haven't really noticed much in the way of superior skin among Japanese women. Most of them still have wrinkles when they get older, develop blemishes, and wear foundation make-up to smooth out uneven skin coloration. In fact, they're very uncomfortable if they can't wear foundation make-up. Personally, I can't stand the stuff and never use it, so their desire to wear it baffles me. I'd rather be a bit blotchy on occasion than slather flesh-colored goo on my face, but I'm 45 and not so worried about my beauty anymore.
The bar smells mainly like white chocolate, but it has a mild scent which has a hint of chlorophyll. Frankly, it smells like skin lotion to a very mild extent, which is no surprise because aloe is more often used for skin treatments than foods in the West. In Japan, you can buy drinks with aloe in them, but I've never had one. They may or may not taste like this bar, but I have no point of comparison. I never saw an aloe beverage in a store and said, "hmmm, I could really go for the taste of aloe right now."
The first bite mainly reveals a lot of sweet white chocolate flavor followed by a perfumey flavor which is vaguely reminiscent of chewing on a piece of grass. It's not a terrible flavor, but, honestly, it did seem like sweetened skin cream to me with a hint of grass dipped in your favorite eau de cologne. Frankly, I couldn't detect any yogurt sourness at all though I did sense a little bit of the smooth, dairy sense of it. I'm not sure if my tongue just wasn't sensitized to it at the time that I sampled this or if the sweetness just blew away any sour yogurt tones. I could only taste the yogurt at all by the time I ate the second finger of this mini bar and I could only detect it on the sides of my tongue.
The aloe and yogurt flavors were quite weak, but they are there if you're really paying attention and after your tongue has become sufficiently saturated with the sweetness of the bar that other flavors can get through. I found this bar at 7-11 for 42 yen (46 cents). If you live in Japan and are curious about oddball flavors, it's not much of an investment for a sampling and I wouldn't say it's not worth a try. The bar is small (about the total size of 1.5 regular KitKat bar fingers), and only 69 calories. Under any other circumstances (paying more via an importer, having to track the bar down with difficulty or having to buy a big bag of the mini bars to sample it), I wouldn't say it's worthwhile unless you've ever thought your bottle of hand lotion smelled so delicious that you'd like to mix in a ton of sugar and take a swig.